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Topical Guides: Health Research

Health Research > 2: Getting Started

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2A: Types of Resources

A portal or gateway site is the best place to begin research. These sites, which are intended to serve as "jumping off" points, will lead the researcher to a variety of useful sources that have been selected because of their relevance or quality. A portal site may include thousands of links on a wide range of topics, or may be very specific in scope and point to a small number of resources.

Portal sites may allow keyword searching, provide topical, hierarchical browsing (drilling down) or both search and browse capabilities. Another useful starting point for research is the search engine, particularly those that are subject-specific.

2B: Examples

PubMed Health

PubMed Health specializes in reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports. Clinical effectiveness research finds answers to the question “What works?” in medical and health care.

MedlinePlus

MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's Web site for patients and their families and friends. Produced by the National Library of Medicine, it brings you information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in language you can understand. MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information, anytime, anywhere, for free.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC is a United State Government-funded entity who works to monitor, detect, and investigate health problems while also influencing health policy.

Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce

Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce is a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations, and health sciences libraries which provides timely, convenient access to selected public health resources on the Internet.

2C: How to Find More

The Internet Public Library Subject Collections (IPL)

Core internet resources are arranged by discipline and then by more specific subject area. An option is also available to find associations or serials related to the subject.  These sites have been selected and organized by librarians. A link to pathfinders on very specific topics is also available.

Activity

Use Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find information about meningitis.

[Links open in new browser window.]

Pop Quiz

Portal sites are useful for:

Correct answer: [NOTE: Score is not recorded]

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