Finding Health Sciences Information

Information is everywhere!

Finding reliable information for educational purposes requires a variety of different skills.
A researcher must be able to find books, journal articles, meeting reports, personal communications, audiovisual items, etc. - the variety is enormous.
The information is also available in different formats - print, electronic, audiovisual, etc.
How do you evaluate the information?
How do you cite the information you include in your reports?
Where do you begin?

Define the subject.

Try a dictionary, or a basic textbook in the subject area.
To find a book, look in CWRU's Library Catalog.
In organizing books and journal articles in the health sciences,the thesaurus of index terms is MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) from the U. S. National Library of Medicine.
When you look for a book by Subject, be sure to choose the tab for MeSH Subject.
There are online dictionaries and encyclopedias available from MedlinePlus.

Find books in your subject area.

Use the CWRU Library Catalog by MeSH search.
Use the MeSH database to find MeSH terms - Headings and Subheadings. The MeSH database can be searched by MeSH term, MeSH Entry Term, Subheading, Publication Type, or words within a MeSH Scope Note.
In the CWRU Library Catalog, be sure to note the AUTHOR, TITLE, LOCATION, CALL NUMBER and STATUS.
CHSL has links to Electronic Books.

Find journal articles on the topic.

Journal articles are indexed in databases. There is no all-inclusive database for all journals. You must select a database in your subject area. Sometimes, you may want to search many databases in your subject area.
Databases available to CWRU are listed by title and subject.
Health Sciences databases include BIOSIS, CINAHL (nursing), MEDLINE with full text , PsycINFO, PubMed, ISI Web of Science and others. The databases have online help.
Not all journal articles are electronically available.
Not all electronic journal articles are available to CWRU.
To determine if a journal is available in print or electronically to CWRU, check by the title of the journal in the CWRU Library Catalog. You may also check the journal title abbreviation. If the abbreviation does not display, try the full title.
Pertinent journal information includes the TITLE, the LOCATION, what the LIBrary HAS, and where it is available - either stack locations or electronically.
CHSL has links to Electronic Journals.

Find other information on the topic.

Sometimes you need to search the World Wide Web for other information.
For government information, try to locate any type of federal information.
For information about the state of Ohio, try the State of Ohio web site.
For the Cleveland Department of Public Health, the web site has many links.
For disease information from the federal government, try the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Included here are electronic publications, data and statistics.
For statistics, try Fedstats.
For international information, try the World Health Organization.
Sometimes it is necessary to search the web for other information, such as locating a professional organization in your topic area. You will have to use a search engine for this.

Other Information – including citing.

Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. This is the Vancouver style. This is a way to cite your references in a paper.

Citing Medicine, the NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers - here you will find examples of citations, including electronic.

Contact Information:

For more information, please contact Health Center Library Reference, (, or by phone at 216.368.3218.