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PHRM 832: Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine

This guide is intended to be used in supporting the work of the PHRM 832: Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine class, taught by James Nawarskas.

Starting Your Search: Background Information

When you first start your search you might not understand your topic or some of the elements as well as you would like. This is okay! We've all been there. In that situation you will want to start by looking for background information before you do a search for articles (which will be about more specific elements of a topic).

To find background information you can:

  • Search Google to find resources like Wikipedia or other general overviews. Just keep in mind these will need to be evaluated more acutely and that Wikipedia is not an academic source and quality control is lax. These can be useful for getting a general idea of what to look for next. See Google for Researching for more information.
  • Use reference resources (like encyclopedias, consumer health pages, drug information portals) that were created with the intent of explaining specific terminology/conditions/drugs.
  • Utilize textbooks/books. These are generally written to inform on a more broad scale than an article and can be beneficial as many books go through a peer review process (look for scholarly or academic presses).
    • Search HSLIC's catalog (WorldCat Discovery) or the Databases A-Z page by type to find books.

Check mark icon.Quick Tip: You can use the skills from Creating an Effective Search in the catalog and in search engines like Google.


Background/Reference Resources to Consider

Utilizing Databases

Once you know what you need you can use databases to find articles, guidelines, drug information, and more. Databases are useful for finding specifics and not general overviews. Remember the skills from Creating an Effective Search to help you search databases.

Databases to Consider


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Leah Everitt
Health Sciences Library and Informatics Center
Room 215