Research Guide for Health EducationThe best way to do research is to think about the whole project while you are doing each step -- how does each thing that you learn relate to everything else you know? It is not like following a recipe where you do step one, then step two, then step three, etc. In doing research, you often find that after step three, you have to go back to step two again, or even step one. The suggestions given here are meant to be used like that.
Before you start, look carefully at the assignment your instructor has given to you. Notice the details of what you need to find or do -- find journal articles or statistics? write APA citations? will you be graded on whether you used reliable sources?
- If the words for your topic are very distinctive, then try using just one or two terms. Example: anemia
- If the words for your topic work together as a phrase, but can mean other things on their own, then try using quotation marks to keep them a phrase. Example: "Grave's disease"
- If you need more than one or two words to describe your topic, start with two or three words that seem most important. As you search, look to see if other words might work better. Example: for violence against women at home, you might start with violence against women, but for some search engines domestic violence or family violence might work better.
- You might add a word for a specific type of information. Example: anemia statistics
- You might add a word for a specific group of people. Example: "Grave's disease" women Notice that the word women is NOT inside the quotation marks.
- As you search, if you get too few results, consider using fewer words or searching for a larger category of information that includes your topic. Example: "thyroid diseases" instead of "Grave's disease"
- Need help? Ask a librarian!
- Brief definitions and overview
online encyclopedia: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia online dictionary: MedlinePlus Medical Dictionary print encylopedia: Encyclopedia of Health & Behavior print dictionary: Mosby's Dictionary print guide: American Medical Association Family Medical Guide
- In depth background and analysis
books: CityCat subject search CityCat keyword search
- Quick background or analysis
goverment websites: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Health Library National Institutes of Health. Health Information Center for Disease Control and Prevention MedlinePlus Health Topics and Overviews WomensHealth.Gov Health Topics
- Specific aspects of your topic
periodical articles: EBSCO HOST Gale Powersearch Or follow links to Health and Medicine databases on the Find Articles page Get advice about Finding Periodical Articles in Health web pages: Limit domain to .gov or .org in Google Advanced Search
websites: Explore Health Careers Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) California Community Colleges Health Occupations
- Controversial issues
periodical articles: CQ Researcher reprinted articles online: Opposing viewpoints Resource Center reprinted articles in books: Opposing viewpoints series
- Epidemiological reports
websites: The WWW Virtual Library: Medicine and Health: Epidemiology
- Fact sheets
websites: Center for Disease Control and Prevention National Women's Health Network Fact Sheets
- Holistic & alternative treatments
periodical articles: AltHealthWatch website: National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Organizations supporting action or education
websites: Limit domain to .org in Google Advanced Search San Francisco Department of Public Health Community Programs. Especially the link to Community Health Network Centers.
- Political action: representatives and legislation
websites: Project Vote Smart. Find your elected federal and state officials Govtrack.US Find congressional district maps, voting records and other information about the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. San Francisco District Information. Find your supervisor on the City and County of San Francisco Board of Supervisors Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Find your supervisor in Alameda County -- click on Supervisoral Map if you don't know your district Marin County Board of Supervisors. Find your supervisor in Marin County San Mateo Board of Supervisors. Find your supervisor in San Mateo County. -- click on Supervisoral Districts if you don't know your district For city officials try a Google search for oakland city goverment or hayward city government or etc. Official California Legislative Information. State legislation Thomas at the Library of Congress. Federal legislation
- Resarch and new discoveries
periodical articles: EBSCO HOST Gale Powersearch website: National Institutes of Health.
- Rumours: are they true?
website: Urban Legends Reference Pages: Snopes.com by Barbara and David P. Mikkelson
- San Francisco information
websites: Health Matters in San Francisco Very wonderful source! San Francisco Department of Public Health San Francisco Neighborhood Indicator Profiles Program on Health, Equity and Sustainability See the list of reports in the left margin HealthySF San Francisco Neighborhood Market DrillDown Provides 2007 aggregated information on households, etc. for 12 neighborhoods Police Department Crime Maps Creates maps of incidents for area and time period you specify THRIVE: Commnunity Assessment Planning Tool Provides a template to help assess community health data County Health Rankings Provides comparative rankings for counties within a state.
websites: National Center for Health Statistics WomensHealth.Gov Women's Health Statistics U.S. Census Bureau Census Tract map for San Francisco, East and Central [PDF file: use tool to zoom in] Census Tract map for San Francisco, West [PDF file: use tool to zoom in]
- Textbooks and Self-help books
books: CityCat subject search CityCat keyword search
- Volunteer oportunities
websites: The Volunteer Center serving San Francisco and San Mateo Counties San Francisco Community Clinic Consortium Volunteer Opportunities Volunteer Match Set your Interest Area to Health & Medicine
- Who is providing this information and what are their motives? Maybe they have other goals besides wanting to be helpful. Are they selling products? What is their political, social, or religious agenda?
- Are the authors health professionals, journalists, or people writing from their individual experiences? How much expertise do they have?
- How accurate and complete is the information? Does it mix opinions and facts? Are conclusions logical? Are there any contradictions or things that don't quite add up? Are there footnotes or citations given to show where the facts came from?
- When was this information written and published? Does it contain facts that might have changed since it was written? Is it missing recent events that are important for your needs?
- Is it clear and easy to understand? Is it too technical? Is it technical enough?
|It can be difficult to quit smoking, and many smokers who try to quit do not succeed. Millions of smokers in the United States and around the world have succeeded, though - most without outside assistance.|
Now follow the link to the web page these two sentences came from: http://www.philipmorrisinternational.com/PMINTL/pages/eng/smoking/Quitting.asp
How does examining the context change your understanding of the sentences above?
For more about evaluating health information on the web, see:
|MedlinePlus Guide to Healthy Web Surfing.|
|Content Evaluation Guidelines from the Medical Library Association.|
As soon as you decide to use a source, write the citation for it, while you have all the information in front of you. Remember to include these in your finished project.
Questions that you have after reading a source can be answered by more research.
For important or surprising facts, try to find more than one source.
You can get writing help from the CCSF Writing Lab in the Learning Assistance Center and from your instructor.
revised by Karen Saginor 20 April 2010