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School of Medicine Students: Getting started: Finding what you need

Liaison guide for the students in the UAB School of Medicine

Building an Effective Search

The first step in finding information is identifying the concepts of your topic.  To get started watch these tutorials on:

Using Key Concepts (3:43)

Using Boolean Operators (3:56)

Now you are ready to begin finding information.  Take a look at the Research your Topic tab.

Evaluating your Sources

All resources must be evaluated, whether a book, article or website. 



Topic Reviews & Case Presentations

Need to find information for a presentation? 

There's a strategic process that you can learn to find information, synthesize that information, and present that information.  Whether you are writing a literature review or presenting in small groups, or in ICM....the guidance you need now is on this page.  

Types of Information

Where you look for information is determined by what kind of question you are asking.  One way of classifying your question is to ask whether you are seeking background information or foreground information.

Background information is sought when you have general clinical questions regarding a topic such as what is the disorder; what causes it; how does it present; what are some treatment options.  These questions can be answered by using "background" resources such as textbooks (both in print and electronic) and narrative reviews in journals which give a general overview of the topic.

Foreground information answers specific questions regarding a specific patient.  Foreground resources can be divided into primary sources such as original research articles published in journals; and secondary sources such as systematic reviews of the topic, and synopses and reviews of individual studies.

Jill Deaver

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Jill Deaver
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