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Health Science

Research Tips

Your research assignments will primarily ask you to use scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles, but there are other types of sources that will also have helpful information you can use. 

Can't find a scholarly article with the specific information you need? Maybe you need...

Image of the National Vital Statistics Reports from July 26, 2016.
Data and Statistics
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Image of government report, "Approved Strategies to Combat Homelessness" Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative.
Government Sources
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Image of MedlinePlus topic page on Obesity.
Health Information
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Data & Statistics

Datasets are the raw pieces of information that are collected through surveys and other research tools and analyzed through statistics like "55% of state prisoners were serving sentences for violent offenses at year-end 2016" (Bureau of Justice Statistics, Prisoners in 2017). Researchers publish statistics from individual studies in academic journal articles, but comprehensive statistics are also collected by non-profit research groups and government agencies at the local, state, national, and international level and published on the web for the public. 

When would I need to find statistics and datasets? If you're working on a research project about a community or social issue, you might use statistics collected by nonprofit or government researcher to describe your population/problem and show why its important. 

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Government Sources

Government sources include published reports and information on the web about demographics, social programs, policies, laws, and recommendations at a local, state, or national level. There is a government agency for almost every aspect of public life that manages access to resources like housing, food, transportation, employment, and healthy lifestyles. Researchers and administrators are often tasks with conducting research and publishing official report to inform the public.

When would I need to find government information? If you're working on a research project about a current or historical social issue, you might use a government research report to understand the issue and how it affects a population, like the USDA's "Characteristics and Influential Factors of Food Deserts." 

Not sure which government agency works with your topic? Try a search in Google using and add keywords to find webpages and reports with statistics. 

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Health Information

Health information includes anatomy, physiology, causes and treatments for diseases and conditions, and the effectiveness of approved drugs and clinical interventions. This information is often published in medical textbooks, but also in professional health databases that provide a quick overview of what we know already and references to clinical trials. 

When would I need to find a health information? If you're working on a project with a health-related topic, browsing an overview of the health topic like high blood pressure can give you a better sense of what it is, how it's treated, and who is affected, especially if there a group of people who are disproportionately affected. 

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