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Orange Park: Health-Related Web Resouces





  • words or phrases describing main concepts in your topic - good to start with


  • "controlled vocabulary" words used to describe the content of each item (book, journal article) in a database
  • database looks for keywords in most parts of an article or book record (title, abstract, etc.)


  • database looks for subjects only in the subject heading or subject descriptor portion of an article or book record
  • may yield too many or too few results


  • subheadings can be used to focus on one aspect of the broader subject
  • may yield many irrelevant results


  • search results are usually very relevant to the topic - typically more precise than a keyword search

Scholarly vs Popular vs Trade / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Different types of publications have different purposes and different audiences. When we talk about journals and magazines, we can usually divide these publications into three broad categories: scholarlypopular, and trade.

One very important difference between scholarly journals and other types of publications is peer review. Watch Peer Review in Three Minutes to learn what this means and why it's important to your research.

How do you know if an article you've found in a database is from a scholarly journal? Consult this table:







Written by

Authorities in the field, such as professors or researchers. Often an article has several authors.


Journalists, staff writers, or freelance writers. Usually an article has only one author. Sometimes no author is listed.


Specialists in the field. Usually an article has only one author. Sometimes no author is listed.

Written for

Other authorities and scholars in the field. Authors expect readers to understand specialized language. The tone of the writing is formal.


A general audience. Often written to entertain as well as to inform. Authors explain terms the reader might not be familiar with. The tone is usually informal.


People who work in the field. Written to offer practical information, news, etc. Authors expect readers to understand specialized language.

Sources cited

Sources are cited in a formal style in endnotes, footnotes, or bibliographies.


Sources may be mentioned, but are unlikely to be cited formally.


Sources may be mentioned, but are unlikely to be cited formally.


Usually has formal, labeled sections for the abstract, conclusions, bibliography, etc. If there are any images, they are probably charts, graphs, or tables.


No abstract or other formal sections. Images are large and colorful in a PDF file; in an HTML version, there will be placeholders like [color photo].


Unlikely to have formal sections. Images are usually intended to illustrate concepts rather than decorate the page.

Peer review






Often a database will even tell you whether a journal is scholarly or not.

Health-Related Web Resources

Websites Recommended by the Nation Library of Medicine

Recommended General Health Websites

Below is a list of General Health Web sites that are excellent and highly recommended:

Subject Guide

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