Lesson discusses where to find reliable and authoritative consumer oriented health science information. This is the second lesson of the Eastern University open access course at http://eudigitalbadges.org.
for the Health Science Student
Lesson 2: Where to Begin Your Research
Finding Background Information
As with any type of research,
finding background information is
Background information provides
you with the keywords and ideas
necessary to do proper research
on a subject.
Consumer oriented resources
afford an excellent point to start
No Lack of Resources
There are so many resources on the Internet it
can be overwhelming.
Let’s look at some of the most authoritative
and reliable consumer oriented resources you
can use for background information.
What is MedlinePlus?
MedlinePlus is the National
Institutes of Health's Web site for
patients, their families and
Produced by the National Library
of Medicine, it brings you
information about diseases,
conditions, and wellness issues in
You may access the latest medical
research or find on-going clinical
An Authoritative Reference Tool
MedlinePlus draw its information from the
authoritative consumer health information sources.
1. Federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
2. Center for Disease Control (CDC)
3. National Diabetes Information Clearing House
4. The Mayo Clinic
5. American Diabetes Association
6. American Heart Association
7. and more
One Stop Shopping
MedlinePlus offers access to
instructional videos, medical
dictionaries medical encyclopedias.
Tutorials provide additional
instruction on searching for reliable
medical information on the Web.
The website healthfinder.gov links
to sites designed to educate
consumers. Its focus is on
preventative medicine and health
The site provides you with easy
access to free information,
meeting the interests and needs of
Information and sites linked from
healthfinder.gov must meet the
quality control guidelines laid
down by the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services.
This quality control assures that
resources linked through
healthfinder.gov are authoritative
Reviewed by Respected Advisors
Respected consultants assemble the
information in healthfinder.gov with
expertise in related health fields.
Accurate and Current Thinking
Sites selected for inclusion in
healthfinder.gov must reflect
accurately the current thinking
of the scientific community.
An external site selected for inclusion in
healthfinder.gov must adhere to quality
The Health on the Net Foundation Code of
Conduct (HONcode) is an example of one of the
The Health On the Net Foundation has
elaborated the Code of Conduct to help
standardize the reliability of medical and health
information available on the World-Wide Web.
Health Topics A to Z
The healthfinder.gov provides
an A to Z directory of Web
resources on an extensive
selection of health topics from
the most authoritative sites.
This is not only for government
sites. The directory includes
non-profit organizations and
commercial resources that have
met the quality control
There are several tools on the site
with advice to stay healthier.
The myhealthfinder tool
recommendations come from the
U.S. Preventive Services Task
Force (USPSTF), the Advisory
Committee on Immunization
Practices (ACIP), the Bright
Futures (BF) Guidelines, and the
Institute of Medicine’s (IOM)
Committee on Preventive Services
• FoodSafety.gov is the gateway
to food safety information
provided by government
agencies. The agencies include:
• Food Safety and Inspection
• U.S. Food and Drug
• Centers for Disease Control and
• Unites States Department of
A Variety of Information
Provides consumer oriented
• Food safety
• Food Poisoning
• Latest News
Your Questions Answered
Want to know how long you can
safely keep meat in the refrigerator?
Or how long to boil an egg? How
about whether it’s better to use
wooden or plastic cutting boards?
Just ask Karen, your guide to expert
knowledge on handling and storing
food safely and preventing food
U.S. Food and Drug Adminstration
The FDA is responsible for
protecting the public health by
assuring the safety, efficacy
and security of human and
veterinary drugs, biological
products, medical devices, our
nation’s food supply,
cosmetics, and products that
Consumer Oriented Information
FDA provides a wide variety of
informative information for
• These include:
• Consumer Updates
• Consumer Advice
• Print Publications
• Multiple Language Resources
Information by Audience
FDA provides information for
Children’s Health, Women’s
Health, Minority Health, Educators
and Student and Patients.
There is even a Animal Health
Centers for Disease Control and
CDC works 24/7 to protect America
from health, safety and security threats,
both foreign and in the U.S.
Whether diseases start at home or
abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or
preventable, human error or deliberate
attack, CDC fights disease and supports
communities and citizens to do the
CDC increases the health
security of our nation. As the
nation’s health protection
agency, CDC saves lives and
protects people from health
threats. To accomplish our
mission, CDC conducts critical
science and provides health
information that protects our
nation against expensive and
dangerous health threats, and
responds when these arise.
Categories of Information
The CDC provides a large selection of
information with sections including:
• Diseases and Conditions
• Healthy Living
• Traveler’s Health
• Emergency Preparedness
The CDC offers the most
complete and authoritative
statistical information on health.
Data comes from a variety of
Includes a diversity of tools to
access the datasets.
Department of Health and Human
HHS through it’s many agencies
offers informational services for
consumers and professionals.
You will find that the resources are
both reliable and authoritative.
The organizational chart displays
the many offices and agencies of
NIH INSTITUTES & CENTERS
Under HHS is the National
Institutes of Health.
Posted here are links to
the institutes and centers.
You can consult the
institutes and centers for
information that is
reliable and authoritative.
• National Cancer Institute (NCI)
• National Eye Institute (NEI)
• National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)
• National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
• National Institute on Aging (NIA)
• National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
• National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
• National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
• National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)
• Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
• National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)
• National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
• National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
• National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)
• National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
• National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
• National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) —
• National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) —
• National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR)
• National Library of Medicine (NLM)
• Center for Information Technology (CIT)
• Center for Scientific Review (CSR)
• Fogarty International Center (FIC)
• National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM)
• National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS)
• NIH Clinical Center (CC)
Text from NIH site http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/About/ .
There are many excellent
commercial websites for consumer
Remember that you can search the
most reliable sites through
MedlinePlus of healthfinder.gov.
Why Would You Use Google?
With so many reliable and
available through the U. S.
Government, why would
use use Google?
Maybe you’re feeling lucky?
Use reference and consumer oriented
information to gather ideas and
Use the ideas and keywords to
formulate a research topic.
Then search for the scholarly
information you’ll need to support
A road map to begin.
Beyond Consumer Information
Many of the sites in this lesson provide
information that is more in-depth than
you might need for background
We’ll look at those more deeply as we
go through the next lessons.
Next lesson will discuss the periodicals used for health
sciences your research.
Do the student activity for this lesson.
After that proceed to the next lesson.
Revised Tuesday, February 10, 15