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CLA101, 102, 103 Braught

This Course Guide will help you find credible information in library databases on the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, history and epidemiology of a disease.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Peer-reviewed journal articles (also called scholarly or science journal articles) are great sources for finding the most current information about the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, epidemiology, and history of a disease.

The most useful database

Get the full text of PubMed articles

If you find an awesome article but CCC Library doesn't have the full text of it, get it for free through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)! Fill out the form linked below, and in 1-3 days CCC Library will email you a PDF copy of the article. Again, for free!

Searching PubMed

  1. Follow the link to PubMed (above).
  2. Select Advanced (located under the search box).
  3. Enter your disease name in the box and any other subtopic search term (e.g., hepatitis b epidemiology).
  4. Select Show Index
  5. Scroll through the entries until you find one that describes your topic best. Select it.
  6. Select Add
  7. Select Search

Screenshot showing Advanced Search in PubMed, using the Index to identify the best search terms.

Other useful databases

How to read a peer-reviewed journal article

Peer-reviewed articles are usually broken into obvious sections. Most peer-reviewed articles will have these sections.

  • Abstract: definitely read it. An abstract is a brief summary of all the sections.
  • Introduction: read it. The medical team will describe the aspect of the disease they are trying to understand, or treat.
  • Literature review: definitely read it. If there's any history of the disease to be gleaned, it will be here.
  • Methodology: skip it until you're admitted to medical school.
  • Results: skip it. Be aware that later you may discover a couple of the graphs work well in your final presentation.
  • Discussion: read it. The medical team will describe their findings about the disease.
  • Conclusion: read it. The medical team will describe how their findings fit in the bigger picture of the disease.
  • References/Works Cited: skip them until you get to medical school.

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