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Health Sciences Research Basics

This guide is a starting point or a refresher for your research in fields related to health sciences.

Life Sciences Citation Styles

In the biomedical sciences and allied health fields, two citation styles prevail: APA Style (American Psychological Association) and Vancouver Style (also known as the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals). Find information about the various citation styles used in the Life Sciences here. For information on citation managers (Endnote, Zotero), please see the Citation Guide. For workshops on how to use these resources, please see the library's workshop page.

Identifying diseases

  • The Phenomizer - a software that aims to help clinicians to identify the correct differential diagnosis in the field of human genetics. The user enters the signs/symptoms of the patient encoded as terms from the Human Phenotype Ontology. The software then ranks all diseases from OMIM, Orphanet, and DECIPHER by a score that reflects how well the phenotypic profiles of the patient and the disease match to each other. The Phenomizer User Guide and this video tutorial describe how to use the tool. 

Information on diseases

Scientific and patient information

  • Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center - provides access to current, reliable, and easy to understand information geared towards patients and caregivers about rare or genetic diseases. Links to additional resources. Part of the National Institutes of Health.

  • Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) - a comprehensive, authoritative compendium of human genes and genetic phenotypes that is freely available and updated daily. Part of the NCBI. Watch these video tutorials for tips on how to search OMIM. 

  • Orphanet - provides clinical descriptions of rare diseases using a set of clinical signs and symptoms (phenotypic abnormalities) and maintains a rare disease nomenclature in order to improve the visibility of rare diseases.  Watch these video tutorials for tips on using Orphanet.

Socio-economic information

  • Global Index Medicus - The Global Index Medicus (GIM) provides worldwide access to biomedical and public health literature produced by and within low- and middle- income countries.

  • World Health Organization IRIS - The Institutional Repository for Information Sharing (IRIS) is the digital library of WHO’s published material and technical information in full text produced since 1948. Watch these video tutorials for tips on how to search.

Searching for articles and background information

Please refer to the Health Science Research Basics Guide for assistance with searching


Background Information

Multinational & World

World Data and Statistics

The World Bank

The World Bank

The World Bank is an international organization dedicated to providing financing, advice, and research to developing nations to aid their economic advancement. The bank predominantly acts as an organization that attempts to fight poverty by offering developmental assistance to middle- and low-income countries (see the Investopedia link for more info).



The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a group of 37 member countries that discuss and develop economic and social policy. (see Investopedia link below for more info). 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an international organization that promotes global economic growth and financial stability, encourages international trade, and reduces poverty (see investopedia link entry for more info). 

Liaison Librarians

Andrea Quaiattini

Liaison librarian for Postgraduate Medical Education, Institute for Health Sciences Education, Indigenous health, Medical Specialties


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