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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.
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.
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
Useful for Clinical Queries
MEDLINE(R) (OVID) ALL, 1946-
Main biomedical database. Searches should use both MeSH and keywords. Same content as Pubmed.
Interdisciplinary scope. Only keyword search available. Useful for forward citation searching.
Embase Classic + Embase
General biomedical database, but has more of a focus on pharmacological research/information and broader coverage of European journals.
Global Health (Ovid)
"Covers aspects related to human health including communicable diseases, tropical diseases, parasitic diseases and parasitology, human nutrition, community and public health, and medicinal and poisonous plants. Includes foreign language journals, books, research reports, patents and standards, dissertations, conference proceedings, annual reports, public health, developing country information, and other difficult to obtain material. 1973 to present."
Core medical texts
Resource delivering textbooks, multimedia, interactive self-assessment, a pediatric drug database, and practice tools.Texts include Rudolph’s Pediatrics, Current Diagnosis and Treatment: Pediatrics, Neonatology, Symptom-Based Diagnosis in Pediatrics, and the Pediatric Practice series.
DynaMed Plus (EBSCO)
Clinician-focused tool designed to facilitate efficient and evidence-based patient care. Review of medical literature by physician and specialist staff provides analysis, synthesis and guidance at point of care.
Point of care clinical decision support resource covering 25 specialties.
Multinational & World
World Data and Statistics
Google Dataset Search
This tool presents information about datasets hosted in thousands of repositories on the Web.
Aggregated statistics from all around the globe. Simply search for country, city, demographic indicator, etc.
International Country Risk Guide (Country Data)
Click on image or 'Subscriber Shortcut' to start
IPUMS (Integrated Public Use Microdata Series)
IPUMS provides census and survey data from around the world integrated across time and space. IPUMS integration and documentation makes it easy to study change, conduct comparative research, merge information across data types, and analyze individuals within family and community context. Data and services available free of charge.
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).
World Bank eLibrary
Provides access to a growing collection of ebooks, journal articles, and working papers on international development as they are published.
Databank - The World Bank
DataBank is an analysis and visualisation tool that contains collections of time series data on a variety of topics. You can create your own queries; generate tables, charts, and maps; and easily save, embed, and share them.
World Development Indicators (World Bank)
Presents the most current and accurate global development data available, and includes national, regional and global estimates
World Bank Open Data
The World Bank's open data portal. This data can be accessed by anyone and does not require McGill credentials for access.
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).
OECD iLibrary is the online library of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) featuring its books, papers and statistics and is the gateway to OECD’s analysis and data.
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).
Access to the IMF’s periodicals, books, working papers and studies, and data and statistical tools. Information and perspective on macroeconomics, globalization, development, trade and aid, technical assistance, demographics, emerging markets, policy advice, poverty reduction, and much more.
International Financial Statistics (IMF)
Contains country data on exchange rates, Fund positions, international liquidity, monetary statistics, interest rates, prices, production, labour, international transaction, government accounts, national accounts and population.
Liaison librarian for Postgraduate Medical Education, Institute for Health Sciences Education, Indigenous health, Medical Specialties