Finding credible, scholarly sources
For this assignment your information need is finding out more about a specific challenge with the Canadian health care system. Your assignment details tell you to find credible sources, including a mix of peer reviewed research articles and credible web or text-based sources.
- Not all the information you need will be publicly available - think about hospital statistics/reports and the need to ensure patient privacy and confidentiality.
- Not everything will have recent stats/data about it - try to find the most recent data available, but know some may be from 5-10 years ago, and that's okay.
Data, statistics, and reports - credible web sources
- Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) - data and reports
- Statistics Canada - health statistics | by subject | analysis (reports from survey data)
- Health Canada - Health inequities data tool
- National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health - knowledge resources & publications
- Health (Government Information) Guide with more links to specific federal and provincial health sources
- Try searching on your topic in Google adding words like - statistics, data, report, CIHI, Statcan - to your topic, sometimes one word brings back totally different results
- Weed out the results that are news articles, or otherwise don't meet your "credible & scholarly" criteria - likely need to click into it to identify what it is.
- News articles can be a useful place to start with your research though, and can often point to recent surveys or reports, which you can then look up as the source to use.
Databases for credible, peer reviewed research articles & statistics
Statista is a multidisciplinary database that aggregates information covering 80,000 topics. Access to data from over 18,000 sources covering 1.5 million statistics. All statistics can be directly downloaded in PNG, PDF, Excel, and PowerPoint formats. Data prepared according to academic citation standards, with a citation tool (APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA, and Bluebook) and links to the original source for further research. Statista also covers industry reports, studies, forecasts, dossiers, digital market outlook , aesthetically pleasing infographics, and more.
PubMed is the U.S. National Library of Medicine's (NLM®) database of biomedical citations and abstracts. It includes MEDLINE, which covers over 4,800 journals published in the United States and more than 70 other countries primarily from 1966 to the present.
CINAHL with Full Text (Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature - EBSCO)
CINAHL with Full Text is the world's most comprehensive source of full text for nursing & allied health journals, providing full text for more than 500 journals indexed in CINAHL. This authoritative file contains full text for many of the most used journals in the CINAHL index - with no embargo. With full-text coverage dating back to 1981, CINAHL with Full Text is the definitive research tool for all areas of nursing and allied health literature.
Permitted Use | Subscribed multi-user unlimited access | 1981-Current
EMBASE is a major biomedical and pharmaceutical database indexing international journals in the following fields: drug research, pharmacology, pharmaceutics, toxicology, clinical and experimental human medicine, health policy and management, public health, occupational health, environmental health, drug dependence and abuse, psychiatry, forensic medicine, and biomedical engineering/instrumentation.
Subscribed multi-user unlimited access | 1947-Current
PsycINFO (American Psychological Association; APA - EBSCO)
PsycINFO is an abstracting and indexing database of more than 2000 journals (approximately 3.3 million records) devoted to peer-reviewed literature (journals, books and dissertations) in the behavioural sciences and mental health.
Permitted Use | Subscribed multi-user unlimited access | 1887-Current
INFORMIT Indigenous Collection
With a broad range of international Indigenous research resources brought together, the Informit Indigenous Collection offers a variety of content on both historical and topical issues within Indigenous studies. Readily available, the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary framework encompasses anthropology, community development, cultural studies, economics, education, health, history, human geography, law and land rights, literature, politics and policymaking, (post)colonial studies, psychology, race studies, sociology and visual and performing arts.The Informit Indigenous Collection gives access to emergent and ground breaking research within the global community offering scope for critical international engagement and debate. With material from Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, North America and The Pacific which normally is not easily located in standard recourses, IIC is a platform for Indigenous worldviews.
Business Source Ultimate (EBSCO)
Business Source Ultimate provides full text for more than 7,200 scholarly business journals and other sources. Coverage includes virtually all subject areas related to business. BSU provides full text (PDF) for more than 350 of the top scholarly journals dating as far back as 1922.
Permitted Use | Subscribed multi-user unlimited access | Fulltext: 1922 - present. Abstracts and indexing: 1984 - present
Abstracts in Social Gerontology (EBSCO)
"Abstracts in Social Gerontology includes bibliographic records covering essential areas related to social gerontology, including the psychology of aging, elder abuse, society and the elderly, and other areas of key relevance to the discipline."--About the Database page.
Permitted Use | Subscribed multi-user unlimited access
Social Work Abstracts (EBSCO)
"Social Work Abstracts offers extensive coverage of more than 450 social work and human services journals dating back to 1977. Produced by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the database provides indexing and abstracts dealing with all aspects of the social work field, including theory and practice, areas of service and social issues and problems. Researchers seeking scholarly and professional perspectives on subjects such as therapy, education, human services, addictions, child and family welfare, mental health, civil and legal rights, and more will find Social Work Abstracts to be an indispensable resource."
Subscribed multi-user unlimited access | 1977-Current
Here are a few database search tips to find relevant information on your topics:
- Look in more than one database -many of your topics are researched by different disciplines, like psychology, social work, gerontology, and even business. Consider searching in the health databases but also one of the other subject specific databases listed for another perspective.
- Finding Canada-specific information can be challenging - try adding Canad* as a keyword, and limiting your keywords to only search in the title or abstract of the records
- Watch this video by Richelle Witherspoon (nursing librarian in Fredericton) for more tips on searching for Canadian-specific articles
How can I tell if I found a peer-reviewed research article?
- Most articles you find in a database are published in a peer-reviewed journal, but not all articles have been peer-reviewed
- You want to look for articles that have headings like, Methods, Results, Discussion, and are more than 1-2 pages in length. These are describing research, and have gone through the peer review process.
- One tool you can use is Ulrichsweb. Use this to search for the journal title and if the title is there, look for this icon which indicates the journal is refereed (aka peer reviewed). You can also visit the journal's homepage and look for their About, Editorial, Author, Publication pages for wording that indicates the journal has a peer review process.
Note: Not everything published in a peer review journal has gone through the peer review process. Journals regularly publish editorials, book reviews, commentaries, etc. (usually only a few pages in length which can be a good indication that your "article" hasn't been peer reviewed and isn't the type of article you should use). Consult your instructor or librarian if you're still unsure after checking whether your article has been peer reviewed.
Here's a video that explains what the peer-review process is, and how to find these types of articles:
USC Libraries. (2020, July 29). Identify a peer review article. 2:45mins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnI9pyW89dY