Generally speaking, you can think of the looking for information in two broad categories:
The primary literature is composed of original research studies conducted on in vitro, animal, or human models. Most of the time, original research is published in peer reviewed journals. Conference papers would also be considered original research as well as statistical or survey data. Search the peer journal literature when you need the latest data on specific topics.
Another key source of primary literature consists of the measurements and raw data collected by federal and state governments, larger non-profits, and related organizations. See the "HealthCare statistics" section of this guide to learn more about key primary data sources.
The secondary literature provides an analysis or evaluation of an original study or group of studies, summarizing these results in a concise and authoritative manner to provide the best available evidence for a problem. Examples of this type of information would be textbooks, government reports, review articles, or systematic reviews.
You will need to identify and utilize both of these broad categories of information to ensure you have conducted a comprehensive review of the literature. The library has more resources than the ones listed below. Starting a research project can feel daunting. Let us help! Call or email library staff to help you identify the best resources for your research.
Not sure how to locate resources at the library? Click on the Find it! Guide to the Library tab on this guide to learn how to locate specific types of resources from the DMU library.