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You've got your research or assignment topic and you need to find some information.

Where to search?

  • Where do you start? Google, PubMed, Search Everything (on the library homepage)...?
  • There are so many databases! How are they different? Which is best?
  • Should you search more than one database?


What type of information do you need?

You probably go to Google BUT before you start a search think about the type of information you want as this may influence where you search.

  • General overview?
  • Specific, detailed information?
  • Evidence based material?
  • Information on a specific drug?
  • Population health topics with a New Zealand context?
  • Primary (eg, original research) or secondary (eg, review articles) material?
  • Peer reviewed?
  • Statistics?
  • Clinical decision support or point-of-care?

Think about 'horses for courses'. If a horse runs its best on a hard track don’t enter it in a race where the track is soft and muddy and doesn’t suit this horse. Applied to your university work, this means using information resources that are best suited to the type of assignment you are doing.

Some databases or resources are better suited to have the type of information you need. 

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