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Universiteitsbibliotheek – LibGuides

Drug and Disease Information: FA-203 Information sources

Training finding & handling scholarly information for FA-203

In this training in the FA-203 course on information sources you will learn how to search and use scholarly sources systematically and responsibly. You will also learn to evaluate sources and cite them using the RefWorks tool. The training consists of a short introduction  and this hands on session. Before you start, make sure to read the guidelines.

Guidelines for this hands on session

This individual training takes 2 hours to complete. It is wise to read the explanatory texts on the right of each page before carrying out the assignments on the left. When in doubt please ask for assistance.

This session consists of 5 parts:

- Chemical structures and reactions
- PubMed
- Toxicology data & literature
- Evidence-Based Medicine
- RefWorks

The left column has the assignments. The information on the right provides background and explanation.

Please go through the pages at your own pace and liking: skip what you already know or are able to perform and dive into the sections that are new to you.

This training is largely about learning to search systematically. Please read below on what makes a good search strategy.


Search strategy: what, where, how?

You search strategy defines what you search, where you search and how you perform your search. In the course of your search process you take many decisions that affect the quality of search results and the time needed to get those results.

The main decisions in your search strategy relate to:

  1. What: in advance think through what information you really need: subject, type of information (analysis, news, statistics, opinion, overview etc.), level and recency. The exact terms you are going to use in your search are of crucial importance.
  2. Where: What you are looking for determines where you should go to find it: unfortunately there is not one search engine or database that has it all.
  3. How: There are various methods of searching. The systematic/bibliographic method (using search terms in scholarly databases) and the snow ball method (finding new information related to what you already have) are the most important. The exact application of these methodes depends on the options available in the database or search engine.

The special LibGuide search strategy (in Dutch) has more on building succesful search strategies.