Research Toolkit

Conduct Background Research

Following are some background research resources to help you learn more about similar studies that have been done.

University of Minnesota libraries and reference services

Health Sciences Libraries
Provides reference services (literature searches, one-on-one research consultations, systematic review service) via the Bio-Medical Library, Veterinary Medicine Library, or Wangensteen Historical Library.

University of Minnesota Libraries
Offers tutorials and recorded workshops on conducting background research, in addition to reference services.  

Electronic Library for Minnesota (ELM)
ELM is a state-wide licensing program, which gives Minnesota residents online access to magazine, journal, newspaper, and encyclopedia articles, eBooks (online books), and other information resources, including many University of Minnesota Libriaries resources.

Citation management tools

The University of Minnesota Libraries website has a list of citation management tools, including: 

  • RefWorks: Personal Citation Manager: A web-based citation manager that allows you to create your own databases of citations (free to U of M researchers).
  • Mendeley: A free reference manager and academic social network that can help you organize your research, collaborate with others online, and discover the latest research.
  • Zotero: A free Mozilla Firefox plug-in that provides full citation manager functionality.

Archives and preservation

Digital Conservancy
This centralized, searchable archive from University of Minnesota Libraries allows faculty to deposit their works for long-term preservation, and provides a venue for certain categories of student works, such as dissertations. 

National databases and collections

PubMed
Comprises over 24 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. PubMed citations and abstracts include the fields of biomedicine and health, covering portions of the life sciences, behavioral sciences, chemical sciences, and bioengineering.

Ovid MEDLINE
A biomedical bibliographic database that was developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). MEDLINE contains citations to over 23 million articles and covers basic biomedical research and the clinical sciences.

NIH Research Portfolio Online Reporting Tools (RePORTER) database
A repository of NIH-funded research projects -- and the publications and patents resulting from NIH funding -- that allows you to verify that your research idea is novel and not currently being funded by the NIH, review project abstracts for detailed information on current research trends, and contact a program officer at the NIH Institutes and Centers to discuss the programmatic relevance of your research idea. 

National Library of Medicine
Provides a vast print collection, produces electronic information resources on a wide range of health sciences topics, and conducts research, development, and training in biomedical informatics and health information technology.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Library
Provides library services for researchers exploring the environmental sciences to prevent disease and improve human health.

Dataverse Network
This open source application enables you to publish, share, reference, extract, and analyze research data. 

Web of Science
Provides a multidisciplinary collection of research data, books, journals, proceedings, publications, and patents.

View more health science indexes and databases via a list of curated by the Bio-Medical Library

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