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Health Informatics: Getting Started

A guide to library resources and research in health and personal health informatics

Getting started: Finding Relevant Sources in Health Informatics

Tackling a new topic?

Health Informatics is "the interdisciplinary study of the design, development, adoption and application of IT-based innovations in healthcare services delivery, management and planning." Procter, R. Dr. (Editor, Health Informatics Journal, Edinburgh, United Kingdom). Based on this definition, Health Informatics research is very interdisciplinary, so you may find that you'll have to look multiple places to get a complete picture of the current research on a topic. 

If you are unsure of where to start, try looking for a review article first. Review articles attempt to summarize the state of research on a scientific topic.  While lengthy & not generally including the very latest research, review articles can be a great way to start to get a handle on a topic. Many databases (including PubMed & Web of Science below) will allow you to limit your search to include only review articles or literature reviews.

Don't overlook the literature cited at the end of the review - the bibliography contains a wealth of information about the key discoveries & main researchers in the field.  

Looking for help on evaluating your sources? Check out some of our tutorials here

A few databases that may be good places to start are:


More than just medical literature, PubMed was developed by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and publishers of life sciences literature. PubMed consists of 29 million citations for biomedical literature from Medline, life science journals and online books.

Web of Science

Web of Science indexes over 11,000 scholarly journals in the sciences (1975-present). Web of Science's strength is in its interdisciplinary focus and its ability to perform citation searching.  

Gartner IT Library

The Gartner IT Library provides access to more than 110,000 documents on more than 1,200 topics, including Technology products, services, and trends, Global IT industry perspectives, IT management and organizations, IT strategies and governance, Business-IT issues, and Real-world case studies.

To access the Gartner Library, log in to the myNortheastern portal. On the Services & Links section, locate Software & IT Support section. Select Gartner IT Library.

You may not find your topic in these databases. If that's the case, I would recommend continuing to search in other databases or making an appointment with me. For a more complete list of databases that will be helpful for Health Informatics topics, click here.

New Health Sciences Acquisitions

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