Health research guide

This guide to print and online health resources lists resources deemed useful, authoritative and current. It does not include materials pertinent only to specific diseases or conditions; for such materials, please ask a librarian for assistance. This guide is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for consulting with your physician or other health care provider.

General Health and Health Reference

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    The United States Centers for Disease Control site offers detailed travelers' health information and recommendations, online health brochures and reports, statistical data, health-related announcements, information on human development, diseases, emergency preparedness, and much more.
  • ClinicalTrials.Gov
    Developed by the National Institutes for Health, this site provides information regarding current clinical research on medical treatments for all sorts of health problems. Search or browse by type or name of condition to find links to relevant trials. Useful information about trials in general is also available.
  • Consumer Health Complete (database)
    Consumer Health Complete offers full-text journals, magazines and reference books from EBSCOhost dealing with health, wellness, fitness and nutrition. Coverage includes a focus on the complementary, holistic and integrated approaches to health and wellness. Browse medical, health-related and drug reference books, read articles on health and fitness and find sources for alternative health information.
  • (database)
    Access research, ratings, and recommendations for products and practices ranging from hospitals, exercise equipment and alternative health practices to prescription drugs, health insurance and healthy living. Once you are connected to the Consumer Reports website, click the Health link in the navigation on the left side.
  • Credo Reference: Health & Medicine (database)
    Credo Medicine contains the full text of over 30 medical reference books, including the Encyclopedia of Women's Health, Black's Veterinary Dictionary, and Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary.
  • Health Source: Nursing/Academic Edition (database)
    Available from home with a valid library card. This database provides full text articles from over 500 professional journals covering all fields of medicine.
    The Mayo Clinic offers excellent reference materials for diseases and conditions, drugs, first-aid and self-care. It also has interactive heath features.
  • MEDLINE (database)
    MEDLINE, provided by the National Library of Medicine, offers authoritative information in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, pre-clinical sciences, and much more. It allows users to search millions of abstracts from over 4,600 biomedical journals, and some abstracts link to the full articles.
    The National Library of Medicine maintains this authoritative and easy-to-use site providing information on all sorts of health matters, including diseases, medical terms, drugs, hospitals, news and more.
  • Merck Manual Professional Version
    A standard and comprehensive reference for health professionals and others, the Merck Manual covers almost all medical disorders, symptoms, common clinical procedures, current therapies and laboratory tests.
  • Merck Manual Consumer Version
    This version of the Merck Manual is aimed at the public rather than medical professionals. As well as using simpler terminology, it has sections on fundamentals of health, aging, drugs and medical tests.
  • Mosby's Medical Dictionary, 10th edition. 2017. [R 610.3 MOS (OWL) 610.3 MOS (NWL)]
    As well as definition of medical terms, this dictionary has many illustrations and photos and a color atlas of human anatomy.
  • National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
    The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of health organizations dedicated to helping people with rare "orphan" conditions and the organizations that serve them. NORD is committed to the identification, treatment and cure of rare disorders through programs of education, advocacy, research and service.
  • Taber's Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary, 22nd edition. 2013. [R 610.3 TAB (OWL)]
    In addition to concise definitions for thousands of medical terms, this dictionary has several useful appendices covering such matters as nutrition, alternative therapies, phobias, medical abbreviations and poisons.

Affordable Care Act Information

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, ended on January 31, 2016. You can apply for 2017 health insurance coverage starting November 1, 2016. Check out Dates & deadlines for 2017 health insurance for more details and to find out if you qualify for Special Enrollment.

There are four ways that consumers can sign up for insurance under the ACA.

  • Phone
    You may call the toll-free Help Center number: 1-800-318-2596. Help is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and in multiple languages.
  • Online
    Sign up at the official government Health Insurance Marketplace at (in Spanish: You can use the site to "shop" for the best insurance policy for yourself and your family.
  • Mail
    Download and print an application form and instructions, or call the toll-free Help Center (1-800-318-2596) to have a copy of the paper application mailed to you.
  • In-person
    Find people who are trained and certified to help by searching

Looking for more information or guidance? Check out these useful links.

Using Your Insurance Coverage
Once you are enrolled, check out for tips on taking the next step.

Are you covered?
This site is sponsored by Ohio Network for Health Coverage and Enrollment (ONCE), a statewide network of non-profit organizations and healthcare professionals created to help all Ohioans sign up for health insurance, whether through a company or through Medicaid. Use the online tool to schedule an appointment with a provider near you.

AARP Health Law Answers
Another good place to start is AARP Health Law Answers. Regardless of age, answering a short set of questions will give you a specialized report on how the Affordable Care Act works for you. This page also displays easy-to-find contact information for each agency.

Enroll America
Want to get involved? Enroll America is a nonpartisan organization that works to make the insurance enrollment process easy, accessible and widely available for consumers. Partners include health insurers, hospitals, doctors, pharmaceutical companies, employers and civic organizations.

Health Insurance Marketplace @
If your organization or business would like to help consumers who need health coverage, visit this partner website from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to find promotional materials, set up educational sessions and add the official widgets to your website.

VA, Affordable Care Act, and You
Are you a veteran? Find out how the Affordable Care Act affects you from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs site.

Selecting a Provider

  • AMA DoctorFinder
    AMA DoctorFinder is a directory of over 800,000 licensed U.S. physicians. You can search by name or specialization, and by state, city or zip code.
  • America's Top Doctors for Cancer [R 610.25 AME (OWL)]
    This regularly updated directory list physicians considered by their peers and other authorities to be the best doctors in particular sorts of cancer. Top clinics are also listed.
  • Comparative Guide to American Hospitals, 4th edition. 2014. [R 362.11 COM]
    This reference book ranks hospitals in the U. S. based on their standard of care for three common ailments: heart attack, heart failure and pneumonia. Each hospital is profiled in a following section. A state by state statistical summary is included as well, allowing users to quickly compare hospitals in a specific state.
  • ElderCare Locator
    The Eldercare Locator, a public service of the Administration on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is a nationwide service that connects older Americans and their caregivers with information on senior services.
  • Long Term Care Guide
    The information on this site includes topics such as Steps to Choosing Long Term Care, Types of Long Term Care and Paying for Long Term Care. It also has links to additional resources that include agencies to contact for further information.
  • State of Ohio Long Term Care Consumer Guide
    Published by the Ohio Department of Aging, this web site includes information about nursing homes and assisted living facilities to help consumers, family members and professionals search for the appropriate facility to meet an individual's needs. You can search online for Residential Assisted Living Facilities as well as Nursing Facilities, and evaluations of the facilities are also available.
  • State of Ohio Medical Board
    This is the official site of Ohio's Licensure Boards, the agencies that oversee doctors, dentists, psychologists, pharmacist assistants, massage therapists, cosmetic therapists, acupuncturists, mechanotherapists and anesthesiologist assistants. It provides information on the Boards' actions, a database of Ohio licensees and any formal actions taken or pending against them, as well as information on how to file complaints against a practitioner.
  • 2016 Top Doctors in Central Ohio
    Detailed information about education, training and special expertise of physicians in the Columbus area are compiled by a physician led team of researchers for the August 2016 edition of Columbus Monthly magazine.
  • U.S. News and World Report Best Hospitals, 2016 edition. [R 362.11 BES (OWL); 362.11 BES (NWL)]
    Children's hospitals, regional hospitals and specialty hospitals across the country are ranked based on comparisons such as clinical outcomes, delivery of care and other health care markers.

Drugs and Medications

  • AHFS Consumer Medication Information (database)
    AHFS Consumer Medication Information provides drug information from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists in both English and Spanish. It can be searched by brand or generic names, as well as by condition. Updated monthly, the information includes how to take or use medicines, possible side effects, dietary or other restrictions and cautions for use by persons 65 or older.
  • Are Your Meds Making You Sick? by Robert Steven Gold [615.7042 GOL (NWL)]
    This includes a list of 16 Rules of Safe Medication Use that, if followed, can help prevent the common problems that medications can cause; gives specific examples and scenarios featuring the thirty-six drugs that are the most common offenders; and explains how even seemingly good drugs can harm a patient's kidney, liver, brain and heart if the patient's medical history and physical vulnerabilities are not taken into account.
  • Food and Drug Administration
    The FDA has up to date U.S. government information and advice on Food, Drugs, Medical Devices, Cosmetics, and other matters of public health. It also has information on how and where to report problems.
  • Physicians' Desk Reference [PDR]. Revised annually. [R 615.1 PHY]
    This guide to prescription drugs contains each listing's official, FDA-approved information from the drug's manufacturer. Drug effects, dosages, contraindications, warnings and more are provided, as are pictures of most of the medications.

Alternative Health Care

  • Alt HealthWatch (database)
    This database focuses on the many perspectives of complementary, holistic and integrated approaches to health care and wellness. It contains full text articles from more than 170 international magazines,professional journals, reports, association & consumer newsletters, plus hundreds of pamphlets, booklets, special reports, original research and book excerpts.
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, 3rd edition. 2009. [R 615.5 GAL (NWL)]
    This four-volume set includes more than 800 articles about health and alternative medicine. Articles cover topics such as complementary therapies, herbs and remedies and common medical diseases and conditions. Resource material is included with each article.
  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health
    One of the National Institutes of Health, the NCCIH provides scientifically researched information regarding complementary and alternative healing practices. A database of the literature and other authoritative information on these topics are among its features.
  • Natural Medicines (database)
    Natural Medicines provides high-quality, evidence-based information about complementary and alternative therapies, such as foods, herbs and supplements (vitamins and minerals). It assigns grades to indicate the level of available scientific data for or against the efficacy of each therapy for a specific medical condition.
  • Quackwatch
    This site, operated by a retired physician turned consumer advocate, is a guide to medical quackery, health fraud and intelligent health-related decisions. Its extensive contents cover chiropractic, magnet therapy and many other alternative therapies, as well as information on consumer protection, health strategies and nutrition.

Mental Health

  • APA's Psychology Help Center
    The American Psychological Association's Help Center and Psychology Topics offers news, recommended books, online brochures and much more useful information about all kinds of psychological conditions.
  • Credo Reference: Psychology (database)
    The Credo Psychology collection includes many full text psychology reference books. Among them are Elsevier's Dictionary of Psychological Theories, the Handbook of Forensic Psychology, and the Cambridge Handbook of Consciousness.
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-5. 2013. [R 616.89 DIA (OWL, NWL); 616.89 (OWL)]
    Created by American Psychiatric Association, the DSM-5 is the definitive guide to the diagnosis and classificiation of mental health disorders.
  • Mental Health in America edited by Donna Kemp. 2007. [362.2 KEM]
    Mental Health in America: A Reference Handbook examines the evolution of mental health policy in America from the almshouses of colonial times and the dawn of psychoanalysis in the early 1900s to the community mental health revolution in the 1960s and the insurance problems plaguing the field today.
  • Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection (database)
    The Psychology & Behavioral Sciences Collection is a comprehensive database with more than 510 full text publications covering topics such as emotional and behavioral characteristics, psychiatry and psychology, mental processes, anthropology and observational and experimental methods.

revised November 2016