Health Studies

Criticism & reviews
Writing & citing

Main databases

Secondary subject databases
Database Description
CINAHL with Full Text Index for nursing & allied health literature including full text for some content. View Full Description
MEDLINE (via ProQuest) Key index for biomedical and related literature. View Full Description

Also useful

Tertiary subject databases
Database Description
Biological Sciences Citations and abstracts to research in biomedicine, biotechnology, zoology and ecology. View Full Description
Cochrane Library Collection of seven databases with information on the effects of intervention and prevention in health care. View Full Description
DART Citations for journal articles and conference proceedings on teratology and other aspects of developmental toxicology. View Full Description
Disease Surveillance On-Line Statistics and data for a range of years from Health Canada. View Full Description
EMIC (Environmental Mutagens Information Center) Comprehensive database of articles on chemical, biological, and physical agents tested for genotoxic activity. View Full Description
Environmental Sciences and Pollution Management Multidisciplinary database with abstracts for conference proceedings, reports, monographs, books and government publications. View Full Description
ingentaconnect Academic and professional journals in various subject areas by various publishers. View Full Description
Inspec Comprehensive access to the literature in physics, computing, engineering, and information technology. View Full Description
PILOTS: Published International Literature On Traumatic Stress Index for assessment, treatment, services and policies relating to stress disorder. View Full Description
Popline International index to journal articles, monographs, and technical reports for reproductive health. View Full Description
PsycINFO A comprehensive database for the field of psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines. View Full Description
Science Citation Index (included in Web of Science) View Full Description
SPORTDiscus International database with citations for materials in sports medicine, exercise physiology, physical education and related fields. View Full Description
TOXLINE (via ProQuest) Citations for journal articles, monographs, technical reports and other materials in all areas of toxicology. View Full Description

Electronic encyclopedias

This is a selection of online encyclopedias. Browse the reference shelves in the Social Work Library or search the Primo Library Catalogue for other encyclopedias, handbooks, and dictionaries.

Electronic book collections

There may be some electronic books in the following electronic book portals that have not been entered into the Primo Library Catalogue yet. The portals also have customized searching features.

Searching in the Primo Library Catalogue and browsing the shelves

  • Consult the Social Work reference collection for additional dictionaries and encyclopedias
  • The Library of Congress (LC) Subject classification for the Social Sciences
  • Hints to help narrow your search in the Library catalogue:
    • Use an LC subject heading such as:
      • evidence based social work
      • social service
      • social work with..... [combine with the words below, eg: social work with minorities]
        • alcoholics; children; criminals; drug addicts; families; gay youth; gays; immigrants; indigenous peoples; juvenile delinquents; lesbian youth; lesbians; men; minorities; older people; people with disabilities; people with mental disabilities; people with social disabilities; prostitutes; sex offenders; teenagers; the homeless; the terminally ill; the unemployed; transgender people; women; youth
    • Limit your search by
      • Social Work Campus Library location
      • publication date [sort by newest first or add a date limit]
      • add other terms, such as Canada to restrict geographic focus

To identify books not available locally, search WorldCat, a database combining more than 50,000 library catalogues worldwide.

Getting started

Finding reviews

Systematic Reviews:The purpose of a systematic review is to critical evaluation and summary of the body of research on a specific topic within a specific timeframe. Reviewers follow specific, replicable guidelines to find, evaluate and summarize the validity of the research articles from formally published journal and grey literature.

An independent source for evidence based health care
Campbell Collaboration Library of Systematic Reviews
An international network producing reviews in the areas of Social Welfare, Crime and Justice, and Education.
Centre for Reviews and Dissemination
(CRD) Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE) DARE is a searchable systematic review database on the effects of health and social care interventions and the delivery and organization of health care. The CRD is part of the UK National Institute for Health Research / University of York
Cochrane Library AND [Cochrane Reviews plain text summaries and abstracts]
Reviews of clinical research. Access to The Cochrane Library in Canada is a nine-month pilot project, until the end of 2009, made possible by the contributions of subscribers from hospital, academic, and government libraries, and regional and provincial health library networks and consortia across Canada; with the support of The Canadian Health Libraries Association, the Canadian Cochrane Network and Centre, and the Canadian Institute for Scientific and Technical Information.
Effective Public Health Practice Project
A Hamilton based project that conducts systematic reviews on the effect of public health interventions.
National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices
a searchable database of interventions for the prevention and treatment of mental and substance abuse disorders. Produced by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
To limit to systematic reviews in PyscINFO, select methodology index. Add systematic review OR meta-analyses to your search strategy.
PubMed Clinical Queries
PubMed is the US National Library of medicine's freely web searchable MEDLINE database. The premier index to biomedical and health journal literature. Select the clinical queries database, then select systematic reviews. Use the MeSH database for subject terms.

Review journals: Laurier subscriptions: Search by title in the A to Z Ejournal list

  • Evidence based child health
  • Evidence based communication assessment and intervention
  • International journal of evidence based healthcare
  • Journal of evidence based Social Work

Review Journals: open access

WARNING: While a large amount of medical and health information may be found on the Internet, much of this information, even from "reliable" sources, is inaccurate and incomplete. Be sure to VERIFY all information and do not use this information in place of seeking professional medical advice. For more information, see:

Medicine and health

AllRefer Health.
Has extensive medical and health information resources which are updated daily.
Association of Cancer Online Resources
Provides access to electronic mailing lists and web sites.
Canadian Health Network
A medical information site for consumers sponsored by Health Canada.
Health Link Plus
Aims "to facilitate access to consumer health information... to develop and enhance public knowledge of important health and fitness issues." Compiled by a public library.
A collection of links compiled by, but not maintained by, the Ontario Ministry of Health. - Your Health Encyclopedia.
Provides access to up-to-date medical and health information written and reviewed by healthcare professionals..
Lab Tests Online
Provides detailed descriptions to many clinical lab tests that are associated with the diagnosis and treatment of a broad range of medical conditions and diseases.
Available to Laurier users via Cambridge Scientific Abstracts
Medline is also freely available via the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy
Based on the 17th edition (1999), aims to provide useful clinical information to healthcare professionals.
Merck Manual of Geriatrics
Full-text, searchable resource on human aging.
Merck Manual of Medical Information - Second Home Edition, 2004
"This edition uses everyday language to present information about diseases, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment."
RxList: The Internet Drug Index
Searchable database for health care students and professionals.
Scirus: For Scientific Information Only
Scirus is a science-specific search engine which examines over 167 million science related Web pages.
World Health News
"An online news digest from the Center for Health Communication at the Harvard School of Public Health. The site covers critical public health issues from around the world."


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
has prepared a specific section on this infectious disease.
Communicable Disease Surveillance & Response
This site is produced by the World Health Organization to track SARS and the international fight against it.
An electronic monitoring service reporting on the outbreaks of emerging infectious diseases and toxins.


To find books on writing in social work research, search the subject heading Social Service Research or browse the shelves under call number "HV11".

An author's guide to Social Work journals HV85.A93 1988 Social Work Library

Academic Writing Manual for Aboriginal Students (K.E. Absolon, Wilfrid Laurier University), 2009

Acknowledging your sources

Citing your sources gives credit to other peoples' ideas and helps you avoid plagiarism. Citing sources involves two steps: referring to the sources in your paper and creating a citation to the sources in a bibliography. The Faculty of Social Work follow the American Psychological Association (APA) citation style.

Managing your Citations

  • The library can assist you with Mendeley and Zotero
  • For more information, see managing citations

Scholarly communication