Skip to main content

FYS: Pseudo-medicine?

Library research tips for Professor Hernández Berrones' FYS
Alternative Medicine?: a history
Health and Long Life: the Chinese Way
Religious Therapeutics: body and health in Yoga, Āyurveda, and Tantra
Snake Oil Science: the truth about complementary and alternative medicine
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: ethics, the patient, and the physician
Nature Cures: the history of alternative medicine in America
Ayurveda: a comprehensive guide to traditional Indian medicine for the West
Healing at the Borderland of Medicine and Religion
A Vital Force: women in American homeopathy
Healing Ways

Start exploring here

Credo is an academic alternative to Wikipedia. It is a great place to start your research. In addition to encylopedias relevant to this course, it includes topic pages for alternative medicine and related topics.

Print collection encyclopedias to explore

Pseudoscience: a critical encyclopedia
The Encyclopedia of the Paranormal
Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine

Search Tip

Think about keywords related to medicine in general, or a specific topic within medicine, to start your search in the library's WorldCat catalog. When you find a good book, try the "More like this" subject links to find more books on the topic.


Suggested Databases for Articles

Academic Search Complete is a comprehensive multi-disciplinary full-text database. Start your research for articles here!  Tip #1: View an article's full record to read the abstract, or summary, and quickly decide if it is useful for your research.  Tip #2: Use the subject links from the full record to find additional articles.

PubMed Central® (PMC) is a free full-text archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the U.S. National Institutes of Health's National Library of Medicine (NIH/NLM).

JSTOR is a multi-disciplinary database which provides scholarly, full-text content. While coverage goes all the way back to the 19th century, be aware there is no current content for many journals. 

Full-text of hundreds of journals in the humanities, arts, and social sciences from scholarly publishers, mostly university presses. 

Loading ...

Primary sources

Special Collections, located on the second floor of SLC, holds the library’s rare books and archival collections. Special Collections also hosts digital exhibits of unique items from its collection, including Images of The canon of medicine = al-Qanun fi'l-t?ibb / Avicenna.


Digital Collections is the National Library of Medicine's free online repository of biomedical resources including books, still images, videos, and maps. Images from the History of Medicine is part of the collection. Unless otherwise indicated, all content is in the public domain, so can be reused without concern for copyright compliance.

The Wellcome Collection is digitized content from the collections of the Wellcome Library that provides insight and information to anyone seeking to understand medicine and its role in society, past and present. The Wellcome Library is one of the world's major resources for the study of medical history.

Internet Archive is a digital library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more.

Loading ...

Evaluating websites

Use these criteria to evaluate a website: Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose

Currency: the timeliness of the information

  • When was the information published or posted?
  • Has the information been revised or updated?
  • Is the information current or out-of date for your topic?
  • Are the links functional?

Relevance: the importance of the information for your needs

  • Does the information relate to your topic or answer your question?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • Is the information at an appropriate level (i.e. not too elementary or advanced for your needs)?
  • Have you looked at a variety of sources before determining this is one you will use?
  • Would you be comfortable using this source for a research paper?

Authority: the source of the information

  • Who is the author/publisher/source/sponsor?
  • Are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations given?
  • What are the author's credentials or organizational affiliations?
  • What are the author's qualifications to write on the topic?
  • Is there contact information, such as a publisher or e-mail address?
  • Does the URL reveal anything about the author or source?
    • examples: .com (commercial), .edu (educational), .gov (U.S. government), .org (nonprofit organization), or .net (network)

Accuracy: the reliability, truthfulness, and correctness of the content

  • Where does the information come from?
  • Is the information supported by evidence?
  • Has the information been reviewed or refereed?
  • Can you verify any of the information in another source or from personal knowledge?
  • Does the language or tone seem unbiased and free of emotion?
  • Are there spelling, grammar, or other typographical errors?

Purpose: the reason the information exists

  • What is the purpose of the information? to inform? teach? sell? entertain? persuade?
  • Do the authors/sponsors make their intentions or purpose clear?
  • Is the information fact? opinion? propaganda?
  • Does the point of view appear objective and impartial?
  • Are there political, ideological, cultural, religious, institutional, or personal biases?
Loading ...

Turabian (Chicago) Citation Style

Research isn't complete until you correctly cite all your sources. Provide a complete citation to credit the authors / creators of sources you used, and to let your paper's reader locate and verify these sources. Professor Hernández Berrones requires you to use Turabian style for this course. 

Turabian Quick Guide covers the basics of Turabian formatting and style. For the most complete information, use the Manual, available in the Research Commons and on Reserve.

Session evaluation

Please take a couple of minutes to provide feedback on your library session -- only 5 questions!: