United States National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health

FAQ: National Library of Medicine Guide to Finding Health Information

NLM librarians can't answer questions about individual medical cases or offer medical advice, because we are not doctors, nurses, or pharmacists. We can help you find health information resources.


How Can the National Library of Medicine Help Me with My Research?

You can find information from the following NLM health information resources that are free on the Web:

Consumer Health Information Resources

Professional Health Literature Resources

Why Should I Go to a Public Library, and What Can I Find There?

A local public library is a good place to start your research. A public library can:

Library Resources may include:

How to get materials that your library does not own: Interlibrary Loan and Loansome Doc

If your library does not own the magazines or journals with the articles you want.

If you want to get articles cited in PubMed, ask a local library about a Loansome Doc account.

What Other Resources Might I Find at a Medical Library, and How Do I Find One That is Open to Me?

These libraries are usually found at medical, nursing, and dental schools; large medical centers; and community hospitals. They have textbooks (medical, dental, nursing and other specialties), health-related journals and other material used by health care professionals.

How Can I Get Information from Other Government or Health-Related Organizations?

Besides the NLM resources listed above, some good starting points are:

Federal Government

Associations and Voluntary Organizations

How Do I Search for Other Medical Information on the Web?

Searching for other health information on the Web can be confusing and overwhelming.

Tutorials on the Web explain how to use search engines effectively:

How Do I Evaluate the Information I Find?

Some medical information may not be reliable, accurate, or up-to-date (whether from a Web site, book, or article).

Tips for judging information are found on these National Institutes of Health Web pages:

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Last reviewed: 18 September 2008
Last updated: 18 September 2008
First published: 01 January 2001
Metadata| Permanence level: Permanence Not Guaranteed