Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Reference sources, such as encyclopedias, handbooks and manuals, are great options to do some background reading on your topic. These sources will give you broad background information on your topic.
Reference sources do not represent original research like journal articles and are not sources that will be part of your literature review. These sources can help you quickly learn about your topic before you dive into the research literature.
Why Use Books?
Why use medical and health science textbooks and references books?
Use textbooks and reference books to answer background questions. These types of questions are broad and when answered provide basic foundational knowledge. Background questions often begin with "what" or "when".
- What is the diagnostic criteria for the condition I'm researching?
- What are the most common treatments?
- What are common related conditions?
- What is the history of the condition and its treatment?
Reference databases are a good starting point. All of these sources are credible and authoritative. When searching for reference sources, keep your keywords simple. For instance, search mental health or Bipolar Disorder I.
R2 Digital Library
R2 Digital Library is a database of health science textbooks and reference books. You can search by subject area or by keyword.
Health and Medicine
More health resources, including mental health.
Credo can search 636 sources simultaneously. It has encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks. Credo provides 20+ books specifically on psychology.
Health and Wellness
Nearly 400 health/medical journals, numerous reference volumes, over 700 health videos from partner Healthology, pamphlets and health-related articles from 2,200 general interest publications and reference book content.