Skip to main content

WHSL Information Sources in the Health Sciences: Using Secondary Sources

Guides you through the various types of information sources and their use

Types of Secondary Sources

  • Encylopaedias
  • Reviews of journal articles
  • Handbooks or manuals
  • Library catalogues

When to use Secondary Sources

  • Reviews of journal articles are more specific, but again give an overview of many journals articles on a specific topic
  • They can offer an overview of a topic when you are more experienced with the subject covered
  • Journal article reviews can be in paper format or in electronic format
  • Handbooks or manuals are practical step-by-step guides on how to carry out procedures
  • They can be specialist in nature, eg. Manual for Vascular Medicine in Surgery
  • They can be in paper or may be electronically available
  • Library catalogues are the starting points for finding out what is available in your library
  • Most modern library catalogues are now available electronically
  • Older libraries may still have card catalogues