Medicine: Explore Topics

Exploring a Topic

Learn more about a topic to prepare to research it in depth. Look for information about some of the following:

  • What is the background or history of your topic?
  • Who is involved? Who does it affect? Who is working on it?
  • Where is it of most importance? Or, is this a global issue? What are local, regional, national, and larger approaches?
  • When is or was this topic of importance?
  • Why is this topic important to you and others?
  • How is this topic being addressed? If it's a problem or challenge, how are others approaching it? What are current solutions that are being tried? How do you think it could be addressed?

Suggested Resources for Exploring Topics

What Is Discovery Search?

Discovery Search includes records for most of the library’s resources: our physical collections, our journal and ebook subscriptions, streaming videos, reports, government publications, and much more. You can use limiters to narrow your search results by the format, date of publication, peer-reviewed, and availability online. 

Evaluating Information Sources

As you use information sources to investigate your topic, here are some things to think about:

  • Authority:  Who wrote it?  What sort of expertise do they have in this area?
  • Coverage:  Is it relevant to your topic?  
  • Objectivity:  Is there any bias?  If so, how much?
  • Accuracy:  Is the information correct?  Is it in alignment with other research findings or articles?  
  • Currency:  When was this resource produced?  Does this matter for your topic?  

Your Librarians

Erin M. Smith, Health Sciences Research Librarian at VT University Libraries | 


Rita McCandless, Head Librarian, VTCSOM Library