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ANTR 440--Researching a topic in Human Anatomical Variation: Getting Started

Research Strategy and Steps

It is important to have a strategy when you begin your search for information.  Start with the general and close in later on the specific.  This will help you to understand what you are reading.

  1. Distill your topic down to a few search words, including plurals, alternative words that you can try.
  2. Normal Anatomy and Variations:  Read about your topic in anatomy books, medical textbooks, specialized encyclopedias and reliable web sites to get background information. (See the tab in this guide for Anatomy Atlases and Textbooks online).  Look up both the normal anatomy and the specific variation you want to study. 
  3. Finding Research about the Variation:  Search the scientific literature using a database such as PubMed--linked from the tab in this guide for finding published literature.  Look for Review Articles to get summaries of the literature.  This will be best for looking for pathological variations, surgical variations, abnormalities.  Do not search PubMed to find normal anatomy.  Use textbooks for that.  

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