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Michigan State University

NSC 495-Researching your topic in Human Biology: Background Reading--Electronic texts and books

Books and Electronic Books

Use the electronic books and texts on this page to familiarize yourself with your topic.  You will be able to cite reliable, respected resources for general information as well as specialized information for physicians related to diseases and treatments.  Citing some of these sources rather than just Web sites lends more credibility to your paper. 

Biology-focused sources

Medically-focused sources

  • Access Medicine
  • A collection of the latest editions of respected medical textbooks that you can search all at once.  These will focus on the clinical aspects of a topic including diagnosis and treatment, as well as underlying physiology.  Be sure to note which textbook you got information from so that you can cite it correctly.
  • Clinical Key
  • Large search engine for medical topics.  After you search, look to the left hand side to choose whether to view books, articles, or other types of media.  Choose books to get background information for your topics.
  • Stedman's Medical Dictionary
  • Use this online version of the classic medical dictionary to make sure you have a full understanding of medical terms.


MSU Online Catalog

Search the catalog for books and electronic books.  

Example searches (put keywords or two-word phrases together using the word AND):

muscular dystrophy

colon cancer and genetics

AIDS and vaccines

Finding Health Statistics

The MSU Libraries has a guide for Finding Health Statistics and Data which points to useful sources for that kind of information. 

Biology Librarian and Health Sciences Coordinator

Michigan State University