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Michigan State University

PSL 310 HO--Researching topics for honors option: Background Reading--Electronic texts and books

Sources of background reference and review information

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. 

Electronic texts

  • 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.
  • Comprehensive Physiology  

  • Source of authoritative information in all areas of physiology from the American Physiological Society.    Look for articles that say they are from the "Handbook of Physiology". 
  • Encyclopedia of Life Sciences

  • Review articles on all areas of biology, including genetics, physiology, cell biology, etc. 
  • Clinical Key: 

  • Large search engine for medical topics.  After you search, look to the top drop down menu under Source Type.  Choose books to get background information for your topics.  Articles will get you into scientific articles. 
  • Robbins and Cotran Pathologic Basic of Disease


MSU Online Catalog

Search the MSU Libraries Online Catalog for books and electronic books about your topic.  Be sure to search more broadly when looking for books, for instance you may find a book on medical physiology that will have a chapter on your particular topic like scuba diving, high altitude, diabetes, etc. 

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

blood doping

muscular dystrophy

asthma and physiology

physiology and diving

Biology Librarian and Health Sciences Coordinator

Michigan State University