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Requesting information on a topic

The library's reference staff are information specialists who can provide advice on locating information for members' work or study needs.

For free advice and assistance contact

Canterbury Medical Library Reference Desk 64 3 364 0500
Princess Margaret Hospital Library 64 3 337 7899, ext 66698

Research on your behalf

The library's experienced reference staff can also undertake research on behalf of members and evidence based medicine concepts can to be applied to your search topic if required. We undertake research at an hourly rate (state your time requirement) or we offer several standard package deals:

Basic Search

For this service we check the Voyager library catalogue and databases available within the library for information on the subject you nominate. You receive a list of relevant references and an outline of the sources checked. The items identified will not be supplied under this service. Members will need to forward requests for desired items separately.

Full Information Search & Delivery

We check Voyager and all relevant databases available to library staff within the library. You receive a list of references plus one or two of the most relevant books or journal articles cited in references retrieved. The number of items delivered will depend upon availability.

Thinking about your Topic

Thinking about your topic before you start can save you a lot of time in the long run.

  1. Describe your topic in one or two sentences.
  2. Write down the subject terms and any other words or synonyms for the subjects. Check out the subject headings used by the databases you select before you start selecting references.
  3. Consider the purpose for which you want the information, is it:
    • Patient care • Teaching • Research • Planning • Other
  4. Think about the aspects required:
    • All • Medical • Nursing • Psychiatric • Physiotherapy • Social Work • Management / Administration • Other
  5. Do you want to restrict your search to specific groups?:
    • Child • Adult • Male • Female • Human • Animal • Age Group • All • Other
  6. What kinds of information do you want, don't forget:
    • Books • Journal articles • Reviews • EBM reviews • Guidelines • Statistical information • Systematic Reviews • Other types
  7. Do you just want recent information?
  8. How much information do you need? Do you need all relevant information or just a few relevant references?
  9. Write down the details of any relevant references you have already. These may help you to identify other references. For instance you can look for articles citing your references.
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