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Allied Health Sciences

General guide to assist Allied Health Sciences students and faculty at RSU.

Library Resources

The Explore RSU Libraries box on the library's website searches the entire library collection including books, databases, audiovisual materials and government publications.

These databases will be the most relevant for allied health sciences. 


Scholarly v. Popular Sources

If you are not familiar with scholarly publications, it can be difficult to tell the difference between scholarly and popular periodicals. There are no definitive rules for distinguishing between the two, but here are some guidelines:

Scholarly (e.g., academic journals):

  • Are written by professionals within an academic field or discipline.
  • Contain research projects, methodology, and theory.
  • Have few, if any, advertisements.
  • Use college-level or specialized vocabulary of the discipline.
  • Include articles with extensive bibliographies, footnotes, or other documentation.
  • Contain graphics that are often black & white and consist of tables, charts, and diagrams.
  • Are peer-reviewed or refereed.

Popular (e.g., magazines, newspapers):

  • Are written by journalists.
  • Contain general news articles written to inform, update, or introduce a new issue.
  • Have many full-color, full-page advertisements.
  • Use a general, non-technical vocabulary.
  • Include articles with little or no documentation.
  • Contain graphics that are often full-color pictures and illustrations.

The academic databases listed on this guide are excellent sources for magazine, news, and journal articles. Library databases are different from online search engines like Google, so you will need to master a few basic concepts in order to use them effectively. 

Exclude irrelevant words

When using the databases, you should exclude all extraneous words from your searches. First, leave out all articles (a, an, the) in your search. Next, narrow your search terms down to two or three words that describe exactly what you hope to find For example, if you are writing a paper about the theme of discrimination in Frankenstein, narrowing your search terms down to discrimination and Frankenstein will likely retrieve a manageable list of more precise results.

Select and refine search terms

After you have selected your initial search terms, list any synonyms or related terms that might be relevant to your topic. For example, if your search terms are Frankenstein and discrimination, you might want to try synonyms such as "prejudice" or "intolerance" in place of discrimination. You may even replace discrimination with a related term, such as "inhumanity." Successful searches are often the result of trying out a variety of terms. Most databases will provide you with suggestions of additional or alternate search terms to use, which can lead you to better results in a shorter amount of time.

Combine or exclude terms

Two or more search terms may be combined in different ways to yield different results. The connectors AND, OR, NOT are useful search tools, and most databases have these built in to make searching easier. Use the connector AND to yield results that contain both search terms. Use OR for results that contain either term. Use NOT to exclude results that contain a specific term.

Try different databases

Different databases index different content, and selecting the right database is just as important to successful searching as choosing the right search terms. A search that retrieves few or no results in one database may work well in another. If you retrieve too few or irrelevant results in one database, try a different one.

Scholarly v. Popular Sources 

If you are not familiar with scholarly publications, it can be difficult to tell the difference between scholarly and popular periodicals. There are no definitive rules for distinguishing between the two, but here are some guidelines:

Scholarly (e.g., academic journals):

  • Are written by professionals within an academic field or discipline.
  • Contain research projects, methodology, and theory.
  • Have few, if any, advertisements.
  • Use college-level or specialized vocabulary of the discipline.
  • Include articles with extensive bibliographies, footnotes, or other documentation.
  • Contain graphics that are often black & white and consist of tables, charts, and diagrams.
  • Are peer-reviewed or refereed.

Popular (e.g., magazines, newspapers):

  • Are written by journalists.
  • Contain general news articles written to inform, update, or introduce a new issue.
  • Have many full-color, full-page advertisements.
  • Use a general, non-technical vocabulary.
  • Include articles with little or no documentation.
  • Contain graphics that are often full-color pictures and illustrations.

Most books and other items in the library are organized by the Library of Congress Call Number system. In that system, the basic sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.) are under Q and medicine is under R.

Book related directly to Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Athletic Training are in the RMs, while the rest of the Rs are other aspects of medicine. Anatomy and Physiology are considered part of basic science, and are in the QMs and QPs, respectively. Some of immunology and infectious disease resources are in QR (microbiology) You'll find medical materials in the Main Circulating Stacks (3rd floor).

Here are the subjects associated with specific call numbers, in case you'd like to browse. However, if you are looking for something specific, searching the library catalog is usually quicker.

  • QM Human anatomy
  • QP Physiology
  • QR Microbiology
  • R Medicine (General)
  • RA Public aspects of medicine
  • RB Pathology
  • RC Internal medicine
  • RD Surgery
  • RE Ophthalmology
  • RF Otorhinolaryngology
  • RG Gynecology and obstetrics
  • RJ Pediatrics
  • RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology

Subclass RM

RM695-893 Physical medicine. Physical therapy

        Including massage, exercise, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, phototherapy, radiotherapy, thermotherapy, electrotherapy

RM930-931 Rehabilitation therapy

RM950 Rehabilitation technology