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Health Resources: Additional Help

This guide covers basic health resources available through LSU Libraries.

Research Article Break Down Review

Research articles follow a particular format.  Look for:

  • A brief introduction will often include a review of the existing literature on the topic studied, and explain the rationale of the author's study.
  • methods section, where authors describe how they collected and analyzed data.  Statistical analysis are included.  
  • results section describes the outcomes of the data analysis.  Charts and graphs illustrating the results are typically included.
  • In the discussion, authors will explain their interpretation of their results and theorize on their importance to existing and future research.
  • References or works cited are always included.  These are the articles and books that the authors drew upon to plan their study and to support their discussion.

Research Articles and Review Articles Defined Review

"A research article is a primary source...that is, it reports the methods and results of an original study performed by the authors. The kind of study may vary (it could have been an experiment, survey, interview, etc.), but in all cases, raw data have been collected and analyzed by the authors, and conclusions drawn from the results of that analysis.

review article is a secondary is written about other articles, and does not report original research of its own.  Review articles are very important, as they draw upon the articles that they review to suggest new research directions, to strengthen support for existing theories and/or identify patterns among existing research studies.  For student researchers, review articles provide a great overview of the existing literature on a topic.   If you find a literature review that fits your topic, take a look at its references/works cited list for leads on other relevant articles and books!"

From, "What's the difference between a research and a review article?"

Avoiding Plagiarism

"What is Plagiarism?

Nearly everyone understands that copying passages verbatim from another writer's work and representing them as one's own work constitute plagiarism. Yet plagiarism involves much more. At LSU plagiarism is defined to include any use of another's work and submitting that work as one's own. This means not only copying passages of writing or direct quotations but also paraphrasing or using structure or ideas without citation. Learning how to paraphrase and when and how to cite is an essential step in maintaining academic integrity." From LSU Student Advocacy & Accountability


Here are some links to help you avoid plagiarism when working on your papers.

In the AMA citation style, journal titles are required to be abbreviated. It can be confusing determining the title of a journal from a citation AND how to properly cite the journal's abbreviated title. However, the National Library of Medicine has created a nifty database to help you with this.

Citation Management Software

Unsure of where to start with creating a citation? Feeling overwhelmed by authors, titles, and where to put periods? Don't stress! LSU Libraries has access to some wonderful citation management resources available for students and faculty members to use. These can be great foundations for creating a citation. However, don't rely on the 100%. You will still need to double check them for errors. Citation Management software can be a useful tool but it is only a tool. Ask your professor if you questions about the citation style they prefer.

Searching for Medical Texts and Handbooks

LSU Libraries is not a medical library. While we do carry handbooks and books with medical information, the information might not be the most up-to-date. The handbooks should not be used for medical purposes such as diagnosis or use in the medical field. 

For the most up-to-date information, please use peer-reviewed medical journals. Select the "journals" tab for journal recommendations.


To find medical handbooks in the library.  

1.   Go to the Discovery search bar and enter your topic. 

2.   Select, "E-Books" from the "Limit To" list and then select, "Search"

The search should look something like this: "TOPIC" AND PT eBook"

3.   You can then filter out additional information such as date range and source types. 


As always, if you have questions, please let the subject specialist know. 

Study Design

There are many other types of study designs or research designs. You can learn more by following the links below.

Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Defined

Systematic Review

"A summary of the clinical literature. A systematic review is a critical assessment and evaluation of all research studies that address a particular clinical issue. The researchers use an organized method of locating, assembling, and evaluating a body of literature on a particular topic using a set of specific criteria. A systematic review typically includes a description of the findings of the collection of research studies. The systematic review may also include a quantitative pooling of data, called a meta-analysis" -taken from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Glossary (no longer online).


"A way of combining data from many different research studies. A meta-analysis is a statistical process that combines the findings from individual studies" -taken from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Glossary (no longer online).

All Reviews (also called overviews) Reviews that are not systematic (traditional narrative reviews). Systematic reviews. Meta-analyses. Individual patient data (IPD) meta-analyses.

Image from

Systematic Review Well-defined research question to be answered by the review.  Conducted with the aim of finding all existing            evidence in an unbiased, transparent, and    reproducible way.  Attempts are made to find ALL existing       published and unpublished literature on the      research question. The process is documented and reported. Reasons for including or excluding studies are explicit and informed by the research         question. Systematically assess risk of bias of individual studies and overall quality of the evidence,   including sources of heterogeneity between study results.  Base conclusion on quality of the studies an provide recommendations for practice or to address knowledge gaps.  Traditional Literature Review Topics may be broad in scope, the goal of the review may be to place one’s own research within the existing body of knowledge, or to gather information that supports a particular viewpoint. Searches maybe ad hoc, and based on what the author is already familiar with. Searches are not as exhaustive or fully comprehensive. Often lack clear reasons why studies were     included or excluded from the review.  Often do not consider study quality of          potential biases in study design.  Conclusions are more qualitative and may not be based on study quality.

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