Background Information Resources

Background questions are meant to:

  • Obtain general knowledge
  • Learn about a new condition or topic
  • Refresh your knowledge on a subject

When you have a background question, background information resources are a great first stop. The goal of background resources is to provide an overview of a disease, condition, concept, or process and describe what is generally known and accepted. For example: measles has been nearly eradicated, but there are periodically outbreaks among unvaccinated populations.

If you need to refresh your knowledge of the clinical presentation, diagnosis, etc. of measles, a background resource would be the best place to start.

Background information resources can include textbooks and online resources. Most background resources will cite primary journal articles as evidence, so pay attention to the publication years of both the resource itself and the articles cited to help you determine whether the information is up-to-date.

Examples of Background Resources:

  • DynaMed
  • AccessMedicine
  • Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine
  • Briggs Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation
  • Trissel’s Handbook on Injectable Drugs
  • Rang and Dale’s Pharmacology
  • Adam and Victor’s Neurology
  • AACN Essentials of Critical Care Nursing
  • Canine and Feline Geriatric Oncology

Look for these resources and more at the Health Sciences Library’s homepage,




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