Q. What medical databases does the library provide?
Huntsville-Madison County Public Library provides access to several medical databases through the Alabama Virtual Library. The AVL is free for all Alabama residents. If you have trouble accessing the AVL, visit your local public library for a username and password.
One of the best databases to begin medical research is MedlinePlus, sponsored by the U.S. National Library of Medicine. This database is freely accessible to anyone, but AVL provides an easy link to the database. MedlinePlus provides extensive information from the National Institutes of Health and other trusted sources on over 650 diseases and conditions.
If you need scholarly information, try the "Health Source: Academic/Nursing Edition." This database indexes and abstracts over 560 scholarly journals and includes full text articles for over 520 journals focusing on medical disciplines, especially nursing and allied health topics.
If you are a lay person and need consumer health information, try either of these two databases:
- "Health Source: Consumer Edition" - full-text consumer health information on health topics including the medical sciences, food sciences and nutrition, childcare, sports medicine and general health.
- "Alt Health Watch" - full-text articles on the full spectrum of subject areas covered by complementary and alternative medicine.
If you need comprehensive scholarly information, try PubMed. The AVL provides a link to this free database as well. It is primarily a database of citations, but they will link to free full-text when it is available online. If you can only access the citation, you may order copies of articles using HMCPL's Interlibrary Loan service. Articles are $1 each, and you may place your requests online at http://hmcpl.org/loan/request.