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Finding Information for Speech Pathology: Other Sources

A Library Guide to help with developing research projects in speech pathology (SPH516, SPH526, & SPH423)


We have looked at finding journal articles in medical databases, but there are potentially other sources of information.
See below and at right for tips on using the National Health and Medical Research Council, and tips on finding clinical practice guidelines and policy documents.

National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

The National Health and Medical Research Council describes itself as Australia's leading expert body for:

  • supporting health and medical research
  • developing health advice for the Australian community, health professionals and governments
  • providing advice on ethical behaviour in health care and in the conduct of health and medical research.

The website has a section on Publications, where you can search or browse for publications.

Clinical Guidelines

In 2011, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) defined clinical guidelines as "statements that include recommendations intended to optimize patient care that are informed by a systematic review of evidence and an assessment of the benefits and harms of alternative care options".

So they are another source of evidence-based information that can guide clinical care and practice.

There are various ways to find clinical guidelines:

  • You can locate them in medical databases such as MEDLINE/PubMed and CINAHL. For example, in CINAHL Plus with Full-Text, you can apply the limiter for Publication Type > Practice Guidelines.
  • There are many websites that provide clinical guidelines. The NHMRC, as above, is one Australian example. A UK example is NICE guidance, from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
  • Many organisational websites, such as NSW Health or the National Stroke Foundation, offer clinical guidelines. See also the box on Policy Documents, at right.
  • You can use an Internet search engine to find clinical guidelines. Did you know you can limit a Google search to results from a particular website or domain? The screen-shot below shows a Google search for clinical guidelines on communication and stroke but only from Australian government websites:

  And here's a typical result:

Result from Google search - result is Clinical Guidelines for Stroke Management 2010



Policy Documents

You probably won't get a Limiter for policy documents in a database but you could use "policy document" as a search term, or search for ... policy OR policies. (Don't search for the term polic* because you might get mentions of police and policing.)

Another way to locate policy documents (and clinical guidelines) is to go directly to organisational websites, such as NSW Health, state Departments of Education, or the National Stroke Foundation. Most websites like this will have a section for Publications, or Resources, where you can browse or search for current documents. You might have to dig through information for consumers to find information for health professionals.

The NSW Health website has a prominent link on its home page for Health Professionals

You can also the Google Advanced Search techniques as mentioned in the box on Clinical Guidelines at left.

  • If you are getting too many results, you can limit your search to where your search terms appear only in the title of the page. Use the box for terms appearing, to change from anywhere in the page to in the title of the page.
  • Use a combination of boxes to create complex searches.

You can also use Google Basic Search to create complex searches, but you need to know the "syntax".

  • Example: if you want to search for the terms communication [AND] stroke where they appear anywhere in the page, plus the phrase "policy document" but only where it appears in the title of the page, and you want results only from Australian websites, your "search string" would be:

communication stroke intitle colon open double quotation marks policy document close double quotation marks site colon dot a u

Analysis & Policy Observatory

This Australian website was previously called "Australian Policy Online". It describes itself as a "not-for-profit, open access knowledge and evidence base for you to discover, share and manage public policy and practice resources". It does include health-related material.

The URL is easy to remember:


Grey Literature

The resources on this page can be categorised as grey literature.

For more information, have a look at the library guide on Grey Literature. It includes sources of grey literature for healthcare.

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