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September 28, 2012

US Government Data Bases

We in the United States, and perhaps everywhere in the world, like to …

...complain about our government. There is always a lot to complain about, but I’d suggest that we all step back from complaining and use some of the services available to anyone – not just US citizens.

The United States federal government, for example, sponsors top-notch websites free for any user.

But why would anyone search federal government websites instead of just googling?

The answer is the quality of the data. These websites are the results of trusted sources and top experts in their fields.

Once you choose a website, the searching process is guided so you don’t have to be a subject expert yourself to use them.

Here are some good starting points -

Multidisciplinary: http://usa.gov

USA.gov is a primary source for access to U.S. government documents. It is a portal which
searches all agency documents in a unified way.

For example, perhaps you want to know about the disease that killed your neighbor’s cousin’s dog in California. Just search “dog diseases California” for a possible answer.

Criminal Justice: National Criminal Justice Reference Service - https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/abstractdb/abstractdbsearch.aspx.

NCJRS services and resources are available to anyone interested in crime, victim assistance, and public safety including policymakers, practitioners, researchers, educators, community leaders, and the general public. Authors of murder mysteries can find source material here, for example, the murder rate of any major city.

Education: ERIC - http://www.eric.ed.gov/

ERIC is the world’s largest collection of education literature, containing more than 1 million records of journal articles,
research, reports, curriculum and teaching guides, conference papers, books, and more and more full text. It covers preschool through higher education.

Medicine: MedlinePlus - http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/

MedlinePlus is the National Institutes of Health's website for patients and their families and friends. It brings the layperson information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues.

MedlinePlus offers reliable, up-to-date health information. It helps you learn about the latest treatments, look up information on a drug or supplement, find out the meanings of words, or view medical videos or illustrations. You can also get links to the latest medical research on your topic or find out about clinical trials on a disease or condition.

This source is especially good for drug side effects and overdose information, again for that murder mystery you might be working on.

Medicine: PubMed - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/

More technical than MedlinePlus, PubMed comprises more than 21 million records for biomedical literature (including nursing and allied health) from medical and life science journals, and online books. Records may include links to full-text content.

Posted by mmorf at September 28, 2012 11:03 PM

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