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How to Find a Definition of Sleep Deprivation in Journals

You can learn a lot about medicine and various conditions and treatments through online sources as well as from medical journals. When you hear someone say, “Where’s the literature on that?” they mean to cite the actual source, such as the particular article in the particular issue of a particular medical magazine, study, document and so forth.

All you need is access to such journals online or at your local library, then it’s a matter of filtering through the information to find what you are looking for. Remember, “definitions” in medicine vary considerably, depending on research, the authors, scientific supplementation and more — but you can feel secure when you find a journal article or the precise information well substantiated.


4 Steps to Find a Definition of Sleep Deprivation in Journals

Sleep Deprivation

1. Start with MEDLINE, the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database covering the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and the preclinical sciences.

This service is made available from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for you to peruse online.


2. Enter your search terms, such as “sleep deprivation” in the search box.

Currently, this is located on the upper right-hand corner. When you hit enter, a long list of items show up in the results. Click on the various results to determine whether or not the item is suitable for what you are researching.

Sleep Disorders: MedlinePlus Interactive Health Tutorial from the Patient Education Institute. You are then are led to a video presentation on sleep disorders. This may not suit your needs, so return to the search results and continue until you find the precise item you are looking for.


3. Explore articles through MEDLINE, JAMA (The Journal of the American Medical Association) and other sites by running a search.

As you continue to weed through the options, one thing you may come across are results that give a very brief snapshot of an article. If this is the type of article you want, you can then read further to the abstract, extract of full article when available.


4. Visit a university or public library to access professional resources.

Note that some of the best medical articles and research studies are not available to the general public, or may not be available online. You can find many medical journals in print (as well as medical dictionaries and books) at public and university libraries. Ask the librarian to direct you.


Tips and Warnings

  • If you run across an abstract that requests you pay $50 to purchase or read an article, or that you have to subscribe to the journal — sometimes costing hundreds of dollars per year — reverse your tracks and try an alternate route.
  • Especially when simply looking up a definition rather than an elaborate scientific study.


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