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COVID-19: Avoiding Misinformation and Conducting Credible Research

This guide intends to offer a bit of guidance on where to look for credible information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as how to avoid misinformation where possible.

Crediblity via Peer-Review

The Peer-Review Process is crucial in granting authority and veracity to the category of academic publications. While not the only means of recognizing credibility, and certainly not without its own issues, the peer-review process has been a means of separating the scholarly from the popular categories of publications for many decades. This is where the distinction of journal vs. magazine becomes important. If a researcher needs academic sources for a paper or to reinforce their argument, they'll need to turn to scholarly publications.

In a nutshell, once someone writes an article, that article is sent to a journal for potential publication. In order to be published in a credible, academic journal, the article will need to stand up to a review process that goes well beyond the editor of the journal. The article will be sent ot multiple experts in fields related to the article or journal's disciplines, and these experts will provide feedback to the journal's editorial board. This feedback may be indications that the author needs to add more sources to their research process, adjust the format, or ask for more data to be included in the article in an effort to endure the science presented within is as transparent as possible. Once the requests make it back to the author, and adjustments are made and resubmitted, the article must stand up to review again. This may happen multiple times before being accepted (or rejected!), but if accepted, the article will then be published and have the peer-review approval to grant it the credibility it needs.

While there are many great open-source, academic journals out there, this is an area the library can provide great value in the research process. Salmon Library provides access to many academic databases, many of which will be useful in researching issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these resources will have "COVID-19" research sections, specifically tailored to highlighting content from the database's subject foci to, hopefully, make research more efficient during this pandemic. 

Our librarians can offer further guidance as to which tools to use, how to use them, and even recommend other titles not mentioned in this guide as needed. We want you to have access to the most credible information out there, and can help in navigating open web resources to supplement our own offerings.

Medical/Allied Health Resources

Below are a just a few recommendations for academic resources. For a more extensive list of Allied Health Resources to explore, follow this link to view our COVID-19 Resources for Researchers and Practicioners

    • CINAHL provides indexing for journals from the fields of nursing and allied health, with indexing back to 1937. Offering complete coverage of English-language nursing journals and publications from the National League for Nursing and the American Nurses' Association, CINAHL Plus with Full Text offers access to health care books, standards of practice, Evidence-Based Care Sheets, and more. Searchable cited references for many journals are also included. Try searching COVID-19 as a "Major Subject" in addition to keyword and other subject searching.
    • Series of evidence-based medical information from OVID.
    • You will find the latest early-stage and peer-reviewed research on COVID-19 from journals including The Lancet and Cell Press. There are more than 21,000 related articles free to access on ScienceDirect. These articles are also available to download with rights for full text and data mining, re-use and analyses for as long as needed. Also view evidence-based skill guides and care plans for treatment, safety and patient education, along with emergency prepared webinars by the CDC.
  • National Library of Medicine (NLM) LitCovid Collection
    • LitCovid is a curated literature hub for tracking up-to-date scientific information about the 2019 novel Coronavirus. It provides central access to over 4,600 relevant articles in PubMed. The articles are updated daily and are further categorized by different research topics and geographic locations for improved access.
    • This multifile database allows you to search simultaneously the three Evidence Based Medicine Reviews databases: ACP Journal Club (ACP), Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR), and Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE).
    • PubMed comprises more than 30 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites. 
    • ‚ÄčThe Coronavirus Research Database is a collection of journal articles, preprints, conference proceedings,
      dissertations and more related to COVID-19 and other coronaviruses. It includes comprehensive
      research background coverage of past pandemics and epidemics, like MERS and SARS, to give
      researchers and students context around the current global crisis.

Researching Business/Economic Impact of COVID-19

For a more extensive list of Business/Industry resources, check out the list here: Below are a few recommended resources.

  • Business Source Ultimate
    • This is an additional temporary resource provided by vendors through AVL to Alabama students, teachers and residents during the COVID-19 outbreak. It will only be available for a certain period of time. Access to 3,284 active, full-text journals and magazines Access to 2,034 active, full-text, peer-reviewed journals Access to 1,479 active, full-text, peer-reviewed journals with no embargoes Access to 1,059 active full-text journals indexed in Web Science or Scopus Access to to over 27,000 videos from industry leaders, including Harvard Business Publishing and the Academy of Management
  • ABI Inform Global
    • ABI/INFORM Global™ is one of the most comprehensive business databases on the market, offering the latest business and financial information for researchers at all levels. It includes in-depth coverage from thousands of publications, most of them in full-text. With ABI/INFORM Global, users can find out about business conditions, management techniques, business trends, management practice and theory, corporate strategy and tactics, and competitive landscape. ABI/INFORM Global includes ABI/INFORM Archive, which offers a deep backfile of many of the most important business journals of the last century.
  • IBISWorld COVID-19 Tracker
    • IBISWorld is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on industries and providing insights and analysis.