layman's guide to finding research

Being a good little doper, I like to back up my claims with evidence where possible. In that vein, is there a good way that someone who’s not an expert in a particular field can locate research papers done in that field? For example, let’s say I’m wondering what the current status is on the research attempting to find a link between cancer and RF signals (e.g. from cellphones). Where would I look?

I can start googling my ass off, but the results will be somewhat haphazard, since I’m not necessarily sure about the best search terms, and I’ll have to just do scattershot searches with lots of different terms. This means I can’t really know whether my answers support one side over the other because that’s what the research shows, or if my haphazard search methods skewed the results away from one side (“is this conclusion wrong, or have I just not found the study that supports it yet?”).

I guess I’m looking for some kind of Research Yahoo. Does it exist?

Pub Med ( is a good place to start research on a whole range of medical and biological subjects. You can usually get abstracts at least of pretty much any article published in a reputable journal and in some cases you can get the whole article, or a link to a site where you can get the whole article.

Exhaustively trying to research a question such as the example you provided in your OP can require a lot of legwork though. In my experience this is easier if you have access, either real world or online, to a good library (like at a university).

If you are lucky you can find a recently published survey article that summarizes all the work in an area and tries to arrive at some type of consensus.

As far as I know there isn’t any “Research Yahoo!” online for all human knowledge.

Well, don’t be silly. “All human knowledge” would be too much to ask. I’m merely asking for an index of almost all human knowledge. :smiley: