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Arkansas State University

Physical Therapy: Home

This guide is intended to help you find both print and online physical therapy resources.

This guide is intended to help you find both print and online physical therapy resources. This guide is only a starting point for your research, it is not meant to be a comprehensive list of resources. If you need further assistance, please visit the Service Desk in the library or contact your librarian, Robert Robinette, at

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Scholarly and peer reviewed are your "academic" articles. These are the ones that deal directly with research, history, or theory. Most likely, your professor wants you to use these types of articles. These types of articles are written by scholars, experts in the field often associated with a university or an organization. Peer reviewed articles must also be approved by a group of scholars before being published to ensure that the research presented is factual and relevant. Not everyone can get peer reviewed.

Popular magazine articles are usually ones that you read for entertainment. These are usually the type of publications that you find at the grocery store checkout. Chances are if there's a celebrity on the cover, it's a popular magazine.

For a more in-depth look at the differences, please visit our Scholarly Journals guide.


Databases with green All Full Text or partially green Partial Full Text icons offer some level of free, full-text articles. In most cases, you must be affiliated with A-State to view the article or on the A-State campus. Some database offer a "pay-per-view" service where you can buy an article not available for free and have immediate access. If you do not need immediate access to the article, you may also request it through Interlibrary Loan for free. Articles requested through Interlibrary Loan can take 2-5 business days to come in, depending on the lending library. You can also digital scans from our physical collection through Digital Delivery.

To view all our Nursing and Health Profession databases, click here.

To view all our databases, click here.

Finding Books in the Dean B. Ellis Library

All books in the library are arranged by subject using the Library of Congress classification system for call numbers and subject headings. The call number for physical therapy begins with "R". The basic breakdown is as follows:

RD792 – RD811




Orthopedics Surgery, Physical Rehabilitation

RM695 – RM893




Physical Medicine. Physical Therapy

RM930 – RM931




Rehabilitation Therapy





Rehabilitation Technology

The numbers that follow these beginning letters relate to the narrower scope of the item. For example: Physical Therapy Clinical Handbook (RM205. D75 2008) is general in scope while Clinical Practice of Pediatric Physical Therapy (RJ53. P5 D73 2008) is specific to children.

Occasionally a totally different call number will appear. This means the item is about more than physical therapy and higher importance was given to the other subject when the call number was assigned. For example, Physical Therapist's Business Practice and Legal Guide (KF2915. T453 N53 2008) is more about law than physical therapy. That said, it may still be a great book for your topic!


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Physical therapy covers a wide range of topics. If you're having trouble coming up with a topic, here are some keywords you can use that might help you get started:

  • Athletes
  • Back Pain
  • Benefits
  • Case Studies
  • Disabilities
  • Ethics
  • Evidence-Based
  • Exercises
  • Geriatrics
  • Health
  • Injuries
  • Law
  • Management
  • Medicine
  • Methods
  • Patient Compliance
  • Pediatric
  • Physical Therapy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Techniques 

If you want to combine keywords, use the connector AND between terms:

Athletes AND teen AND "physical therapy"

You can learn more about connectors in our Boolean Searching guide.