The importance of refereed scientific publications, and how to conduct a search for sound standing information in a veterinary practice. The amount of scientific literature is increasing at an unprecedented rate. One benefit of the "information age" is the wide spread availability and distribution of scientific news through the general media, but this type of information is usually too superficial for professional use. The purpose of this paper is to help the veterinary professional to search current, accurate scientific information and to access original scientific publications. The importance of refereed scientific literature, its evaluation by the Science Citation Index and the Impact Factor are explained and debated. We describe how to locate refereed scientific publications via the internet within reasonable time and at low costs and how to make a critical assessment of such information. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of certain information channels, scientific databases and internet search engines like PubMed, Scirus, Google Scholar, Scopus, Webspirs, ISI Web of Knowledge, IVIS-International Veterinary Information Service and Wikipedia. We give suggestions for their use and we present examples of recent topics (antibiotics resistance, climate change, influenzavirus H5N1, prion disease) taken from the general media. We conclude that none of the listed information channels is the universal tool, and depending on the need and extent of required information, the combination of several information channels is recommended in order to expand beyond professional textbook knowledge. Furthermore we discuss the concept of evidence-based medicine, for which critical reading and appraising of the scientific literature and other sources of information is key, and which propagates knowledge transfer of evidence gained from the scientific literature into medical and veterinary practice.