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PH 217C: Aging and Public Health: Find Articles and More

Searching PubMed

PubMed for UCB: Citations to journal articles on health and medical topics, with links to full text via Getting Started with UC-eLinks

PubMed searching top tips:
  1. Combine terms with AND or OR
  2. Use Filters (eg, Ages, Article types, Languages, etc.)
  3. Search for your term as a word in the title or title or abstract (using Filters, Advanced Search, or Field Tags)
  4. Use MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), with subheadings
  5. After a MeSH search, do a keyword search and eliminate the articles with MeSH using NOT medline[sb] E.g., ((aged OR aging OR elder OR elderly OR older OR senior OR seniors) AND (driving OR "motor vehicle" OR automobile)) NOT medline[sb]
  6. Use the Similar articles link, once you find a set of relevant citations
  7. Try PubMed's Clinical Queries or Topic-Specific Queries
  8. Use My NCBI to save searches, track your search history, and save collections of citations.
  9. Always keep in mind the question you are trying to answer when creating a search strategy and when reviewing the articles you find

» PubMed Tips & Tricks: Basic search guide with link to PubMed exercise set. Start here to learn how to search PubMed more effectively

» MeSH terms related to aging:

  • Aging
  • Caregivers
  • Elder Abuse
  • Frail Elderly
  • Health Services for the Aged
  • Homes for the Aged
  • Housing for the Elderly
  • Medicare Part A
  • Old Age Assistance
  • Senior Centers

» MeSH terms for public health concepts:

  • Community health centers
  • Exercise
  • Social environment
  • Suburban health
  • Walking
  • Disease names

» MeSH terms for ethnic groups

  • African Americans; African Continental Ancestry Group AND United States
  • American Native Continental Ancestry Group
  • Amish
  • Arabs
  • Asian Americans; Oceanic Ancestry Group AND United States; Country - ethnology (e.g., China - ethnology); Asian Continental Ancestry Group AND United States
  • Hispanic Americans; Mexican Americans

» MeSH terms for other topics

  • Environment Design
  • Independent Living
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Transportation
  • Walking

» Filters:

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Middle Aged

Broad Resources for Finding Journal Articles and More

Broad biomedical scope. Useful for medicine, genetics, infectious diseases, healthcare policy & management, and more.
» Embase does use a controlled vocabulary. Click Browse then Emtree above the search box to search or browse for terms.
» What's not in PubMed?
    More non-US literature, better coverage of drug/toxicology topics ...

Global Health
Citations in environmental and occupational health, infectious diseases, medical microbiology, nutrition, public health, toxicology, and more. More international coverage than PubMed.
» Global Health does use a controlled vocabulary. Use the Topic drop-down menu and select Descriptors then click Select from Thesaurus.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Search by (relatively narrow) geographic settings, or country in which work published.

» Global Health Help

Google Scholar
Citations in all topics.
» Google Scholar does not use a controlled vocabulary. Use Advanced Search by clicking the ▼ in the search box, then search for title words.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Broad topical scope. Be aware that Google Scholar lacks:
    » the ability to use iteration in developing search strategies,
    » any indexing,
    » bulk downloading or saving of records,
    » a complete description of its contents.

Large, multidisciplinary database of citations to articles, conference papers, patents, and more.
» Scopus does not use a controlled vocabulary. Scopus uses author and other keywords.
» Subject terms/features not found in PubMed:
    Excellent resource for cited reference searching; Journal Analyzer tool assesses journal performance.

» Scopus search tips

Web of Science
Large, multidisciplinary database; links to cited articles and times cited are provided for retrieved articles.
» Web of Science does not use a controlled vocabulary; it uses author keywords and keywords assigned algorithmically.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Scope of database is broad; excellent for searching interdisciplinary topics and cited reference searching.

Subject-Specific Resources for Finding Journal Articles and More

Education Source
Collection of full-text education research including periodicals, books, yearbooks, and more.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Purely educational information; non-journal literature

Access to educational literature, including school health, health promotion, and other public health topics. ERIC sources include journals, books, conferences and meetings, reports, theses/dissertations, and audiovisual media. ERIC also includes materials on tests, measurement, and evaluation.
» ERIC does use a controlled vocabulary. Click Thesaurus above the search box to search or browse for terms.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Purely educational information; non-journal literature; can focus a search by education level or audience ...

Indexes Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender (GLBT)-specific core periodicals and GLBT-specific core books and reference works.
» LGBT Life does use a controlled vocabulary. Click Thesaurus above the search box to search or browse for terms.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Books, grey literature, newsletters ...

Citations in psychology, behavior, and related disciplines.
» PsycINFO does use a controlled vocabulary. Click Thesaurus to search or browse terms.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Economic security, community attitudes, test/measurement index ...

» PsycINFO Quick Guide (PDF)

Sociological Abstracts
Citations in demography, social psychology, and sociology. 
» Sociological Abstracts does use a controlled vocabulary. Click Thesaurus to search or browse terms.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Cultural capital, peer relations, victim
ization, family structure, strategies, neighborhoods, social constructionism, ...
» Sociological Abstracts Guide

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