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Library Session for Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP): Find Articles and More

Searching PubMed

PubMed: 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. Use the Related Articles link, once you find a set of relevant citations
  6. Try PubMed's Clinical Queries or Topic-Specific Queries
  7. 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: Start here to learn how to search PubMed more effectively
 


» Clinical Queries: Finding systematic reviews on your topic can help you find more research literature and give you a sense of the body of knowledge on a topic.
    Using the etiology filter is useful a "cause of disease" search.
    Therapy encompasses any type of intervention.

» Topic-Specific Queries use "canned" search strategies to fetch a citation subset of PubMed. Topic-specific queries include:

  • Comparative Effectiveness
  • Health Disparities
  • Healthy People

Beyond PubMed: Other Resources for Finding Journal Articles and More

Remember those PubMed "Top Tips"? Many are applicable to the databases below as well as several other databases. access paid by UCB   Getting Started with UC-eLinks

Global Health
Key Subjects: Global Health; Nutrition; Public Health
Citations in environmental and occupational health, food safety and hygiene, infectious diseases, medical microbiology, nutrition, public health, toxicology, zoonoses, and more. More international coverage than PubMed.
» Global Health does use a controlled vocabulary. Use the drop-down menu and select Descriptors then click to browse the thesaurus.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Search by (relatively narrow) geographic settings, or country in which work published.

» Global Health Database Exercise (PDF; from the Public Health Library)

Google Scholar
Key Subjects: Multidisciplinary
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.

PsycINFO
Key Subjects: Psychology; Behavior
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 ...

Sociological Abstracts
Key Subjects: Sociology; Demography
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 Exercise (PDF; from the Public Health Library)

Web of Science
Key Subjects: Multidisciplinary
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 cited reference searching.

» Cited Reference Searching exercise (PDF; from the Public Health Library)

Use the library catalogs to find books, reports, etc. on your topic. Books, while not often where original research is published, can often provide an overview of a topic and get you started with some key articles.

The above are but a sample of the many databases available to find article and other citations.
See the Public Health Library's
Indexes and Databases web page for more.
Ask a librarian for help if you are having trouble with your topic.

Proxy server

Set up the proxy server to use library databases from off-campus. This will change your browser or OS settings.

  • There are set-up instructions for different browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari...)
  • You can set it up on multiple devices
  • You log in with your CalNet ID
  • There's an alternative: the VPN

Grey Literature

Grey Literature refers to publications not produced by commercial publishers: reports (pre-prints, technical reports, market research reports, etc.), theses, conference proceedings, etc. They are often produced by government entities, research institutions, or NGOs/IGOs.

The Electronic Public Health Resources web guide consists of topical web pages; each consisting of annotated lists of organizations, agencies, databases, and publications. Topics include:
    • Environmental Health
    • Ethnic Groups Health Resources
    • Food/Nutrition
    • Maternal and Child Health
and many more.

Google and other search engines can be useful for finding grey literature. Improve your search using:
Quotes for phrase searching:
"social marketing"
Site: to specify a particular site or domain:
"social marketing" site:.org (for a domain search)
"social marketing" site:cdcnpin.org (for a specific site search)
Boolean search statements (eg, OR):
("social marketing" OR "audience segmentation")

 

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