Skip to main content

OOMPH Library Resources: First On-Campus Week & PHW 200E: Start Your Literature Search

URL for this guide:

guides.lib.berkeley.edu/publichealth/oomph/starting

Presented by Michael Sholinbeck, msholinb@library.berkeley.edu

Starting the Library Research Process

What causes disease?
For any "disease" or condition, you could start by considering interactions among environmental and social factors.
  » Poor diet, resulting from food choices, "causes" nutritional deficiency or obesity in a population

But consider:
  » Is it "caused" by historical distribution of land use, including (in developing countries) during colonial times?
  » Or by the regulatory environment, including crop subsidies, food inspections, etc.?
  » What about the role of NGOs, IGOs, aid networks?
  » What about infrastructure, such as food distribution networks, transportation, etc.?
  » Is the status of women/girls a factor?
  » What is the role of commercial activity?
  » What about the healthcare and health insurance system?

  ...Consider that how issues are framed is influenced by our assumptions and biases

Let's talk about indexing!
  » Do you want articles on labor or articles on labor? (Or is it labour?)
  » Do you want articles on HIV (a virus) or articles on HIV diseases (such as AIDS)?
  » Is epidemiology a concept relating to the causes and distribution of diseases, or is it what epidemiologist do?
  » What's the difference between diet, food, food supply, food habits, food chain, nutritional status, eating, energy intake, ...?
  » Is lead a noun or a verb?

Indexing facilitates more precise search statements, especially for topics that are vague or ambiguous.
  • Using index terms also helps you avoid the need to think of every possible synonym or alternate spelling of your search terms.
  • Indexing means the citations in the database are assigned terms from a controlled vocabulary (Not all databases use a controlled vocabulary, however)
  • Index terms are sometimes called descriptors or thesaurus terms; in PubMed they are called Medical Subject Headings, or MeSH
    » More information and examples under the Find Articles & More tab.

Access to Online Library Resources & Help

Set up off-campus access to library resources (databases, online journals, etc.) using the Library proxy or Library VPN
(This page has both set-up and troubleshooting information)

Information on UCB Wi-Fi Options, including AirBears2 and Eduroam
Eduroam allows you to access UC Berkeley online resources both at UCB, and while at participating institutions worldwide.
Both AirBears2 and Eduroam require you to set a Google Key.

Reference Services:

Ask a Librarian 24/7 Chat

You can type your question directly into this chat window to chat with a librarian. Your question may be answered by a reference librarian from Berkeley, from another UC campus, or another academic library elsewhere in the world.  We share information about our libraries to make sure you get good answers.

If the librarian can not answer you well enough, your question will be referred to a Berkeley librarian for follow-up.

Have fun chatting!

Copyright © 2014-2016 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. Except where otherwise noted, this work is subject to a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License.