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PH 292 Public Health Nutrition Integrated Learning Experience: 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 with link to PubMed exercise set. Start here to learn how to search PubMed more effectively

Use PubMed's My NCBI to save searches, search results/citations, search history, and more. Creating an account is easy!; you can even log in with your UCB bmail credentials.

» Use Clinical Queries to find systematic reviews on your topic, which 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 are "canned" search strategies that retrtieve a citation subset of PubMed. Some topic-specific queries are:

  • 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

Agricultural & Environmental Sciences
Covers agricultural economics, nutrition, hunger, food production, agricultural chemicals, etc.
» Contains Agricola (an agriculture database), TOXLINE, and a database formerly called Environmental Science and Pollution Management
» What's not in PubMed?
    Nutritionally induced diseases, WIC program, women in rural development ...

CAB Abstracts
Covers agriculture, human health, and the management of natural resources, and with particular attention to the needs of developing countries.
» CAB Abstracts does use a controlled vocabulary. Use the drop-down menu and select Descriptors then click to browse the thesaurus.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Animal production, commodity transport, organoleptic properties, ...

Global 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)

** You may wish to search CAB Abstracts and Global Health together

Business Source Complete: Information in nearly every area of business including management, economics, finance, and accounting.
» BSC does use a controlled vocabulary. Click Thesaurus at the top to search or browse the thesaurus.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Company information, marketing, advertising, ...

Broad biomedical scope. Useful for medicine, genetics, infectious diseases, healthcare policy & management, and more.
» Embase does use a controlled vocabulary. Click 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 ...

Google Scholar
Citations in all topics.
» Google Scholar does not use a controlled vocabulary. Find Advanced Search via the triple line (hamburger) menu, 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.

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
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)

International Bibliography of the Social Sciences
Publications in economics, political science, sociology and anthropology from over 100 countries.
» IBSS does use a controlled vocabulary. Click Thesaurus to search or browse terms.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Postcolonialism, culture shock, host country, ...

Disaster Lit
Disaster medicine and public health documents, including expert guidelines, research reports, conference proceedings, training classes, fact sheets, websites, databases, and more.
» Disaster Lit does not use a controlled vocabulary.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Non-journal literature on disaster-specific topics

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 cited reference searching.

» Cited Reference Searching exercise (.docx)

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.

OskiCat: Catalog of UCB. Use the library catalog to find books, reports, etc. on your topic. Books often provide overviews of topics, both narrow and broad.

Online Newspapers & News Sources (UCB Public Health Library)
The UCB Library subscribes to thousands of online newspapers and news sources - here's a selected annotated list

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

Systematic and Other Reviews

"Systematic reviews seek to collate all evidence that fits pre-specified eligibility criteria in order to address a specific research question. They aim to minimize bias by using explicit, systematic methods."
(from Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions.

The Cochrane Library (Citations of Cochrane's systematic reviews are in PubMed)

Effective Public Health Practice Project Systematic Reviews (Small collection of public health systematic reviews)

Public Health + (Methodologically sound studies from top journals in a browsable, searchable database)

Health Evidence (Methodologically-sound reviews of health promotion and public health interventions)

Database of Promoting Health Effectiveness Reviews (Systematic and non-systematic reviews of effectiveness in health promotion and public health worldwide)

The Campbell Collaboration Library (Systematic reviews in psychology, behavior, etc.)

PubMed always separates review articles among the search results - see the link labeled Review on the right side of the search results page. Also, use Clinical Queries to search for systematic reviews in PubMed.

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 Guides to Public Health Subjects consists of topical web pages; each consisting of annotated lists of organizations, agencies, databases, and publications. Topics include:
    • Environmental Health
    • Health Equity
    • Food/Nutrition
    • Maternal and Child Health
    • Health Program Planning, Policy, and Evaluation
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" (for a domain search)
"social marketing" (for a specific site search)
Boolean search statements (eg, OR):
("social marketing" OR "audience segmentation")

Find Dissertations and Theses, including the full text of most dissertations from 1996 to the present.

National Technical Reports Library (NTRL): over 2 million current and archived technical reports from many government agencies; over 600,000 available full text online.

Keeping Current

To help you stay current, set up automated alerts by topic, author, citation, or journal using these tools:

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