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PH 205/PHW 205: Library Resources for Program Planning, Development, and Evaluation: Find Articles & Evidence

PH 205: Program Planning, Development, and Evaluation. Tips & Tools to Help You

Start with PubMed

PubMed: Citations to journal articles on health and medical topics, with links to full text via

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 Similar Articles link, once you find a set of relevant citations
  6. Try PubMed's Clinical Queries or Topic-Specific Queries (see below)
  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 Search Tips guide: Basic search guide with link to PubMed exercise set. 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. Relevant topic-specific queries include:

  • Comparative Effectiveness
  • Health Disparities
  • Healthy People

Beyond PubMed: Other Resources for Finding Articles, Books, Evidence

access paid by UCB

Other Sources of Books, Articles, etc.

UCB library catalog
After you do a search, click the "Available Online" limiter on the left to retrieve only online material from your search.
The library catalog will let you find books, reports, etc. on your topic.

Sociological Abstracts
Citations in demography, education, law, social psychology, and sociology. Sources include journals, books, conferences and meetings, and dissertations.
» Sociological Abstracts does use a controlled vocabulary. Click Search Tools then Thesaurus to browse for terms.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Cultural capital, peer relations, strategies, neighborhoods, social constructionism, ...

Citations in psychology, behavior, and related disciplines; includes citations of journal articles, conference proceedings, books and book chapters, reports and dissertations.
» PsycINFO does use a controlled vocabulary. Click Search Tools then Thesaurus to browse for terms.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Economic security, socioeconomic class attitudes, labeling, ...

Global Health
Citations in environmental and occupational health, food safety and hygiene, infectious diseases, medical microbiology, nutrition, public health, toxicology, zoonoses, and more. Sources include journals, books, reports, conference proceedings, and more. Significantly 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 locations (ie, setting), or country in which work published.

Broad biomedical scope with strong coverage in pharmaceutical and toxicological research, including economic evaluations. Useful for clinical medicine, genetics, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, infectious diseases, healthcare policy & management, biomedical engineering & medical devices, and more. Embase is a primary resource for conducting systematic reviews and researching evidence-based medicine. Includes abstracts of over 2,000 conferences.
» Embase does use a controlled vocabulary. Click Emtree above the search box to search or browse for terms.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Exceptional coverage of drug/toxicology topics, more European literature, sophisticated indexing scheme ("Emtree"'), ...

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 very broad; excellent resource for cited reference searching.

See the Library's Online Public Health Indexes and Databases web page for dozens more databases useful for finding public health articles, books, book chapters, reports, and more.

Excellent sources of systematic reviews and other evidence-based public health evaluations:

Grey Literature

Grey Literature generally refers to publications not produced by commercial publishers, including reports (pre-prints, preliminary progress and advanced reports, technical reports, market research reports, etc.), theses, conference proceedings, and other documents. They are often produced by government entities, research institutions, or NGOs/IGOs.

  • The Library's Guide to Public Health Subjects consists of web guides by topic. Each guide consists of annotated lists of organizations, agencies, databases, and publications. Topics include:
        • Environmental Health
        • Alcohol, Drug, and Tobacco
        • Food/Nutrition
        • Maternal and Child Health
  • 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")

Evidence-Based Public Health book