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PH 293: DrPH 1st Year Seminar Library Resources: More Databases, Systematic Reviews, Grey Literature

Additional Databases

Remember those PubMed Tips? Most are applicable to many other online databases. Here is a short list of databases, based on information I culled from your biographies: 

For a more extensive list of dozens of databases, see the complete Public Health Databases guide.

Systematic Reviews: What They Are and How To Find Them

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)

A systematic review is a review that reports or includes the following:
i) research question
ii) sources that were searched, with a reproducible search strategy (naming of databases, naming of search platforms/engines, search date and complete search strategy)
iii) inclusion and exclusion criteria
iv) selection (screening) methods
v) critically appraises and reports the quality/risk of bias of the included studies
vi) information about data analysis and synthesis that allows the reproducibility of the results
(from Krnic Martinic, M., Pieper, D., Glatt, A. et al. Definition of a systematic review used in overviews of systematic reviews, meta-epidemiological studies and textbooks. BMC Med Res Methodol 19, 203 (2019) doi:10.1186/s12874-019-0855-0)

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 Public Health Library's Public Health Subject Guides web guide consists of web pages by topic. Each page consists of annotated lists of organizations, agencies, databases, and publications. Topics include: 
    • Health Program Planning, Policy, and Evaluation 
    • Nutrition 
    • Maternal and Child Health 
    • HIV/AIDS 
    • Statistical/Data Resources 
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")

Finding Previous Students' Dissertations

Grey Literature includes dissertations & theses.

You may be interested in looking at previous students' dissertations, DrPH and otherwise.

Many (most?) UCB DrPH dissertations are available online:
Use the Dissertations and Theses @ University of California database on our
Dissertations and Theses guide.
Enter the term Dr.P.H. in the search box, changing the drop down menu to Degree. (Important: Use the period dots: Dr.P.H.).
Limit to UCB DrPH dissertations by adding the word berkeley in the next search box, and select University/institution in the drop-down menu.

Use ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (also on the Dissertations and Theses guide) to find dissertations from over 1000 institutions worldwide, including the full text online of most dissertations since 1996.

To find SPH dissertations in the library using OskiCat or Melvyl, use the instructions here. DrPH dissertations are easily located using OskiCat by entering "Thesis (Doctor of Public Health)" as a Keyword(s) search. Important: Use the quotation marks.


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.

USA Search Hedge

If you are searching for information on, or studies that were done in, the USA, you are welcome to copy and paste this list of terms into the search box of whatever database(s) you are using. Please be aware the list is about 175 words long.

Low & Middle Income (LMIC) Search Hedge

If you are searching for information on, or studies that were done in, LMICs, you are welcome to copy and paste this list of terms into the search box of whatever database(s) you are using. Please be aware the list is almost 600 words long.