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UC Berkeley’s library buildings are open. Here’s what you need to know.

OOMPH Library Resources: First On-Campus Week/Orientation & PHW 200E: OOMPH Q & A


Welcome to Berkeley!

You have questions. Here are answers

  Quick reminders:

Click here for information on off-campus access (using VPN or library proxy) to online library and other UCB resources.

This is me: Michael Sholinbeck, Public Health Librarian,

I need to get a snapshot of the industry I work in. Where's a good place to start?

A huge amount of industry and company information is available from licensed and authoritative sources. From disaster relief, to drone manufacturing, to soda production: get current information on supply chains, major players, market shares, globalization, revenues, regulation, SWOT analyses, and much more. In addition, researching trade journals can provide insight on how industry works. (Are you interested in, for example, how beer is marketed to ethnic minorities?)

image of drone market segmentation

The UC Berkeley Business Library has an online guide to finding this kind of information.

Should I be using Zotero or a similar citation program?

(I highly recommend you do). Information and step-by-step exercises are here.

What is a "predatory journal"? How do I find out if a journal I want to publish in is "predatory"?

Predatory journals often lack an appropriate peer-review process and frequently are not indexed, yet authors are required to pay an article processing charge. The lack of quality control, the inability to effectively disseminate research and the lack of transparency compromise the trustworthiness of articles published in these journals.

A recent systematic review of checklists to determine whether a journal is predatory found no checklist to be optimal. They recommended you look for a checklist that:

  1. Provides a threshold value for criteria to assess potential predatory journals, e.g. if the journal contains these three checklist items then we recommend avoiding submission;
  2. Has been developed using rigorous evidence, i.e. empirical evidence that is described or referenced in the publication.

They noted that only one checklist out of the 93 assessed fulfills the above criteria.

You may wish to review the Principles of Transparency and Best Practice in Scholarly Publishing from the World Association of Medical Editors

And, please also be aware of the Institutionalized Racism of Scholarly Publishing:

  • Non-Western and/or non-English journals are hugely underrepresented in our current scholarly indexes;
  • The scholarly publishing infrastructure demands journals be Open and English to be noticed, but non-Western journals may be labeled as predatory as they struggle to fulfill such demands.

Is it true I can borrow real art from the library?


It is called the Graphic Arts Loan Collection.

Information is here. You can reserve a print online, but you must pick it up and return it in person. Alas, this service is temporarily suspended during campus closure.

As a UC Berkeley student, can I really get free software?


Find out about getting the full Adobe Creative Cloud suite (includes Acrobat Pro, Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, and more), Microsoft Office 365, and other software here.

You also have access to LinkedIn Learning, where you can view tutorials on the above software, as well as animation, Javascript, project management, audio/music, business, design, marketing, video, Python, Git, Tableau, and much much more!

You also have access to Berkeley Box: 50G of storage in the cloud! Here is information on learning to use Box.

Who ya gonna call?

Librarians are at the ready to assist you as you move through your program. We have even been known to answer questions from folks who have completed their studies here. We are nice - call on us!

Check the OOMPH Library Help FAQ for answers to some common questions.

I need information on a geographic location. Where is a good place to get some quick statistics?

I have heard that PubMed might not always be the best database to find articles on all topics. Where do I find out about other databases to search?

image of database icons

Is there a database of evaluated public health programs?

Several are on the LibGuide for PHW 218 

In particular, take a look at the Model Practices Database (requires free log on)

Is it true I can read the Washington Post back to first issue?

Yes, along with the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Times of London, the Wall Street Journal. All available to UC Berkeley students back to issue one.

Take a look at our guide, Online Newspapers & News for both general interest news sources, and public health news sources; scroll down for the major dailes.

How do I win a Nobel Prize?

By following the Ten Simple Rules to Win a Nobel Prize!

But in case you are not ready for that, please look at the other Ten Simple Rules articles, including:

  • Ten simple rules for responsible referencing
  • Ten simple rules for writing a career development award proposal
  • Ten simple rules for developing a mentor–mentee expectations document
  • Ten simple rules for short and swift presentations
  • Ten Simple Rules for Curating and Facilitating Small Workshops
  • Ten Simple (Empirical) Rules for Writing Science
  • Ten Simple Rules for Running Interactive Workshops
  • Ten Simple Rules for Online Learning

These are all from PLoS - the Public Library of Science


I'm getting tires of watching Star Trek reruns on Netflix. Can the Library help?

Of course. We subscribe to Kanopy Streaming - an on-demand streaming video service which provides access to thousands of films, including titles from PBS, BBC, Criterion Collection, Media Education Foundation and more!

Another place to check out is Docuseek2, a streaming video service featuring social issue and documentary films from several independent distributors.

And for your ears, the library provides you with several music databases, such as:

You also have access to UC Berkeley OverDrive, a platform for user-friendly access to digital audiobooks and popular ebooks.

When I am no longer a student at UC Berkeley, how will I access online articles and other library resources?

Take a look at the Library's Alumni Guide: Library Resources for Public Health Lifelong Learning, Research, Productivity, and More

Information on accessing online journals, books, and databases; evidence-based practice and continuing education; statistics and data; productivity and survey software; and more.

Finally, Here's 10 Library Things Every New UCB School of Public Health Student Should Know