Skip to Main Content

PH 155C: War and Public Health: Home


Dinosaur in VLSB; click for library home page

Michael Sholinbeck (

Finding Research Articles

PubMed Top Tips

  1. Combine terms with AND or OR
  2. Search for your term as a word in the title or title or abstract (using Filters, Advanced Search, or Field Tags)
  3. Use the Similar Articles link, once you find a set of relevant citations
  4. Use Filters (eg, Ages, Article types, Languages, etc.)
  5. Use MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), with subheadings
  6. Always keep in mind the question you are trying to answer when creating a search strategy and when reviewing the articles you find

Search Terms

See the Search Tips handout (pdf) for more information.
Remember: You can use * to truncate, and "quotes" for exact phrase searching; see below for examples.

When searching, group synonymous or similar terms using OR, then combine with other grouped terms using AND.
Searches should be constructed like this:

(termA1 OR termA2 ...) AND (termB1 OR termB2 ...) etc.


If my search topic is, "What are the effects of the armed conflict in Afghanistan on pregnant women and mothers?," I might try a search like this:

(war OR warfare OR "armed conflict") AND (mothers OR maternal OR pregnancy OR "pregnant women") AND afghanistan


See also this Literature Review Workflow, which lists the steps in researching and writing a paper, may help organize your time

"Pearl Growing" Exercise

Selected Online Books

Public Health Librarian; Interim Optometry & Vision Science Liaison

Profile Photo
Michael Sholinbeck

Schedule a consultation,
or visit during my office hours
at the BPH DREAM Office (Room 2220, Berkeley Way West Bldg),
Tuesdays 4-530pm; Thursdays 130-3pm;
(Contact me for Zoom alternative).

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 (redlining and racism in the US; colonialism in some other countries)?
  • 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 about mental health issues?
  • What is the role of commercial activity?
  • What about the healthcare and health insurance system?

. . . Keep moving upstream!

Also, consider that how issues are framed is influenced by our assumptions and biases.