Remember those PubMed Tips? Most are applicable to many other online databases. For a comprehensive list of dozens of databases, see the guide to Databases in Public Health.
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.
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:
• Environmental Health
• Maternal and Child Health
• 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:
• Site: to specify a particular site or domain:
"social marketing" site:.org (for a domain search); "social marketing" site:cdcnpin.org (for a specific site search)
• Boolean search statements (eg, OR):
("social marketing" OR "audience segmentation")
"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)