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Library Session for Health Careers Opportunity Program, Summer 2014

  Presented by Michael Sholinbeck, msholinb@library.berkeley.edu

» » NOTE: This web page is being retired. Please visit the new page at: guides.lib.berkeley.edu/publichealth/hcop

URL for this web page: www.lib.berkeley.edu/PUBL/SPH/HCOP.html


What Is Public Health?

  This is Public Health:


The Public Health Library: Hours, Location, Reference, Off-Campus Access to Library Resources

Sheldon Margen Public Health Library: Library Summer hours: M-F 10-5
(Longer hours during Fall and Spring semesters)

Reference Services:
In-person come to 1 University Hall (in the basement): Summer Reference Desk hours: M-F 2-4pm
Other options include IM chat (24/7) and email reference.

How to set up off-campus access to library resources (databases, online journals, etc.)

Information on UCB Wi-Fi Options, including AirBears

Before You Start: Your Topic, the Scope of Your Search, Where to Look

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" historical distribution of land use, including (in developing countries) during colonial times?
  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.?
  What about the healthcare and health insurance system?
  Is the status of women/girls a factor?
  What is the role of commercial activity, such as advertising, location of retail outlets, etc.?

Is your topic researchable?

  1. "The harmful effects of excess hot dog consumption among college students at basketball games"
  2. "The relationship between availability of healthy foods at schools and student BMI"
  3. "The diet of young adults"

  . . . It may prove difficult to find research on very narrow topics, or to cope with the vast literature on an un-focused, broad topic.

  Figuring out the scope of your literature search also helps you decide when you have "enough."

Let's talk about indexing!
  » Do you want articles on labor or articles on labor? Or is it labour?
  » Do you want articles on HIV (a virus) or articles on HIV diseases?
  » Is lead a noun or a verb?
  » What's the difference between diet, food, food supply, food habits, food chain, nutritional status, eating, energy intake, ...?

Indexing provides a way to create more precise searches, especially for topics that are vague or ambiguous.
Using index terms (sometimes called descriptors; in PubMed they are called Medical Subject Headings, or MeSH) also helps you avoid the need to think of every possible synonym or alternate spelling of your search terms.
More on this in the database sections below.

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PubMed Tips

PubMed: Citations to over 23 million journal articles, with links to full text via Getting Started with UC-eLinks

PubMed searching top tips:
  1. Combine terms with AND or OR
  2. Use Filters (ages, language, publication type, etc.)
  3. Search for your term as a word in the title or title or abstract (using Filters)
  4. Use MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), with subheadings
  5. Use the Related Citations link, once you find a set of relevant citations
  6. Try PubMed's Clinical Queries or Topic-Specific Queries
  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 Quick Guide: Basic search help.
» PubMed exercise set (PDF; from the Public Health Library)

» Combining search terms with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT - remember Venn diagrams?)

» Filters: Limit your search by language, age group(s), publication type, publication date, and more.
   Also use Filters to restrict your search to words in the article title, abstract, or Medical Subject Heading (MeSH).
   Note that Filters stay in effect until you clear them.

» Use Medical Subject Headings (MeSH):
» Saving citations temporarily using the Clipboard

» My NCBI:

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Beyond PubMed: Other Resources for Finding Journal Articles and More   Getting Started with UC-eLinks     access paid by UCB

Remember those PubMed "Top Tips"? Most are applicable to the databases below as well as several other databases.

Citations on agriculture, agricultural economics, nutrition, food assistance programs, etc. from books, book chapters, journal articles, technical reports, and more.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Food security/insecurity, WIC program, etc.

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, patents, theses, and electronic only publications. Significantly more international coverage than PubMed.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Search by (relatively narrow) geographic locations (ie, setting), or country in which work published.
» Global Health Database Exercise (PDF)
» Global Health Help

Citations in psychology, behavior, and related disciplines; includes citations of journal articles, conference proceedings, books and book chapters, reports and dissertations.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Economic security, community attitudes, socioeconomic class attitudes, labeling, test/measurement index ...
» PsycINFO Quick Guide (PDF)

Sociological Abstracts
Citations in demography, education, law, social psychology, and sociology. Sources include journals, books, conferences and meetings, and dissertations.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Cultural capital, peer relations, victimization, family structure, strategies, neighborhoods, social constructionism, ...
» Sociological Abstracts Exercise (PDF)
» Sociological Abstracts Guide

Web of Science
Large, multidisciplinary database; links to cited articles and times cited are provided for retrieved articles.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Scope of database is broad; best resources for cited reference searching.
» Cited Reference Searching exercise (PDF)

The above are but a sample of the many databases available to find article and other citations.
See the Public Health Library's Indexes and Databases web page for more.
Ask a librarian for help if you are having trouble with your topic.

Use 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.

Google and other search engines can be useful for finding "grey literature" (uboublished reports from NGOs, governments, and other institutions).
Improve your search using:
    Quotes for phrase searching:
        "social marketing"
    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")

Information about your community

See also the Public Health Library's Statistical/Data Resources web page

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Critically Evaluating What You Find

What is evidence? Things to keep in mind:

What to consider when looking at survey or estimated data:
(Adopted from information on the UCSF Family Health Outcomes Project web site.)

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Using RefWorks to Organize Your Citations and Create Bibliographies

RefWorks is a web-based tool that allows users to create a citation database in the cloud by importing references from online databases. Use these references in writing papers, and automatically format the paper in any of hundreds of citations styles in seconds.
Access to RefWorks is provided by the UCB Library to UCB students, staff, and faculty.

RefWorks features:
  • Lets you create a database of citations you find in online databases or elsewhere
  • Lets you organize your citation database into folders, subfolders, etc., by criteria of your choosing
  • Link references to PDF files, or store PDF files in your database
  • Works with Word to correctly and instantly cite citations into your document in any of over 1000 styles

RefWorks Exercise Set and Handout (PDF; from the Public Health Library)

Save your search strategies
Nearly all the databases you use to find articles, etc., retain your search history. Literature reviews, like epidemiological research, should be rigorous and reproducible. Save or print your search history to help document your search strategy, which will include:

» Using PubMed's Clipboard and My NCBI can help with both saving your search strategy and the citations you find. See links in the PubMed section, above.

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