Public Health 292 - Library Research Basics (9/15/10)

Presented by Judy Bolstad, Librarian
Sheldon Margen Public Health Library, UC Berkeley

Library Resources
  • Public Health Library Home Page
  • Reference Services
  • Connecting From Off Campus

  • Databases and Library Catalogs

  • OskiCat: Library catalog for UCB

  • Melvyl: Library catalog for all of the UCs

  • Guides to Library Catalogs

  • PubMed for UCB: Over 18 million medical and health sciences journal article citations
  • PubMed Quick Guide (UCB Library)
  • PubMed Help (UCB Public Health Library)
  • Indexes and Databases: Alphabetical list of public health related databases for finding literature.

  • Public Health Internet Resources: Web resources evaluated and selected by librarians at the Public Health Library.

    Other Resources

  • RefWorks: Web-based bibliographic management program. Citations can be formatted and merged into Microsoft Word documents as footnotes or a custom bibliography. It is web-based and can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet. RefWorks is free for all UCB faculty, staff and students. For help, see RefWorks Guides.

  • Library Resources Instruction: Free, drop-in classes on various topics for SPH faculty, staff and students.

  • Bibliographic Management Software Help and Tutorials

  • UCB Library Tutorials

    PubMed Exercise:

    1. In the search box, type: Asthma. Click on Search.

    2. Limit your search to articles in the English language, published only in the last 3 years.

    3. Send about 5 articles to the Clipboard.

    4. Now, go to the Clipboard and try to open the full text of any of the 5 articles through UC-eLinks.

  • How to do Library Research
    1. Choose a research topic
    2. Break your topic down into individual concepts (with synonyms)
    3. Do a preliminary literature search (find out which resources would best for your topic)
    4. Evaluate (read critically) the information gathered from your preliminary search
    5. Narrow or broaden your topic, if necessary. Use Boolean searching.
    6. Continue with your literature search, gathering the best citations for your topic

    Additional Help With Searching PubMed (NLM sources)

  • Combining search terms with Boolean operators
  • Searching by subject headings using the MeSH Database
  • MeSH (Subheadings): Definitions
  • Limiting searches
  • Viewing Your Search History
  • Saving and E-mailing Results and Searches
  • If your keyword/concept does not bring up any MeSH terms:

  • Search for your keyword in the title field (i.e., obesity[ti]). Use hard brackets [ ] and not parentheses. If the word is in the article title, you can find a relevant MeSH term. Expand this to include words in the abstract (i.e., yourterm[tiab]).

  • When you have possible MeSH terms, look them up in the MeSH Database and see where they appear on the tree. Use broader or narrower terms, as seen on the tree, if appropriate.
  • The MeSH term "epidemiology" is for the field of study. Use the epidemiology subheading to learn about this aspect of a disease or condition.

  • Be aware when searching for an infection versus the agent/organism causing it (HIV or HIV infections); a symptom versus a disease (Depression or Depressive Disorder); or a medical specialty versus a disease, condition, or intervention (Preventive Medicine or Preventive Health Services; Pulmonary Medicine or Lung Diseases).
  • Drugs and substances can be classified under several headings. When you find a drug or substance in MeSH, look at where it appears on the tree(s). You may need to broaden/narrow your search. For example, are you interested in DDT, or all chlorinated hydrocarbons? Items listed as a substance may also have relevant MeSH terms. For example, your search may be something like: ddt[mesh] OR alpha-chloro-DDT [Substance Name] OR DDT-dehydrochlorinase [Substance Name], etc.
  • BEFORE YOU LEAVE TODAY please take a very short survey on this library class session. Thanks!!

    More PubMed exercises to do on your own time.
    Copyright (C) 2010 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
    Last updated 08/30/10.