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Library Resources for Public Health 293: MCH Journal Club, Fall 2011

Instructor: Dr. Julianna Deardorff

Presented by Michael Sholinbeck

URL for this web page: www.lib.berkeley.edu/PUBL/SPH/PH293JC_F11.html

Contents:


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

Sheldon Margen Public Health Library: Library hours: M-Th 9-8, F 9-5, Sa-Su 1-5

Reference Services
In-person come to 1 University Hall (in the basement): Reference Desk hours: M-F 10-12, 2-4
Other options include IM chat (24/7) and email reference.

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


Starting the Process

What causes disease?
My thought process first led me to thinking about the interaction and interdependence of environmental factors (pollution, disasters, outbreaks) and social factors (smoking, obesity, drug use).
Then I moved on to thinking a little more broadly, eg, is exacerbation of asthma in West Oakland "caused" by air pollution and/or smoking? Or, is it "caused" by inadequate regulation of transportation, energy production, and tobacco? Or by historical racism in housing and neighborhood characteristics? What about genetic factors? What about access to appropriate prescription drugs?

Let's talk about indexing!
(Do you want articles on labor or articles on labor? Or is it labour?)

Limiting yourself to searching only one database (eg, PubMed) may be dangerous.

What is evidence? Things to keep in mind:

Reliability and validity
Adopted from Chapter 3, Conducting research literature reviews : from the Internet to paper, by Arlene Fink; Sage, 2010.
Reliable data collection: relatively free from "measurement error."
» Is the survey written at a reading level too high for the people completing it?
Validity refers to how well a measure assesses what it claims to measure
» If the survey is supposed to measure "quality of life," how is that concept defined?

Critical Appraisal of Intervention Studies is a free online learning module from Canada's National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools. It demonstrates how to assess the quality of an intervention study and to develop skill in applying the criteria for critical appraisal of an intervention study to enable you to determine whether that intervention can be applied to your own public health situation.
Here is a summary table of basic considerations for critical appraisal of intervention studies

The Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (UK) has a nice set of brief PDF checklist documents on critically evaluating different types of studies (eg, systematic reviews, cohort studies, RCTs, qualitative studies, etc.).

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

Literature Review Matrix (.doc):
This chart may help you organize what you find in your literature search. This is a simplified version of the matrix presented in Health sciences literature review made easy: the matrix method (J. Garrard; Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2011), available in the Public Health Library, call number R118.6 .G37 2011 (Reference Section)

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PubMed Tips

PubMed: Citations to over 21 million journal articles and books, with links to full text via Getting Started with UC-eLinks

PubMed top tips for focusing your search:

  1. Combine terms with AND or OR
  2. Use Limits (Age group, Publication type, language, etc.)
  3. Search for your term as a word in the title or title or abstract (using Limits)
  4. Use MeSH, with subheadings
  5. Try PubMed's Clinical Queries or Topic-Specific Queries
  6. Use the Related Articles link, once you find a set of relevant citations

» PubMed Quick Guide: Basic search help.
» PubMed exercise set (from the Public Health Library)
» Combining search terms with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT - remember Venn diagrams?)
» Limits: Limit your search by language, age group, publication type, publication date, and more. Also use Limits search for words in the article title, abstract, or Medical Subject Heading (MeSH). Note that Limits stay in effect until you clear them.
» Use Medical Subject Headings (MeSH): » Clinical Queries: You may especailly be interested in finding systematics reviews on your topic. Also consider that etiology may be used for a "cause of disease" search, and that therapy encompasses any type of intervention.
» Topic-Specific Queries use "canned" search strategies to fetch a citation subset of PubMed. Relevant topic-specific queries include: » Saving citations temporarily using the Clipboard
» My NCBI: Saving search results, searches, and more: customize PubMed to meet your needs.

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

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

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 Fact Sheet

PsycINFO
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, socioeconomic class attitudes, labeling, ...
» PsycINFO Qucik Guide (PDF)

Social Work Abstracts
Citations on topics such as homelessness, HIV/AIDS, child and family welfare, aging, substance abuse, legislation, community organization, and more.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Age bias, family functioning, resiliency, ...
» Social Work Abstracts Help

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 Help (PDF)

Women's Studies International
References to books, articles, reports, anthology chapters, and non-print materials in sociology, history, political science & economy, public policy, international relations, arts & humanities, business and education.
» What's not in PubMed?
    Pro-life activists, virginity, rape victims, sexism ...

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.
» Search Tips for Web of Science
» Cited Reference Searching

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.

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A Closing Thought

"History of science teaches us that scientific endeavor has often in the past wasted effort in fields with absolutely no yield of true scientific information."
    (Ioannidis, 2005; see handout)

"The first man I saw was of a meagre aspect, with sooty hands and face, his hair and beard long, ragged, and singed in several places. His clothes, shirt, and skin, were all of the same colour. He has been eight years upon a project for extracting sunbeams out of cucumbers, which were to be put in phials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the air in raw inclement summers. He told me, he did not doubt, that, in eight years more, he should be able to supply the governorís gardens with sunshine, at a reasonable rate."
    (Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, 1726-1727)

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