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Library Resources for PH14, Fall 2009

Instructor: Sarah Gamble

Presented by Michael Sholinbeck


Doing Library Research

Sheldon Margen Public Health Library Home Page:
Library hours: M-Th 9-8, F 9-5, Sa 12-5, 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), email, and text reference.

Off-Campus Access to library resources (databases, online journals, etc.)

    click to see the conditions of use

Getting Started with UC-eLinks
Use UC-eLinks to Link directly to the online full text when available; Check the Melvyl Catalog to see if UCB has the item in print, and to find its campus location and call number; and Request the item if UCB does not own it.

How to do library research, in a nutshell (Note: This is not necessarily a linear process):

  1. Identify your research topic

  2. Break your topic into individual concepts, listing each concept (with synonyms!)
      Example topic: How do we get kids to stop smoking?
        kids (maybe use youth, teens, teenagers, adolescents, ...)
        stop smoking (maybe use smoking cessation, tobacco control, ...)

  3. Do a preliminary literature search using the terms you came up with in step 2. Ask a librarian which resource(s) are best for your topic; also see next section.
      Most library databases let you use Boolean logic to construct a search statement:
        (youth OR teens OR adolescents) AND (smoking cessation OR tobacco control)

  4. Evaluate (read critically!) what you retrieve from your preliminary searching (see the above links)
      What question is being addressed?
      Who wrote the thing?
      Beware of hypotheses presented as fact!
      » Critical Evaluation of Resources (UCB Library) Making sense of what you find
      » Evaluating Web Pages: Techniques to Apply and Questions to Ask (UCB Library) How useful is that web page?
      » And then, there's all that brouhaha about Wikipedia...!

  5. Narrow or broaden your topic, if necessary; make sure it's a researchable topic!
      Too broad:
        Tobacco use by youth
      » Narrow a topic by limiting it to:
        A type of person (ethnicity, gender, age ... );
        A particular period of time;
        A particular place;
        One aspect of the topic (economic, psychological, political, legal ... )
      Too narrow:
        Excessive use of non-filtered Camel cigarettes by Cal students on weekends

  6. Continue with your literature search, gathering the best citations for your topic. Consider adding your citations to a RefWorks database!

  7. Write a great paper! (Don't plagiarize!!)

  8. Get an A! (Note: results not guaranteed)

Finding Background Information and Journal Articles

MedlinePlus (from the Nat'l Library of Medicine) is a great place to get basic information (not articles, not books...) on diseases, medicines, wellness, etc.

PubMed for UCB: More than 19,000,000 medical and health journal article citations
  » PubMed Quick Guide (from the UCB Libraries)
  » PubMed Simple Subject Search (2 min.)
  » Searching with the MeSH Database (3 min.)
  » PubMed for Handhelds Search PubMed on your cell phone!

PubMed Top Tips:

Use PubMed to find journal article citations, and use to:
  - get the full text of articles online, if available,
  - access the library catalog (Melvyl) to locate a print journal, if it's not online,
  - use Inter-Library Borrowing to get the article emailed to you if UCB does not have the journal.

Academic Search Complete contains citations from scholarly journals, books, reports, conference proceedings, and more in all academic disciplines. The complete text of articles (including some full-text images) are available for many of the journals covered in the database. Use as needed to fetch online articles as needed.

Library Catalogs: Finding Books and More

The library catalogs will help you find books, reports, journals, videos, etc.

OskiCat (UCB catalog)

NextGen Melvyl Pilot (All UC catalog)

Want to research your topic using stuff from movies, TV, radio, etc.? The Library's Media Resources Center is the place to go ... Go and talk to them!

Get the News!

NOTE: Newspapers are NOT "scholarly writing." BUT they are useful for getting info on new, hot topics. Also, you may be interested in information on the popular response to whatever your topic is
  » San Francisco Chronicle (1985 to present)
  » New York Times (1980 to present)
  » New York Times (1851 to 2006)
  » Wall Street Journal (1984 to present)
  » more newsy stuff!

More Online Public Health Resources

Public Health Internet Resources (from the PHL)
Individual web pages on lots of public health topics with lots of good stuff:
  » Cancer
  » Environmental Health
  » Injury/Violence
  » Reproductive Health
and more!

Refworks: Manage Your Citations and Perfectly Format Your Word Document

  » Easy-to-use!
  » Create a database of citations
  » Format and add citations to a Word document as footnotes or a custom bibliography
  » See citation samples in hundreds of different styles
  » Access your database from any computer with Internet
  » FREE for UCB students!
  » Click "Sign up for an Individual Account" to create your user name and password.
  » You can also use RefMobile on your smart phone, cell phone, or PDA

RefWorks Help, from the PHL

RefWorks (and other) drop-in instruction sessions

RefWorks' Preview Output Style tool lets you see different kinds of citations (book, journal article, video, web page, etc.) in whatever style you choose.
  » Citation examples in MLA 7th edition style

Enjoy this RefWorks commercial!

A Little PubMed Exercise

  1. Go to PubMed
  2. Enter into the search box Cancer AND health promotion. How many citations come up? YIKES - too many!
  3. How would you narrow the search topic to get fewer articles?
    » Revise "cancer" to breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer, etc.
    » Add (use AND) an ethnicity, gender, age group, occupational group, geography, ...
    » Use Limits: English, Human, maybe only published in the last 10 years, 5 years, ...
    » Can you think of other ways to narrow this topic?
  4. Email 5 citations to yourself, or for extra credit, put the citations into a RefWorks database you have created

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