In addition to books and encyclopedias, you can find overview information on a variety of topics through our Credo Reference's Academic Core database. Essentially, a collection of ebooks, everything is accessible online and in full-text.
When searching in a database, critical thinking skills are essential. Don't waste time and paper! Spend a few minutes reviewing the citation and/or abstract information and consider the following details:
Author: who wrote this and what are his/her credentials and affiliations?
Source: is this a scholarly, professional, popular, or trade publication?
Publisher: who produced this? government? university? corporation?
Date: when was this published?
Audience: for whom is this written? general public? scholars? practitioners?
Purpose: are the findings clearly stated? Are there clear biases?
Data: is methodology explained? Are charts, graphs, illustrations clearly presented?
Conclusions: do the findings support the thesis?
References: are there footnotes and citations leading to related work?
Compare: how does this article compare with other articles in this field?
The following databases will help you locate information on a variety of public health topics. Many of these databases offer full-text access to research, articles, and other publications. For a full list of the Library's databases, please visit our Databases page.
When searching, use Keywords (see Getting Started with Keywords) rather than typing questions or sentences. Consider the words you use and think of synonyms or related ideas that you might use (Disparity... Inequality... Inequity) if the first doesn't find what you're after.
These databases are recommended as starting points for your research in Public Health topics:
Because we are also looking for information on specific populations and health-related issues (psychological health, social issues, etc.), you might also explore some of the following:
And, when you have really locked down your topic (not before!), you might use Google Scholar to see what else is out there:
Keywords are simple words or phrases that sum up your topic, and can usually be pulled from your research question.
Simply eliminate those words and concepts that have no meaning, when on their own (How, does, the, etc.), and you're usually left with 2-3 good keywords to use in your research.
To find information on a topic, you would use one or more of your keywords to search for sources (books, media, articles, etc.) in the library's online catalog or databases.