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PUBH 609 Public Health Research and Evaluation

This guide offers a collection of sources and services to support public and community health-related research.

Ways to Find Similar and Recent Articles

If you found an "ideal" article, here are two ways to expand your search Web of Science database

  • Retrieve the "ideal" article on the Web of Science database or in Google Scholar.  Then, examine the record for articles that cite your "ideal" article (that is, click on the "Times Cited" articles on Web of Science). 
    This citing reference searching is a quick and efficient way to find more related and newer articles. 

  • Look at the references (e.g. "Cited References" or bibliography of the article) in your "ideal" article as these articles may be related in some fashion; and will be older than your "ideal" article.

Search Multidisciplinary Databases

What is Boolean searching?

Boolean searching is a technique which uses the principles of symbolic logic introduced by UK mathematician George Boole to help researchers expand or restrict a search by using three language operators, AND, OR, NOT.   The operator AND narrows a search.  The operator OR expands a search.  The operator NOT also narrows a search but can sometimes result in eliminating relevant items and should be used with caution.  Most research databases supply a search template with boxes which can be connected by one of the three operators to help you organize your search logic.

You can even use search operators in a Google search

Venn diagrams provide a pictorial representation of these concepts.  

Searching Multiple Databases at One Time


Start your search in PubMed and CINAHL.  To expand your search results, consider searching in general and multidisciplinary databases or search for multiple databases with the same platform. For example, search EBSCOhost databases in tandem (see image). Duplicate records are usually removed.  The drawback is that subject headings cannot be used.

For Unique and Timely Topics, Search for Dissertations/Theses

For a comprehensive/exhaustive literature review:
See what has been done recently--find and review dissertations or theses on your topic to get ideas for future research.

TIP: when reviewing these works, read the bibliography, literature review, style, methodology, or surveys (often includes full-text of instruments/questionnaires).

More about Searching with Boolean Logic