Guide to finding information about bioethics and related subjects.

Who Can Help Me?

Sue Vazakas

  • 410-516-4153
  • MSEL C-level, along the back wall

Jim Gillispie, Government and Law

  • 410-516-4816

Yunshan Ye, Law, Political Science, and More

  • 410-516-8930




Search for Journal Articles, News, Conference Papers, and More

Never pay for anything!

  • On a Hopkins computer, you will always see FIND IT@JHU links, to take you to the full text

  • But on a non-Hopkins device (like your laptop), you should use Hopkins wireless (not "guest"), or log in through the portal (

Background Information

1) Books -- Look in the library catalog (called "Catalyst") to find books about your topic

  • All print books and e-books are in the catalog

2) AccessMedicine -- This is a searchable e-book collection. The results will be *chapters* from handbooks and textbooks.

  • Refine your search by using the choices on the left

3) PubMed -- Look for REVIEW ARTICLES

  • Do your search
  • On the left, under "Article types," click "Review"


Other Guides of Interest

  • On the library home page, go to "Databases by Topic"
  • Choose Medicine, Philosophy, Sociology, Religion, Psychology, Anthropology, or others, and search the databases under "Core"

Use journal articles to get:

  • a narrow or specific part of your topic
  • up-to-date information

Use law review articles or doctoral dissertations to get:

  • very specific information
  • lots more references to consult

Find databases by NAME, or by TOPIC, on the library home page:

To see what a database covers, click the little round "i" button next to its name:


PubMed and EMBASE are the two best databases for biomedical journal literature.

  • Remember to look at "Databases by Topic" (library home page) for all of the other kinds of literature that you will need


Save your time! Use these search techniques:

  • Put quotation marks around PHRASES (two or more words), so that the words are searched together
    --- Example: "chicken pox"
  • Put an asterisk at the end of words, so that you get all of the word endings
    --- Example: high* = high, highs, higher, highest
  • Start by putting your search words in the TITLE. If you get nothing, you can take them out of TITLE and move them to ANYWHERE.

On a Hopkins computer, Google Scholar automatically shows you FIND IT@JHU  links.

But on a non-Hopkins device (like your laptop), you should

  1. log in through the portal (, OR
  2. go to the library home page and use the "Google Scholar" tab so that you can see the links to our full text ("FIND IT")

If you don't see "FIND IT" next to the citation, click on "More," which is *below* the citation. It will turn into "FIND IT."

Also, use Google Scholar CAREFULLY.

  • Always UN-check "patents" and "citations" on the left
  • Always fix the dates
  • Make sure you see the FIND IT links


  1. Google Scholar will take you to Google Books
  2. But remember, never pay for a book! Search the library catalog for the book you want -- if we have it online, you can see 100% of it
  3. If we do not have a book at all, you can request it through Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan (on the library home page under "Request Materials")

In addition to news, news items can also provide the names of information sources about your topics.

For business news: the best database is ABI/INFORM, and the other two under CORE

  • Library home page --> Databases by Topic --> Business --> CORE

For law, regulations, and related topics, start with CQ Researcher

  • Choose "Hot Topics," then "Health"
  • sort by date

Here is the library's Citing Guide -- It gives help and examples for the three main reference styles and some others.

  • Your professor doesn't care which style you use, so just pick one and use it consistently
  • Hint: Chicago is the one that's online

RefWorks -- RefWorks is the citation manager that is supported by JHU. It is free for you.

  • Citation managers let you export citations FROM databases INTO the manager, so that you can put them into separate folders, and bring out a bibliography in whatever style you want
  • Here is our guide about how to use it
  • Use the NEW RefWorks!
  • Here are video tutorials about the NEW RefWorks

What journal articles are the most used? Which ones have been cited the most often?

Three databases now tell you the answer. (Remember that newer articles will not have had time to be cited by other authors.)

  1. Web of Science -- sort by "times cited"
  2. Scopus -- sort by "times cited"
  3. Google Scholar -- tells you how many times each article has been cited, but you can't sort by that

NOTE: Google Scholar's number will almost always be wrong. It will be too high, because Scholar adds things that are not appropriate, such as lecture notes and Powerpoint slides.

Plagiarism -- It is extremely important to make sure that your writing does not use someone else's work without properly acknowledging it. Even "paraphrasing" (putting someone else's writing into your own words) must be done in a very careful way.

These tutorials will help you learn the basics of avoiding plagiarism. You will always need to know this, not only during your academic career, but throughout your professional career, too.


Online Tutorials about How To Avoid Plagiarism

How to enroll in (join) the "MyLearning" Site

1. Log into the JHU portal --, and mouse over "Education," on the left.

  • Go to the page called "Avoiding Plagiarism Course" on MyLearning. You may have to log on with your JHED ID.
  • Click "Add to Dev Plan."

2. You will be taken to a page called “Add to Learning Plan.”  Click “Next.”


3. You will be taken to the confirmation page. Click “Done.”


4. On the “My Plan” page, find “Avoiding Plagiarism at JHU,” and click it to begin the course.

After you are enrolled, you can quickly get back to the site from your myLearning Plan page.