Public Health

Articles, books, statistics, how to cite references, and more information about the multidisciplinary field of public health.

Find Journal Articles, News, Conference Papers, and More

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
  • Think of alternate spellings or synonyms
    --- Example: healthcare or "health care"; malfunction or failure
  • Start by putting your search words in the Title. If you get nothing, you can take them out of the Title and move them to "Anywhere."
Before you get to the specific information such as articles or statistics, get an overview of your topic:

1) Encyclopedias -- For example, here are online public-health-related encyclopedias, 2015+, including Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health (2020; 2nd ed.)

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

3) Medical information:
--- For consumers: (TIP: "Health Topics" has "Demographic Groups")
--- Searchable medical textbooks: AccessMedicine

4) DEFINITIONS - Go to PubMed and use MeSH (the excellent thesaurus).
(See the PubMed/EMBASE page on this guide for how to get PubMed citations into RefWorks.)

5) Look for REVIEW ARTICLES -- In most databases, just add the word "review" to your TITLE words.
In PubMed :

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


6) CQ Researcher for background and summaries of topics. (This is a U.S. source, so not much international info.) Be patient with it and make sure to notice dates.

Finding Information about Everything


1. Library home page --> Databases

2.  Click "Browse list of databases"


3. Choose a subject to see the databases with information about it.


4. In each list, start with the databases under CORE -- they are the best and most relevant 

  • For a description about each database's topics, click "More Info" next to the database name

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
See this guide's page about Literature Reviews.
Who has cited this article, and therefore may be doing this kind of work?

You can find out by doing regular searches. But if you have found a great article that is about your topic, you can also see who cited THAT article.

For example, if you found a great article from 2017, you can see what other articles cited that article since it was written. If your favorite article was cited by someone else, there is a good chance that the citing author (that is, the person who mentioned your favorite article) is doing similar work. (Remember that newer articles will not have had time to be cited by other authors.)

Databases that tell you who cited papers are:

  1. Web of Science -- (see screen shots below)
  2. Scopus -- In your list of search results, go to SORTED BY on the far right, and choose "Cited by (highest)" or "Cited by (lowest)"
  3. Google Scholar -- Click on "Cited by [number]" under the citation
    (NOTE: Google Scholar's number will always be too high, because Scholar adds additional things such as lecture notes and Powerpoint slides.)

In Web of Science, choose "Cited References," and add the information about the paper you want to see cited ("Cited Work" is the JOURNAL title, not the article). You can also add a row if you want to just search with a few words from the ARTICLE title.

Click SEARCH, and click the number under "Citing Articles" to see the articles that have cited this article:

To see journal impact factors, go to Journal Citation Reports.

The library's Citing Sources guide gives examples for the three main reference styles and some others, including ICMJE.

For Writing Help

Writing Tips

  • Spell Check is good, but you must still read through because there are many words that mean different things (e.g., there/their;  great/grate)
  • What about authors who disagree with you or point out limitations to your approach? You should make sure to talk about those; for example, "Some authors point out that _______. However, our approach avoids that problem by ______."
  • Every word and every sentence must be clear. If you use words like "it" or "he" or "those," make sure that the reader will know who or what the word is referring to.
  • Every paragraph must follow logically from the one before it -- if you are going to introduce a new subject, say something like, "Related to that is the concept of X," or "Now we will discuss Y."

Thesis Statement

Make sure that your thesis statement is very clear.

---Here is a definition from the Writing Center at U. North Carolina Chapel Hill
"A thesis statement is “usually a single sentence near the beginning of your paper (most often, at the end of the first paragraph) that presents your argument to the reader...
The rest of the paper…gathers and organizes evidence that will persuade the reader of the logic of your [analysis].”

---"How to Write a Strong Thesis Statement" (from U. Evansville, IN).

---More information about your thesis statement (adapted from Writing Style Guide, Trident University International):

  • The most effective writing is centered around one main point. All supporting points, details, and examples are related to that one main point, which is often called "the thesis statement."

  • The goal of academic writing is to inform, explain, and persuade, so this statement must be extremely clear.

  • Having a thesis statement can also help to keep you focused as you write.

  • Avoid saying “In this paper I will discuss...” Instead, use your thesis statement do these things:
    state the specific topic that you will be writing about
    express the purpose of the paper
    reveal your perspective about the topic
    provide a “road map” for your paper

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

Here is our guide about how to use it.

  • Citation managers let you export citations FROM databases INTO the manager, so that you can put them into separate folders, and print out a bibliography in whatever style you want
  • Here are video tutorials
  • NEVER search from within RefWorks; always search from within the database itself