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) Medical information for consumers in (some of whose data come from Office of Minority Health at DHHS)

2) Encyclopedias -- For example, here are online public-health-related encyclopedias, 2016+

3) Go to PubMed and use MeSH (the excellent thesaurus), which also has definitions!
(See the PubMed/Embase page on this guide for how to get PubMed citations into RefWorks.)

4) 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"


5) Force Google to find reports and other info from U.S. government sites -- add this to your search:
(Anything in the list with "ncbi" in it is a PubMed article; you can exclude those by adding    -ncbi   [note the minus sign].)

6) CQ Researcher for background and summaries of topics -- 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 (at the top) -- they are the best and most relevant 

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

5. In addition to the usual major databases such as PubMed, PsycINFO, Sociological Abstracts, Statista, and PolicyMap, there are some interesting specialized databases; for example:

  • Family and Society Studies Worldwide -- "...research, policy, and practice literature in the fields of Family Science, Human Ecology, Human Development, and Social Welfare"
  • GenderWatch -- "... wide-ranging topics like sexuality, religion, societal roles, feminism, masculinity, eating disorders, healthcare, and the workplace"
  • ProQuest U.S. Newsstream -- U.S. "newspapers, newswires, blogs, and news sites," including "coverage of major U.S. newspapers such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Christian Science Monitor."
  • Find MORE in the database subject lists (for example, Anthropology; Newspapers)

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

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:


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

Also see the pages on this guide under Writing, Citing, Copyright.


In our field, the most common styles used are APA and AMA.

How these differ for in-text citations:
--- APA uses author/date, and bibliography is in alphabetical order by author
--- AMA uses superscript numbers, and bibliography is in order of use.
[Hint: it's easy to lose track of which numbers go with which references, so be extra careful.]

For Writing Help

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
  • add the full text if you wish
  • put your citations into "Projects," folders, subfolders, and use tags
  • print out a bibliography in whatever style you want
To use RefWorks, log in here.
  • Step-by-step handout on how to use RefWorks
  • Video tutorials
  • NEVER search from within RefWorks; always search from within the database itself

Simple example of using folders to help you organize your paper ("My Great Idea"). The three dots in yellow is where you find "rename," "subfolder," etc.