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Health Policy Research Guide

General information on finding articles

In public health, you frequently will want to search across at least a few sources of content to get in-depth information on a variety of aspects of a particular topic. For example, you will want to use academic journals (which are peer-reviewed) to get reputable, scholarly information as well as newspaper articles to get up to date with current events or to learn more about what is going on in a very specific region.

Generally speaking, databases use Boolean logic, so create an exhaustive list of keywords and be familiar with Boolean logic (see side box at lower right) before you start consulting the resources listed below.

Best bets for journal articles on public health

Additional journal article resources

Newspaper article sources

Boolean logic

Boolean logic uses the following terms to describe topics containing multiple concepts: AND, OR, NOT

All library databases and even Google and Google Scholar use Boolean logic, so if you can master your search terms as well as the best Boolean logic connectors, you will have more relevant search results

  • Use AND to find resources about multiple topics, e.g. wellness AND yoga
  • Use OR to group synonyms and/or like terms together, e.g. oxycodone OR hydrocodone OR heroin OR fentanyl OR opiates
  • You can also use OR to represent when you require multiple topics that don't have to be related to one another, e.g. nurses OR physicians
  • Use NOT to filter out terms, e.g. medicine NOT herbal

Additionally, you will get more precise results if you enclose phrases in quotes ("alternative medicine") and if you group your synonyms in parentheses, such as: (narcotics OR opiates OR "prescription drug") AND addiction AND (treatments OR interventions)

Useful Links

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Katherine McKenzie