This is the "Getting Started" page of the "Public Health Resources for Graduate Students" guide.
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This subject guide will direct you to resources of all types related to public health. Some of these resources are available through the IUPUI University Library, some through the IU Medical Library.
Last Updated: Jun 17, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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Fairbanks School of Public Health - Departments


What is Public Health?

Public health encompasses many disciplines ranging from economics to epidemiology to psychology. Although there are some databases specifically focused on public health issues, sometimes you will need to look for items in several places. In this guide, you will find links to databases, journals, books, websites, data and statistics, and other resources related to the various domains of public health.

Check out the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention list of 10 Essential Public Health Services.


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Confused? Not sure where to start?

Starting a research paper or project can be really confusing and intimidating. Diving right in by searching Google or library databases isn't always the best approach. Following the process below can help reduce some of your confusion and save time in the long run.

  1. Develop a really good research question - clear, specific, relevant to the assignment
  2. Pick 2-3 key terms from your research question for your search.
  3. Come up with 2-3 synonyms for each key term. Write them down.
  4. Pick a database. This is hard, but asking a librarian, reading the descriptions, or exploring them with a quick search can help you find the right one.
  5. Find subject headings in the database's thesaurus for each key term you identified. Use your synonyms to help you find the right subject heading. This will make sure you're getting relevant results and will help filter out unrelated articles.
  6. If you need scholarly peer-reviewed articles, use a filter. It's usually titled "peer-reviewed" or "academic journals" or "journal articles."
  7. Getting full-text - don't ever pay for an article. Use our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) tool. We'll borrow it from a partner and deliver it to you, for free.
  8. Save your results - PDFs and your search strategy so you have it when you need it.

What's in this guide?

This guide covers the following topics and will help you find resources at both the Medical Library and University Library.

  • Searching Tips & Tricks - practical strategies to search for quality, peer-reviewed information
  • Evaluating Sources - resources & strategies to figure out whether information is reliable, relevant, and authoritative
  • Writing & Citing - tools and tips to make citing your sources easier
  • Journal Articles - resources and strategies for finding journal articles
  • Books - resources and strategies for finding print and electronic books
  • News Sources - resources and strategies for finding information from newspapers, magazines, etc.
  • Web Sources - resources and strategies for finding information that doesn't fit into other categories, like grey literature, blogs, white papers, reports, etc.
  • Data & Statistics - resources and strategies for finding public or open access data

    Public Health Research - Getting Oriented

    • CDC Advancing the Nation’s Health: A Guide to Public Health Research Needs, 2006-2015
      The new Advancing the Nation’s Health: A Guide to Public Health Research Needs, 2006–2015 (also referred to as the Research Guide) will serve as a critical resource for research areas that should be addressed during the next decade by CDC and its partners in response to current and future public health needs and events. By health protection research, we mean research that supports health promotion, prevention of injury, disability, and diseases, and preparedness activities.
    • CDC Theory at a glance: A guide for health promotion practice
      This monograph describes influential theories of health-related behaviors, processes of shaping behavior, and the effects of community and environmental factors on behavior. It complements existing resources that offer tools, techniques, and model programs for practice, such as Making Health Communication Programs Work: A Planner’s Guide, and the Web portal, Cancer Control PLANET (Plan, Link, Act, Network with Evidence-based Tools). Theory at a Glance makes health behavior theory accessible and provides tools to solve problems and assess the effectiveness of health promotion programs.

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