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Public Health Project (Fall 2022)

Scholarly articles

You must use peer-reviewed journal articles for your Public Health Project. Peer-reviewed (also known as scholarly) articles are written on very narrow topics by experts, for experts, and are reviewed by experts and feature highly technical language, lots of references, charts, graphs, and statistics. Please compare this scholarly article about the opioid crisis with this non-scholarly article published by Time and notice the stark differences in language and audience. Refer to our Evaluating Information Sources handout for additional information and contact me or the reference librarian on duty if you have reservations about whether a given source is scholarly.

You are required to use articles published within the last 10 years (although 5 years is preferred). The tips listed below will help you find appropriate scholarly journal articles for your assignment.


Database searching tips

1. Stick to our databases that feature scholarly articles. These include Academic Search Premier, ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Premium, Health Source: Nursing/Academic, and ProQuest Biological Science

2. Use limiters! Most of our journal article databases allow you to choose your date range and limit to scholarly/peer-reviewed articles on the initial search screen! See this screenshot of an EBSCO database's Basic Search screen for the location of those limiters.

3. Also use subject headings! A general keyword search (the words you type into a Google or database search bar) are only looking for instances of that keyword somewhere within the result. Searching with subject headings returns results only about that specific subject. Subject headings are readily available on the left-hand side of most search results screens. See this screenshot to learn the location of subject headings in EBSCO database search results (you will need to scroll down the page to find them when doing your own searches).

4. You are required to use a DOI in your citations (digital object identifier) if one is available. These are found within the bibliographic information in an article entry, as shown in the following screenshot: location of DOI in EBSCO articles.

5. Search the literature before settling on a topic! You do not want to realize partway through your project that there is not enough research available to complete your paper. Please contact a librarian if you need assistance.

6. Consider using additional keywords in addition to your topic to narrow your searches. For example, the search for "AIDS and life expectancy" will give you far more targeted results than searching for AIDS alone. Your instructor has included many potentially helpful keywords on your assignment sheet, so review those carefully before starting your research.