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Public Health: Databases

Not just Google

Tertiary study requires using more than just Google and Wikipedia!!!

To find journal articles on a subject you will need to use one of the databases listed on this page. 

Although Google Scholar can be useful, it will not allow the highly sophisticated searching which is possible with many academic databases. 

OK...sometimes Google

There will be times when you'd like to find government documents, or other information on the web. This is when Google is your best option, but make sure you use it effectively!! Check the Grey Literature section of this guide for some hints on how to get the most out of Google searching.

What's a filter bubble?

You also need to be aware that if two people do identical searches using Google, or Google Scholar they may get quite different results.This is where academic databases are indispensable, as identical searches produce identical results.

There is an interesting TED Talk "Beware online filter bubbles" which explains that as web companies, including Google and Google Scholar, strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence...we can become trapped in a "filter bubble" and not be exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our world view.

Using databases

The database in this list can be used either in the Library or by remote access. The biggest (and easiest to use) is Scopus, which contains all Medline and Embase records from 1996. However it does not allow the level of searching precision provided by the native interface of these databases, so...if you're a higher degree student you really need to search PubMed and Embase as well!

Newspaper collections and databases are listed on a separate page.


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