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HPS 402/502: Senior Seminar

Research Guide for HPS 402

Access Library Resources Online

Trying to access library resources online? Follow the instructions on the Online Access to Library Resources page to access library databases, articles, and ebooks, both on-campus and off-campus.

Mardigian Search (searches all the library's databases at once)

Advanced Search

Search FAQs

1. How do I search for my topic?

  • Identify the keywords of your topic and use those as your search words
  • Each article has tags assigned to it, words or shorts phrases that make them searchable - you want your search words to match those tags
  • Words like factors, effects, issues, relationships are usually not used as tags - don't include them as search words

Example: The topic for your literature review is: racial disparities in infant mortality. Your policy memo will make policy recommendations to reduce these disparities.

  • Search: rac* disparit* "infant mortality" 
    • rac* searches for race and racial
    • disparit* searches for disparity and disparities
    • "infant mortality" searches for infant mortality as a phrase, not separate words

2. How do I focus the search hits to meet my assignment requirements?

  • Use Refine Your Search options to focus your search hits to just peer-reviewed articles
  • Peer-reviewed articles:
    • Click on Peer Review 
    • Under Content Type, click on Journal article
  • Current/Recent articles:
    • Under Publication Date, move the scroll bar over to 2006 to present
  • ​Articles with a Public Health Perspective
    • Under Discipline. click on Public Health
  • Articles with a Policy perspective
    • Under Subject Terms, click on subjects like health policy & services, health policy

3. I have too many irrelevant search hits. How do I focus them?

  • Add "United States" to your search to focus your search hits to articles about the United States
  • Look through the Subject Terms in the Refine Your Search sidebar and click on the subjects that interest you
  • When you find an article that looks interesting, look at its assigned tags 
    • Add any relevant tags to your search
    • This will also help you develop your research questions and search for articles about your specific research questions 
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