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Master of Public Health

Students working on laptops in mezzanine.Forming your Search String

The more complicated your question, the less likely a search engine can understand it. To get the best result, identify keywords and like terms to create a search string.

Example research question: How did housing insecurity impact the spread of COVID-19?

Keywords: housing insecurity, spread, COVID-19

Like terms can include synonyms and also examples of your keywords. If you don't get results from searching your keywords, it doesn't mean that the research doesn't exist. It could mean that the researcher used different language to describe the same topic

  • Housing insecurity- homelessness
  • Spread- infection rate
  • COVID-19- coronavirus, pandemic

Search strings connect your keywords and like terms together for the best results.

Too many results? Use AND to narrow results

housing insecurity AND spread AND COVID-19

Too few results? Use OR to broaden results

housing insecurity OR homelessness AND spread OR infection rate AND COVID-19 OR coronavirus

students reading in front of periodical display

Also known as peer-reviewed articles, scholarly articles are sources that are:

  • written by experts in the field
  • reviewed by other experts in the field (hence the peer-reviewed)
  • intended for an academic audience

While you can find scholarly articles through general search engines, databases contain a feature where you can narrow your results to only scholarly articles.

Find Articles in Medicine & Epidemiology Databases:

Find Articles in Public Policy Databases:

Find Articles in Social Sciences Databases:

Student thumbing through a book in front of library stacks

Books and eBooks often provide a broader overview and cover more information than a scholarly journal article.

You don't need to read an entire book to use it in your research. Use the index at the back of a book to find the information you need.

To find books and eBooks, you can either:

  • Search the NOBLE catalog

Stack locations for books on topics in the field of Public Health are located across the stacks due to the interdisciplinary nature of public health. Below are common call numbers and stack locations for a variety of subject areas in the fields of public health.

RA- Public Aspects of Medicine
Stack Level 5


  • RA 1-418.5 - Medicine and the state
  • RA 421-790.95 - Public health. Hygiene, Preventive medicine.
  • RA 791-954 - Medical geography. Climatology. Meteorology.
  • RA 960-1000.5 - Medical centers. Hospitals. Dispensaries. Clinics.
  • RA 1001-1171 - Forensic medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine.
  • RA 1190-1270 - Toxicology. Poisons.

For more subclasses in the Recreation, Leisure classification, see the LOC Classification outline.

H - Social Sciences

  • HG 9371-9399 - Health Insurance
  • HV - Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology.

K - Law

  • K 3566-3578 - Public health in law
  • KB 3075-3096.5 - Public health in religious law
  • KBM 3075-3097 - Public health in Jewish law
  • KBP 3075-3096.5 - Public health in Islamic law

L - Education

  • LB 3401-3495 - School hygiene. School health services.

For more subclasses in the Medicine classification, see the LOC Classification outline.

Statistics Databases

Publicly Accessible Statistic Resources

If you find an article or book that you can't access, don't pay for it! Instead, submit an Interlibrary Loan request, and you'll receive articles within a few days!

Are you looking for a specific article, like an article that you found referenced in a bibliography? Search for the journal in Journal Finder, linked below: