GHS 200: Introduction to Public Health

by Theresa Rhodes last modified 2016-04-28T16:30:23-04:00

Books, Articles, and Websites for Public Health (Sawhney, Fall 2010)

Note: This guide focuses on finding articles, books, and websites for your GHS 200/BIO 290 assignment on public health questions. A few Tips and Tricks are scattered throughout to assist you with your semester-long projects. Refer back to the Global Health Subject Librarian page for additional resources.

Finding a Topic:

Several Tarver Library databases can assist you with either selecting or refining a topic.


  • contains full text for over 66,000 articles
  • 2,700 sources include international and regional newspapers, periodicals, biographies, public opinion polls, polls, book reviews, pamphlets, and government information


Topic Search


  • under Search Options at the bottom of the page, select Health, Welfare, & Medicine as a topic
  • try limiting to a cover story to get more results

CQ Researcher

  • each issue is on a single theme, includes 12,000-words, and is researched and written by a seasoned journalist
  • contents include an introductory overview, background and chronology on the topic, an assessment of the current situation, tables and maps, pro/con statements from representatives of opposing positions, and bibliographies of key sources
CQ Researcher


  • select "Browse by Topic" on the left hand side of the screen
  • select Health to limit your search
  • the Updates tab provides a quick link to find new information on topics

Finding (more) Articles:

Once you have found a topic, refer to the Global Health page to select from the numerous databases to find additional articles.


  • one of the first steps might be to make a list of keywords on your topic, these will be helpful when searching for articles and books
  • don't forget to look at the subjects, keywords, and author-supplied keywords for each article you find in order to find even more articles
  • to find articles on a wide range of subject, try Academic Search Complete or Research Library
  • to narrow a search to psychological factors, try PsycARTICLES or PsycINFO
  • to narrow a search to medical factors, try MEDLINE or NLM Gateway
  • to narrow a search to biological factors, try ScienceDirect, Web of Science, or AGRICOLA
  • POPLINE is a very specific database that might take a little extra time to learn

Locating the Actual Articles:

Many of the databases include links to full-text of the actual articles. Follow the icons to find PDF or full-text"


No full text listed? There are other options for finding these articles, so don’t give up!

Find Electronic Journals

  • list of all electronic journals available to Mercer students
  • make sure you have the complete citation (title, volume, number, date, and page numbers) before searching
  • type in the journal title and click search
  • follow the links (journals often appear in more than one database) to identify full-text
  • if specific volume/year is not available online, click on the link to view print holdings of the title
  • can be a bit confusing at first, so don't hesitate to ask us if you have questions

Library Catalog

  • the library might have a subscription to a print copy of the journal
    * remember you can use the "Check the Library Catalog" link and go directly to the catalog without leaving the electronic journal finder
  • click on the option to search by journal title and type the journal name in the Journal Title browse box


  • journals are arranged alphabetically by title on the first floor of the Tarver Library
  • many of the journals are now available online, so be sure and check the Electronic Journal finder first
  • if a title is downstairs in print, remember to lift up the slanted shelf underneath the displayed copy to find other issues
  • you can also limit a journal title search to a specific location which can be a bit confusing, so ask for assistance if you get confused.
  • articles in journals only available from Swilley (Atlanta campus) can be requested using Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan

  • if all else fails, we can order a copy of the article for you through Interlibrary Loan--this takes time (up to 2 weeks!), so don’t leave it to the last minute
  • the pre-populated form prepop.jpg in the database makes this a quicker process
  • we can also identify libraries who subscribe to the journal--perhaps a road trip can be planned?

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Finding Books:

The Tarver Library uses the Library of Congress classification system, so many of the books on public health are going to be in the R's on the 3rd floor. You can search the Library catalog by keyword, author, or title. If you want to browse the stacks, the following call numbers will be most helpful:

  • RA 1 to RA 1270: public aspects of medicine
  • RA 565 to RA 600: environmental health
  • RA 601 to RA 602: food and food supply in relation to public health
  • RA 643 to RA 645: disease and public health

You may also want to check out the holdings at the Medical School Library. This Library uses a different classification system, MESH, so you'll find the books on public health in the WA call number range.

Undergraduate students can check out books for one week, so you might want to plan ahead and check them out when you are ready to use them.

A wide range of titles are available in electronic books, and Ebrary is the best source to use.  Possible subject headings to use include:

  • public  health
  • environmental  health
  • epidemics and epidemiology
  • public aspects of medicine


    • the catalog includes books, e-books, government documents, and links to websites
    • the catalog includes items that are in Atlanta, Macon, Douglas County, Henry County, and Eastman so be sure and check the location for the call number
    • since Nursing and Pharmacy are offered on the Atlanta campus, the Swilley Library might have more books, and these can be requested to be sent to you here in Macon

    Finding Websites:

    The Global Health page includes a long list governmental agencies and selected websites that will assist you with your research questions. Don't forget to check out the Government Documents page for even more suggestions!


    • Books can be requested from the Swilley Library--this generally takes up to 5 working days
    • Articles not available in full-text can be requested through Interlibrary Loan (ILL)--this can take as long as 2 weeks, so plan ahead!
    • Let us know if your group needs additional help by requesting a Research Consultation -- we request 48 hours notice when scheduling these, so please plan ahead!

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