1. PUBLIC HEALTH RESEARCH
Step by Step guide to creating a search statement in Databases
Science Outreach Librarian
Benedictine Library, Kindlon Hall 313
2. Step 1
• Decide on a Topic of Research
• Example: Global warming and Emerging Infectious Diseases
• The topic will address the significance for Public Health, and the
causes of the re-emergence
3. Step 2
• What are the concepts?
• Explain the concepts with key Words
• Global warming, Re-emerging infectious diseases.
• What are the related terms, synonyms?
• Global warming OR Climate change OR sea level rise
• Re-emerging Infectious Diseases OR emerging Infectious Diseases
• Now I can combine all these related terms with an AND
• (Global warming OR Climate change OR sea level rise) AND (Re-
emerging Infectious Diseases OR emerging Infectious Diseases)
• The parenthesis tell the system the order in which you want to use
4. Step 3
• Finding keywords and related terms and synonyms was a “Natural
• Most Databases convert the various keywords a person may come to
search the database.
• All these likely words/terms are then mapped to a “Controlled
Vocabulary” term called a Subject Heading, or in PUBMED MeSH,
MEDICAL SUBJECT HEADING.
• Trained indexers at the National Library of Medicine map all the likely
words to a preferred term or heading called MeSH. The preferred
term “Communicable diseases, Emerging”
8. MeSH Tree
• The MeSH tree is similar to the classification of species. There is a
• Phenomena and Processes Category
• Biological Phenomena
• Ecological and Environmental Phenomena
• Climatic Processes
• Climate Change
• Global Warming
• Sea Level Rise
10. Step 5
• Actual Search in PUBMED (See video) This video explains how using
the concepts in this power point we search PUBMED:
• a How to select MeSH, subheadings.
• b. How to use the MeSH Tree.
• c. Use Filters
• d. Select Related and cited records.
• e. Cite and export records to ENDNOTE