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Social Determinants of Health: Journal Articles


Track article retractions

Citation chasing

Use the past

  • Check the works cited by an article you already found in order to find more relevant articles.

Look to the future

  • To find articles that cite an article you found, try Google Scholar. Just search for the article you have, and then click "Cited by..." 

Subject headings vs. keywords

Keywords Subject Headings
  • Natural language - user generated
  • Controlled vocabulary used to describe a subject
  • Could appear only once - anywhere in abstract or title
  • Database applies subject headings to each resource, based on topic/subject of resource (adds specificity to your search)
  • No related terms are found, but homonyms might be (words spelled the same, but with different meanings)
  • Exist in a thesaurus, so helps you find related terms, weed out homonyms
  • Like using Ctrl+F in a document
  • All variations (spellings) are covered
  • Useful when: topic is very new, or looking for specific person/organization
  • Useful when: topic has established academic research on it, and you want highly relevant results


Tips for using keywords

Spelling & word variations (these work in most databases)

  • Truncation Use * at the end of the word for variations on endings
    • Educt* (retrieves educate, educator, educated, educational)
  • Question mark Use ? in the middle of a word for variable spellings
    • Colo*r (retrieves color & colour)

Group a phrase together in precise order 

  • Use quotes “ “ to take a phrase together, rather than each word separately
    • “industrial and organizational psychology”

Proximity searching - find words near each other

  • Ovid
    • ADJ = adjacency
    • Examples:
      • PMDD ADJ1 treatment = PMDD treatment or treatment PMDD
      • PMDD ADJ2 treatment = PMDD [any word] treatment or treatment [any word] PMDD
      • PMDD ADJ3 treatment = PMDD [any two words] treatment or treatment [any two words] PMDD
    • N = Near (searches terms in any order)
    • W = Within (searches terms in specified order)
    • Examples:
      • diabetes N1 health = diabetes [any word] health or health [any word] diabetes
      • diabetes W1 health = diabetes [any word] health
  • ProQuest
    • near/ or n/ (searches terms in any order)
    • pre/ or p/ (searches terms in specified order)
    • Examples:
      • diabetes near/1 health = diabetes [any word] health or health [any word] diabetes
      • diabetes pre/1 health = diabetes [any word] health