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Public Health

Getting Help

HSLS librarians are available to help you with using the library and other public health information sources.

Day to Day Questions

  • Use our Ask a Librarian service for help by phone, e-mail, or chat
  • Ask about any aspect of using the library or finding information

Major Project Questions

  • Get help finding and managing information for your thesis, masters' essay, dissertation, or paper for publication
  • Contact Helena VonVille, HSLS Liaison to Public Health, to schedule a consultation

Molecular Biology Information Service

Search PubMed Efficiently

Learn how to search PubMed more efficiently!

There is lots of help when it comes to search PubMed more efficiently. The resources below will show you how to set up a My NCBI account, develop a search statement, use PI/ECO+ as a framework for developing your vocabulary, and link you to classes.

Create and Customize a My NCBI account

Sign up for a PubMed MyNCBI account

Watch this video for instructions on setting up a My NCBI account and helpful hints for making it easier to locate the full text of articles.

This account will allow you to

  • Customize the PubMed display
  • Save searches for later automatic or manual reuse
  • Save citations to articles in collections

Painless PubMed, a 3-part video series from HSLS.

By the end of this video, you should be able to:

  1. Describe what is in PubMed
  2. Access PubMed and the full text of articles from the HSLS home page
  3. Create a My NCBI account
  4. Navigate the PubMed screen 

By the end of this video, you should be able to:

  1. Articulate your research question
  2. Create a basic search using Boolean operators
  3. Describe what MeSH terms are
  4. Broaden/Narrow a search

By the end of this video, you should be able to:

  1. Use the Limits options
  2. Search within a range of years 
  3. Find similar articles

Other Training Opportunities: NLM Training Resources

The National Library of Medicine, producer of PubMed, provides many free training opportunities.

The free class is offered via Moodle.
How PubMed Works On Demand is made up of 4 independent modules.
The individual modules are:

  1. How PubMed Works: Introduction
  2. How PubMed Works: Selection
  3. How PubMed Works: MeSH (Medical Subject Headings)
  4. How PubMed Works: ATM (Automatic Term Mapping)

Additional resources:

Getting Organized for Literature Searching

This document covers the literature search process in detail.

Finding Full Text

See the section on Accessing  Full Text  Articles on the HSLS Basics Tab. 

If we don't own an article or book you want, try our Document Delivery service. Document delivery of full text articles is free for Pitt students.

Citation management software

There are several options when selecting citation management software. Two commonly used programs, EndNote and SciWheel (formerly f1000) are licensed by the University of Pittsburgh. Two other programs, Mendeley and Zotero are freely available.

Additional information on them can be found using the link below. 

This HSLS LibGuide focuses primarily on EndNote but also includes a comparison between and links to other citation manager software.

Be sure you download the most current EndNote version for your PC or Mac. You must be a member of the University of Pittsburgh community with a valid MyPitt login to download EndNote.

We offer a variety of classes on many topics, including: Citation management; Data science; Instructional and Visual Design; and Molecular Biology.

Books on Writing

Below is a select list of books on writing. Additional Scientific, Medical, or Research Writing ebooks published from 2010-2021 can be found through PittCat, the online discovery tool for books, book chapters, journal articles, and more.

Books on Research Design

Below is a select list of books on research. Additional health research design ebooks published from 2010-2021 can be found through PittCat, the online discovery tool for books, book chapters, journal articles, and more.