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HEAL 150: Contemporary Health: Articles in Databases

On this page, learn about library databases and the EBSCO Discovery Service search tool. See suggestions of databases that work well for HEAL 150 topics and assignments and watch search demonstration video tutorials for them. Our suggested online, open-access databases are also listed here, as well as tips and advice to make your search more successful. Learn about interlibrary loan to request items that the library does not have in it's collections. 

Using Library Databases & EBSCO Discovery Service

Databases are online collections of information sources that the library pays and subscribes to so students can use them. They often contain publications that are not easy to find or access elsewhere online. 

Our Databases list shows all the databases the library subscribes to, listed in alphabetical order by name. It includes descriptions of the type of information you will find in each.

Once you are on the list, if you aren't sure which database to use for your topic, you can filter the databases by subject and database type to find ones that will work best for your needs. For health assignments, the HEALTH subject filter will be the most useful one to use. 

The libraries' video on Database Selection shows how to navigate the Databases list in more detail.

When working with the library's subscription databases, you may be prompted to log in with your NCC account (Workday / student id number and password) in order to use our databases off-campus. 

Information sources within library databases

Our databases can contain a lot of different types of information sources, such as scholarly sources, peer-reviewed sources, journal articles, magazine articles, newspaper articles, reference articles, ebooks, chapters or sections of books, streaming videos, and other media and publications. Each database might include different publications and sources than the others do. 

More about scholarly and peer-reviewed sources

Scholarly and peer-reviewed sources may helpful for your health research. Scholarly sources have been written by academics or experts in a particular field or discipline with the intention that other academic experts in that area will be reading them. 

Scholarly sources are focused on research including original research studies, methodology, theory, and/or experimentation, or detailed analysis. They are often presented in the forms of articles, books, book chapters, or critical essay, and are usually published by a professional association or academic press. One indicator that a source is scholarly is that it includes a bibliography, footnotes, or in-text citations for sources its author(s) used or consulted.

A peer-reviewed source is a scholarly source that has been read and assessed for accuracy and quality by other experts / scholars in the field or of the topic. The author gets that feedback and makes any necessary edits or changes before the article is published. Not all articles pass peer-review, some are rejected and never published.

Essays and books may also go through peer-review, but more commonly, a peer-reviewed source takes the form of an article in an academic journal. 

Searching across databases with EBSCO Discovery Service

EBSCO Discovery Service is a special search tool found on the library's homepage and on the Database list that tries to search all of our databases and resources (including SpartaCat, the library catalog) at once. When using this tool, your choice of search keywords and application of search filters (especially FULL-TEXT) is very important. Do not hesitate to switch keywords or mix and match and try different combinations of keywords. If you are getting many results that are not useful, consider trying a smaller, more directed search in a single database. 

Suggested Library & Open Access Databases for Health Information & Research

Databases for basic health information, overviews, facts, and definitions:

Databases for controversial and social issues, including some health topics:

For scholarly sources and peer-reviewed research studies, try:

These open-access databases are freely available to the public, and also contain scholarly sources and peer-reviewed research studies:

Lastly, you can try to search EBSCO Discovery Service, which will search across databases: 

Search Tips

Search Keywords

Library tools and databases default to KEYWORD searhes. This means that they look for whatever words you have entered into the search box, exactly as you entered them. If that word or words appear anywhere in the title, summary, publication information, or even the content of one of our library sources, that source will appear in your list of results, regardless of how much information it actually provides about your idea or topic. Having a focused search strategy and knowing how to adjust your search keywords can help to ensure the results you are seeing will be relevant and useful to your needs.

For example, DIABETES may return a lot of results, especially in sources like scholarly or peer-reviewed articles. But rarely will an author cover all causes, effects, or aspects of a topic. If the author has done original research and is presenting a single study, they'll tend to focus on just one or two very small aspects of the topic. 

Having a more precise and specific search will help. You may need to do a little brainstorming or some general Internet research before you are able to focus your topic and continue with the library database search. 

Is there a population experiencing diabetes that you are more interested in than others? Are there certain causes or factors related to Diabetes that you are looking for? FAMILY HISTORY, GENETICS, DIETOBESITY, and EXERCISE could all be more focused and precise search keywords leading to more useful sources.

Choosing one or a couple of these ideas, and setting up a search like: DIABETES and "YOUNG ADULTS" and "FAMILY HISTORY" 

Searching for phrases by grouping them in quotations tells the database to search for those words together instead of separately.

Search Filters

In library databases, be sure to always choose the FULL-TEXT option, so that you can access and read the full article immediately. You may also choose to check the SCHOLARLY (PEER-REVIEWED) option, if your instructor requires you to find scholarly articles. Other search filters, like PUBLICATION DATE or SOURCE TYPE, might also help.

Search Demonstration Video Tutorials

You can find video tutorials for many of the above suggested databases on the NCC Libraries YouTube channelIf you don't see a video on a channel for a database or resource you want to use, you may be able to find one from another channel by searching the rest of YouTube for the database name. 

When the library doesn't have access to an article you want...

You may discover an article that would be useful for your topic, only to find that the library does not have full-text access to it through our databases. If that happens, you can submit an interlibrary loan request, and we will see if another library with access to full-text of that article is willing to share it with us. Most often, the articles will be shared with you by email, but they may take 2-3 days to arrive. Work with a librarian if you need help identifying books to interlibrary loan or assistance with the request.