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*Public Health

Use the websites below to find out even more about Public Health. Search for data, find professional organizations, and more.

What's On This Page?

On this page you'll find tips for evaluating your search results and the sources you choose to use. 

Evaluate Your Results

Check if a result is worth your time before you read it. Use clues in the database or search engine to decide if you should read it.

  • Check for relevant words (databases and search engines often put these in bold font)
    • The title
    • The journal, book, or website it is in
    • The keywords or subjects listed for that result
    • The abstract, summary, or snippet
  • Look at the publication date. Is that result current enough?
  • Review the length. Is it too short to be useful? Is it longer than you have time to understand?
  • Check for unusually high numbers in the "Cited By" tool that some databases and search engines have. Those articles might be seminal or landmark articles. Or, those articles might be examples of problematic studies. Investigate to find out!

Read a Detailed Record

Check out the example of a detailed record below.  This example has certain terms circled to highlight information that you will want to check for when you are evaluating an article.

Tips to Remember:

  • Start with the title and work through each of the other sections.
  • The author(s), journal and database want you to know what the article is. They are not trying to trick you.
  • Reviews are reviewing the research. If an article is labeled as both review AND research, review usually takes precedence.
  • Mixed methods research uses qualitative AND quantitative. Remember to check for both. 
  • Are there other assignment criteria for the article you are evaluating? Do not forget those criteria too!
  • Do you think you have found an article that works?  Remember to read the whole article to be certain!

The record for this article includes clues. It has authors. It is labelled "Article - research," "Descriptive Statistics," and "peer-reviewed." It refers to "the current study" and "a questionnaire."

Is It Peer Reviewed?

You're looking for two combined pieces:

an article that meets the criteria of a scholarly article 


a journal that contains peer reviewed articles.*

  1. If you're searching in MCPHS Smart Search or most of our databases, limit your results to peer reviewed or academic journals. 
  2. Once you've found a potential article, click on the title so that you can see more information about it (this is call the detailed record page).
    • You'll usually be able to read the abstract on this page.
    • Sometimes at the bottom of the page a journal subset field will indicate peer review, double anonymized (formerly called double blind) peer review, or any other variation of peer review.  
  3. If it's still not clear, google to find out more about the journal. Look for aim & scope, about, journal information, editioral board, etc.  

* Or any other criteria as assigned by your professor or that meet your information need.

NOT Peer Reviewed:

  • Editorials
  • Opinion pieces
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Book Reviews

These may be great sources and very useful to you (remember to cite them if you use them!), but they're not peer reviewed.

Shepardize a Case

Have a citation for a specific legal case? Shepardize it to find the current status of that case, related cases, and newer cases that cite that case. Always Shepardize your case to find the most current version of it.


Look up the case in Nexis Uni and click the "Shepardize this document" link.

Shepardize ® this document link

Or, type shep: and the citation into the search box

How Do I...?

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