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HSC 49* — Health Sciences Upper Division classes

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Contact Information

Carol Dales


Basic Library Information

Books and eBooks

Finding Journal Articles on the CSUDH website

Off-Campus Access to Journal Articles and eBooks

Useful Databases


Evaluate everything you find

Write Your Paper and cite your sources

General Research Tips

Basic Library Information

Books and eBooks
  •  If you will be borrowing print books from the CSUDH Library, take a close look at the regulations on the Circulation /Borrowing Books page.
  • The library owns many books on health sciences topics.. For example, try the following search in the library's online catalog:

    • In the drop-down menu to the left, select "Subject".
    • In the text area to the right, type "communicable diseases".
    • This shows you a list of related, more specific, subjects that are related to your search. To see more related subjects, click the "11 related subjects" link : Communicable Diseases -- 11 Related Subjects .
    • For a list of general books about communicable diseases, click the Communicable Diseases link.
    • Once you have a list of books on the screen, you can sort your results with the drop-down menu at the right.
    • Select "Sort by year - newest to oldest" to see a list of books with the most recent books first.
    • The library also has thousands of electronic books (ebooks), books that have been scanned in that you can read on your computer or electronic device screen on or off campus using the library website. Many of the newest books on most subjects you search will be ebooks.
    • If off campus, read ebooks on your screen after logging in with your campus username and password.
  • You may also directly request printed books through Interlibrary Loan  from other libraries (use Search All CSU Libraries or  Search WorldCat). 


Finding Journal Articles on the CSUDH website

Get journal articles through the library home page by looking under the "Articles, E-books, Online Scholarly Resources" heading. Click the heading that sounds the most like your situation.

Once you are in a database, you can start to search for your article. All database search options are slightly different, but they usually include several search boxes you can fill out. Most databases will also let you restrict your search to peer-reviewed or scholarly journals.

Articles that you can read in that database will have a link to the PDF full text or the HTML full text. Click on the text link to read the article. Some databases also supply a link that lets you e-mail yourself the articles or links.

Some articles have a red and white button, "Find it @ CSUDH Lib", instead of having links to the full text. This means the text of that article is not in the database you are searching. Click the "Find it..." button to see if a different database does have the full text.

NOTE: If there are no databases containing the article you want, you can request it via Inter-Library Loan.  The article will be emailed to you, usually within 4 to 7 days.

Off-Campus Access to Journal Articles and eBooks

If you are using a computer on campus, you can access all of our electronic databases and ebooks without any further steps. Just click on the database name in the Database List and you will go immediately to the search screen.

If you are off campus, log in using your MyCSUDH Username and Password (the same thing you use to log in to Blackboard, MyCSUDH, and student e-mail). When you click on a database name from off-campus, you will see a screen asking you for this information.

After you enter your login information, you should be able to access any of our electronic databases and ebooks just like you would on campus. If you have problems, try resetting your password. If that doesn't work either, call the reference desk at (310) 243-3586 for help.

Useful Databases
  • CINAHL PLUS WITH FULL TEXT (EBSCO): contains indexing for over 4600 health sciences and nursing journals, with full text articles from more than 370 scholarly journals and many links to full text in other databases; an excellent starting point for most health sciences research topics.
  • ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health Source, Evidence-based Resources & Medical Library: database of over 2000 medical, nursing and allied health journals including full text of 1000 key medical journals and almost 700 nursing journals.
  • Medline (Ovid): the National Library of Medicine’s bibliographic database/article index with over 20 million references to journal articles from 1949 to date; covers over 5200 journals worldwide in biomedical research and clinical sciences, including clinical medicine, public health, nursing, allied health and pre-clinical sciences, biology, environmental science, biophysics, chemistry and plant & animal science; links to some  full text articles. (How to read a paper: The Medline database may help you read some of the more complex articles in Medline).  
  • SocINDEX: offers coverage of demography, economic development, ethnic & racial studies, gender studies, marriage & family, rural sociology, social psychology, substance abuse, violence, welfare, and more.
  • PsycINFO: American Psychological Association’s (APA) resource for abstracts of scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations; access to peer-reviewed literature in behavioral science and mental health.

  • Academic Search Premier: scholarly, multi-discipline, full text database with full text for nearly 3,200 scholarly publications; often helps students to get started with a topic that is proving hard to research.

  • Google Scholar: this version links to CSUDH Library databases and is a good starting point when you have a "tough to find" topic or are not sure which database would.be the best one for your topic.


What is plagiarism? - Plagiarism is "The action or practice of taking someone else's work, idea, etc., and passing it off as one's own; literary theft." (OED)

Any time you quote or paraphrase somebody else's work without citing it, you are plagiarizing their work. Plagiarism is a serious matter that results in a lower or failing grade and even expulsion from university. Just rewording someone else's words isn't enough to avoid plagiarism. Since you are still borrowing  another writer' ideas, you must include a citation.

But I didn't know! - You can plagiarize without meaning to, but ignorance of the law is unfortunately no excuse - it's just as serious an offence.

How can I avoid it? - avoid plagiarism by always citing your sources. Whenever you put a quotation or borrow information heavily from a source, be sure you include all of the required information about that source in a citation in the proper APA (American Psychological Association) style. This will let your professor know you aren't trying to pass the idea off as your own. Take detailed notes while you search for your information to avoid forgetting which is your own work and which is borrowed from others.

For more information abour plagiarism, see your student handbook, the CSUDH Student Code of Conduct, and this page from Purdue University's Online Writing Lab (OWL).

P.S.: Take a look at our new CSUDH Library anti-plagiarism tutorial: Plagiarism: How to recognize it and get it out of your life! (and don't forget to try out the challenging plagiarism game at the very end!)

Evaluate everything you find
  • Use this list of criteria to evaluate the relevance of resources you locate and hope to include in your literature review:

    • Relevance of content to my topic
    • Authority of the author(s)
    • Date of publication
    • Type of publication
    • Intended audience
    • References cited
    • Has this been cited or reviewed by others?
  • The article Getting your bearings (deciding what the paper is about) will help you learn to read medical research articles. Other articles in the series  "How to Read A Paper"  discuss various types of medical research articles and what to look for in them; they should help you read and evaluate the journal articles you find.  
  • This short article provides a handy checklist that will also help you evaluate Internet websites effectively:
    Evaluating evidence found on the Internet, by Suzanne C. Beyea, Association of Operating Room Nurses. AORN Journal, Denver ; Nov 2000; Vol. 72, Iss. 5; pg. 906.

Write Your Paper and cite your sources

References at the end of your paper should be carefully formatted so others have all the information they need to find the journal articles and books you used. The most common style used for citing references in health sciences is American Psychological Association format:

General Research Tips


  • Can't find a topic? look at hard copy or electronic books that deal with the broad subject area that interests you. Also look through hard copy journals (on the 3rd floor of the South Wing of the Library) or electronic journals (look in ProQuest or EBSCOhost –see below) to get ideas for topics. Watch for the following to help you construct your search:
    • Terms and phrases used to describe the subject and synonyms; make a note of different terms used for the same concept.
    • Parameters such as disease state, geographic location, environment, gender, ethnicity, age group.
    • Names of important researchers
  •  Use multiple search terms - Remember, not every database or article uses exactly the same words to describe the same thing. Make sure you try several synonyms for the term you're trying to find. Most databases have a link called "thesaurus" or "subject terms" that you can use to find out what words to search for.
  • Search in multiple places - The more places you look for information, the more information you're likely to find. Don't just search in one database and assume that's all there is! Take a look at the list of Useful Databases earlier on in this page for where to start your search.
  • Ask for help - Don't be afraid to ask for help! Research can be an exhausting process, and sometimes a fresh perspective will make your task much easier. You can stop by the reference desk in the library and ask any of the reference librarians for help with your research. You can also submit an online help request which a librarian will answer within a day or two.
  • As you gather resources to support your ideas and add to your literature review, make sure you make notes while you are doing research to keep track of sources of information you use. This will help you avoid plagiarism and save time when you do your literature review and references.
  • Don't leave it until the last minute - The earlier you start, the better your paper will be. Starting early gives you plenty of time to read and absorb the information so you'll be properly informed when writing your paper. You'll also have time to ask the library to Interlibrary Loan books and/or articles they don't own.