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Health Law & Leadership of Healthcare Organizations Program: Search Tips & Tutorials

Resources for students in the joint masters program at UC San Diego and Cal Western law school as well as the Leadership in Healthcare Organizations program from the UCSD School of Medicine.


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PubMed Tips

Roger Search Tip

Internet Search Tips

PubMed vs. Google Scholar Handout


PubMed Tips

PubMed is the premier biomedical database and is free for anyone to use.  However, use the link from this guide or Biomed's home page to make sure you can get to the full text using UC-eLinks.  Bookmark or favorite this link for easy access.


Did you know that in PubMed you can:

Use Limits to:

  • Specify the type(s) of articles retrieved (e.g., Clinical Trials, Case Studies, Reviews)
  • Specify age groups (e.g., 6-12 year olds, 19-44 year olds, 80 & over, and more)
  • Specify human or animal studies
  • Specify the language of the article
  • Limit resources to specific topics, like Bioethics

Jump to the PubMed Tutorial about Limits.

Use Clinical Queries to:

  • Find systematic reviews
  • Use preformatted filters for evidence-based searching
  • Target articles on medical genetics

Jump to the PubMed Tutorial about using Clinical Queries

Sharpen your PubMed skills with these tutorials:

PubMed's Clinical Queries -- Prognosis

Searching Roger

Need a quick intro to using the catalog?  This video (less than 4 minutes) will tell you what you need to know.

Internet Searching Tips

Internet Searching

Sometimes the information you seek will be best found using a search engine.  Statistics are one type of information that fits this category.  Depending upon your topic and its focus, there could be any number of reasons to search the internet for your research topic, but are you confident you are using a good site and good information?

  • For health statistics, often a government organization will gather that information.  Limit your search to government web sites by entering site:gov and you'll find local, state, and national groups on your topic.
  • For articles, try Google Scholar ( to bypass the generic web pages and find just the journal literature, books, and legal cases.  

Don't forget to check out the Advanced Search page.  It will help you employ tricks like searching for terms in the title or searching for a specific author.

  • For other types of searches, know the hallmarks of a good information site.  Consider things like who created and maintains the site, is there potential bias, how current is the information, and the site's purpose - information? selling? other agenda?

The National Library of Medicine has a great handout of things to consider when evaluating a website.  For a more indepth exploration of this topic, try their tutorial.

  • Learn more about searching Google Scholar vs. PubMed -- see the handout below.