Skip to Main Content
Main Library & McBay Science Library
Display of Opening hours
Main Library 7:30am – 2:00am
Circulation Desk 7:30am – 2:00am
Digital Humanities Lab 7:30am – 2:00am
Interlibrary Loan Office 8:00am – 5:00pm
Reference Desk 9:00am – 10:00pm
All Library Hours

Public Health: Primary and Secondary Public Health Sources

Guide to Public Health resources at the University of Georgia.

Biomedical Sciences and Applied Sciences Databases for Public Health


Indexes social gerontology journals. Focuses on aging in psychological, health-related, and social and economic contexts.

Applied Social Sciences Index and Abstracts

Covers health, social services, psychology, sociology, economics, politics, race relations and education. 


Nursing and Allied Health Database. Has information on nursing, biomedicine, health sciences librarianship, alternative medicine, allied health, and more.

The Cochrane Library 

The Cochrane Library is a collection of databases that contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making (assessment, reviews, controlled trials register, etc.).

* Medline (Ebsco)

The database offers information related to the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, the health care system, and preclinical sciences. 

* PsycINFO

Contains citations and summaries of journal articles, book chapters, books, and technical reports, as well as citations to dissertations, in the field of psychology and psychological aspects of related disciplines.


* Indicate most useful databases for general research

Spotlight on PubMed


PubMed is a public government database maintained by the National Institutes of Health National National Library of Medicine, and contains scholarly and clinical health science information. You will want to access PubMed through the UGA Libraries website to ensure access to full-text content. Requires UGA Single Sign-On.

Medline (available through EBSCOhost) is a part of PubMed, but there are additional journals indexed in PubMed. Requires UGA Single Sign-On.

Librarian PubMed Webinars: 

Intro to PubMed

PubMed Part 2

For additional tutorials check out these: List of PubMed Tutorials

Types of Research Articles

Primary/Original Research
  • The author generated the research data they are using; answers a research question
  • HINT: Will usually have a Methodology section!
  • Common Study Types (in health sciences)
    • Clinical Trials (experimental)
    • Other Observational Studies (Cohort, Case-Control, Cross-Sectional Survey; HINT: key word here is STUDY/STUDIES)
    • Qualitative/Quantitative Research (Surveys, Interviews, Focus Groups, Statistical Analysis)
How can I identify a primary research article?
It should have the following parts:
  • Title - These are often long and technical.
  • Author Information - This includes author name, affiliation (such as a university or laboratory) and contact information.
  • Citation - Citations include article title, journal or source name, volume and issue information and pagination.  A DOI number may be on the first page of a journal, but it may be easier to find the DOI on the database record. (DOIs are used in APA style citation)
  • Abstract - This is a summary of the whole article. 
  • Introduction - This outlines the problem being examined -- the purpose or hypothesis -- and may give some background about the problem, or previous research.
  • Methodology - This is a vital section.  In order for an experiment to be reproduceable, methodology must be thoroughly described.  This may include discussion of materials and subject selection.
  • Data/Results - Data may be presented in tables, charts, figures, or illustrations.
  • Discussion/Conclusions -This section explains and interprets the results, drawing a final conclusion about the problem.  Primary research may bring new information to the discipline, or may confirm or dispute previous findings.
  • References - Are in a consistent style, and are extensive.

Secondary Sources

  • Analyzes/explains data collected by someone else (uses existing data)
  • Common Study Types (in health sciences)
    • Meta-Analyses & Systematic Reviews (Reviews)
    • Review Article (Literature Review)

Are all the articles in a scholarly journal primary research articles?

No. Journals also publish other items. Some article types are listed below. While these articles can be very important and reputable, they cannot be considered primary research. If you have access to our databases (on-campus or off campus with your MyID and password), click for examples.

  • Information/Opinion Essay: Gives advice and information, usually targeted to practitioners -- doctors, teachers, counselors, etc. These essays are sometimes in first person. - example
  • Book review/essay: Much longer than popular books reviews, academic books reviews often compare and analyze similar works, and contain a detailed bibliography -- example
  • Literature review: A lit review surveys research done in a field, drawing conclusions and anticipating trends, but without detailed methodology information or data on any one research project -- example
  • Reader Letters/Response Articles/Errata: Responses to articles published in a previous issue. These may be informal letters, or they may be very structured debates that cite other literature. There may be cases in which someone reports an error or corrects misprints of data. A letter may also describe recent research, but the content has not gone through the peer review process -- example