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Global Health: Background Sources

What is a background source?

Background sources are written for a general audience and are intended to give an overview of a topic, fill gaps in the reader’s knowledge, and provide context for deeper understanding.  Examples include Wikipedia, introductory textbooks, and reference works such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, and handbooks.  

When working on a new research topic, it is often helpful to begin with these three questions,
·         What research question you want to answer in this paper?
·         How to narrow down to specific topic?
·         What are the available USEFUL resources for your topic?
Beginning with reading a basic overview of the subject is often a good start.
Encyclopedias and dictionaries provide such overviews to help you familiarize with relevant vocabulary and to provide useful suggestions for further readings.   

Global Health LC Subject Headings

Library of Congress Subject headings (related to Global Health in OBIS or Summon)

World health – Encyclopedias

Social medicine – Encyclopedias

Public health – Encyclopedias

Medicine – Encyclopedias

Medical anthropology -- Encyclopedias

Medicine – Cross-cultural studies

Health – Cross-cultural studies

World health – Econometric models

World health – Economics aspects

World health – Finance

World health – Government policy

World health – Handbooks, manuals, etc

World health – History

World Health Organization

World Health Organization -- History




Reading Call Numbers

There are two major call number systems used in the libraries: the Dewey Decimal and Library of Congress classification schemes. The first line of a call number, as it appears on a physical item, is a broad subject classification. The subsequent lines are combinations of letters and numbers that organize items into narrower, related categories.

Library of Congress  Dewey Decimal
HB   Alphabetically 
‚Äč615  Whole number
573.3  Whole number, followed by decimal
C518  Alphabetically, then decimals
(may be followed by another letter)
.W932A  Alphabetically, then decimals 
2018  Publication Date, shelves chronologically e.g., 573.3 W932A shelves before 573.3 W94A  

See How to Read Call Numbers from the University of Berkeley Library for more details about LC call numbers.

Encyclopedias, Dictionaries and References