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Public Health

Information on citation

If you are collecting references for a project, looking for information on how to cite within a particular discipline, or interested in using software to collect and automatically format your in-text citations and bibliography in the proper citation style, the following pages may be of use:

  • Citation Guides - General information on citation as well as information on what's available at McGill (for example, EndNote, which is free for McGill staff and students, and Zotero, which we support) and how to get more information
  • Life Sciences Citation Style - Information on citing in Vancouver (author-number system), APA (author-date style), CSE
  • Citation Styles - Useful citation guides for other commonly used citation styles
  • Citation Styles by Subject

If you are writing a paper for a course, ask your professors what citation style they recommend. If you are publishing a journal article in the health sciences, consult the instructions for authors database or the journal website to find out what citation style they require your references to be formatted in.


Background Information

Sample of books and reference works

eBook collections

eBook collections

Individual ebook titles are catalogued and available through Sofia, the McGill Library Discovery Tool. Below is a list of many of our health sciences ebook platforms that can also be directly browsed or searched for relevant material, often including full-text searching options.

Finding and Using Ebooks

Finding and using ebooks, information for mobile devices

Core Databases for Finding Articles

Core databases for finding articles and more

Additional Databases

Additional databases for finding articles and more

Guidance on reviews

Guidance on reviews

Guidance on quality assessment/critical appraisal/risk of bias assessment

Guidance on synthesizing public policy

See also:

Evidence-Informed Resources

Evidence-informed public health resources

Great places to start:

  • EIDM Skills Assessment Tool (National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools) - Identifies areas in which practitioners could further develop skills in evidence-informed decision making and points to helpful resources
  • Learning Centre (National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools) - Learning modules to guide you through the steps of evidence-informed decision making
  • Health Evidence - "methodologically-sound reviews of health promotion and public health interventions published from 1985 to the present"; appraise evidence as weak, moderate, or strong


  • Canadian Best Practices Portal - To find interventions done in communities
  • CEEDER - Includes reviews within the environmental sector, but human wellbeing is covered when there is an environmental aspect to the question
  • Health Systems Evidence - Syntheses of research about governance, financial & delivery arrangements, and implementation strategies within health systems
  • DoPHER - Database of Promoting Health Effectiveness Reviews
  • PDQ-Evidence for Informed Health Policymaking - Includes systematic reviews (syntheses) and overviews of reviews (synopses), with coverage including public health
  • Social Systems Evidence - "Syntheses of research evidence about the programs, services and products available in a broad range of government sectors and program areas (e.g., community and social services, culture and gender, economic development and growth, education, and transportation) as well as the governance, financial and delivery arrangements within which the[y] [...] are provided, and the implementation strategies that can help to ensure that these programs, services and products get to those who need them"
  • SUPPORT tool (SUPporting POlicy relevant Reviews and Trials (SUPPORT) Project) - "Can be used to design implementation strategies for evidence-based policies, with implementation strategies involving clients, communities, practitioners, organizations and public health systems."

Federal and provincial

Federal and all provinces: Useful sites

Quebec: Useful sites

Health Policy

Sample resources: Health policy in Canada

Sample resources: Health policy research in Canada and at McGill

Finding full text

Finding full text

Here are the steps I usually take when tracking down full-text articles. 

First, I like to perform these steps with VPN running in the background if off campus, for Google or Google Scholar in particular (VPN may not be a viable option behind hospital firewalls though).

Given I use EndNote to collect my references (this may also be an option in other citation management software):

  • I have usually exported my records/references from article databases (such as PubMed) to EndNote, so I use the Find Full Text feature in EndNote to automatically download as many full-text articles to my EndNote library as I can (usually in batches no greater than 20, but that's just a suggestion); they get added to the .Data folder but I don't usually access that folder as the article can be viewed and annotated directly from the EndNote reference
  • Instructions on setting up Find Full Text in EndNote (you'll need to do this if you're off campus)

If that doesn't work or you don't use EndNote:

  • I do a quick Google Scholar search for the article title and see if I can quickly get to full-text that way (I set up Google Scholar with “Find full text” links, and/or I use Google Scholar with VPN running in the background when off campus); 
  • If that doesn’t work, I copy and paste the full journal title (rather than the article title, although the article title can work too) into the Sofia Discovery Tool available at
    • I often use quotations around the exact journal title for more precise results
    • I recommend using the full journal title over the abbreviated format (to find the full journal title, check the NLM catalog, e.g., search for "Br J Med Surg Urol"
    • I often limit the results by format in the left-hand column to Journal/Magazine
    • When I find the right journal record, I click on “Access Online" and select a link that covers the date I am looking for
      • For e-access, I might have to click on a few links before getting to the right place: Pay particular attention to the information about the time coverage available for each electronic source to avoid unnecessary clicking
      • If it’s not available online, I check our print holdings in all relevant records for the journal; if it is only available in print at McGill, I click on “Place hold or request article/chapter scan” (be sure to fill in the citation information for the article or chapter in the item description field), or, if the article is in a journal that's on open shelves, I can go make a copy of it in person
    • More information on Sofia: The Shared Library Search Tool
  • If it’s seemingly not available at McGill:
    • I do a quick Google search, putting the exact article title in quotations for precise results (using VPN if off campus, although this may not be an option behind hospital firewalls)
    • If I can’t find it through Google, I submit an interlibrary loan request:

Liaison Librarian

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Genevieve Gore
Liaison Librarian, Schulich Library of Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, and Engineering
Contact: Website


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