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Business, Management and Leadership

Searching for Information

Searching in a database using subject headings allows you to look for categories instead of keywords. Subject terms are searched for only in the subject field. When the record for an item is created, it is assigned, or tagged, with at least one subject heading. These subject headings are based on a pre-defined vocabulary in which all items determined to be about the same subject are given the same subject heading regardless of the term used by the author.

Subject headings can be really useful if you are looking for information that may be represented by a term that has many meanings and can occur in various contexts (e.g. “management”).

Here are some useful subject headings for use when searching the MEDLINE database:

  • Health facility administrators
  • Hospital administration
  • Health services administration
  • "Delivery of health care"
  • Financial management
  • Financial management, hospital
  • Personnel management
  • Contract services
  • Comprehensive health care
  • Risk management
  • Risk assessment
  • Quality improvement
  • Quality assurance, health care
  • "Quality of health care"
  • Hospital information systems
  • "Diffusion of innovation"
  • Organizational innovation
  • Innovation as keyword

If you can't locate a subject term that matches your concept, try a keyword search, and then search again using the subject headings attached to the references you retrieved. 

You can also attach a sub-heading to your subject heading, which will narrow your search.  Some useful sub-headings that may be available for a sujbect heading in MEDLINE are:

  • economics
  • ethics
  • legislation and jurisprudence
  • methods
  • organization and administration
  • psychology
  • standards
  • statistics and numerical data
  • supply and distribution
  • trends
  • utilization

Google Scholar searches specifically for scholarly materials such as journal articles, research reports, dissertations and theses, preprints, technical reports, patents, manuscripts in preparation, working papers and many other document types.

Remember, Google's goal is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful, but researchers need to learn to critically evaluate research materials.

Some Google Scholar Tips:

  • Save your search to re-run later
    Just copy the URL at the top of Google Scholar search results page and save it for later use.

  • Search the ‘cited by’ articles
    By clicking on the “cited by” link under a citation, you can check to see what articles cited your article of interest, and then search that collection for your terms.

  • Create alerts to keep up with new research on your topic
    On the left side of the search results page, click on the “Create alert” link, and follow the instructions to have alerts sent to you via email.

  • Customize Google Scholar for use with your citation manager
    You can also set your preferences on the Scholar Settings page to add a link to your citation manager (EndNote,RefWorks, Zotero, etc.) under "Bibliographic Manager", so that each citation will have a "Import into" link as well.

  • Customize Google Scholar to show OHSU full text content
    When you do a search in Google Scholar, you get a list of citations. You'll also get links to the full text if the article is from an open access journal, if the researcher posted the article on her/his website or if you’ve configured your Google Scholar settings to show OHSU content (see below).  If you're on campus, Google Scholar will identify your IP address and automatically show you links to OHSU content.


    1. From the Scholar Settings page, choose "Library Links": 

    2. Then search for, and add, "Oregon Health and Science University"

    3. Now your search results will include the "Find @ OHSU" link to full text if the OHSU Library subscribes to that journal electronically (example below).

Looking for books or journal titles? To see what books or journals in print and online are available through the OHSU Library, check the catalog (link below).  You can search in the catalog by keyword, title, author or subject

For books the OHSU Library does not own, check Summit, the catalog of the Orbis Cascade Alliance, a consortium of academic libraries in Oregon and Washington.  To do this, change the drop-down menu to the OHSU + NW Academic Libraries (Summit) option before searching.

For journal articles to which the OHSU Library does not have a subscription, or books not held in Summit, make a request through our Get it For Me Now - Interlibrary Loan Service (link below).

Click on a link below to run a search in the library catalog on that subject. These are just some examples of subject searches, and not by any means all that is available.

In general, grey literature publications are non-conventional, fugitive, and sometimes ephemeral publications. They may include, but are not limited to the following types of materials: reports (pre-prints, preliminary progress and advanced reports, technical reports, statistical reports, memoranda, state-of-the art reports, market research reports, etc.), theses, conference proceedings, technical specifications and standards, non-commercial translations, bibliographies, technical and commercial documentation, and official documents not published commercially (primarily government reports and documents) (Alberani, 1990).