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Life, Society & Drugs: Appropriate Sources

This guides shows how to identify appropriate sources for Salt Lake Community College's Life, Society & Drugs course

Understanding International Components

HLTH 1050 has the SLCC General Education Global/International Learning designation. This is why the course often requires you to consider its subject matter through an international lens. To meet this criterion for the research-based assignments, your articles must have some element from a non-U.S. country. It might:

  • Focus on a non-U.S. country or countries
  • Compare multiple countries (may include the U.S.)
  • Take a global or worldwide perspective
  • Conduct a study using non-U.S. participants
  • Have non-U.S. authors

Tips for Finding International Sources

Check out these tips to make finding articles with an international component easier. None of these strategies are foolproof. You will likely need to experiment with using more than one of these tips to find a source. If you are employing these strategies and are still having a difficult time finding an appropriate source, please don't hesitate to reach out to your professor or a SLCC librarian.

Tip #1: Use the database's "Geography" / "Location" limiter.

After doing your initial keyword search in OneSearch or a ProQuest database (like ProQuest Central), scroll down until you see the all of the limiting options on the left side of the screen. In OneSearch, look for the "Geography" limiter. In ProQuest, look for the "Location" limiter (you may need to select the option to see "More Filters."). Open these limiters and select every option except for the United States or individual state names (i.e. Europe, Mexico, Egypt, NOT United States or California). Select "Update" / "Apply."

Tip #2: Add more keywords to your search terms

After your keywords, add additional terms to help draw out internationally focused articles. Try a combination of terms like: 

  • global OR international OR worldwide
    • Remember, the "OR"s mean the database will look for results with any of those words but not all.
  • [keywords] AND [specific country's name]
    • This works well if you have a specific country in mind (e.g. cannabis legalization AND Canada).
  • [keywords] NOT "United States"
    • Remember, the "NOT" means the database will find results without that term and the quotations will search for the country's name as phrase (the two words together). This strategy may help filter out search results focusing on the U.S.

Tip #3: Look at the authors (and not just for credibility). 

After you've found a promising article, look closely at the authors. On most scholarly journal articles, the authors' institutions and/or professional positions are listed. Ask yourself: "Are the authors listed as belonging to an international university or research institution?" 

Tip #4: Slow down!

Before you open an article, check if another country or region is mentioned in its title. Take time to read or skim the abstract or the methods section of a paper before 100% deciding to use it. See if they mention where the study took place or the nationality of the study participants. Try multiple search terms and strategies. You might not find an article which meets all of the assignment's criteria on the first page of results. That's okay. 

International Source Examples

These example articles meet all three criteria for HLTH 1050 appropriate sources.