Health issues and ethics: Semester in Dialogue

Belzberg Library welcomes students in the Undergraduate Semester in Dialogue to SFU Vancouver. This guide will help you to use our library to find and evaluate research material for your projects. If you have any further questions about library services, please contact Ebony Magnus, Head, Belzberg Library at 778.782.5054 or

Research sources

Library research involves selecting your topic, identifying the best sources and appropriate research tools, accessing the items found and evaluating your results. Start Your Research Here is a brief guide that will help you with this process.

Start your hunt for information "at home" by visiting the SFU Library home page. This gathers all the best research tools, guides and research help in one place. Try our Library Search engine from the home page to quickly find books, articles and information on the library website in one search.

Books, articles and web sites on your course reading list or course outline can also provide a good starting point, particularly if the items include bibliographies, references or links to related material.

1. Books, ebooks, films, music, sound, slides

Search the catalogue to find all books, reports and media materials in the SFU Library at all three campuses (Belzberg - Vancouver; Bennett - Burnaby; Fraser - Surrey).

  • Searching by KEYWORD is generally the best way to start. Once you have found some good results with your keyword searches, use the subjects on those items to focus your search.
  • Try the following SUBJECT headings: (To search for books by subject heading, use the Browse Search option in the SFU Library Catalogue, then select Subject browse from the drop-down menu.)
    • Bioethics
    • Child health services
    • Community health services
    • Health services accessibility
    • Health services administration
    • Medical care
    • Medical economics
    • Medical ethics
    • Medical policy
    • Medicine, Preventive
    • Mental health services
    • Minorities -- Medical care
    • Indigenous peoples -- Medical care
    • Older people -- Medical care
    • Poor -- Medical care
    • Prenatal care
    • Public health
    • Single mothers
    • Substance abuse

Limit your search to items at Belzberg Library by selecting Belzberg Collection from the main search screen. You can also use ADVANCED KEYWORD search. Select Belzberg Library in the COLLECTION field to include online resources. Select Belzberg Library (Downtown/Harbour Centre) in the LOCATION field for items physically at Belzberg Library.

  • If the item is not available at Belzberg Library, or is out on loan, please request it! Find electronic books, films, dvds, cds or slides on your topic by searching specific collections or by using ADVANCED KEYWORD search and selecting the appropriate format in the FORMAT field.
  • For a step-by-step interactive guide to searching the SFU catalogue, see the SFU Library Catalogue Search Guide.

2. Journal Articles and Databases

You can look up journals by title and search for articles in them.
All print and electronic journals subscribed to by the SFU Library are listed in the catalogue. Electronic journals are also listed in the Electronic Journals Database by title, subject and by the association/organization who publishes the journal.

Connect to Journal Articles and Databases to find articles in academic journals, trade magazines, reports and newspapers, as well as financial and statistical data. Many indexes provide online access to the full text of the articles or allow you to directly request copies of articles through the "Where Can I Get This?" link. Browse by subject area to identify useful databases for your topic. 

Suggested article databases for Health Issues and Ethics

  • Academic Search Premier - Multidisciplinary index to academic and popular journals.
  • Ageline - abstracts to the literature on social gerontology, with a focus on the social, psychological, and economic aspects of middle age and aging.
  • Business Source Complete - business and economic aspects of public policy issues, including health policy.
  • Canadian Newsstream - full text of major Canadian newspapers and Canwest's small market BC papers.
  • Canadian Electronic Library - publications include primary research and opinion from Canadian public policy institutes, research institutes, think tanks, advocacy groups, government agencies and university research centers. 
  • CBCA Complete - multidisciplinary index to Canadian journals and magazines. Includes Statistics Canada's Health reports from 1998-present.
  • Geobase - covers human and physical geography, including health policy.
  • Ipsos News Center - Polls, public opinion and research information on international topics including health.
  • Native Health Databases - abstracts of health-related articles, reports, and surveys pertaining to the health and health care of American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Canadian First Nations.
  • Philosopher's Index - all aspects of philosophy, including issues such as medical ethics, bioethics, end of life and informed consent.
  • PsycInfo - psychology and psychological aspects of health issues and ethics.
  • Medline - comprehensive coverage of international biomedical and health literature.
  • Sociological Abstracts - sociological aspects of health care provision.
  • Web of Science - excellent multidisciplinary source. Indexes thousands of social science and humanities journals in addition to science journals. Other features include cited reference searches and personal alerts.

Try the same subject terms as suggested for books, or check the thesaurus or list of subject terms within the database. For help with searching databases, check Finding Journal Articles and/or Moving From Citation to Article.
For books and articles not online or at SFU, request an Interlibrary Loan.

3. Statistics and government sources 

 4. Selected internet sources

In addition to the library catalogue and databases, you will find a lot of good information on the web. Governments, research institutes, non-profit organizations, industry and other associations and companies all have web sites - many with publications freely available. Use a web search engine such as Google, Google Scholar or to find additional information, including the web sites of interest groups and other organizations. Check the library's Internet Research guide for additional help in finding and evaluating web sites.

Useful sites for health issues and ethics

Subject Research guides are produced by SFU liaison librarians to point you to the best external sources as well as providing information about publications available in the library. Try these guides for further suggestions:

Writing and citing

Ask us!

  • If you would like any further assistance or information about the library or your research, don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian in person, by phone, email or interactive reference.