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Research Resources: Public Health

Public Health

This is list of starting points for public health research, available through the Library or online.


Definitions, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, and Handbooks

Searches work on the F&M network. Use VPN to connect from off-campus

Search Oxford Reference Online

Find an Article

Search Index and Abstract Databases

The library provides two types of databases. Citation databases (or indexes) allow you to search many, many articles by different publishers, in different journals, in one place. Full-text databases allow you to read the articles, but usually only search one publisher or a few journal titles.

For best results, search a citation database for a topic, then go to the Journal Finder to find the full-text article. If you can't find it through the library, go to Interlibrary Loan.

Searches work on the F&M network. Use VPN to connect from off-campus

Web of Science (ISI)
The Institute of Scientific Information's premier citation databases in the physical, life, and social sciences. Search for articles that cite a known author or work or by standard search queries. Covers 1970 to the present.

Web of Knowledge

Search Web of KnowledgeSM

Copyright 2010 Thomson Reuters   

PubMed provides access to over 20 million citations including biomedical literature, life science journals, online books, and other NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) resources.

For a different interface, go to LigerCat.

Get Full-Text

The Library provides access to many journal titles specifically for Public Health and many more with some Public Health content.

For best results, after you find a citation, go to Journal Finder and search for the Journal Title. From the Journal Title, you can navigate to the year, volume, issue, and page number of the article.

If the Library does not subscribe to the journal, you may be able to get it through Interlibrary Loan.

Browse Journals

The library provides access to over 200 public health journals and many more with public health content. This list provides 15 frequently used journals. Additional journals are available through the Journal Finder tab of the Library Homepage. If you cannot find your journal through the Journal Finder, you may be able to get it through ILL.

American journal of epidemiologyfrom 1996 to present

American journal of public health from 01/01/1912 to 12/31/1927 or from 1971 to 2 years ago or from 01/01/1975 to present

Annual Review of Public Health from 1980 to 2006 or from 2006 to present

BMC public health from 2001 to present

Emerging infectious diseases from 1995 to present

Health affairs from 11/01/1981 to 3 years ago or from 01/01/1995 to 10/01/2009

International journal of epidemiology from 1996 to present

Internet journal of world health and societal politics from 2002 to present

Journal of contemporary health law and policy from 04/01/1993 to present

Journal of environmental health from 01/01/1995 to present

Journal of health politics, policy and law from 02/01/1997 to 1 year ago

Journal of public health from 02/01/2005 to 1 year ago

Journal of public health and epidemiology from 10/01/2009 to present

New England journal of medicine from 1993 to 6 months ago or in PRINT 1997 to present

Public health reviews from 2010 to present

Find Statistics

Global Statistics

DOLPHN (Data Online for Popluation, Health and Nutrition)
DOLPHN is an online statistical data resource of demographic and health indicators gathered from various sources for several countries of the world.

Information and data on the U.S. role in global health, compiled by the Kaiser Foundation. Data is broken down by country, disease, funding, demography, economy, and more.

Global Health Observatory
The data and statistics repository of the World Health Organization. Search for an indicator (i.e. mortality) or by country.

World dataBank
A data source that includes information on the global economy, finance, gender, education, health, natural resources, and environmental indicators. This resource, published by the World Bank, contains statistical data for over 600 development indicators and time series data from 1960 to the latest compiled for over 200 countries as well as 18 country groups. Databases include: World Development Indicators, Global Development Finance, Gender Statistics, Education Statistics, Health Nutrition and Population Statistics, Africa Development Indicators, Global Economic Monitor, and Millenium Development Goals.

United States Statistics

National Center for Health Statistics
The National Center for Health Statistics is part of the CDC (Center for Disease Control). Statistics are available by topical reports or as survey results.

National Vital Statistics Reports
Government data from the NCHS and various registration systems compiled to provide birth, mortality, marriage and divorce information.

State Health Facts
Health data broken down by state by the Kaider Foundation. States can be compared side-by-side.

Statistical Abstracts of the United States
The National Data Book contains a collection of statistics on social and economic conditions in the United States. Selected international data are also included. The Abstract is also your Guide to Sources of other data from the Census Bureau, other Federal agencies, and private organizations.

Local Statistics

Community Health Data Base
The Community Health Data Base provides local data that are community-based rather than resource-based; data that can be examined by different levels of geography, including census tract, health district, Minor Civil Division, and ZIP code; and longitudinal data that can be used as a baseline to measure changes in health, social status and access to care over time. The Online Data Tool includes access to over 900 health indicators for all Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) ZIP codes, each county in SEPA, and the SEPA region as a whole. For Mac Users - Please use Safari or Google Chrome as your browser.

Pennsylvania Department of Health - Health Statistics and Research
Statistics gathered by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Laws and Regulations

United States Statutes at Large
Ref. Balcony KF 50 .U52 (1893 - )
This is the first permanent form of federal laws. One or more volumes are compiled for each legislative session. Recent laws are issued in "slip" format, arranged by Public Law number. Public Laws from 1995 to the present are available on GPO Access.

United States Code
Ref. Balcony KF 62 1992 .A2
This is the official codification of all federal laws, divided into 50 subject areas (or titles). Specific subject indexing is included, as well as a listing of the laws by popular names. Title 21 is Food and Drugs; Title 42 is Public Health and Welfare. Also available on GPO Access.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)
Ref. Balcony KF 70 .A34
This is a subject accumulation of rules currently in force, also divided into 50 titles (most of which correspond to the United States Code). It is nothing less than "a codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government." There is a separate index volume to the CFR. Title 21 is Food and Drugs (9 vols.) and Title 42 is Public Health and Welfare )4 vols.). The current edition is also available on GPO Access.

Federal Register
U.S. Doc. AE 2.106, Ground Floor, SFL
Published five days a week, this contains news of Executive rules and all presidential proclamations, rules and regulations of the various bureaus and departments of the federal government, decisions of fact-finding bodies, and all proposed regulations. Material from 1994 to the present is available on GPO Access. Only the most recent two years of the FR are retained in paper copy by the library.

Federal Register (online)
The official site from the National Archives. This is where all proposed and final federal regulations are first posted, with information on how to submit comments.

Pennsylvania Laws
The text of all Pennsylvania laws enacted since 1975, from the General Assembly.

Pennsylvania Code
This is the official compilation of Pennsylvania Commonwealth regulations.


For more books, search the Library Catalog. Start with a subject search on a broad subject.

Or try a keyword search.

Visit the Reference section (1st floor) Martin Library of the Sciences or (1st floor/balcony) Shadek-Fackenthal Library. For additional books, see the Stacks (3rd floor) of Martin Library of the Sciences or Shadek-Fackenthal Library. Books are shelved by Library of Congress call numbers:

RA 1-418.5Medicine and the State
RA 421-790.95Public Health
RA 565-600Environmental Health
RA 601-602Food in relation to public health
RA 639-642Transmission of disease
RA 643-645Disease and public health
RA A645.5-645.9Emergency medical services
RA 648.5-767 Epidemics. Epidemiology
RA 1190-1270Toxicology

Reference Books

Encyclopedia of Federal Agencies and Commissions
Ref. Balcony JK 9 .H536 2004
Good brief background, access and contact information.

Federal Regulatory Directory, 14th Edition
Ref. Balcony KF 5406 .A15F4 2010
Profiles of the major (and lesser) regulatory agencies, as well as the agencies affiliated with the cabinet-level departments. Each profile gives historical background on the agency, a review of important regulations, recent developments, and an outlook for the near future.

The Book of the States, 2010
Ref. Balcony JK 2403 .B6 2010
An annual directory, published by the Council of State Governments, that provides an administrative overview of state government. Contains data on state finances, programs, regulations, and intergovernmental affairs. With supplements.

The Cambridge Dictionary of Statistics
Sci Ref QA 276.14 .E84 2002

Gray's Anatomy
Sci Ref QM 23.2 .G73 2005

CRC Handbook of Food and Nutrition
Sci Ref 141 .H345 2002

Healthcare Policy and Politics A-Z
Sci Ref RA 395 .A3 R685 2008

Encyclopedia of Public Health
Sci Ref RA 423 .E53 2002

Oxford Textbook of Public Health
Sci Ref RA 425 .O9 1997

A Dictionary of Epidemiology
RA 651 .D553 2008

The Merck Manual
RC 55 .M4 2006
Physician's Desk Reference
RS 250 .P5 2011

Additional Books

How to Report Statistics in Medicine
RA 409 .L357 2006

Secondary Data Sources for Public Health
RA 409 .B66 2007

Health, United States (1975 - 2008 in print, 2004 - 2010 online)
RA 407.3 .U57 2008

Suggested Websites

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies
The IOM is the health branch of the National Academy of Sciences and provides information to decision-makers and the public.

CDC - Center for Disease Control and Prevention
The CDC is a major part of the US Department of Health and Human Services. The website includes information about health problems, diseases, research, public health policies, and disease prevention strategies.

Agency for Health Care Research and Quality

National Registry for Evidence-Based Programs and Practices

WHO - World Health Organization
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations.

Kaiser Foundation
The Kaiser Foundation is a non-profit foundation focusing on U.S. health care issues and the U.S. role in global health. Kaiser runs its own research and provides reports and statistics to the public free of charge.

Commonwealth Fund
The Commonwealth Fund is a private foundation which supports independent research on health care issues. The Commonwealth Fund provides a number of reports, statistics, and surveys online, free of charge.

Cochrane Collaboration

Cochrane Public Health Group

Center for Reviews and Dissemination

Campbell Collaboration
The Campbell Collaboration Library website is available at

The Guide to Community Preventive Services

A service of the US Government Printing Office and the Superintendent of Documents, this provides access to a wealth of current government information. It includes online access to Presidential documents, public laws, Supreme Court opinions, and federal regulations.

A service that provides access to web pages of government agencies and to government services in general.

Easy access to proposed federal regulations.

Department of Health and Human Services
The main government web site for all things health-related.
How to understand the new law, find insurance options, and more.

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Updated daily with announcements, reports, regulations. The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research is an important component of the FDA.

National Institutes of Health
The home page of the NIH provides links to 27 specialized institutes and centers.

Thomas (Library of Congress)
The Library of Congress' electronic access to legislative information: bills, public laws, and committees.

CQ Weekly Reports
This publication updates the CQ Almanac with a weekly reporting and analysis of congressional activity. Provides text and summaries of major legislation. This is the best source for tracking the progress of a bill in congress and contains charts for "Bills to Watch" and "Status of Appropriations").

CQ (Congressional Quarterly) Researcher
Published in print and online 44 times a year, the single-themed CQ Researcher report offers in-depth, non-biased coverage of political and social issues, with regular reports on topics in health, international affairs, education, the environment, technology and the U.S. economy. Search for "health care," "stem cell," etc.

Last updated: 6/1/11 le, contact Laura Eiford for assistance, 291-3843.

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