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Public Health Information Access

Public Health Departments typically fall outside the service realm of institutions that offer full-text access to information for researchers, faculty and students. Budgets do not accommodate desktop access to the public health literature; and the public health workforce typically doesn’t have access to training on search technique or information management.

The goal of the Public Health Information Access project (PHIA) is to better understand what electronic resources are useful, evidence-based, and affordable for public health departments (including licensed resources). This project currently links public health departments with virtual and in-person resources to improve access to information.

Public Health Departments (PHDs) in fourteen states participate in the project by hosting a Digital Library Page offering desktop access to licensed resources made available through specialized pricing. With continued funding plans are under way to increase the number of state public health departments participating in the project.

The project offers training and access to the following resources:

  • PubMed, TOXNET and implementation of LinkOut for full-text access.
  • Cochrane Library to facilitate access to systematic reviews.
  • 100+ full text e-journal titles are available from well-known publishers, such as: Annual Reviews, NEJM, Springer Verlag, Oxford University Press, University of Chicago; Sage Publications, Springer, Mary Anne Liebert, and ASM journals.
  • Stat!Ref e-books includes access to: ICD-9-CM, Practical Healthcare Epidemiology, 3rd Ed., Chronic Illness, 8th Ed., (2013), Oxford Textbook of Public Health, ASM and Joint Commission titles.
  • CABI’s Global Health Database offers international coverage of resources, including reports, conference proceedings and grey literature encompassing topics: environment, ecology, food safety, social science and psychology resources.
  • EndNote X/6 for citation management to improve quality of publishing and article management.
  • Subsidized “article delivery” service through an academic or hospital library partnership.

Public Health Departments commit to provide contact persons, IT capacity, training sessions, and participation in assessments and Resource libraries honor their commitments by providing document delivery, consultation on NLM products and other library tools, and helping to facilitate relationships with PHDs.

Objectives of this Project:

  1. Reinforce understanding of NLM’s products and services related to public health.
  2. Expand access to licensed, trusted information (evidence-based) e-resources through IP authentication.
  3. Provide use of a citation manager (EndNote) to save, manage and retrieve public health information.
  4. Train public health departments on the use of tools and resources introduced through the project.
  5. Provide article delivery to the desktop for participating public health departments.
  6. Assess the use and value of these resources and services; and measure improvement in information literacy/management skills related to core competencies in public health.

To view the most recent Project Progress Report please view the presentation here.

For more information, you can contact Karen Dahlen and NNLM/NER.