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Do some preliminary research using background sources to familiarize yourself with the terminology and basic information about your topic. The more you know going in, the easier it will be to make sense of your data later.
Summaries of the latest evidence-based information intended to support nurses, doctors, and other care providers. Tip: Try searching for "health issue + epidemiology" for a useful overview.
An online, cross-searchable collection of reference books on a variety of subjects from more than 50 publishers.
Find Health Data
Government run, public health organizations with a mandate to track disease epidemiology in the interest of community health. These organizations administer large scale, resource-intensive studies that measure health outcomes over time.
CDC Data & Statistics
Extensive statistical data, reports, and analysis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Access note: Freely available to the public.
FastStats (National Center for Health Statistics, CDC)
FastStats provides quick access to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Topics include diseases and conditions, injuries, life stages and populations, health care and insurance, births, and deaths.
Global Health Observatory (World Health Organization)
Health data for individual countries, regions and global coverage presented in a variety of downloadable formats. Resources include country profiles, a map gallery, references to other relevant publications and data sources.
Researchers and scholars who collect data to make new discoveries about disease with the goal of expanding the pool of scientific knowledge and identifying potential interventions to improve outcomes.
Indexes biomedical journals from MEDLINE and additional life science journals. Also links to molecular biology databases of DNA/protein sequences and 3-D structure data.
Dates Covered: 1966-present.
Access note: Freely available to the public.
Access note 2: This is the new PubMed interface recently released by NLM. The legacy version of PubMed is available in parallel until Spring 2020 and can be accessed here
Provides indexing and full text access to nursing journals, practice acts, and conference proceedings.
Dates Covered: 1980-present.
Academic Search Complete
Indexes journals in the social sciences, humanities, general science, multicultural studies and education.
Dates Covered: 1887-present.
Researchers are increasingly sharing their original data alongside published articles. Data sharing helps others reproduce and validate experiments and reuse old data to test new hypotheses. You can search for this data in open data repositories like ICPSR.
Journalists that visualize and interpret data (often from other sources) to inform the public about newsworthy health issues. This can be a good way to find out about data to explore further, or get familiar with a topic you may be interested in researching.
Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report (CDC)
Weekly epidemiological digest for the United States published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Global Health Now
Global Health News roundup from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
In-depth, data-driven investigative reporting on various topics, including the environment and health care.
NPR Global Health
Global health news from National Public Radio and member stations.
Many nonprofit and advocacy organizations also collect and share health data as part of their efforts to influence public policy.
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the nation’s premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services.
National Health Interview Survey (NHIS)
The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) has monitored the health of the nation since 1957. NHIS data on a broad range of health topics are collected through personal household interviews. Survey results have been instrumental in providing data to track health status, health care access, and progress toward achieving national health objectives.