20th Anniversary Edition

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology
Fundamentals of epidemiology (EPID 168)

Information resources for epidemiologists - Journals and other references

Searching the literature

Among the major journals in the field are:

For ratings of the web sites of epidemiology journals, see Lee Sieswerda's article in the May 2000 Epidemiology Monitor.

Links to many epidemiology journals (including some not listed here) can be found at: www.jhsph.edu/Departments/Epi/journals.html. Links to author instructions pages for presumably all health sciences journals, and in most cases to the rest of a journal's web site, can be found at the web site of the Raymon H. Mulford Library of the Medical College of Ohio.

Epidemiologic studies also appear frequently in journals in various subject areas (e.g., Cancer Causes and Control, Circulation, Emerging Infectious Diseases, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Journal of the National Cancer Institute) as well as in many clinical journals (e.g., British Medical Journal, Journal of the American Medical Association, Journal of the Society of General Internal Medicine, The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Pediatrics).

Other periodicals with important epidemiologic data and reports are:

See also the growing list of public health journals published in languages other than English.

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A unique sources of news for epidemiologists is The Epidemiology Monitor (epimon@aol.com, 404-594-1613), a monthly newsletter with news items, book reviews, software reviews, announcements, features, job ads, and a list of open positions for epidemiologists, including postdoctoral fellows. The same group compiles and publishes EPISOURCE, a 1,000+ page collection that lists epidemiology degree-granting institutions and much other valuable reference information including over 900 products and services that epidemiologists might need.

Key sources for public health data are publications and datasets from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (www.cdc.gov). The CDC is a primary source for surveillance data of various kinds and a vast array of other information. The U.S. National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) (www.cdc.gov/nchswww ) publishes reports and datasets that are essential sources for public health. Their reports are a starting place when preparing proposals and publications. Many NCHS datasets and documentation can be downloaded free from their web site or purchased at modest cost (see their web site). The UNC Institute for Research in the Social Sciences (www.unc.edu/depts/irss) is a depository for these datasets; members of UNC-CH can obtain machine-readable data and documentation for free (bring a blank CD-R disk) as well as access to technical assistance and a library of documentation.

The CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reporter (MMWR) is its key dissemination channel for disease outbreaks, other surveillance information (including behavioral risk factor surveys), guidelines, reports, and other important information. The MMWR is available at the CDC's web site (to view the current week's issue as a web page, go to: www.cdc.gov/epo/mmwr/mmwr_wk.html), primarily as Acrobat® documents (the reader is available as a free download). Anyone can sign up to receive the table of contents via e-mail. The CDC also publishes an "e-journal", Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases (subscribe for free through the CDC web site). The CDC also has an on-line service (WONDER), available to all health professionals [see Friede A, Reid JA, Ory HW. CDC WONDER: a comprehensive online public health information system of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Am J Public Health 1993;83(3). The telephone number for CDC WONDER/PC User Support is 404-332-4569. Information in CDC WONDER is now available through the WWW.

The American Cancer Society publishes an annual compilation of "Cancer facts and figures" (www.cancer.org). Most cancer statistics come from the National Cancer Institute (www.nci.nih.gov - however, it's not evident how to find cancer statistics through their web site).

The Population Reference Bureau, Inc. (1875 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 520, Washington, DC 20009-5728, 202-438-1100, FAX: 202-328-3937, www.prb.org) publishes monthly and quarterly reports on world demography and domestic and international population issues. Individual reports can be purchased or a one-year membership obtained (with supporting documentation: educator-$30, student-$25). Call 800-877-9881 (9a-5p ET) for a publications catalog or to order. Some recent reports ($7 each, with discounts for bulk orders) include:

  • Population and health: an introduction to epidemiology (1994)
  • Poverty in America: trends and new patterns (updated 1989)
  • The graying of Japan (1989)
  • The challenge of world health (1991)
  • The international family planning movement (1990)
  • Adolescent fertility: worldwide concerns (1985)
  • African Americans in the 1990s
  • America's minorities--the demographics of diversity (1992)
  • New realities of the American family (1992)
  • The United States at mid-decade (1996)
  • Infectious diseases (1997)

The PRB website includes its World Data Sheet.

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Epidemiology on the Internet
Professional societies and newsletters
Epidemiology in languages besides English
Other books of interest
To EPID168 home page
Minority health-related links

Victor_Schoenbach@unc.edu, 9/10/2000, 9/29/2000, 12/29/2000, 4/15/2001