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National Information Center on Health Services Research and Health Care Technology (NICHSR)

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Introduction to Health Services Research : A Self-Study Course

Module 4: Search the Literature of HSR: Databases (Page 23 of 29)
Section 1: Health Services Research Databases and Information Resources

PAIS International

Snapshot of PAIS International. No link. A login/password is required.There is some overlap in content between public policy and health policy especially as they relate to the U.S. health care system. Areas of overlap include many of the topics listed below under Topics.

Subject coverage of interest to researchers includes:

  • Assisted Suicide
  • Female Circumcision
  • Growth Hormones
  • Social Conditions and Policy
  • Spousal Abuse
  • Street Children
  • Workplace Violence

Snapshot of PAIS International results page. No link. A login/password is required.The quick search above on "healthy people" retrieved over 250 hits in the social sciences section of the database. Note the similarities between the journal titles you might find in Medline and in this database. Both Journal of Communication and Health and Social Work are covered in PubMed. Other journal titles are not.

One feature that is also very useful is the "Cited by 4" feature. Look for "Cited by 4" to find journal articles that have cited the article you are examinining. This helps you find related articles.

More on PAIS International

  • Producer:
    Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA) (purchased from Public Affairs Information Service) - http://www.csa.com/ (Direct link to database information)
  • Vendors:
  • Topics: Journal articles, government documents, statistical directories, grey literature, research and conference reports, books and agency reports on public affairs and public policy in the areas of business, economics, law and legislation, government, political science, international relations, public administration, banking and finance, terrorism, environment, agriculture, health, education, demography, statistics, sociology, and other social sciences.
  • Note: this index does not index newspapers or newsletters. Publications come from over 120 countries; some content in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Nearly 553,300 records dating back to 1972. PAIS Archive covers publications from 1915 - 1976.

Exercise

  1. If you have access to this database, try a search on "public health policy" or on other topics of interest to you or your researchers. Search the entire database and then specify Social Sciences or Natural Sciences in the subject area. Examine the results of your search. Now examine the right-hand column. Notice how the Database is listed along with suggested descriptors? How helpful are these in your thinking about search schemas?
  2. What else did you notice about the results? Did you notice that you can retrieve citations by all publication types, by journals, by peer reviewed journals, by Web sites or by dissertation. Discuss why this would be useful in your work.
  3. Can you create an alert for the search you constructed? Why might that be helpful to you and to your researchers?
  4. We may not have as much time as we would like to explore resources such as PAIS International. Try clicking on the Tools tab to see what is there. Are any of the tools listed there potentially useful? Which ones? How would you use the tools in your work?
  5. Is the "see related" feature in PubMed the same as the "Cited by 4" feature in PAIS International? How do you know?

Discussion Questions

  1. Did you find the "Cited by 4" feature in PAIS International helpful? Is this a feature you might use?
  2. Compare "Cited by 4" in PAIS International and "Related Articles" in PubMed. Is there a difference in what these two feature retrieve? Describe the difference, if any.
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