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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 24 of 29)
Section 1: Health Services Research Databases and Information Resources

POPLINE

Snapshot of POPLINE search engine. This link opens in a new window. Close the window to return to this page.References on topics related to population, demographics, family planning and on sexually transmitted disease are of immense interest to researchers. (Note: Population data provides the denominator (the bottom number) in statistical analysis so knowing your population is a critical piece of information).

 

Snapshot of the POPLINE Instant Searches feature. This image opens in a new window. Close the opened window to return to this page.

 

 

 

 

 

Note that you can select a topic from the "Instant Searches" link as shown to the right to run an already constructed link. This can be a real time saver if you are researching a common topic. (Remember that the citations only go back 5 years with this feature).

More on POPLINE

  • Producer:
    Johns Hopkins University - http://jhsearch.library.jhu.edu/databases/database/JHU05842 (Alternative link: http://www.popline.org/)
  • Vendors:
    • National Library of Medicine- 888-346-3656 or custserv@nlm.nih.gov
    • POPLINE records through 2000 will be available from NLM free on the Web. Monographic records are already available in LocatorPlus or through the NLM Gateway. NLM also will add prospective journal articles and monographic records in areas of family planning, contraception, fertility and population issues.
  • Topics: International information on biomedicine, population, demographics, family planning, including maternal child health, HIV/AIDS, program planning and evaluation, health policy.
  • Note: Internet POPLINE is free of charge to everyone. An Advanced Search feature is available. For those with a common topic, use the Instant Searches section to get results on your topic limited to the last 5 years. Topics include: Adolescent pregnancy, Entertainment education, Interpersonal communication, Family planning logistics, Reproductive health issues, and Violence against women.

Exercise

  1. Run a search on a topic of interest in this database. When you get a set of hits, examine several of them. What fields are available for searching? Can you view the records in a variety of formats (long, short, other)? Who can get copies of the articles free of charge?
  2. Now try out the "Instant Searches" feature on the right hand side of the Web page. When would you use the Instant Search feature? Would this be a feature you might refer researchers to?
  3. When you look at the journal titles, are they familiar to you from searches in Medline? If they are the same, why would you want to use this database? What makes the database unique?

Discussion Questions

  1. How important to research is knowing the population you are studying? Explain.
  2. Is POPLINE a database more used by librarians than health services researchers? Why?
  3. If you were teaching a course or building an e-learning module on POPLINE what features would you include? What kind of exercise would you develop for this database?
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