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
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).
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).
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.
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?
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?
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?
How important to research is knowing the population you are studying? Explain.
Is POPLINE a database more used by librarians than health services researchers? Why?
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?