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Finding and Using Health Statistics

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Peer-reviewed literature

Peer-reviewed journal articles have gone through an evaluation process in which journal editors and other expert scholars critically assess the quality and scientific merit of the article and its research. Articles that pass this process are published in the peer-reviewed literature. Peer-reviewed journals may include the research of scholars who have collected their own data using an experimental study design, survey, or various other study methodologies. They also present the work of researchers who have performed novel analyses of existing data sources, such as the ones described in this section.

Peer-reviewed literature is accessible via academic databases that enable users to execute searches across multiple journals.

Academic Databases for the Health and Biomedical Sciences

Leading Health- and Health Care-related Journals

  • The New England Journal of Medicine
  • Health Affairs
  • Epidemiologic Reviews
  • American Journal of Public Health
  • The Milbank Quarterly
  • Medical Care

Benefits of Peer-Reviewed Literature

  • Peer-review process ensures that the quality of the research and validity of the findings are high
  • Information on highly-detailed subject matter and complex analyses
  • Easy to search through millions of articles with online databases

Limitations of Peer-Reviewed Literature

  • Highly-detailed and complex analyses may be irrelevant for users who are simply searching for descriptive statistics and basic measures of public health
  • May require a subscription to journals or databases to access articles (can be costly for individuals, although many universities and other organizations provide access to students and faculty)
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