Public Health

by Megan Van Noord – November 1, 2021

This webpage is a guide to finding public health information at the UC Davis Libraries, as well as freely available online resources.

Megan Van Noord

Researcher Services
Health Sciences Librarian


In this Guide:

These resources provide overviews, which make them a good source of background information when researching public health topics. Links to full-text should work if you are on the UC Davis Network or logged onto the VPN.

Oxford Bibliographies: Public Health

This resource guides researchers to scholarship in 65 public health topics.

Gale Encyclopedia of Public Health - Laurie J. Fundukian (Editor)

Publication Date: 2013

Gale Encyclopedia of Environmental Health - Jacqueline L. Longe (Editor)

Publication Date: 2013

Encyclopedia of Public Health - Wilhelm Kirch (Editor)

ISBN: 9781402056147

Publication Date: 2008-06-09

Encyclopedia of Aging and Public Health - Sana Loue (Editor); Martha Sajatovic (Editor)

ISBN: 9780387337548

Publication Date: 2007-11-29
Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine - Marc Gellman (Editor); J. Rick Turner (Editor)

ISBN: 9781441910059

Publication Date: 2013
Environmental Toxicology: Selected entries from the Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology - Edward Laws (Editor)

ISBN: 1461457645

Publication Date: 2013
Campbell Collaboration

Database of systematic reviews on education, crime and justice, and social welfare.

Database of promoting health effectiveness reviews (DoPHER)

DoPHER is unique in its focused coverage of systematic and non-systematic reviews of effectiveness in health promotion and public health worldwide.

Evidence-Based Practice for Public Health Project

This site focuses specifically on public health best evidence resources with an aim toward examining evidence-based medicine models and assessing their effectiveness to public health. Links are provided to the top 25 public health journals and to evidence-based resources in public health practice.

Guide to Clinical Preventive Service

The Guide to Clinical Preventive Services provides the latest available recommendations on preventive interventions: screening tests, counseling, immunizations, and medication regimens for more than 80 conditions. Sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Guide to Community Preventive Services, aka The Community Guide

Developed by an independent task force with support from the CDC and Department of Health and Human Services, the Community Guide provides summaries on the effectiveness of population-based interventions for prevention and control. Recommendations are based on a systematic review process.

Healthy People 2020 Structured Evidence Queries

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, have worked together to develop preformulated search strategies (structured evidence queries) that search PubMed to identify research evidence for specific Healthy People 2020 objectives in related to the Healthy People 2020 topic areas.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Prepared by the CDC and contains data on specific diseases as reported by state and territorial health departments and as well as reports and surveillance summaries on infectious and chronic diseases, environmental hazards, natural or human-generated disasters, occupational diseases and injuries, and intentional and unintentional injuries.

NACCHO Model Practices Database

Developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), this is a searchable database of model practices of local health agencies across the U.S.


Important: The POPLINE website will retire on September 1, 2019. Click here to read about the transition.

Billed as “the world’s largest bibliographic database on population, family planning, and related health issues. POPLINE provides citations with abstracts for over 275,000 records representing published and unpublished literature in the field.” Maintained by the Population Information Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health and is funded primarily by the United States Agency for International Development. Coverage: 1970 to present

Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce

Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce is a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations, and health sciences libraries which provides timely, convenient access to selected public health resources on the Internet.  Check out the Main Topic “Education and Training,” in the left column, to discover freely available online continuing education, training opportunities, and webinars.

What is grey literature?

Grey literature includes government and non-government documents:

  • reports
  • theses
  • dissertations
  • clinical trials (unpublished results)
  • conference proceedings
  • bibliographies
  • market research reports
  • technical reports
  • statistical reports
  • guidelines and position papers

Many journal article databases and library catalogs contain grey literature.  In addition, there are special databases for different types of grey literature, such as conference proceedings or dissertations.

Conference Papers Index

Provides citations to papers and poster sessions from major scientific meetings globally. Offers coverage of science and applied science disciplines, including environmental science and clinical medicine. Coverage 1982 to present.

Dissertation Abstracts International / Dissertations & Theses

Online access to citations and abstracts for every title in the UMI Dissertation Abstracts database; since 1997, provides full-text access to dissertations. Access is free to UC Campus dissertations.
Coverage 1861 to present.

Google Advanced Search

Use Google Expert Search techniques or Google Advanced Search to limit your Google search results.

Some searching tips:

Keyword in title: “intitle:keyword”
Phrase search: “place quotation marks around phrase”
This or that: Use “OR” or a pipe symbol “|” to include more than one way of expressing an idea
Site specific search: for example,;;;; or
Type of file: for example, filetype:pdf
Eliminate irrelevant results: -ncbi
For country-specific results: Use the local version of Google, for example


Mednar is a free, publicly available deep web search engine that uses advanced federated search technology to return high quality results by submitting your search query – in real-time – to other well respected search engines. Mednar then collates, ranks and drops duplicates of the results. Use Advanced Search to specify where to search (societies, government websites, etc.).

The New York Academy of Medicine: Grey Literature Collection

The New York Academy of Medicine actively collects and catalogs the grey literature in public health and health policy. Public health focus areas include: healthy aging, prevention, eliminating health disparities, engaging communities, and global health.

PapersFirst [via FirstSearch/OCLC]

Index of papers presented at worldwide conferences, symposia, meetings, expositions, workshops, and congresses as received by the British Library Document Supply Centre.
Coverage: 1993-present

Proceedings [via FirstSearch/OCLC]

An index of published conferences, symposia, congresses, meetings and expositions received by the British Library Document Supply Centre. Full record contains a list of the papers included in the proceedings. Use PapersFirst to search for papers.
Coverage: 1993-present

Open Access Theses and Dissertations (OATD)

OATD indexes over 1.5 million open access international graduate theses and dissertations from over 600 colleges, universities, and research institutions.

CADTH: A Practical Search Tool for Evidence Based Medicine

Produced by the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH), this grey literature checklist includes national and international health technology assessment web sites, drug and device regulatory agencies, clinical trial registries, health economics resources, Canadian health prevalence or incidence databases, and drug formulary web sites.

Disaster Lit: The Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health

From the NLM, Disaster Lit: the Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health is a database of links to disaster medicine and public health documents. Documents include expert guidelines, research reports, conference proceedings, training classes, fact sheets, websites, databases, and similar materials selected from over 700 organizations for a professional audience.


HealthReach grew out of the Refugee Health Information Network (RHIN) when it became apparent that the information resources in the database are useful to all new Americans and those who have limited English proficiency.  Resources provided include: health education materials in various languages and formats (brochures, handouts, audio recordings, and videos), provider information (reports, toolkits, and fact sheets), special collections on women’s health, substance abuse, and mental health.

Healthy People 2020

Healthy People provides science-based, 10-year national objectives for improving the health of all Americans. Each Topic Area includes an overview, objectives and data, and evidence-based resources. A sub-set of Healthy People 2020 objectives, called Leading Health Indicators, has been selected to communicate high-priority health issues and actions that can be taken to address them.

Institute of Medicine Reports

The goal of IOM reports is to provide objective and straightforward advice to decision makers and the public. The IOM is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. It is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences. is a health policy website of the private, non-profit Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, which is dedicated to health policy analysis and filling the need for trusted, independent information on the major health issues facing the US.

National Collaborating Center for Methods and Tools

The National Collaborating Centre for Methods and Tools (NCCMT) is one of six National Collaborating Centres for Public Health in Canada. The NCCMT provides leadership and expertise in sharing what works in public health. Their goal is to strengthen public health in Canada by using evidence to inform public health policy and practice.

National Institutes of Health

This website serves as a portal to explore various public health-related institutes, including: National Cancer Institute, National Institute on Aging, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, and National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

RAND Corporation

Provides research on a variety of public health related topics, including health and healthcare, population and aging, obesity, public safety, education, and children and families, to name just a few.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

RWJF is dedicated to improving the American public’s health and the health care system. They create leverage by building evidence and producing, synthesizing and distributing knowledge, new ideas, and expertise, often through creating partneships with key players.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control

Covers a broad range of public health topics, including disease surveillance. environmental health, and disease surveillance.

World Health Organization

Provides statistics, journals and publications related to global public health and related programs.

PubMed offers a number of specialized filters to help you get to relevant results.  You can access these options from the PubMed homepage, under PubMed Tools–>Topic-Specific Queries.  Here are a few examples:

Health Disparities and Minority Health Information Resources

This PubMed filter retrieves information about articles on health disparities.

Health Services Research PubMed Queries

This filter aids in retrieving PubMed results about health care quality and costs.

Healthy People 2020 Structured Evidence Queries

This PubMed filter provides pre-formulated PubMed search strategies to find published literature to support achieving Healthy People 2020 objectives.

PubMed Population Health

The Population Health search strategy is designed to retrieve citations about health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group.

PubMed Clinical Queries

This resource filters PubMed search results for clinically relevant articles, systematic reviews, and medical genetics.

Here are a few of the electronic books that UC Davis Libraries has on public health-related topics. Check out UC Library Search for additional titles. Links to full-text should work if you are on the UC Davis Network or logged onto the VPN.

Active Training: A handbook of techniques, designs, case examples and tips - Mel Silberman; Carol Auerbach

ISBN: 9780787985073

Publication Date: 2006
eBook available
Analysing Seasonal Health Data - AG Barnett & AJ Dobson

Publication Date: 2010

Community Engagement, Organization, and Development for Public Health Practice - Frederick Murphy

Publication Date: 2012-07-01

Disease Surveillance: A Public Health Informatics Approach - David L. Buckeridge; Joseph S. Lombardo

Publication Date: 2007

Ecosystems and Human Health: A Critical Approach to Ecohealth Research and Practice - C Dakubo

Publication Date: 2011

From Justice to Protection: A Proposal for Public Health Bioethics - M Kottow

Publication Date: 2012

The Essentials of Biostatistics for Physicians, Nurses and Clinicians - MR Chernick

Publication Date: 2011

Handbook of Epidemiology (2nd ed., revised) - Ahrens et al.

Publication Date: 2014

Handbook of Global Health Communication - R Obregon & S Waisbord (Eds.)

Publication Date: 2012

Health Policy - Thomas Bodenheimer; Kevin Grumbach

ISBN: 9780071770521
Carlson WA 540 AA1 B64 2016
Blaisdell WA 540 AA1 B64 2012

Learning in Adulthood - Sharan B. Merriam; Rosemary S. Caffarella; Lisa M. Baumgartner

ISBN: 9780470229224

Publication Date: 2012-03-21
eBook available
Migration and Health - Marc B. Schenker (Editor); Xóchitl Castañeda (Editor); Alfonso Rodriguez-Lainz (Editor)

ISBN: 9780520277946

Publication Date: 2014
eBook available
Modern Epidemiology - KJ Rothman, S Greenland, & TL Lash

Publication Date: 2008

Negotiating Public Health in a Globalized World: Global Health Diplomacy in Action - D Fairman et al.

Publication Date: 2012

Public Health Informatics and Information Systems - Magnuson & Fu

Publication Date: 2014

Public Health Perspectives on Disability: Epidemiology to Ethics and Beyond - DJ Lollar & EM Andresen

Publication Date: 2011

Risk Reduction Methods for Occupational Safety and Health - RC Jensen

Publication Date: 2012-03-06

Sick Societies - David Stuckler

ISBN: 9780191621468

Publication Date: 2011-01-01
Print: Carlson
eBook available
Select “Login through your library” if prompted at the EBL website.
Social Determinants, Health Disparities and Linkages to Health and Health Care - Jennie Jacobs Kronenfeld (Editor, Contribution by)

ISBN: 9781781905883

Publication Date: 2013-09-04
eBook available
Vaccinology: Principles and Practice - WJW Morrow et al. (Eds.)

Publication Date: 2012