Access to Library Resources for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Public Health Agencies
Staff at State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial (STLT) Public Health Agencies have several options for obtaining library resources. Most of the options listed below are available at no cost.
CDC Library Access for CDC Assignees
Assignees from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) working at STLT public health agencies can access resources from the Stephen B. Thacker CDC Library (CDC Library) using CDC login credentials to log into the CDC intranet. This includes CDC assignees such as Epidemic Intelligence Service officers, Public Health Associate Program fellows, and Career Epidemiology Field Officers.
NLM Public Health Digital Library
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Public Health Digital Library (PHDL) provides access to e-journals, e-books, and databases on an annual fee basis. State and local health departments are eligible to participate in the PHDL. They must have a partner library that provides articles to users when the article is not part of the PHDL collection.
Public Access to Government-Funded Research
To comply with requirements to increase public access to government-funded research, U.S. government agencies have online resources for scientific articles and reports. Here is a selection of a few such sources:
- CDC Stacks
- National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Library of Medicine (NLM), PubMed Central
- Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library
- Department of Defense, Defense Technical Information Center
- Department of Education, Education Resources Information Center
- Department of Transportation, Repository and Open Science Access Portal
- Environmental Protection Agency, Science Inventory
State and Academic Libraries
Many states have libraries that serve state agency employees. Access to public health literature will vary across states, and turnaround time will vary. Here are a few examples of state libraries offering access to state employees:
- Georgia: Georgia Public Library Services/Galileo: Georgia’s Virtual Library https://www.galileo.usg.edu/
- Any Georgia resident can get a version of Galileo for free even if they aren’t affiliated with a school or public library that has access. Users must apply for a PINES card & set up a password – https://gapines.org/eg/opac/register
In addition, STLT public health agency staff who serve as faculty at academic institutions can access library resources at their academic libraries.
Emergency Access to Resources
Information resources usually have a fee; however, many resources are generally available for researchers during emergencies.
- NLM’s Emergency Access Initiative can be activated following a disaster to offer information resources to individuals in areas affected by the disaster.
- The Public Health Emergency COVID-19 Initiative made articles freely available via PubMed Central.
- Relief Central offers resources, including the CDC Yellow Book.
Open Access Resources
Articles and eBooks
Articles in Open Access journals are freely available to users (Gold Open Access); some journals contain open and closed-access articles (Hybrid Open Access).
Green Open Access allows authors to post articles to a website or repository to make the article available.
The Directory of Open Access Repositories (DOAR) provides an overview of free, open access to academic resources and eBooks.
The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) is an index of free, open access journals from around the world.
Open Access Scholarly Publications
These articles have not yet been peer-reviewed but can give insights into emerging areas of inquiry. All articles available via preprint services are available at no cost. Preprints relevant to public health include:
Clinical and community-based practice guidelines summarize evidence on best practices. Key sites include:
- S. Preventive Services Task Force – Clinical preventive services
- Guide to Community Preventive Services
- CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Guidelines
- CDC COVID-19 Guidance
- CDC Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee Guidelines
- CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Recommendations and Reports
- National Institutes of Health, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, Clinical Practice Guidelines
- Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense Clinical Practice Guidelines –
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (UK evidence-based recommendations site) –
- Canadian Clinical Practice Guidelines
- Australian Clinical Practice Guidelines
- Guideline Central
- GIN (Guidelines International Network) International Guidelines Library
- ECRI (Emergency Care Research Institute) – Clinical practice guideline repository (registration required)
- Trip Clinical Search Engine