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Health Equity Research Guide

The purpose of this research guide is to provide you with resources that can further assist your health equity research.  This guide contains selected journal titles that accept health equity research publications along with librarian-developed search strategies you can use in a variety of research databases to locate health equity research.  This guide also contains selected books and ebooks to further your understanding of health equity and secondary data sources and statistics that may be useful in your health equity research.

health Equity
Table of Contents

This guide contains the following sections:

CDC-Authored Health Equity Publications

Burton, D. C., Kelly, A., Cardo, D., Daskalakis, D., Huang, D. T., Penman-Aguilar, A., Raghunathan, P. L., Zhu, B. P., & Bunnell, R. (2023). Principles of health equity science for public health action. Public Health Reports.

  • Science Clips – See all of CDC-authored health equity publications
Locating Health Equity Research
Open Access
Ovid Databases (Require a CDC Login to Access)

How to create a search alert or strategy for health equity publications in Ovid databases.

  • MEDLINE (1946- present)
    Up-to-the-minute access to the latest bibliographic citations and author abstracts from more than 5,500 biomedicine and life sciences journals in nearly 40 languages (60 languages for older journals).
  • Embase (1947- present)
    Biomedical and pharmacological database containing bibliographic records with citations, abstracts and indexing derived from biomedical articles in peer reviewed journals, and is especially strong in its coverage of drug and pharmaceutical research.
  • Global Health (1910-present)
    The definitive international public health database dedicated to public health research and practice. Derived from over 5,000 journals, plus reports, books and conferences.
  • APA PsycInfo (1806- present)
    Bibliographic database of scholarly literature (articles, books, reviews, and dissertations) in the psychological, social, behavioral, and health sciences.
 EBSCO Databases (Require a CDC Login to Access)
  • CINAHL (1937-present)
    Authoritative resource for nursing and allied health professionals, students, educators and researchers.
  • EconLit  (1969-present)
    The database contains more than 1.1 million records from 1886-present. EconLit covers virtually every area related to economics.
 ProQuest Central Databases (Require a CDC Login to Access)
  • Public Health Database
    Core public health literature with centralized access to over 800 publications with over 500 in full-text.
  • International Newsstream
    Recent news content outside of the US and Canada, with archives featuring newspapers, newswires, and news sites in full-text.
  • US Newsstream (1980s-present)
    Current U.S. news content and archives back to the 1980s. Features top newspapers, wires, broadcast transcripts, blogs, and news sites in full-text. Publications include The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and other leading US newspapers.
  • Sociological Abstracts (1952-present)
    Covers sociology and related disciplines. Provide abstracts for journal articles, books, book chapters, dissertations, conference papers and working papers in the social and behavioral sciences. Includes Full-text where available.
Elsevier Database (Require a CDC Login to Access)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Affiliated Journals
General Health-Equity Focused Journals (Require a CDC Login to Access)
  • Ethnicity and Disease (Open Access)
    Ethnicity & Disease is an international journal that exclusively publishes information on the causal and associative relationships in the etiology of common illnesses through the study of ethnic patterns of disease.
  • Ethnicity and Health
    Ethnicity & Health is an international academic journal designed to meet the world-wide interest in the health of ethnic groups.
  • Health Equity (Open Access)
    Health Equity is a peer-reviewed open access journal that addresses the urgent need for authoritative information about health disparities and health equity among vulnerable populations.
  • International Journal for Equity and Health (Open Access)
    International Journal for Equity in Health presents evidence relevant to the search for, and attainment of, equity in health across and within countries. International Journal for Equity in Health publishes research which improves the understanding of issues that influence the distribution of health and healthcare within populations.
  • Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
    Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved(JHCPU) is a peer-reviewed journal focusing on contemporary health care issues of medically underserved communities. JHCPU addresses such diverse areas as health care access, quality, costs, legislation, regulations, health promotion, and disease prevention in relation to underserved populations in North and Central America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa
  • Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health
    The Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health is an international forum for the publication of peer-reviewed original research pertaining to immigrant health. The contributors are expert in diverse fields including public health, epidemiology, medicine and nursing, anthropology, sociology, population research, immigration law, and ethics. The journal also publishes review articles, short communications, letters to the editor, and notes from the field.
  • Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities
    Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities reports on the scholarly progress of work to understand, address, and ultimately eliminate health disparities based on race and ethnicity. Efforts to explore underlying causes of health disparities and to describe interventions that have been undertaken to address racial and ethnic health disparities are featured.
  • Journal of Urban Health
    The Journal of Urban Health is the premier and authoritative source of rigorous analyses to advance the health and well-being of people in cities. The Journal provides a platform for interdisciplinary exploration of the evidence base for the broader determinants of health and health inequities needed to strengthen policies, programs, and governance for urban health.
  • Social Science and Medicine
    Social Science & Medicine provides an international and interdisciplinary forum for the dissemination of social science research on health. The journal publishes material relevant to any aspect of health from a wide range of social science disciplines (anthropology, economics, epidemiology, geography, policy, psychology, and sociology), and material relevant to the social sciences from any of the professions concerned with physical and mental health, health care, clinical practice, and health policy and organization.
Population-Specific Journals (Require a CDC Login to Access)


Women’s Health

Racial and Ethnic Studies

Global Health

Management, Policy, Practice, and Ethics Journals (Require a CDC Login to Access)
Health Equity Search Strategies

Use the following search strategies to find existing literature on health equity. You can also create a search alert for each of the following databases to be notified when new health equity research is published. Learn how to create a search alert.

(health* adj2 (equit* or inequit* or inequalit* or disparit* or equality)).ti,ab.

  • Embase: (health* adj2 (equit* or inequit* or inequalit* or disparit* or equality)).ti,ab. OR health disparity/ OR healthy equity/ OR (health care access/ AND race/) OR (“social determinants of health”/ AND vulnerable population/)
  • Global Health: (health* adj2 (equit* or inequit* or inequalit* or disparit* or equality)).ti,ab. OR  health inequalities/
  • MEDLINE: (health* adj2 (equit* or inequit* or inequalit* or disparit* or equality)).ti,ab. OR Healthcare Disparities/ OR Health Status Disparities/ OR Health Equity/ OR (Health Services Accessibility/ AND Race Factors/) OR (Social determinants of Health/ AND Vulnerable Populations/)

For a more detailed or customized search, contact your librarian or submit a Literature Search Request.

(“healthcare disparities”[Title/Abstract] OR “health disparities”[Title/Abstract] OR “health equity”[Title/Abstract] OR “health inequity”[Title/Abstract] OR “healthcare inequalities”[Title/Abstract] OR “healthcare disparities”[MeSH Terms] OR “health status disparities”[MeSH Terms] OR “health equity”[MeSH Terms])

OR ((“health services accessibility”[MeSH Terms] OR “health services accessibility”[Title/Abstract])  AND (“race factors”[MeSH Terms] OR “race factors”[Title/Abstract]))

OR ((“social determinants of health”[MeSH Terms] OR  “social determinants of health”[Title/Abstract])  AND (“vulnerable populations”[MeSH Terms] OR “vulnerable populations”[Title/Abstract]))

See PubMed’s Health Disparities and Minority Health search strategy that you can combine with the above equity terms, and for a more detailed or customized search, contact your librarian or submit a Literature Search Request.

(TITLE-ABS-KEY(“Health Services Accessibility”) AND TITLE-ABS-KEY(“Risk Factors”)) OR (TITLE-ABS-KEY(“Social determinants of health”) AND TITLE-ABS-KEY(“vulnerable populations”)) OR ( TITLE-ABS-KEY (health* W/2 ( equit* OR inequit* OR inequalit* OR disparit* OR equality ) ) )

For a more detailed or customized search, contact your librarian or submit a Literature Search Request.

Selected Books and eBooks

The following are selected titles within the Stephen B. Thacker Library collection categorized by various themes. If you have a suggestion for additional health equity titles to add to our collection, please submit a purchase suggestion.

Book cover image for Political Determinants of Health
Secondary Data and Statistics
  • CDC Wonder
    WONDER online databases utilize a rich ad-hoc query system for the analysis of public health data. Reports and other query systems are also available.
  • Compendium of Federal Datasets Addressing Health Disparities (PDF)
    The Compendium of Federal Datasets Addressing Health Disparities is a compilation of information on health equity data.
  • County Health Rankings
    The CHR&R program provides data, evidence, guidance, and examples to build awareness of the multiple factors that influence health and support leaders in growing community power to improve health equity. 
  • Google Dataset Search
    Google has built a search engine that helps researchers find freely available data for use.
  • Health Equity Inventory Tool from AAMC’s Center for Health Justice
    The Health Equity Inventory tool was originally developed as part of an effort funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is designed to help teaching hospitals coordinate and evaluate their community health work across research, clinical, education, and community engagement efforts.

Materials listed in these guides are selected to provide awareness of quality public health literature and resources. A material’s inclusion does not necessarily represent the views of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Public Health Service (PHS), or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nor does it imply endorsement of the material’s methods or findings. HHS, PHS, and CDC assume no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the items presented. The selection, omission, or content of items does not imply any endorsement or other position taken by HHS, PHS, and CDC. Opinion, findings, and conclusions expressed by the original authors of items included in these materials, or persons quoted therein, are strictly their own and are in no way meant to represent the opinion or views of HHS, PHS, or CDC. References to publications, news sources, and non-CDC Websites are provided solely for informational purposes and do not imply endorsement by HHS, PHS, or CDC.

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