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Help / Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is the Resource Guide for Public Health Preparedness?

  • The Resource Guide is a web-accessible bibliographic database of electronic resources related to public health preparedness. Some of the resources focus on how the public health workforce can improve its readiness to respond to emergencies; others provide guidance on how to mitigate and manage the public health consequences of disasters.


  • The Resource Guide is a tool for practice-based public health professionals who need to find preparedness information in the fullest form, and in the quickest way possible.


  • The Resource Guide has been developed by the New York Academy of Medicine and is funded by the National Library of Medicine.

Who should use it?

  • While most materials are for the public health workforce (see Audience Types) the guide does include information for the general public and the research community.

What’s in it, and what’s not?

  • The Resource Guide provides access only to those items freely available on the web in an electronic format.


  • The Guide includes a variety of materials including research and review articles, testimony before congress, and fact sheets (see Resource Types for a complete list.)


  • Not included are works without a public health connection (e.g.,political and general news sources, like the FBI Terrorism page or Google News)


  • Many relevant titles in public health preparedness are not in the guide. Some of the best research is still only available in print or through a vendor subscription service. The guide focuses only on those items which are freely available in electronic format.

How often is the database updated?

  • New resources are added to the database as found. A date stamp is provided on the bottom of each page indicating when the database was last updated.

What are the filters and how do I use them?

  • Filters were developed to allow for materials to be selected or filtered based on several indicators.


  • The filters used in the Resource Guide were selected based on discussions with members of the public health workforce and research community. They include Audience Type, Disaster Phase, and CDC Focus Area.

How were the Subject Heading Terms developed?

  • In an attempt to create a controlled vocabulary with a natural language feel, the Subject Heading Terms were developed using Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH), Taxonomy of Human Services (THS, by Georgia Sales), the Hazlit Database and the literature of the field.


  • Each record receives up to three headings from a broad to narrow scope that imitates the normal cataloging practice of subdivisions but in a "keyword searchable" approach.

What are the other available access points?

  • A simple keyword query (basic search) will search for your term in the following fields: Author, Title, Subtitle, Sponsor, Subject Headings, and Annotation.


  • If you're not certain how to start your search, the browse function will help you to find resources. By looking at the way the relevant resources are described -- especially the way the subject headings are applied -- you can start to formuate a search strategy.

What if I don’t find what I’m looking for?

  • If the Resource Guide is returning no results for your search, try a broader subject approach (for example, Vaccines instead of Vaccinia virus).


  • If the Resource Guide is not returning relevant search results, look at the "full view" to see why those records are being retrieved. Are the search terms you used included in the title, abstract, or annotation? Look at the subject terms, and consider what relationship they might have to your search.


  • Still no luck? . We will investigate any problems with the database and attempt to find relevant resources for your search term(s).

New York Academy of Medicine, 1216 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10029
Copyright by New York Academy of Medicine, 2003
Updated October 13, 2008

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