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Frequently Asked Questions

Climate Change and Human Health Literature Portal

  1. What is the Climate Change and Human Health Literature Portal?

    The Climate Change and Human Health Literature Portal is a knowledge management tool for individuals who want to find the most relevant scientific literature on the health implications of climate change. It provides access to a database of studies published between 2007 and 2014.

  2. Why was the portal created?

    The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) developed the portal after receiving feedback from academic and public health stakeholders that it was often difficult to access the most relevant studies on climate change and health because of the many disciplines and journals involved in the field. The project grew from NIEHS' efforts to support the US Global Change Research Program's Third National Climate Assessment (NCA). In 2012 and 2013, NIEHS developed a Health Sector Bibliography that served as a technical input for the Health Chapter of the NCA. This portal is an effort to make that database accessible to a global audience and in an updated form on an ongoing basis.

  3. What topics are included in the portal?

    The portal includes studies and other information sources about the health impacts and human health vulnerability related to temperature and precipitation changes, frequency and severity of extreme weather sea level rise, seasonal timing alterations, and other manifestations of climate change; it also includes studies about health benefits of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, health adaptation for climate change, and resilience of health care facilities to extreme weather and climate events. Specific headings in the portal include:

    • Adaptation/Preparedness strategies
    • Air Pollution
    • Allergies
    • Climate Justice/Equity
    • Co-benefits/Co-harms
    • Communications
    • Displacement/Migration/Conflict
    • Economic Costs
    • Extreme Weather/Injuries
    • Food and Water Borne Disease
    • Food Insecurity
    • General Climate Change and Health
    • Heat
    • Mental Health
    • Toxicity
    • Vector Borne Disease
    • Water Insecurity
    • Wildfire
  4. What search strategy and sources of information were used to compile the portal?

    A set of search terms developed by NIEHS experts were used to search PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar databases. Searches were limited to a publication date greater than 2006 and to English language citations. Abstracts and, in some cases, full articles were reviewed by staff and coded for special categories, such as Co-benefits/Co-harms and Climate Justice/Equity. For a full description of the search strategy, please go to Climate Change and Human Health Search Strategy.

  5. How often will the literature database be updated?

    The database is intended to be updated on an annual basis, starting in 2017.

  6. Can I recommend articles to be included in the portal?

    Yes. A specific search strategy was used to populate the portal. If you believe a relevant item was excluded, please contact the NIEHS Climate Change Program.

  7. How do I search for studies?

    You may search the portal by entering a keyword in the search box, and you may limit the search by year or resource type. In addition, search results may be filtered by audience, exposure, geographical feature, location, health impact, etc.

    Search terms:

    • A search for pacific is the same as PACIFIC.
    • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase instead of separate words (e.g. "west africa") for more focused results.

    Filtering: Use the checkboxes in the Filter panel to narrow your results.

    • Checkboxes within a group have an "OR" relationship. For example, you could select both Children and Elderly in the Vulnerable Population group, to find resources relating to either one or both groups.
    • Checkboxes in separate groups have an "AND" relationship. For example, you could select Elderly in the Vulnerable Population group, and Research Article in the Resource Type group to find research articles with a focus on elderly populations.

    Example Explorations: The following searches with pre-set criteria are available from the home page. You can start with one of these example explorations and adjust the filters as needed:

  8. What if an item is not publicly available?

    We've made every effort to locate publicly available sources. We recommend you ask your librarian or contact the author or journal directly if you need access to an item that is not publicly available.

  9. Is there a way to download the entire catalog?

    At this time, there is no way to download the entire catalog. For research collaboration, including access to the entire database, please contact the NIEHS Climate Change Program.

  10. Can search results be exported to a program such as Microsoft Excel or Endnote?

    In any search results window, mark the checkbox next to the resource titles you would like to download or export. Once you have selected some resources, use the "View List of Selected Items" button at the top of the results list. Several options are offered:

    • Download Citations as CSV
    • Download All Details as PDF
    • Print
    • Email

    Download Citations as CSV: All the citation data for your selected resources will be included in a single CSV file. CSV files can be opened by most spreadsheet and text editing programs.

    Download All Details as PDF: The citation and survey data for your selected resources will be bundled into one PDF file. Each page in the PDF file will look very similar to the detail pages displayed in this online portal.

    Print: The citation and survey data for your selected resources will be formatted for printing directly in your browser.

    Email: Links to the portal detail pages for your selected resources will be included in an email message. If you select this option, you will be asked to provide one or more email addresses to receive your message. You can also customize the message before sending it.

  11. How can I share portal search results?

    You can share a list of selected resources or individual resources using email or social media.

    Email a list of selected portal results: Once you have selected one or more resources, use the "View List of Selected Items" button at the top of the results list. Links to the portal detail pages for your selected resources will be included in an email message. If you select this option, you will be asked to provide one or more email addresses to receive your message. You can also customize the message before sending it.

    Share the portal detail page for a single resource: Sharing buttons are available on the individual resource detail pages. Links are provided to share via Twitter, Facebook, or email.

  12. Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

    For technical difficulty or questions, please Contact Us. You may also submit questions or feedback on the portal to the NIEHS Climate Change Program.