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Your Environment. Your Health.

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 currently provides access to a database of studies published between 2007 and 2019 with links to open-access or validated-source PDFs whenever possible.

  2. How often will the literature database be updated?

    The database is updated on an ongoing basis. Studies published in 2019 were added in Summer 2020. Generally, each new calendar year of studies is added the middle of the following year.

  3. 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 U.S. 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. In 2017, NIEHS updated this search strategy to include items through 2016 and submitted it as an input to the Fourth NCA. The goal of the Portal is to provide a global audience with ongoing access to this body of knowledge in order to facilitate research and inform decision and policy making that is protective of health.

  4. What topics are included in the portal?

    The portal includes references for studies about the health impacts associated with exposures to climate variability (e.g., heat, extreme precipitation) and climate change (e.g., changing seasonality, longer term temperature changes). Scientific literature on the health impacts of weather-related natural disasters is also included, as are studies of related issues such as health benefits of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, health adaptation, and resilience of health care facilities to extreme weather and climate events.

  5. What search strategy and sources of information are used to compile the portal?

    A set of search terms developed by NIEHS, in consultation with other experts, is used to search PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar databases, as well as websites of scientific and health organizations that produce relevant peer-reviewed reports and other high-level gray literature. The initial search was limited to a publication date between 2007 and 2013. Subsequent searches have included additional years through 2019 and have been revised to refine results as well as to capture relevant resources in disaster research literature. Searches are global but limited to English language citations. For a full description of the search strategy, please go to Climate Change and Human Health Search Strategy.

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

    Yes. A specific search strategy and screening process is used to populate the portal. If you believe a relevant item has been excluded, please use the Contact Us button on the Portal to make your suggestion. Please include as much information as possible about the reference (citation, link to source, etc.).

  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. You can use the Advanced Search box to further refine your search results using filters such as exposure, geographical feature, 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 on the left of the Search Results page 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.
  8. What if an item is not publicly available?

    We have made every effort to locate Open Access and publicly available sources. We recommend you ask your librarian for help or contact the author or journal directly for access to items that are not publicly available. As items become publicly available over time, their links will be updated on the Portal.

  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 make a request through the Contact Us button on the Portal.

  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 Selected Items" button at the top of the results list. Several options are offered:

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

    You can also print the search results using the print icon on the right side of the screen under the social media options.

    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 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 Facebook, Twitter LinkedIn, or email.

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

    For technical difficulty or questions, please Contact Us. We will make every effort to respond to you as quickly as possible.

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