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Table of Contents

You can receive the table of contents of relevant journals (such as Emerging Infectious Diseases or the MMWR) via e-mail from the publishers’ web sites, a commercial service like Ingenta or Infotrieve, or a free journal title search set up from the PubMed database. Some fields have their own journals and therefore receiving the contents is a good strategy for keeping up; this strategy is less successful for fields that are too narrow to have their own journal or so multidisciplinary that they are published in many journals. The "automatic update searches" strategy discussed in the next section is better suited for those new or multidisciplinary areas.
How do you identify which journals to follow? You probably already know the key journals in your discipline. You can look at the Core Journal list in Public Health from the Public Health/Health Administration section of the Medical Library Association or do a search in PubMed or other databases to identify the journals with articles related to your interests. Searching the Journals Database feature in PubMed may also give you ideas. Your local librarian can also help you identify journals. Once you identify the journals, use your favorite search engine to find the home page for the journal and then look for a link to something like “e-mail alerts” or “e-mail notifications.” Some sites only require your e-mail address; others may require more complete registration information. Some publishers with several relevant journals may allow you to register for multiple titles simultaneously. Both general medical journals such as JAMA or New England Journal of Medicine, and general public health journals such as Public Health Reports or Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health provide e-mail table of contents services. Select journals of interest to you. As you identify relevant articles, ask your local medical, state or public library to help you obtain the full text. If you don’t have a library that serves you, call the National Network of Libraries of Medicine at 1-800-338-7657 to find a library.

Example resources:

Take some time to explore the following resources.

MMWR (RSS available)
The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) series prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Emerging Infectious Diseases
Publication from the CDC.

JAMA (RSS available)
The Journal of the American Medical Association

Publisher-specific, content alerting services:
SAGE Content Alerts and My Favorite Journals
SAGE publishes the SOPHE journals Health Education & Behavior, Health Promotion Practice among others.


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