The hope is that with this research guide you will more easily craft a topic for your research paper for health economics, become more skilled at doing a literature review and be able to easily get the full text of research articles.

Top Journals

Browsing journals is a good way to identify hot topics and join in the scholarly conversation. Here are a few top ranked (by impact factor and/or citation frequency) that cover topics related to health economics.  Immersing yourself in the literature can help with the thought processes for crafting a topic.


  Health Affairs

  Health Economics

  Journal of Health Economics

  Modern Healthcare


  The Lancet

Best Article Databases

Once you have an idea of your research area (even if you haven't narrowed to a topic), search article databases to find out what others have written.  Doing this allows you to listen in on the scholarly conversation. 

Effective Searching Tips

One search is rarely enough, be creative and try alternative ways to state your topic. 

Use multiple databases.  There will be overlap, but you will find unique resources.

Search by keywords, subject headings, descriptors and classifications.  Find out what these are by scanning results lists.

Before you become frustrated email your librarian for help.

  EconLit with Full Text (EBSCO)
Primary database for economic literature.

  Google Scholar
Google search of academic sources across all disciplines.

  MEDLINE (Thomson Scientific / ISI Web Services)
Medline primarily covers human health topics, including medical economics and policy

Chasing Citations & Getting Full Text

Expert researchers spend less time searching article databases and more time chasing down articles and books cited by others.  Getting the full text of articles cited by a great paper and the later researchers who in turn cite that paper is how the scholarly conversation takes place.  If the full text of an article listed in a works cited list isn't linked, here are some tips for getting full text.

Copy and paste the article title into our Articles and More search.  If the article is found, follow the "findit" button to get immediate full text or to get a scanned copy, usually in a day or two.

Type the Journal Title into the Journal Finder tool on the library home page.  Then search or browse the database with full text of the journal to find the needed article.

Use the Digital Object Identifier search.

Use Interlibrary Loan.  If you can't find the journal or article in one of our subscription databases, include as much complete bibliographic information at hand in the interlibrary loan form.

In Google Scholar make sure your preferences, library links are set to Villanova. This facilitates linking to content subscribed by Falvey Library

Trade Associations, Interest Groups & Think Tanks

Trade associations, interest groups and think tanks often provide ready access to the latest trends and developments as well as conduct and publish studies and data.  Be sure to note organizations missions and interests that may skew the objectivity of information provided.  Funding sources, "about us" pages and mentions by journalists will often suggest an organizations leanings.

Research & position papers from interest groups and think tanks both be a source for suggesting a topic and become part of your literature review.

Kaiser Family Foundation

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The Commonwealth Fund

Rand Corporation

Brookings Institution

Cato Institute

American Hospital Association

Industry Reports

Industry reports offer succinct paths to understanding how industries operate.  The usually describe the supply chain, list competitors, define jargon, discuss operating conditions and the competitive landscape, outline performance drivers and explain unique data and statistics.  They may prove to be a valuable source of background information for your research project

  NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor's Capital IQ)


  D&B Hoovers

  First Research Industry Profiles (ABI/Inform Collection - ProQuest)

Health Data

Data relevant to health economics is generated and compiles by international organizations,  governments, private organizations and individuals.  Only key health data sources are listed here.  Data sources are often identified in the research literature.  Googling or emailing the librarian are good ways to find statistics or data sets.

  Global Health Observatory (GHO) data
From the World Health Organization (WHO), this resource includes a data repository, reports, country statistics and a map gallery.

  OECD Statistics

  Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (HHS)
Collection of data sets generated local, state and federal agencies related to health.

  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Data & Statistics

  Health Services Research Information Central

  CMS Data Navigator


Don't overlook books in your search for materials and don't limit yourself to the book available in our library.  If we don't have the book you need we can get it for your quickly via EZBorrow or get a scan of a chapter via Interlibrary Loan.

Don't rely solely on Amazon book searching because it has fewer scholarly and out of print titles.  Expand your horizons by using Google Books

  Falvey Library Catalog (Books & Media)

  WorldCat (FirstSearch)
Catalog of holdings in research libraries.  Borrow via EZborrow or Interlibrary loan