Data and Methods

Public health services and systems researchers use a wide variety of data from many sources to investigate optimal ways of organizing, financing, and delivering public health programs and services. As a resource for PHSSR investigators, this page provides links to both longstanding and emerging data sources that could be useful for designing and implementing scientific studies.

Have additional data sources to recommend to researchers? Email us about them at

November 4, 2014

The ASTHO Profile of State Public Health (Profile) is the only comprehensive source of information about state public health agency activities, structure, and resources.

November 4, 2014

The National Profile of Local Health Departments (commonly referred to as “the Profile study”) is a nationwide study investigating relevant topics on local public health infrastructure and practice.

July 2, 2014

Abstract: Claims data are an important source of data for public health surveillance but have not been widely used in the United States because of concern with personally identifiable health information and other issues.

April 2, 2014

Abstract: The Multi-Network Practice and Outcome Variation (MPROVE) Study supports investigations of the causes and consequences of variation in public health service delivery through collecting a standardized set of delivery measures across more than 300 local practice settings

March 3, 2014

HSRR is a searchable database of information about research datasets, instruments/indices and software. Users may examine and compare characteristics of some of the resources employed in Health Services Research, the Behavioral and Social Sciences and Public Health.

March 3, 2014

The Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce (PHPartners) is a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations, and health science libraries.

January 2, 2014

Abstract: Accreditation is one of the newest instruments in the public health system’s toolbox for reducing undesirable variation in practice, and perhaps also for promoting desirable variation.

December 13, 2013

Law Atlas-The Policy Surveillance Portal provides access to a variety of datasets that can be useful when conducting public health law research. Each dataset is accompanied by a protocol and a codebook.

December 11, 2013

The Project Tycho™ database aims are to advance the availability and use of public health data for science and policy.

December 9, 2013

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program is a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.