Population & Public Health

Library Course Assessment for
Graduate Program in Population and Public Health
29, 2004

Introduction | Monographs | Serials | Funding


This is the Library's assessment for the graduate program in Population and Public Health proposed under the Facutly of Health Sciences. During the development of SFU's Institute for Health and Research Education and the evolution of the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Library has been working to assess our collections and other needs to support the growth of health-related research and programs at SFU. The Library has funded a Health Sciences Librarian, and has sought funding from a variety of sources to support the growth of our health-related collections. However, current funding is not adequate to cover the requirements of the proposed graduate program. The library costs associated with the program are detailed below, with an explanation of funding already secured, and an enumeration of outstanding costs.


The library purchases most books through approval and notification programs from major book wholesalers. In preparing this assessment, we analyzed gaps in our current collection and developed book approval profiles for Canadian, US, UK and other foreign imprints relating to the subjects covered by the program. A list of these headings is available. In addition to acquisitions on these headings, selective purchases from clinical and biomedical subjects relating to the courses will be made. An allocation is also required to fulfill direct requests from new faculty members for the program as they are hired.

The additional annual cost of purchasing books to support the program will be $55,000. This represents 425 books per year at an average book cost of $105 for titles from Social Science disciplines and 65 books per year at an average cost of $155 for Biomedical titles.

In addition to the ongoing purchase of new publications, there is a need to do some retrospective collection building to fill gaps in the collection. This will include recently published material as well as a limited number of classic and reference works in these areas. For example, the Library has not been collecting at all to date in the areas of some of the proposed courses and has very limited holdings:

HSCI 8xx Health problems of vulnerable populations
HSCI 8xx Science and evidence-based inference in the health sciences
GLOH 8xx Women's, children's and reproductive health

In the areas of many other proposed courses, the Library has been collecting only selectively, but not at a level suitable to sustain a graduate program, for example:

HSCI 8xx Research design and methods for the health sciences
HSCI 8xx Epidemiology for the health sciences
HSCI 8xx Epidemiology of chronic, infectious and acute health problems
HSCI 8xx Theories and perspectives on health and the health sciences
HSCI 8xx Health risk assessment and risk management

Considerable progress was made building the population, public health and epidemiology collection during 2003/04 with funding from the Library and the VP Research. Retrospective collection development will continue during 2004/05 with funding from Indirect Costs of Research grant ($110,000 allocated).

Ongoing cost: $55,000/year


The Library provides access to many journals that will support the proposed program. Rather than listing them all here, links are provided to existing lists:

Selected electronic journals in Health Care and Epidemiology at SFU Library

Selected electronic journals in Medicine at SFU Library

In consultation with IHRE faculty, the Library started a number of new journal subscriptions in 2004. However, there are still significant gaps in the collection that will need to be addressed to adequately support a graduate program in this area.

New journals to be acquired:

Academic medicine
AIDS care
Canadian journal of nursing research
Cancer epidemiology biomarkers & prevention
Evaluation and the health professions
Health education and behavior: the official publication of the Society for Public Health Education
Health education research
Health law review
Health policy and planning
Health promotion international
Health services research. HSR
Human nature -- An interdisciplinary biosocial perspective
International journal for quality in health care
Journal of evaluation in clinical practice
Journal of family planning and reproductive health care
Journal of health communication
Journal of health law
Medical care research and review
Medical decision making
Medical informatics & the internet: an international journal of informatics in health care
Methods of information in medicine
Milbank quarterly
Nutrition research reviews
Proceedings of the nutrition society
Social history of medicine
Sociology of health and illness
Statistical methods in medical research
Teaching and learning in medicine
Tobacco control
WHO Technical report series

2005 cost of these journals is $19,908. This will be covered by a one-time budget transfer from IHRE in 2004/05. In order to cover commitments into the future, this will need to be ongoing funding.

Journal backfiles to be purchased (one-time cost): $90,000 covered by Indirect Costs of Research funding 2004/05

The Faculty of Health Sciences has plans to hire up to seven additional faculty members to deliver the program in Population and Public Health. These new faculty members will come to SFU with the expectation that key journals not presently in our collection can be added. With no faculty reporting in the FHS and no programs in place to date, the Library has received requests, and prioritized for ordering over $40,000 of new journals in the past two years. In order to have an allocation to accomodate some journal requests from new faculty, the Library requires an addtional $20,000.

Ongoing cost: $40,000/year

Bibliographic Tools

The Library provides access to the following databases that will support students in the program:

Alt-Health Watch
Cochrane Library
Health Source: Consumer Edition
Health Source: Academic/Nursing Edition

Web of Science

The Library has adequate bibliographic tools to support the proposed program.

Additional funding required from the Faculty of Health Sciences

Monographs: $55,000/year; Serials: $40,000/year
TOTAL: $95,000/year

Note:  The materials required for this program are located in the WAC Bennett Library on the Burnaby campus.  This assessment is based on the assumption that the program will be offered at SFU’s Burnaby campus.  If the program were to be offered at SFU Surrey or Harbour Center, or as an off-campus location, additional Library costs would be incurred.