About POPLINE

POPLINE® contains the world’s most comprehensive collection of population, family planning and related reproductive health and development literature. An international resource, POPLINE helps program managers, policy makers, and service providers in low- and middle-income countries and in development-supportive agencies and organizations gain access to scientific articles, reports, books, and unpublished documents.

POPLINE is a free resource, maintained by the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health/Center for Communication Programs and is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Scope and Content

POPLINE includes information on population and family planning, specifically research in contraceptive methods, family planning services, research in human fertility, maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS in developing countries, program operations and evaluation, demography, and other related health, law, and policy issues. Many documents are unique to the collection and are unavailable elsewhere.

POPLINE consists of bibliographic citations and abstracts to a variety of materials including journal articles and other scientific, technical, and programmatic publications as well as unpublished documents and project reports (gray literature). Most documents published after 2000 contain links to full-text.

POPLINE indexes each record using a controlled vocabulary, meaning that there is a specific set of terms used to describe each document. A User's Guide to POPLINE Keywords is the authority list of vocabulary terms used for subject analysis of the documents in POPLINE. Familiarity with this vocabulary will make you a better POPLINE searcher.

Size and Coverage

POPLINE contains 370,000 records. The majority of items are published from 1970 to the present; however, there are selected citations dating back to 1827. The database adds 7,000 records annually.

POPLINE consists of bibliographic citations and abstracts to a variety of materials including journal articles and other scientific, technical, and programmatic publications as well as unpublished documents and project reports (gray literature).

History

For over 40 years, POPLINE has provided access to the world’s population, family planning and related public health literature to diverse clients in developing countries and in development-supportive agencies and organizations.

Central to POPLINE’s mission is sharing knowledge that has been created, synthesized, or captured in the field. Developing country program managers and planners, policymakers, health care providers, researchers, and teachers are not only the primary intended audience for POPLINE, but also its prime knowledge sources. In the course of gathering this information and refining the tools to access it, POPLINE has created the most comprehensive knowledge sharing resource in this crucial field, while at the same time forming a network of clients who use it to create and share new knowledge.

Established in 1973 with support from USAID, the database was part of the Population Information Program (PIP) at George Washington University, and then at Johns Hopkins University. During 1980-2001, POPLINE was one of the National Library of Medicine’s MEDLARS databases. Covering family planning, reproductive health and demography, POPLINE served as a complement to the broader PubMed database. In 2001, POPLINE developed its own searchable website and, in the same year, became part of PIP’s successor Information and Knowledge for Optimal Health (INFO) project, now the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project.

POPLINE has facilitated thousands of comprehensive literature reviews, delivered nearly 500,000 full-text documents to requesters in low- and middle-income countries, and provides 50,000 links to a diverse array of open-access documents.

July 2013 marked the 40th anniversary of POPLINE.  How far have we come in 40 years?  Our interactive timeline shows the evolution of this unique resource.