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Healthcare MBA

Data Sources

What is an Annotated Bibliography? 

It is a list of resources with an evaluative summary of each. More than just a summary of the article, annotated bibliographies give you a chance to critique the resources you're finding. They can also help you determine whether your problem question is viable.


How are they different from abstracts/summaries?

They are more than summaries.  They are subjective and the purpose is to summarize and evaluate. They should briefly communicate the work’s main point, but also discuss the background of the author or study, and the strengths/weaknesses of the work.  Abstracts that are found in journal databases are usually objective, and the sole purpose is to summarize.


What do you need to ask when writing an annotated bibliography? 

It is helpful to ask these 3 questions for each source:

1. What is this source really about? Summarize the main points. Remember that an annotated bibliography is more than just a summary.

2. How does this resource relate to the other sources in my bibliography? How does it relate to my problem? Is it biased? Is it too basic? Does it include data or is it just descriptive? Who are the authors and how do they compare with the other authors? Critically analyze each resource and compare them to the other resources you discovered.

3. How does this resource help or hurt finding a solution to my problem statement? What is the unique information? How does this uphold or change the options for the problem? Should I include it in my paper? Why or why not? The point of an annotated bibliography is to tell the story of your problem so that when you sit down to write your health policy analysis thesis, you have a strong foundation that includes data, stats, and research.


A minimum of 5 sources are required.  The sources can include raw data, data studies, and/or your own data.

The data sources will be evaluated on the following:   decorative image

  • A proper APA citation.
  • Studies that involve hypothesis testing in which statistical tests are used.
  • A sentence regarding the methodology used for data studies. If you are using raw data, explain how the data was collected.
  • A sentence describing the key variables that were measured or tested (for
    example, disease prevalence, score of the experimental test, total cost, etc.).
  • Describe the type of data.  Is it quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods? Your professor is looking for quantitative data. 
  • If it is a study, describe the type of research (observational, experimental, interview, etc.).  
  • Describe the type of study (observational vs. experimental, longitudinal vs. cross-sectional, etc.).  



How to find Empirical Studies:

1. Read the descriptions of the databases to decide which one to use.

2. Click on the database link.

3. Do an advanced search.

4. Type in your keywords.

Use AND between disparate terms and OR between similar terms.

For example:

line 1: "food desert"


line 2: miami OR "south florida" OR overtown OR ... *

Notice I put the phrases in "quotes". This tells the database to look for the words side by side.

Use * for stems of words.  For example, grocer* will find grocery, groceries, grocer, etc.

5. Click the box in the database for Peer-Reviewed. This will provide results that are reviewed by other scholars and evaluated whether the research is sound, reliable, and valid.

6. When you get your results, read through the abstract to look for hints of an empirical study.

Hints include:

a. specific research question

b. primary data

c. ability to replicate

d. conclusions

7. If there isn't a link to the full-text, click FIND IT @FIU to search for the full-text.

What is an Empirical Study?

It is report of research based on actual observation or experiment.

  • Is there a specific research question?
  • Does the article include primary data?
  • Can the study be replicated?
  • How are conclusions formed?