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Health and Environmental Research Online (HERO) from the EPA

The Health and Environmental Research Online is a database of scientific studies and other references used to develop EPA's risk assessments aimed at understanding the health and environmental effects of pollutants and chemicals. HERO uses a variety of reference types; the majority of references are original research published in peer-reviewed literature

The field of library and information science provides us with standardized definitions, required and optional fields, and citation formats for each reference type.It is developed and managed in EPA's Office of Research and Development (ORD) by the National Center for Environmental Assessment (NCEA).

For each reference, HERO contains:

  • Reference type
  • Citation elements: authors, title, year of publication, source. Depending on the type of reference, the citation will also include volume, page numbers, URL, etc.
  • Abstract or brief description
  • Topic areas that describe the reference (e.g., carbon monoxide, asthma)
  • Assessment(s) in which the reference was used, if relevant. Note that HERO contains references considered for use in assessment development, not just those references actually used.
  • For "key" studies: objective, quantitative extracted study data [future enhancement]




September 13, 2010


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