Etymons, definitions, and usage
The origins, definitions, and usage of the term "ecoepidemiology" wind their way through the scientific literature of ecology and medicine. This study sought to determine if "ecoepidemiology" has been granted a common meaning in these disciplines or if the meanings have diverged or if new phrases have been proposed. "Ecoepidemiology" appears in the French literature of medicine — as the name for the geographic variable in epidemiologic studies — about ten years before it appears in English-language articles on ecology. In the English literature, a few scientists writing about ecological monitoring and assessment adopted the term because they needed a word or phrase to emphasize research methods common both to ecology and to epidemiology in human medicine. After the term "clinical ecology" was rejected in the medical literature, it was offered as an alternative to "ecoepidemiology". "Clinical ecology" can be defined as "the branch of ecology that studies the condition of ecosystems to document change in status and trends". A more logical term than "ecoepidemiology", "clinical ecology" keeps the literature about ecosystem health grouped by subject in libraries and bibliographic databases with ecology instead of improperly assigned to collections of information on human health and medicine. "Ecoepidemiology", however, seems to be more prevalent in the literature of the environmental and ecological sciences.