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The Nursing and Allied Health Resources Section of the Medical Library Association (MLA) created the Task Force on Bibliographic Access for the Allied Health Literature to identify the core journals of various allied health fields and assess the coverage given these titles by the major indexing and abstracting services. The larger objective is to influence increased bibliographic access to the core literature. This paper introduces the Project for Mapping the Literature of Allied Health and the common bibliometric methodology used for the five specific studies reported in the accompanying papers. Findings relating to format used, age of citations, dispersion of literature, and indexing coverage for the different fields are compared. Journals are the most heavily cited format. Fields differ by the currency of cited material, with physical therapy and speech language pathology displaying use of the oldest citations. The set of core journals is small for each field, particularly in speech-language pathology. MEDLINE provided the strongest indexing coverage overall, followed by EMBASE. Information such as that reported by the project can help librarians in improving information transfer for the allied health professionals they serve.