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Library Resources About Epidemics and Public Health

  • Posted by: Jutta Seibert
  • Posted Date: August 31, 2010
  • Filed Under: History

choleraMedical research has come a long way since the 1918 influenza epidemic, but last year’s H1-N1 scare demonstrated how vulnerable we still are when faced with a new and highly contagious virus. Today’s population density and global travel habits increase the speed with which epidemics can turn into pandemics.

Are you interested in learning more about the history of the “French disease” or the yellow fever outbreak in Philadelphia in the 18th century? Would you like to learn more about the field of public health as it emerged in response to epidemic diseases.
Falvey’s large collection comprises encyclopedic essays, books, primary sources in digital collections and peer-reviewed journal articles about the history of epidemics, public health, and hygiene.

The Epidemics in History Research Guide identifies numerous library resources and lists relevant Library of Congress subject headings that will improve search results in the online catalog. It includes links to sample essays, articles and primary sources in Falvey’s digital collections.
The online research guide can be found on the Course & Topic Guides page under the Guides tab on the library home page. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments that you may have.

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Criminal Justice Abstracts Now on EBSCOhost

cjaEBSCO has acquired the Criminal Justice Abstracts index from Sage earlier this year and over the summer Falvey’s subscription switched from Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (CSA) to the EBSCO interface.  I was not very enthusiastic about this change, because it meant that Villanova faculty and students lost the ability to cross-search Criminal Justice Abstracts with Sociological Abstracts, which remains on the CSA interface. The library is currently investigating whether it will be possible to switch Sociological Abstracts to EBSCO in the near future.

On the positive side you will notice that the EBSCO interface is in no way inferior to the familiar CSA interface. I encourage you to give the new Criminal Justice Abstracts a try. One of the first things that I noticed when I tested the new interface, was a larger and more focused number of results. As it turns out, Criminal Justice Abstracts contains now more than 235,000 records compared to 103,600 on the old platform. The additional records come from criminal justice core journals according to a recent EBSCO press release. Please note also that cited references can now be searched via a separate tab at the top of the search screen (see illustration), but only 130 of the 270 indexed journals are indexed with cited references. Social Sciences Citation Index is still the most comprehensive source in terms of cited reference searching.

Falvey also lost its free access to NCJRS Abstracts through the CSA interface. EBSCO stepped up and offered us free access to NCJRS Abstracts, which means faculty and students can continue to cross search it together with Criminal Justice Abstracts by selecting both databases after clicking on Chooses Databases (see illustration) at the top of the search screen. Please note that the links to the free government full text in NCJRS Abstracts are buried on the record level. The library’s FindIt button will not link to this content.

Go ahead and check out the new content on Criminal Justice Abstracts. Feel free to contact me with any feedback and comments that you may have.

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Last Modified: August 20, 2010