Someone from the SafetyLit Foundation recently sent me information about the SafetyLit Database via LinkedIn. I hadn’t heard of this resource before, but I took a look (though not an exhaustive one) and saw some interesting material in it. Here’s the description sent to me:
SafetyLit (short for safety literature) is a free database service of the SafetyLit Foundation in cooperation with San Diego State University and the World Health Organization. The SafetyLit site contains no advertising. SafetyLit is operated entirely by volunteers throughout the world. The database contains more than 500,000 records and draws content from more than 16,000 professional journals of 30+ distinct professional disciplines.
So I went to the site to find out more. Here’s what the site tells you is in SafetyLit:
SafetyLit provides abstracts of reports from researchers who work in the more than 30 distinct professional disciplines relevant to preventing and researching unintentional injuries, violence, and self-harm. Among these are agriculture, anthropology, architecture, economics, education, engineering specialties, ergonomics and human factors, faith scholars, health and medicine, law and law enforcement, psychology, social work, sociology, and other fields.
And here’s the site’s stated mission:
The mission of SafetyLit is to provide a free comprehensive, easy-to-use, searchable, Internet-based bibliographic database of scholarly journal articles, technical reports, and theses concerning all issues of safety arising from many professional disciplines and nations. The items will be indexed in a way that access to information by policymakers, practitioners, researchers, and the general public will not be hindered by obscure professional jargon or arcane search terms.
Just to see samples of what’s in there, I did a basic search of the database for “active shooter” and got 23 results, including:
“Active shooter in educational facility,” Downs S. Journal of Emergency Management, 2015; 13(4): 303-326.
“An examination of the individual and contextual characteristics associated with active shooter events,” Gamache K, Platania J, Zaitchik M. Journal of Forensic Psychology (open access journal), 2015; 7: 1-20. [note: I added the pdf link from the OA journal site]
“How to avoid having to run—hide—fight,” Sawyer JR. Journal of Healthcare Protection Management, 2015; 31(2): 15-22.
That was pretty interesting, so then I did a Boolean search for “libraries” and “homeless” looking for Textword + Synonyms (a search type the Boolean search here lets you do). I got a number of false drops (literature review articles on the homeless and the “libraries searched” in the review, for instance), but I also got some pertinent material that was the kind of thing I sought, including:
“Measuring the public library’s societal value: A methodological research program,” Huysmans F, Oomes M., IFLA Journal, 2013; 39(2): 168-177.
“Opportunities and challenges for public libraries to enhance community resilience,” Veil SR, Bishop BW, Risk Analysis, 2014; 34(4): 721-734.
“Digital information support for domestic violence victims,” Westbrook L., Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 2007; 58(3): 420-432.
Then I went into the “About Us” section of the site, and found this item in the SafetyLit History story: “The idea for SafetyLit came from a service provided in the early- to mid-1990s by Sandy Bonzo, a librarian with the U.S. CDC National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. That bibliographic update was a printout of article citations from Medline that were indexed with selected MeSH terms relevant to the treatment and prevention of injuries. That valuable service ended in 1995.” So it all began with a librarian.
The end of the “About Us” section includes these disclaimers:
SafetyLit Provides Information—Not Advice
Important: The articles and reports summarized in each SafetyLit Update are NOT screened for quality. The purpose of SafetyLit is to provide its users with information to allow them to identify and find material (of both good and poor quality) that has been published about injury prevention and safety promotion topics. Even when SafetyLit staff believe that there are methodological errors that affect the research findings or when we disagree with the authors’ conclusions and statements of implications, an attempt is made to provide an objective summary of the authors’ intent. Material in the ‘comments’ section of each report’s summary is provided by the author(s) of the report—not by SafetyLit.
So as with many information resources, you’ll be the judge of just how useful SafetyLit may be to you and your researchers. But as a freely available resource, I figure you just may want to know about it. I’d be interested to hear feedback from readers if you do explore it.