Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Statesman's Yearbook is Now Available Online

Published continuously since 1846, The Statesman's Yearbook is a standard source of detailed information on the countries and international organizations of the world. Updated to provide clear and concise information on the politics, cultures and economies of the world, the Yearbook is now available online through the Cheng Library. Running to 1,600 pages in its print format, the Yearbook has recently been expanded to include

  • Biographical Profiles of Current Leaders
  • Government Histories
  • Extended Economic Overviews and Historical Economic Statistics
  • Half-page Line Maps
  • In-depth Topical Essays: in this edition Democracy and Military Expenditure, plus an essay on the World Economy by William Keegan, Economics Editor, The Observer

The country profiles cover such topics as key historical events, territory and population data, major cities, social statistics, climate, government, recent elections, a review of the current administration, defense and international relations, the economy, energy and natural resources, industry and international trade, communications, social institutions, religion, culture, and diplomatic representatives, and most profiles include a bibliography for further reading. The online version is easy to search and browse.

Friday, March 23, 2007

E-Documents of the Week: Reports on Murder Victims' Families, the Cost of Iraq, Toxic Pollution and Health, and Health Insurance Coverage

This week we feature four documents, each connected to a different public policy issue.

Wednesday's Death Penalty Forum featured the New Jersey Director of Murder Victims' Families for Reconciliation (MVFR), an organization advocating abolition of the death penalty. MVFR's 2002 report, "Dignity Denied: The Experience of Murder Victims' Family Members Who Oppose the Death Penalty," argues that many of the benefits won by the victims' rights movement in recent decades "are too often unavailable to victims if they oppose the death penalty." The complete 33-page report is now available online through the Cheng Library's catalog.

On March 14, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) issued an update to a previously published report titled "The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations since 9/11" and the document is now available online through the web site of the Federation of American Scientists. The 45-page report provides Department of Defense figures, CRS estimates of war costs, an analysis of trends in war funding, and estimates of future costs for the three major U.S.-initiated military operations since September 11, 2001: (1) Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) covering Afghanistan and other Global War on Terror (GWOT) operations ranging from the Philippines to Djibouti that began immediately after the 9/11 attacks and continues; (2) Operation Noble Eagle (ONE) providing enhanced security for U.S. military bases and other homeland security that was launched in response to the attacks and continues at a modest level; and (3) Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) that began in the fall of 2002 with the build up of troops for the March 2003 invasion of Iraq and continues with counter-insurgency and stability operations. The report includes several detailed tables and references.

On March 22, the Access Project, a research affiliate of the Schneider Institutes for Health Policy at Brandeis University that serves as a resource center for local communities working to improve health and healthcare access issued a report titled "The Illusion of Coverage: How Health Insurance Fails People When They Get Sick." The report "describes how private insurance products fail to protect people from financial hardship and guarantee access to care when they become ill or injured. The Illusion of Coverage discusses insurance characteristics and processes that cause medical debt, people's lack of meaningful choices when purchasing health plans, and the consequences of medical debt caused by inadequate coverage. It also provides recommendations on how to provide people access to comprehensive and affordable insurance products. The report is based on in-depth interviews with 45 people in seven states who accrued medical debt despite having health insurance." The full 72-page report is now available online through the Access Project's web site.

On March 22, the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group (NJPIRG) and the New Jersey Work Environment Council (NJWEC) released a new report titled "Toxic Pollution And Health: An Analysis of Toxic Chemicals Released in Communities across the United States." The report's findings are based on data provided through the Environmental Protection Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program. Among the report's major conclusions are that industries continue to release toxic chemicals linked to severe health effects into our air and water, that a relatively small number of communities often experience the bulk of the air and water pollution, and that the mining industry overwhelmingly releases the most toxic pollution to land. The report is also critical of the Bush Administration's recent rule changes to the TRI Program's requirements that raise the threshhold at which companies are required to submit detailed reports on toxic releases. NJPIRG's web site provide the full text of the report, plus additional New Jersey-specific information including:

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Published International Literature On Traumatic Stress (PILOTS) Database Now Available

The Published International Literature On Traumatic Stress (PILOTS) database is an electronic index to the worldwide literature on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental-health consequences of exposure to traumatic events. It is produced by the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and is now available on the CSA Illumina search platform through the Cheng Library.

The purpose of the database is to provide citations to all literature on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental-health sequelae of traumatic events, without disciplinary, linguistic, or geographical limitations, and to offer both current and retrospective coverage. Although it is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the PILOTS database is not limited to literature on PTSD among veterans. The current subject coverage of the database includes:

  • post-traumatic stress disorder or acute stress disorder (with or without reference to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

  • the assessment, description, prevention, or treatment of any psychiatric disorder, especially dissociative identity disorder (formerly called multiple personality disorder), other dissociative disorders, or borderline personality disorder, associated etiologically or epidemiologically with exposure to a traumatic event, or to an event experienced as traumatic by the population under discussion

  • the preparation or provision of mental health services to a traumatized population or a population at risk of experiencing traumatic events

  • issues of professional ethics, scientific methodology, or public policy relating to traumatized populations

The database, which is updated monthly, currently includes over 31,000 records for journal articles, books, book chapters, doctoral dissertations, government reports, and miscellaneous other publications. Although its coverage extends to 1871, over 99 percent of the records indexed date from 1960 and after. For serious searchers, PILOTS provides a 188-page User's Guide (in PDF format - 821 KB), consisting primarily of a detailed subject thesaurus.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

E-Document of the Week: Budget of the U.S. Government for FY2008

The Budget of the U.S. Government for FY 2008 was released on February 5. It is now available online through the Cheng Library's catalog.

Issued by the Office of Management and Budget, the Budget of the United States Government is a collection of documents that contains the budget message of the President, information about the President's budget proposals for a given fiscal year, and other budgetary publications that have been issued throughout the fiscal year. Other related and supporting budget publications, such as the Economic Report of the President, are included, which may vary from year to year. The complete document consists of the following component parts:

  • Budget of the United States Government - contains the Budget Message of the President, information on the President's budget and management priorities, and budget overviews organized by agency, including assessments of their performance.

  • Analytical Perspectives - contains analyses that are designed to highlight specified subject areas or provide other significant presentations of budget data that place the budget in perspective. This volume includes economic and accounting analyses; information on Federal receipts and collections; analyses of Federal spending; detailed information on Federal borrowing and debt; baseline or current services estimates; and other technical presentations.

  • Historical Tables - provides data on budget receipts, outlays, surpluses or deficits, Federal debt, and Federal employment over an extended time period, generally from 1940 or earlier to 2012. To the extent feasible, the data have been adjusted to provide consistency with the 2008 Budget and to provide comparability over time.

  • Appendix - contains detailed information on the various appropriations and funds that constitute the budget and is designed primarily for the use of the Appropriations Committee.

New Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology - Online and Print Versions

Published in December 2006, the Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology is a major new reference source in sociology. The 11-volume print version contains 1,800 entries written by an international team of scholars. The complete work contains approximately 3.5 million words over 6,000 pages. Entries range from short definitions of key terms to extended explorations of major topics. The subject coverage extends from themes that have historically defined the discipline to more recent developments. Also included are introductions to sociological theories and research that have developed outside of the United States and Western Europe. The online version is identical in content to the print version, with powerful searching and browsing features, hyperlinked cross-references, and regular updates throughout the year. The print version is available in the Library's Reference Collection [Call Number: REF HM425.B53].

Monday, March 5, 2007

Try AnthroSource Free Through April 30

The Cheng Library is currently running a trial of AnthroSource, an online portal to the major research literature of anthropology developed by the American Anthropological Association (AAA). AnthroSource features the current issues of 15 of the AAA's most important peer-reviewed publications through the end of 2006, plus an electronic archive of all AAA journals. In addition, the database provides seamless access to archival content housed at JSTOR for several key AAA publications.

A total of 34 publications are available through AnthroSource, including:

Anthropology (32 titles)

  • American Anthropologist
  • American Ethnologist
  • Anthropology & Education Quarterly
  • Anthropology & Humanism
  • Anthropology News
  • Anthropology of Consciousness
  • Anthropology of Work Review
  • Archeological Papers of the American Anthropological Association
  • Bulletin of the National Association of Student Anthropologists
  • Central Issues in Anthropology
  • City & Society
  • CSAS Bulletin Central States Anthropological Society
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Culture & Agriculture
  • El Mensajero
  • Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings
  • Ethos
  • General Anthropology Bulletin of the General Anthropology Division
  • Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Anthropology
  • Journal of Linguistic Anthropology
  • Journal of the Society for the Anthropology of Europe
  • Medical Anthropology Quarterly
  • Museum Anthropology
  • National Association for the Practice of Anthropology Bulletin
  • North American Dialogue
  • Nutritional Anthropology
  • PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review
  • Teaching Anthropology: Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges Notes
  • Transforming Anthropology
  • Visual Anthropology Review
  • Voices

NAPA Publications (2)

  • Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings
  • National Association for the Practice of Anthropology Bulletin

Registered individual users and AAA members can take advantage of personalization options, such as saved searches and email alerts, to make AnthroSource a truly interactive research tool. Trial access to AnthroSource is available through April 30, so try it and please send your feedback to the Cheng Library.