Internet Reviews

Joni R. Roberts; Carol A. Drost


Bureau of Justice Statistics. Access: http:http://www.bjs.gov/.

Karen Evans, Indiana State University, Karen.Evans@indstate.edu

Established in 1979, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) is a component of the Office of Justice Programs within the U.S. Department of Justice and serves as the primary source for criminal justice statistics for the United States. Nine main criminal justice topics are covered by BJS: “Corrections,” “Courts,” “Crime Type,” “Criminal Justice Data Improvement Program,” “Employment and Expenditure,” “Federal,” “Indian Country Justice Statistics,” “Law Enforcement,” and “Victims.” Each topic provides linked access to numerous subtopics. For instance, law enforcement subtopics include community policing, arrest-related deaths, police-public contact, forensic investigation, and campus law enforcement. Topics and subtopics are divided into sections such as “Data Collections & Surveys,” “Publications & Products,” “Terms & Definitions,” and more. Topics can be accessed from the side menu on the homepage or using the “Topics” tab on the top. The homepage also provides new and updated resources, announcements, and tweets on pertinent topics.

“Publications & Products” offers users the opportunity to view by topic or product, alphabetical index, specific search, or forthcoming. “Data Collections” are available via criminal justice topic. “Funding” provides information on past and current solicitations, funding programs, applications and forms, and assistance to state, local, and tribal governments. “Data Analysis Tools” provides information via dynamic tools or topics including Crime Trends from FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports, NCVS Victimization Analysis Tool, and a Prisoner Recidivism Analysis Tool. Using the specific information buttons to search provides more leverage in searching and locating exact information. If one is unsure where to find information on a topic, using the A–Z list will quickly provide the resource location.

The “Help” section provides valuable information on searching and locating key matches to ensure users find the best resources on their topic. The section also includes tutorials, “Data and Product Finder,” and information on file formats. Contact information for assistance is provided via email, telephone, or writing to BJS.

This site provides a wealth of information on criminal justice topics. The ease in searching information makes this a worthy tool for the professional and novice criminal justice researcher.

Environmental Health & Toxicology. Access: http://sis.nlm.nih.gov/enviro.html.

Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University-Vancouver, lfrederiksen@vancouver.wsu.edu

Exposure to hazardous substances and the adverse effects chemical and biologic agents have on human populations are issues of growing concern. While news coverage of catastrophic environmental events is often immediate (and alarmist), authoritative information about prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of illnesses, diseases, disorders, or impairments resulting from contaminants is less forthcoming. It is the purpose of this site to provide easy access to accurate, reliable, and current environmental health and toxicology resources and services. The intended audience includes health professionals, researchers, educators and students, toxicologists, emergency responders, and the general public.

Under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Division of Specialized Information Services produces through its Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) and in conjunction with the National Library of Medicine, a wealth of information resources directly related to the topic. A core feature of the site is direct access to TOXNET, an integrated network of 15 environmental health databases that includes the Hazardous Substances Data Bank, ChemIDplus, and Toxicology Literature Online.

Other specialized databases cover chemical releases, household product safety, occupational exposure to chemicals, breastfeeding and drugs, developmental toxicology, genomics, risk assessment, and animal testing alternatives. From a single discovery box, visitors can search by keyword across all databases or choose from among the most relevant. Browse functionality is by single word, CAS registry number, or chemical name. Not surprisingly given the diversity of topics, data, and format, advanced search and filtering options are available from within a specific resource but not across all data banks simultaneously.

The site provides pathways to information resources through its organization scheme. From the homepage, visitors can begin a TOXNET search or explore information by topic or population. Categories are listed as “Find Information About,” “Especially For,” “Search TOXNET Databases,” “Other Professional Resources,” “Resources for the Public,” “Enviro-Health Links,” “Guides & Tutorials,” and “Quick Tours.” An A-Z index of resources, information about TEHIP and about the three most visited TOXNET databases, current events and news, and links to email and social media tools round out the site.

Although the organizational scheme and duplication in access points may confuse some visitors, access to authoritative toxicology and environmental health information in one place is invaluable.

Theological Commons. Access: http://commons.ptsem.edu/.

Wendell G. Johnson, Northern Illinois University, wjohnso1@niu.edu

Theological Commons, hosted and main tained by Princeton Theological Seminary, is a digital collection of more than 80,000 resources on theology and religion. The largest percentage of the material on the website was provided by the Princeton Theological Seminary Library. Although the majority of the material is in English, there are thousands of French, Dutch, and German artifacts, as well.

The homepage provides a search screen (keyword, title, and author). A toolbar on the left margin of the site permits the researcher to refine searches according to date (1801–1825, 1826–1850, 1851–1875, etc.) and format (books, periodicals, audio, theses). As might be expected from a website hosted by Princeton Theological Seminary, the strength of Theological Commons lies in its holdings on reformed theology and history. A customized search retrieved 59 articles on “Old School Presbyterianism,” including articles published in Christian Century during the early decades of the 20th century, as well as lectures delivered at the YMCA in London during the period 1840 to 1870. A second search retrieved 542 results in German on the 19th-century theologian Friedrich Schleiermacher (1768–1834).

Theological Commons features three major collections. “The Benson Collection of Hymnals and Hymnology” contains approximately 12,000 volumes, including historical hymnbooks of the major Protestant denominations, gospel anthologies, and books about hymns and hymn writers.

Also included are materials on classical (Greek and Latin) hymnody and hymnbooks in various languages produced for use in the mission field. The “Payne Theological Seminary and A.M.E. Church Archive” chronicles the history of Payne Theological Seminary (the oldest freestanding seminary in the country), Wilburforce University (the first predominantly African American university in the nation), and a digital history of the African Methodist Church. “The T. F. Torrance Collection of Antiquarian Books” includes 400 rare volumes published before 1800 on the history of Christianity in Scotland, as well as 230 boxes (or 110 linear feet) of archival material, including Torrance’s English translation of Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics.

Theological Commons is a highly specialized site recommended for researchers of 19th-and early 20th-century American Protestantism.

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