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Using online databases to find journal articles on injury prevention and safety promotion research: key journals and the databases that index them


Objectives: (1) To determine the trends of the number of journals that publish injury prevention and safety promotion (IPSP) articles and the number of articles published each year from 1900 through 2006; (2) to determine the coverage of key IPSP journals in widely used literature databases.

Methods: Journals were identified through a structured procedure that included hand-searching selected classification categories of two major listings of periodicals that publish four or more IPSP-relevant articles per year. Article relevance was assessed using the inclusion criteria for SafetyLit (a database of scholarly literature selected for its relevance to the IPSP field). Each identified journal was hand-searched from its first issue, and IPSP-relevant articles were added to the SafetyLit archive database. A MySQL database was used to perform basic queries and statistical summary analyses for journals published 1900–2006. The number of IPSP journals and journal articles was plotted for these years to identify publication trends. The publication year range of each IPSP journal was compared with the coverage, if any, of the journals in each of the five databases.

Results: Of the 17 839 journals assessed, 597 met the threshold for inclusion in this study. This amounts to thousands of IPSP-related articles published each year: 6100 in 2006. Only 160 (26.8%) of the journals are included in all five databases, and none have all publication years included in all of the databases.

Conclusions: Some key IPSP journals are completely excluded from some of the databases. Thus, a search in a single database may miss key information from one of the many disciplines that publish IPSP-relevant information.

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