A new firearms research database launched by the Harvard School of Public Health makes scholarly articles about the topic more accessible to reporters, law enforcement agents, public health officials, policymakers, and the public. The Firearms Research Digest provides summaries of articles gathered from social science, criminology, and medical and public health journals, and is written in accessible language for use by those outside academia.

The Web site currently covers research published between 2003 and 2008. The digest will be expanded over time to include articles from 1988 to the present.

“Despite the increased ease of accessing articles through search engines like Google Scholar or PubMed, the sheer volume of returned information in technical jargon can be daunting,” said David Hemenway, professor of health policy and director of the Harvard Injury Control Research Center and the Youth Violence Prevention Center at HSPH. “The principal objective of this digest is to present research findings in clear, lay language so anyone can readily understand the study results.”

With the new availability of gun violence data and research, one of the primary goals of the Web site is to help those in law enforcement, public health, and government to develop best practices and smarter approaches to curbing gun crimes and violence.

— Todd Datz

If you have an item for Around the Schools, please e-mail your write-up (150-200 words) to georgia_bellas@harvard.edu

Beyond boundaries