HSPH Unveils comprehensive, public online library of firearms research

New Database Provides Excellent Resource for Reporters, Law Enforcement, Public Health Officials and Policymakers Concerned With Issues of Gun Violence

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Boston, MA – A new firearms research database launched by the Harvard School of Public Health makes scholarly articles more accessible to reporters, law enforcement, public health officials, policymakers, and the general public. The Firearms Research Digest (www.firearmsresearch.org) provides summaries of articles gathered from social science, criminology, medical and public health journals and is written in clear, accessible language for use by those outside academia.

The website currently covers six years of 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 website is to help those in law enforcement, public health and government develop best practices and smarter approaches to curbing gun crime and violence.

Funding to create this online library was provided by the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation.

For more information:

Todd Datz


Harvard School of Public Health (https://www.hsph.harvard.edu ) is dedicated to advancing the public’s health through learning, discovery, and communication. More than 400 faculty members are engaged in teaching and training the 1,000-plus student body in a broad spectrum of disciplines crucial to the health and well being of individuals and populations around the world. Programs and projects range from the molecular biology of AIDS vaccines to the epidemiology of cancer; from risk analysis to violence prevention; from maternal and children’s health to quality of care measurement; from health care management to international health and human rights.

Based in Chicago, the Joyce Foundation supports efforts to strengthen public policies in ways that improve the quality of life in the Great Lakes region. Cultural funding supports projects that bring diverse audiences together to share common cultural experiences and encourage more people to see the arts as integral parts of their lives. The Foundation also makes grants in the areas of Education, Employment, Environment, Gun Violence Prevention, and Money and Politics.

[NOTE: Harvard School of Public Health previously partnered with the Joyce Foundation to develop a national violent injury surveillance system that links data from public health, law enforcement, medical examiners and social service agencies to create a more complete picture of the circumstances surrounding violent death. This system was the model for the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), now housed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.]