...This Historical Backfile is indeed the definitive resource for the forensics community. The DVD is worth more than what it costs. It would be immensely useful to all forensic scientists, students and researchers. Libraries would find it particularly useful, especially belonging to those newer forensic science institutions, where procuring back issues of this journal may be a pain in the neck...
Journal Of Forensic Sciences: 1972-2005 Historical Backfile On DVD-ROM by ASTM International
ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA, 19428-2959, USA. Phone: (610) 832-9585 Fax: (610) 832-9555. DVD-ROM, size 3.0 GB. Publication Date: 2006. ISBN: 0-8031-4251-X. ISBN13:978-0-8031-4251-0. Price: $695, £409.00
Official site of this product: Please Click here to visit.
Imagine 3 GB of data, 34 years (1972 till 2005) of sterling forensic research done by hundreds of scientists around the world, 174 journal issues and 6653 scholarly papers (yes, I counted them all!) related to forensic sciences - all in a single DVD - and to top it all, everything in easily searchable format! What else would you ask God if this were available to you? Nothing, if I were to do the asking.
We have all heard about the "New York Times Historical Backfile", "Wall Street Journal Backfile", "Los Angeles Times Historical Backfile", "Chicago Tribune - historical backfile" and innumerable similar historical backfiles of a number of other newspapers and magazines. But we in the forensic community have always been asking this question, "Will such a historical backfile ever be available for the journals of our own specialty?" Till now only one such historical backfile namely that of "Association of Firearm and Tool Mark Examiners (AFTE) Journal" had been available on a CD-ROM. This gives digitized copies of the AFTE Journal from 1969 to 1999. But for most other forensic journals, the answer - till very recently - had been a dismal "no". But not any more!
Yes, indeed a historical backfile of one of our most valuable journals - The Journal of Forensic Sciences - is now available, thanks to American Society of Testing and Materials, which made this happen. The historical backfile comes in a DVD-ROM. The moment you insert the DVD in your drive, you get a splash screen, which asks you three options (i) View Table of Contents (ii) Quick Search by Title, Author, Abstract and Keywords and finally (iii) Full-Text Search.
If you click the first option, you are taken to a screen which shows you all issues from 1972 onwards till 2005 - a total of 174 issues in all (there are 4 issues per year from 1972 till 1986, amounting to 60 issues and 6 issues per year from 1987 till 2005, amount to another 114 issues). The issues appear something like this:
Volume 32, Issue 6 (November 1987)
Volume 32, Issue 5 (September 1987)
Volume 32, Issue 4 (July 1987)
Volume 32, Issue 3 (May 1987)
Volume 32, Issue 2 (March 1987)
Volume 32, Issue 1 (January 1987)
The above display is for the issues appearing in just one year - 1987. You get to see all issues appearing in 34 years from 1972 till 2005. Each issue is actually a hyperlink, which - on clicking - takes you to full contents of that issue. When you browse that issue, you find that articles are all neatly classified in technical categories like Anthropology, Criminalistics, Engineering, General, Immunology, Jurisprudence, Odontology, Pathology/Biology, Psychiatry, Questioned Documents, Toxicology, Editorial and Miscellaneous. Okay, you don't get such neat categorization for all years - you get them only from Volume 47, Issue 4 (July 2002) onwards - yet all previous articles are fully searchable. That is what makes this DVD a unique asset to every forensic personnel.
You can search the entire DVD for articles in two ways - One is "Quick Search", which will search your keyword in the Title, Author, Abstract and Keywords of all 6653 articles and another is "Full-Text Search", which will actually search each and every word within each article! I got impatient very soon; I used the "Quick Search" option and the first word that I entered was paraphilia (I hope to write a book on the medico legal aspects of paraphilia) and lo, immediately I was greeted with a page showing all papers which appeared on this subject in last 34 years. The screen looked like the figure on right (please click to enlarge and read).
As one can see, I immediately got a list of 12 papers on this subject which appeared in this journal in the last 34 years. The rest is easy. Just click on any link and you can read the entire paper. Everything is as easy as that.
This DVD is indeed the definitive resource for the forensics community. The price is unfortunately on the higher side, but believe me the DVD is worth more than what it costs. It would be immensely useful to all forensic scientists, students and researchers. Libraries would find it particularly useful, especially belonging to those newer forensic science institutions, where procuring back issues of this journal may be a pain in the neck. One would wish publishers of other forensic journals most notably Medicine, Science and the Law, Legal Medicine, Journal of Legal Medicine, International Journal of Legal Medicine, American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology, Forensic Science International, Issues in Law & Medicine, American Journal of Law & Medicine, International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics, Journal of Medical Ethics, Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine (previously Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine) and a number of other forensic journals which are so close to our heart will also come out with similar historical backfiles. Daydreaming is sometimes so wonderful!
Order Journal Of Forensic Sciences: 1972-2005 Historical Backfile On DVD-ROM from ASTM by Clicking here
University of Derby Electronic Library - Resources for Forensic Science
N.B. It is essential to read this journal - and especially this review as it contains several tables and high resolution graphics - under a screen resolution of 1600 x 1200 dpi or more. If the resolution is less than this, you may see broken or overlapping tables/graphics, graphics overlying text or other anomalies. It is strongly advised to switch over to this resolution to read this journal - and especially this review. These pages are viewed best in Netscape Navigator 4.7 and above.
Books for review must be submitted at the following address.
Professor Anil Aggrawal (Editor-in-Chief)
Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology
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