About the Buffalo Medical Journal Index
Directions for inputting citations to the Buffalo Medical Journal:
Author: List author as last name, space, first name. Example: Park R
Title: Capitalize the main words of the title.
Volume: Enter the volume number.
Issue: Enter the issue number.
Year: Enter the year as a 4-digit number. Example: 1901
Indexer Name: Enter your last name.
Medical Subject (MeSH) headings:
You can find an electronic version of the Medical Subject Headings in Ovid Medline by clicking on "Tools." Type a word and click on the Permuted button to find subject headings that include that word. It is not necessary to use subheadings because the database is small. It is better to use a more general subject heading than one that is too specific.
Enter a maximum of five Medical Subject headings and include punctuation.
Example: plants, medicinal
Do not capitalize subject headings unless a proper name is included.
Enter a maximum of seven keywords which you select from the text of the article. The keywords should complement the Medical Subject headings and provide additional information about the article. Relevant keywords to include might be the name of an institution, a prominent individual, a location, an antiquated name for a disease, or an antiquated technique. Do not use such obvious keywords as "disease," "treatment," "effects," "symptoms," "causes," Do not capitalize keywords unless they are a proper name.
If a person is the subject of the article, index their last name only as a keyword.
If a place is the subject of an article, index the name of the place only as a keyword. Do not include the name of the state.
Example: University of Buffalo (enter the institution name in whatever form is used in the article):
The following words should be entered as single words:
bloodletting (not blood letting)
childbirth (not child birth)
stillbirth (not still birth)
smallpox (not small pox)
poorhouse (not poor house)
Avoid use of hypens between words:
Example: stillbirth (not still-birth)
Abbreviate "United States" as U.S.:
Example: U.S. Navy
BMJ Indexing Project 11/01
Over the past summer a project was undertaken to create a searchable database of selected articles from the Buffalo Medical Journal. The first volume of the Buffalo Medical Journal included twelve issues dating from June 1845 through May 1846. The Journal went through a number of title changes and editors and ceased publication in 1919. The publication contains both reprints of articles published in other American and foreign medical journals of the time, and, more importantly, original submissions by Buffalo and Western New York physicians such as case studies, editorials, articles, etc. It was decided to make the valuable and unique information contained in the Buffalo Medical Journal accessible to researchers and anyone interested in the medical history of Buffalo and Western New York in a single, organized and searchable site.
Lynne Knaze, a former Reference Graduate Assistant, and Sharon Gray, Head of Reference and Education Services, created an Access database for inputting information from selected articles and a data input sheet to record information manually. Database fields were author, article title, volume, issue, year, pages, 5 Mesh heading fields and 7 keyword fields. A field for the indexer's name was added later. Criteria for the inclusion of articles were established next. Items to be indexed include articles written by Buffalo and Western New York physicians; articles specific to Buffalo and Western New York health issues, hospitals, and discoveries; obituaries/biographical articles about Buffalo and Western NewYork physicians and nurses; articles about Buffalo and area medical history and the UB Medical School; and selected editorials by Buffalo Medical Journal Editors. The criteria evolved somewhat as the project went on and often decisions were made on an article by article review.
Lynne Knaze completed the first four-and-a-half volumes. Following her departure, Sharon Gray contacted Dr. Corinne Jorgensen of the Department of Library Studies about the possibility of having her Indexing students continue the work as a class project. The project was approved and Sharon Gray and Linda Lohr, Manager of the History of Medicine Collection, presented an overview of the project to the class and distributed informational documents. Dr. Jorgensen and the class next met with Sharon and Linda at the Health Sciences Library at which time further details were discussed and students were each assigned one volume of the Journal to index. Twenty-six volumes were assigned and the students chose to either work directly with Linda Lohr in the History of Medicine Collection or have their volumes placed on reserve at Circulation for use during evenings and weekends. Sharon Gray mounted a project website that contained, among other items, the criteria document, and lists of Buffalo and Western New York physicians and geographical names.
The students first determined which articles to index based on the established criteria. If questions arose they either consulted Linda Lohr in person or via email. Linda Lohr made the final decision for inclusion. The selection of keywords and appropriate MeSH headings was aided by the use of dictionaries of 19th century medical terminology and print and online MeSH tools. Students filled out one data sheet for each article and completed sheets were reviewed at various stages for appropriateness of article selection and terminology. Data input into the database began. Sharon Gray developed a form that made the entering of the data easier. Including the work done by Lynne Knaze, nearly 1,200 articles were indexed at the completion of the project which represents almost half of the total volumes of the journal.
Quality assurance procedures included several reviews of the entire database by Linda Lohr and Sharon Gray for spelling errors, subject headings, keywords, and consistency in entry of names.
Through the Western New York Library Resources Council, a Regional Bibliographic Database grant funded the creation of the Web search interface. The University Libraries' Don Gramlich serves as the programmer for the project. The Friends of the Health Sciences Library are funding the indexing of the remaining volumes which will be completed by the library's Graduate Reference Assistants.
Linda Lohr, Manager, History of Medicine Collection