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Subject Librarian:

Katherine Chew

The application of medical knowledge to questions of law.

Article Databases and Indexes

Academic or Scholarly Articles Subject Indexes

Search MEDLINE databases for journal articles in the health sciences. MEDLINE is the National Library of Medicine's bibliographic database/article index that contains over 17 million references to journal articles. Coverage is from 1949 to the present. Over 5200 journals worldwide in over 37 languages are indexed.

This is the primary source of journal article for the health sciences. You can search MEDLINE and preMEDLINE databases with full text access to all MEDLINE e-journals subscribed to by the University of Minnesota TC Libraries. MEDLINE is the National Library of Medicine's bibliographic database/article index that contains over 17 million references to journal articles. Coverage is from 1949 to the present. Over 5200 journals worldwide in over 37 languages are accessible.

General Indexes to Magazine, Journal & Newspaper Articles

The world's largest academic multi-disciplinary database. Includes full text access to over 4,000 scholarly (peer-reviewed) publications back to 1975. A great place to start your research on any topic. Find search tips on their help page.

Indexes, Other

Contains information on hazards related to many occupations, whether due to chemicals, diseases, or other associated risk factors.

Online collection of toxicology-related databases including HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank), IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System), TOXLINE, and several others. All databases can be searched at once.

Catalogs and Bibliographies


Criminology and forensic sciences: An international bibliography, 1950-1980

General Reference Sources

Atlases & Maps

A Radiologic Atlas of Abuse, Torture, Terrorism and Inflicted Trauma

Child abuse / B.G. Brogdon and Hermann Vogel -- Abuse of intimate partners / John D. McDowell and B.G. Brogdon -- Abuse of the aged / B.G. Brogdon and John D. McDowell -- Self-abuse / Hermann Vogel and B.G. Brogdon -- Civil/political abuse / B.G. Brogdon -- Beating /Hermann Vogel and B.G. Brogdon -- Electric torture / Hermann Vogel -- Water torture / Hermann Vogel -- Finger and toe torture / Hermann Vogel -- Stabbing, cutting / Hermann Vogel -- Postural torture / Hermann Vogel -- Other forms of torture / Hermann Vogel -- Explosives / Hermann Vogel -- Gas / Hermann Vogel -- Biologic/bacteriologic terrorism / Hermann Vogel and B.G. Brogdon -- Poisons / Hermann Vogel -- Conventional weapons, including shotguns / James M. Messmer, B.G. Brogdon and Hermann Vogel -- Pitfalls in the radiology of gunshot wounds / James M. Messmer and B.G. Brogdon -- Air guns / Hermann Vogel and B.G. Brogdon -- Unconventional loads and weapons / Hermann Vogel and B.G. Brogdon -- Sharp trauma / Hermann Vogel and B.G. Brogdon -- Blunt trauma / Hermann Vogel and B.G. Brogdon -- War / Hermann Vogel -- Dental identification / John D. McDowell -- Conventional radiologic identification / B.G. Brogdon and Hermann Vogel -- Mass casualty situations / B.G. Brogdon, Gary S. Silverstein and Joel E. Lichtenstein -- Other modalities, other reasons / B.G. Brogdon and Hermann Vogel -- Virtual autopsy with radiological cross-sectional modalities: multislice computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging / Michael J. Thali, Peter Vock and Richard Dirnhofer -- Search of the person / B.G. Brogdon and Hermann Vogel -- Search of luggage, cargo, and transport / Hermann Vogel and B.G. Brogdon.

Approach to the autopsy: purpose and philosophy -- Circumstantial and medical history -- External examination: the preliminary examination -- External examination: specific injuries -- External examination: specific body areas -- Internal examination: opening of body cavities and initial assessment -- Organ and tissue removal -- Individual organ examination -- Examination of the head, skull, brain, and spinal cord -- Microscopic examination -- Postmortem laboratory analysis of drugs, chemicals, and microorganisms -- Review questions: putting it all together.


Death Dictionary

Includes over 5,500 clinical, legal, literary, and vernacular terms.

Facts on File Dictionary of Forensic Science

Forensic Science: an illustrated dictionary

Rev. ed. of: Forensic science glossary. c2000.


Encyclopedia of Forensic and Legal Medicine

The Encyclopedia of Forensic & Legal Medicine comprehensively covers forensic and legal medicine (including related specialties and scientific, technical and legal issues)in four volumes.

Encyclopedia of Forensic Science : a Compendium of Detective Fact and Fiction

General Reference Works

Legal Medicine

Leading treatise in the field. Legal Medicine explores and illustrates the legal implications of medical practice. Edited by the American College of Legal Medicine Textbook Committee, it features comprehensive discussions on a diverse array of legal issues that health care professionals face every day.


Guide to Information Sources in the Forensic Sciences

This book provides a good starting place for research in this area, providing annotated references to the key databases, encyclopdia, dictionaries and other research tools.

Handbooks and Manuals

The autopsy: past and present -- Legal, social, and ethical issues -- Autopsy biosafety -- Basic postmortem examination -- Postmortem examination of fetuses and infants -- Special dissection procedures -- Autopsy photography and radiology -- Microscopic examination -- Supplemental laboratory studies -- The autopsy report -- Postmortem examination in cases of sudden death due to natural causes -- Postmortem examination in cases of sepsis or multiple organ dysfunction -- Death certification -- Medical quality improvement and quality assurance of the autopsy -- Atlas of autopsy pathology.

Contents: A methodological approach to the external examination / S. D'Errico -- The autopsy / C. Pomara, S.B. Karch, V. Fineschi -- Pediatric and fetal autopsies / I. Riezzo -- Laboratory technologies and methodologies / F. Bucchieri, F. Rappa, F. Cappello -- Beyond and together with the autopsy techniques : confocal laser scanning microscopy in forensic medicine / M. Neri -- Postmortem radiology and digital imaging / S. D'Errico, V.G. Guglielmi, C. Pomara -- Genetic disease and DNA diagnosis / C. Pomara, S.B. Karch, V. Fineschi -- Autopsy protocol for the examination of the V3-V4 segments of the vertebral artery : the Introna-Corrado method / F. Introna, S. Corrado.

Dental detectives -- The evidence, the forensic dentist and dental analysis -- Recognition, recovery and analysis of bite mark evidence -- DNA and forensic odontology -- Physical abuse and forensic dentistry: the diagnosis of violence -- Dental investigations in mass disaster incidents -- The use of digital imaging in human identification -- Legal issues in forensic odontology -- Photography and forensic dental evidence.

Handbook of Human Toxicology

"The Handbook of Human Toxicology covers some of the most important topics in modern toxicology - addressing issues, answering questions, and providing data related to metals toxicology, nutritional toxicology, inhalation toxicology, immunotoxicology, and reproductive and developmental toxicology. Within each of these five major sections are several carefully selected topics that reflect the current state of human toxicology. From tissue uptake of mercury to the effects of drugs on immune systems, contributions from highly regarded toxicologists provide much-needed information quickly and easily.

This handbook contains instructions for medical examiners and coroners on the registration of deaths and the reporting of fetal deaths. It was prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). These instructions pertain to the 2003 revisions of the U.S. Standard Certificate of Death and the U.S. Standard Report of Fetal Death and the 1992 revision of the Model State Vital Statistics Act and Regulations.

Handbook contains instructions for physicians on cause-of-death certification. It was prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). These instructions pertain to the 2003 revision of the U.S. Standard Certificate of Death and the 1992 revision of the Model StateVital Statistics Act and Regulations. This handbook serves as a model that can be adapted by any vital statistics registration area.

Simpson's forensic medicine

Principles of forensic practice -- The ethics of medical practice -- the medical aspects of death -- Identification of the living and the dead -- The appearance of the body after death -- Unexpected and sudden death from natural causes -- Deaths and injury in infancy -- Assessment, classification and documentation of injury -- Regional injuries -- Ballistic injuries -- Use of force and restraint -- Sexual assault -- Child assault and protection -- Transportation medicine -- Asphyxia -- Immersion and drowning -- Heat, cold and electrical trauma -- Principles of toxicology -- Alcohol -- Licit and illicit drugs -- Medicinal poisons -- Miscellaneous poisons -- Principles of forensic science -- Allied forensic specialties.

Spitz and Fisher's Medicolegal Investigation of Death: Guidelines for the Application of Pathology to Crime Investigation

History and development of forensic medicine and pathology / Daniel J. Spitz -- Crime scene. Pt. 1. Bloodstain pattern interpretation / Herbert Leon MacDonell. Pt. 2. Biological evidence on the human body / Heather Miller Coyle, Carll Ladd, and Henry C. Lee. Pt. 3. Trace evidence / Richard E. Bisbing -- Time of death and hanges after death. Pt. 1. Anatomical considerations / Joshua A. Perper. Pt. 2. Chemical considerations / William Q. Sturner. Pt. 3. Forensic entomology / Neil H. Haskell. Pt. 4. Exhumation / Michael M. Baden -- Identification of human remains. Pt. 1. Diverse techniques / Daniel J. Spitz. Pt. 2. DNA / Lynne M. Helton -- Anthropology / William M. Bass -- Forensic odontology. Pt. 1.. Bite mark identification / richard R. Souviron. Pt. 2. Advanced techniques in dental identification and bite marks / David Sweet. Pt. 3. Advanced photographic techniques / Gregory S. Golden. Pt. 4. The use of digital analysis in bite mark identification / C. Michael Bowers and Raymond J. Johansen -- Sudden and unexpected death from natural causes in adults / Barbara A. Sampson, Vernard I. Adams, and Charles S. Hirsch -- Investigation of deaths in childhood / Pt. 1. Feticide and neonaticide / Werner U. Spitz and Daniel J. Spitz. Pt. 2. The abused child and adolescent / Marvin S. Platt, Daniel J. Spitz, and Werner U. Spitz -- Pt. 3. The differential diagnosis of child abuse / Marvin S. Platt and Lisa Kohler -- Trauma and disease / Vernard I. Adams, Mark A. Flomenbaum, and Charles S. Hirsch -- Blunt force injury / Werner U. Spitz -- Sharp force injury / Werner U. Spitz -- Injury by gunfire. Pt. 1. Gunshot wounds / Werner U. Spitz. Pt. 2. Shotgun wounds / Werner U. Spitz -- Thermal injuries / Werner U. Spitz -- Asphyxia / Werner U. Spitz -- Investigation of bodies in water / Daniel J. Spitz -- Electrical and lightning injuries / Edmund R. Donoghue and Barry D. Lifschultz -- Road traffic victim / Werner U. Spitz -- Medicolegal investigation of mass disasters / Glenn N. Wagner and Richard C. Froede -- Trauma of the nervous system. Pt. 1. Forensic neuropathology / Vernon Armbrustmacher and Charles S. Hirsch. Pt. 2. Boxing injuries / Friedrich Unterharnscheidt and James M. Henry -- Microscopic forensic pathology / Joshua A. Perper -- Forensic aspects of radiology / B.G. Brogdon -- Investigation of deaths from drug abuse / Boyd G. Stephens -- Forensic aspects of alcohol / Werner U. Spitz -- The medicolegal autopsy report / Werner U. Spitz -- Selected procedures at autopsy / Werner U. Spitz.

Internet Resources

Electronic Texts

Color atlas of the autopsy on CD-ROM

This CD-ROM shows the fundamentals of autopsy and how it is used in death investigation. It focuses on autopsy protocol which introduces the process and principles of the procedure to professionals who interact with the pathologist before, during and after the autopsy. The photographs begin with the external examination, which determines the path of the internal exam. It also depict common injuries, diseases, and other routine problems encountered in the forensic autopsy.

Results from the Presidential Commssion on the question "the ethical and legal implications of the matter of defining death, including the advisability of developing a uniform definition of death."

Web Sites

ThinkQuest Library site. "Our project is based on the science of forensics. It would be a perfect place for beginners to understand the twists and turns of forensics."

-- Selected excerpts from the second edtion of Kenneth V. Iserson's classic Death to Dust. Includes: decomposition, death investigation factiods, funeral industry jargon and more.

From the Anthropology Department at the University of Texas, Austin, "eSkeletons provides an interactive environment in which to examine and learn about skeletal anatomy. The purpose of this site is to enable you to view the bones of both human and non-human primates and to gather information about them from our osteology database." Site includes a useful glossary, taxonomic tree and other information.

ThinkQuest Library website. "Forensic Science covers the different techniques used to analyse a variety of crimes, sectioned into a logical order (located at the left) and also features an interactive section of interviews, quizzes, science experiments and more. The information has been written to target a broad audience, with the use of concise but easy-to-understand language to explain many of the concepts used in forensics."

The science of DNA testing can now establish with near certainty who did or didn't commit a crime. Why, then, do inmates remain in prison despite DNA evidence which exonerates them?

"The Case for Innocence" explores this question, profiling four compelling cases where DNA evidence has been ignored, discounted, or kept secret.

Companion Web site to the NOVA program "The Killer's Trail," in which a team of experts investigates the forensic evidence in the 1954 murder of Marylin Sheppard, one of the most famous unsolved crimes in the U.S. The program was originally broadcast on October 19, 1999.

Includes "Create a DNA fingerprint" and "3-D Mugshot (QTVR)".

Visible Proofs is National Library of Medicine exhibition about the history of forensic medicine. It includes videos, radio interviews, gallery images and links to useful resources.

Multimedia Materials

Image Resources

The world's most detailed 3D model of human anatomy available online created by Primal Pictures. Includes features such as interactive zoom, rotation, angle, interactive layers, extensive text, MRI, clinical slides and xrays, live action movies, animations, radiology slides, dissection videos and slides, surface anatomy videos and slides. Focuses on muscles, ligaments, nerves, veins, arteries, bones.

Videos and Films

The Autopsy : chapter one: unraveling life's mysteries

Gives a detailed account of the procedures, analysis and general overview of an autopsy.

Societies, Agencies, and Organizations

Official Agency & Organization Websites

AAFS is "a professional society dedicated to the application of science to the law, the AAFS is committed to the promotion of education and the elevation of accuracy, precision, and specificity in the forensic sciences." The web page includes a good set of links for further research.

The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators, Inc.SM (ABMDI) is a national, not-for-profit, independent professional certification board that has been established to promote the highest standards of practice for medicolegal death investigators.

The Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences is an international professional body with members in over 60 countries. It publishes a peer reviewed journal (Science & Justice), a newsletter (Interfaces), arranges scientific conferences in the UK and abroad and is engaged in setting standards and accreditation in forensic sciences.

The National Forensic Science Technology Center (NFSTC)was founded in 1995 and provides quality forensic services including training, assessment, research and technology assistance to the justice and forensic communities.

Statistics and Data

Data Resources

This database links over 4,000 consumer brands to health effects from Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) provided by the manufacturers and allows scientists and consumers to research products based on chemical ingredients. The database is designed to help answer the following typical questions: What are the chemical ingredients and their percentage in specific brands? Which products contain specific chemical ingredients? Who manufactures a specific brand? How do I contact this manufacturer? What are the acute and chronic effects of chemical ingredients in a specific brand? What other information is available about chemicals in the toxicology-related databases of the National Library of Medicine? The Household Products Database of the National Library of Medicine is based on the Consumer Product Information Database Copyright 2001 by DeLima Associates.

Style Manuals and Writing Guides

Research Guides

Enter in the due date for your research project (paper, speech, lab report) and get a suggested time-line for completing your project on time plus links to the resources on campus that will help you succeed in each step.

Writing Guides

Contents Research, researchers, and readers -- Prologue: Becoming a researcher -- Thinking in print: Uses of research, public and private -- Connecting with your reader: (Re-)creating yourself and your audience -- Asking questions, finding answers -- Prologue: Planning your project - an overview -- From topics to questions -- From questions to a problem -- From problems to sources -- Engaging sources -- Making a claim and supporting it -- Prologue: Assembling a research argument -- Making good arguments: Overview -- Making claims -- Assembling reasons and evidence -- Acknowledgments and responses -- Warrants -- Planning, drafting, and revising -- Prologue: Planning again -- Planning -- Drafting your report -- Revising your organization and argument -- Communicating evidence visually -- Introductions and conclusions-- Revising style: Telling your story clearly -- Some last considerations.

The book helps scientists write papers for scientific journals. Using the key parts of typical scientific papers (Title, Abstract, Introduction, Visuals, Structure, and Conclusions), it shows through numerous examples, how to achieve the essential qualities required in scientific writing, namely being clear, concise, convincing, fluid, interesting, and organized.

Library Information

Bio-Medical Library

Diehl Hall, 505 Essex St. S.E.
East Bank, Minneapolis Campus
Reference: 612-626-3260; Circulation: 612-626-4045

Law Library

150 Mondale Hall
West Bank, Minneapolis Campus
Circulation: 612-625-4300