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AIDS Information in periodical indexes: A problem of exclusion

Polly Thistlethwaite (Reference librarian at Hunter College, New York City)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 1 February 1991



Indexing companies and database search services are contributing to the epidemic of ignorance surrounding HIV and AIDS. They are failing us, even killing us. Doctors, patients, students, and researchers seeking information about HIV are offered access only to a narrow range of “mainstream” and “professional” publications through the leading indexes. And, while a certain slate of periodicals is represented over and over by rival indexes, gay/lesbian periodicals and community‐based health publications containing vital, often vanguard HIV/AIDS information are systematically excluded from mainstream indexes and database search services. This article offers a critique of current indexing practices of AIDS‐related periodical literature and suggests strategies to remedy the situation.


Thistlethwaite, P. (1991), "AIDS Information in periodical indexes: A problem of exclusion", Reference Services Review, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 35-38.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited

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