Disaster Research for the Hurricane Sandy Impact Area: A Select Bibliography

By Piotrowski, Chris | Journal of Instructional Psychology, September-December 2012 | Go to article overview

Disaster Research for the Hurricane Sandy Impact Area: A Select Bibliography


Piotrowski, Chris, Journal of Instructional Psychology


There, undoubtedly, will be a flurry of research activity in the 'Superstorm' Sandy impact area on a myriad of disaster-related topics, across academic disciplines. This study, based on a content analysis procedure, identified key articles on hurricanes based on the extant literature indexed in the database PsycINFO. Of the 1,408 references identified, 1000 were articles. The author developed a bibliography of 61 key citations to articles, categorized across select topical areas, based on issues central to investigatory efforts of researchers and policymakers in the Hurricane Sandy impact zone.

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The field of disaster studies has grown at an exponential pace over the past 30 years and, accordingly, the knowledge base of the field is presently quite voluminous (Rodriguez et al., 2007)). However, research on the human impact of hurricanes is a more recent phenomenon in the social sciences. Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, spurred on exponential growth in investigatory disaster research across all the social sciences. For a perspective, a keyword search for the term Hurricane in the database PsycINFO in 1985 yielded just 10 hits; today, this search would identify over 1,400 reference citations.

Current Study

Hurricane Sandy (October 30, 2012), a category 1 'super' storm, produced untold destruction on the U.S. east coast, particularly New Jersey and greater New York City coastal areas. The purpose of this article is to provide a bibliography of key peer-reviewed research studies on the human, social, health, organizational, and policy aspects of hurricanes. Such research references provide a concise listing of highly-relevant articles for researchers, professional practitioners, and policymakers in the Hurricane Sandy impact areas. To that end, the database PsycINFO was searched as this file is considered the premier bibliographic source for literature in the behavioral and social sciences. Moreover, PsycINFO indexes periodicals in the social, health-related, and policy fields.

The author conducted a keyword (i.e., All Fields) search, inputting the term "Hurricane", on March 10, 2013. This operation yielded 1,410 citations, of which 1000 were journal articles that appear in peer-reviewed periodicals. These 1000 references were then reviewed for their saliency as a robust, major reference (the intent was to select articles that were both well-researched and informative). Thus, the articles that appeared to be most helpful and useful to researchers, practitioners, and policymakers were selected for inclusion. A typology of 13 focus areas served as a template for categorization. Table 1 shows the reference citations to the 61 articles across these typologies.

These results reflect literature mainly in social sciences; obviously, bibliometric analyses of medical or business scholarly databases would identify adjutant studies in these areas.

Conclusions

Bibliometric research, based on a content analysis of the extant literature, can serve a pedagogic function in that key references on a specific issue can be presented in a typological framework. The current analysis provides both scholars and policymakers a research compendium of articles that address major concerns in dealing with the individual, social, and organizational aspects of the impact of hurricanes on a populated region. In addition, the bibliography includes literature on the governmental response to recent hurricanes (see Piotrowski 2006; Piotrowski & Armstrong, 1998). At the same time, this study complements recent interest in how informetrics informs disaster science (Liu et al., 2012; Magnone, 2012). Future studies using content analysis methods applied to books on natural disasters could identify research areas of neglect in the field.

References

Liu, X., Zhan, F.B., Hong, S., Niu, B., & Liu,Y. (2012). A bibliometric study of earthquake research: 1900-2010. …

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