The information-seeking behaviors of professionals and information sources in the field of injury prevention and safety promotion

Detta är en avhandling från Stockholm : Karolinska Institutet, Department of Public Health Sciences

Sammanfattning: Injuries are a serious public health problem worldwide. Despite the ubiquity of the World Wide Web and the resources of many different literature databases, the search for information concerning Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion (IPSP) topics is still complicated by several major barriers. IPSP is a multi-disciplinary field, making use of literature from at least 30 widely disparate professions. Each profession uses technical language that may not be fully understood by those in other fields. Each publishes in different journals, and those journals may be indexed in different databases. This thesis draws information from database users and database searches in this multidisciplinary field in an effort clarify the strengths and weaknesses of 1) the searchers query techniques and 2) the content and search systems of their data resources.. Six studies each provide a perspective on the issues involved in finding useful material within the body of scientific knowledge relevant to IPSP. With each of the different perspectives on the information-seeking process, there are gaps in knowledge about the seekers, the bibliographic information resources, and how to access the needed items within the databases. The first study uses three sources to identify the concepts that are important to the field of IPSP and the terms that label them. An inventory of concepts and terms was gathered from: 1) dictionaries, glossaries, and thesauri; 2) the contents of selected scholarly journals; and 3) the search terms used to query a database of IPSP literature. An abundance of concepts and terms were identified at least 3500 concepts labeled with almost 11,000 terms. Three studies (Studies IV, V, and VI) examined the information sources from which IPSP-relevant knowledge may be obtained. Study IV inventoried the scholarly journals that publish IPSP articles and the databases that index them. Study V assessed the usefulness of the controlled search vocabularies of two popular databases (MEDLINE and PsycINFO) for finding articles on key IPSP topics. Study VI examined the contents of four databases to evaluate the breadth of literature available from a single database. There are 597 scholarly journals that publish four or more IPSP relevant articles per year but no literature database includes the contents of all years of all of the 597 journals. The search vocabularies of MEDLINE and PsycINFO are of limited help to finding all articles contained in the databases on five key IPSP topics. When the EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and Web of Science databases are thoroughly searched for articles on five IPSP topics, it was found that the proportion of articles common to all databases was low (5.6% to 16.7%). Studies II and III looked at the knowledge, skills, and practices of IPSP informationseekers. Study II examined the SafetyLit website logs and found that searchers only use one or two textword terms to search the SafetyLit archive and that, by not using more terms, they miss much of what the database contains on their topic. Study III surveyed subscribers to the weekly SafetyLit Literature Update Bulletin and found that nonlibrarian searchers rarely used more than one database and that the most-used database was MEDLINE. The non-librarian searchers seldom used query aids and strategies that could improve their results. They had little or no training in searching the databases they used but reported that they were quite satisfied with the results of their searches. In conclusion, IPSP literature is scattered across multiple established databases, limiting the effectiveness of simple searches using one or two terms and only one database. Unfortunately, surveys showed that these simple searches are the rule in IPSP, suggesting that many projects may be suffering from a lack of complete data on which to base their actions and conclusions.

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