Last month I published a post describing our research into the use of complex search strategies in the workplace, and how we were undertaking a programme of quantitative research with respondents from a number of sectors. This work is progressing nicely, and we’re now moving on to the second part of this phase. This time we’re focusing on literature review, in particular systematic (or pragmatic) evidence review. This sector is especially interesting, as it addresses some of the most complex search problems of any profession, and involves a lengthy content production process whose output relies heavily on the quality of the initial search strategy.
As such it is an ideal candidate for our empirical work, and our goal now is to gain quantitative insight into this activity via the following survey:
This survey instrument builds on previous studies (such as the Khresmoi study of online search behaviour of medical health professionals ). Our hope is to be able to understand and compare search behaviour not just within a given sector (e.g. informal searching of healthcare information on the web vs. systematic review of published literature) but also across sectors (e.g. healthcare vs. legal).
Now, I’m aware that this blog probably doesn’t normally attract the attention of the systematic review community, and that there may instead be other forums we should approach. But in the interest of leaving no stone unturned, I’m including it here, with a polite request to pass on the message to any interested parties. Likewise, if you know of any suitable communities or colleagues with whom to circulate this, we’d love to hear from them.
It’s just 7 pages long, takes around 15 minutes to complete, and we’re happy to share the results with anyone who contributes. Your participation is greatly appreciated!
 Manfred Geschwandtner, Marlene Kritz, and Celia Boyer. D8.1.2: Requirements of the health professional search. Technical report, Khresmoi Project, August 2011.