- Cumulation and Synthesis of Knowledge in Review Articles: A Case Study in the Field of “Clinicians' Information Needs and Information Seeking Behavio”
- No.35, p.1-40
The purpose of this paper is to clarify how professional knowledge in a specific field is accumulated in review articles. Generally, reviews are regarded as media in which findings from some researches are organized and integrated. Such assumption is examined through the content analysis of review articles and the original articles cited by them. 7 review articles in the field of “clinicians' information needs and information seeking behavio” are investigated. Those are written by Siegel (1982), Osiobe (1985), Elayyan (1988), Taylor (1991), Forsythe (1992), Blythe (1992), and Marshall (1993). At first, published year of cited papers are analyzed. Second, it is investigated which parts of cited papers are noted and where are those parts refferred within citing reviews. Our findings are as follows. Particular papers are cited continually in the review articles regardless of their published year. And then topics discussed by two or more reviews are identified, and it is shown how the focus of discussions concerned with those topics changes. Again, particular topics are mentioned continually in the review articles regardless of their published year. On the other hand, on some current topics, various papers were selected and cited in various way by authors of reviews. Finally, it is revealed that some of the reviews, at least available in the subject under consideration, do not organize nor cumulate the relevant knowledge satisfactory enough.