Digital libraries in a clinical setting: Friend of foe?

Adams, Anne and Blandford, Ann (2001). Digital libraries in a clinical setting: Friend of foe? In: Constantopoulos, Panos and Sølvberg, Ingeborg T. eds. Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2163. Berlin: Springer, pp. 213–224.



Clinical requirements for quick accessibility to reputable, up-to-date information have increased the importance of web accessible digital libraries for this user community. To understand the social and organisational impacts of ward-accessible digital libraries (DLs) for clinicians, we conducted a study of clinicians’ perceptions of electronic information resources within a large London based hospital. The results highlight that although these resources appear to be a relatively innocuous means of information provision (i.e. no sensitive data) social and organisational issues can impede effective technology deployment. Clinical social structures, which produce information — and technology — hoarding behaviours can result from poor training, support and DL usability.

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