EOA 2012-13: Health Professionals Information Use in Patient Care in Research-Rich Settings
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Public Access Policy requires (since 2008) that all peer-reviewed journal publications resulting from NIH funding be made publicly accessible within a year of publication in PubMed Central (PMC). This Policy has the potential of translating into increased information use by the public, including health professionals. To assess the policy's potential and actual impact, benchmark measures of current health-professional use of this research in different settings are needed to see what happens when this research is and is not available to health professionals. As an initial step, this study investigates the information use of health professionals at Stanford University Medical Center (SUMC), who have relatively complete access to the biomedical literature, as well as popular point-of-care (POC) services, such as UpToDate. Stanford's robust collection will be used as a surrogate for the access to eventually result from the NIH policy, with the aim of establishing an understanding, through web log analysis and interview data, of the types of information used by health professionals and their knowledge of the Public Access Policy. This mixed methods approach will provide data to be synthesized, presented through hands-on trainings, and published to provide an evidence base for open-access policy makers, health science librarians, and health care practitioners to inform policy; to guide librarians' creation of information training, case studies, and collection development policies; and to raise awareness of the NIH Policy.