Dissertation Information for James Andrews
MPACT Status: Complete - Except Indecipherables
Title: A bibliometric investigation of medical informatics: A communicative action perspective
Abstract: Medical informatics is an interdisciplinary field that draws from and contributes to a number of disciplines, has a number of overlapping research foci within its own boundaries, and often requires significant interactive collaboration among heterogeneous researchers. Collectively, these qualities of the field can complicate the ability of researchers to access, communicate, and/or utilize the knowledge, tools, processes, methods, and methodologies needed to enable knowledge creation, communication, and growth within the field. The impetus for this study is the presumed likelihood of language-based impediments to knowledge sharing within medical informatics. Using established bibliometric techniques (namely, those used for Author Cocitation Analysis), a representation of the field of medical informatics was derived for the period, 1994-1998. Cocitation information and bibliographic citations from the fifty most cited American College of Medical Informatics Fellows were the subjects for this study. Further analyses investigating language and communication issues in the field were also conducted. The concepts (operationalized as Medical Subject Headings assigned to the authors' articles) representing the authors' subject area(s), and the language use of each author and groups of authors, were derived using basic statistical techniques. Correlations among authors based on subject area and language use were studied in order to better elucidate the maps generated through the author cocitation analysis. Interpretation of the results and suggestions for future research were informed by Jurgen Habermas's Theory of Communicative Action. This study offers foundational knowledge for further investigations into the semantic linkages among related research domains within medical informatics, as well as the underlying implications for understanding semantic interoperability in the field.
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