Friday, July 13, 2007

When Complementary and Alternative Medicine Practitioners Use PubMed: Responses of 18 Practitioners to Searching and Retrieving Knowledge in Pubmed

Presented at

PKP Scholarly Publishing Conference

11-13 July, 2007

Vancouver, BC


By: Mia Quint-Rapoport

OISE/UT, Higher Education, Theory and Policy Studies

Study research questions:

How do ‘non-target’ users use the OA index Pubmed?

Do Pubmed search tools facilitate use of lit. for these groups?

Which tools are most/least useful?

The Open Access question

The study:

  • Interviews with 18 CAM practitioners.
  • Varying degrees of education.
  • Recruited from 3 different sources.
  • 1-1.5 hour lesson in use of Pubmed.
  • Some face to face, some over the phone


Semi-structured interviews.

Interviews were transcribed.

Transcriptions were coded for themes.

Codes were synthesized and analyzed.

Based on grounded theory research methods.


Favorite tools:

Limits: (e.g. by gender).

Related Articles - liked to browse.

Boolean (in combination with above).



Participants frustrated by lack of access.

Pubmed not for an exclusive user group - broader applications.

Search and retrieval tools facilitate engagement.

Scholarly and scientific information is ‘useful’ for this non-target group.

For further information:




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