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Free Content Content analysis as a means of exploring research opportunities from a conference programme

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Background:  Health librarians should keep up‐to‐date in a dynamic environment and accept the importance of continuing personal development (CPD) and growth in their critical reflection and creative thinking skills. They also need to acknowledge the potential value of research activity and the challenges of ongoing improvement and development. Conference programmes may prove a useful source of stimulation, especially if supplemented by creativity techniques, action research and the ideal of ‘finding flow’.

Objectives:  The article analyses the themes and papers presented at the 10th International Conference on International Medical Librarianship (ICML) to identify opportunities for further research, literature reviews, assessment of practices and services, etc.

Methods:  Content analysis approach to conference papers and suggestions for further action including supplementing with techniques of creativity and group input.

Results:  A fairly extensive list of further actions (although not intended to be exhaustive) is suggested for the sixteen conference themes. Although subjective, the list might help to stimulate growth in research on health librarianship and demonstrate how one source of stimulation – conference programmes (regularly presented to medical library communities) – can be used.

Conclusions:  Content analysis has proven a constructive means of generating research questions from a conference programme. Content analysis and other methods aimed at stimulating creative and progressive thinking, including brainstorming, force field analysis, De Bono’s 6 hats, creative swiping and creative visualisation, may prove equally useful and require further investigation. To ensure an ongoing cycle, these can be linked to action research.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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