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Free Content The information needs of doctors-in-training: case study from the Cairns Library, University of Oxford

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The objective of this study was to find out more about the information needs of doctors-in-training and to identify their preferred sources of information. The methodology included interviews with consultants and administrators, a focus group discussion with library staff and a postal questionnaire sent to 347 doctors-in-training (there was a 43% return). The shortcomings of a questionnaire primarily composed of closed questions were addressed by the inclusion of one-to-one interviews which offered the opportunity for more in-depth commentary on specific issues highlighted in the questionnaire.

Results indicated the frequency with which various types of information sources were consulted and how this related to the ‘ease of access’ of each information source. There was also the opportunity to comment on future information needs. It was clear from the interviews as well as comments made on the questionnaire that the two most important requirements for doctors-in-training were ‘more time to find and obtain information’ and ‘better access to information sources when and where they are needed’. The results, although not surprising, included specific suggestions that have been used for the strategic planning of the library service to deliver the best possible support to users within the current framework of evidence-based medicine.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2000

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