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The Quality of Canadian and U.S. Government Health Documents Remains Unchallenged Until Better Research Can Be Undertaken. A review of: Lambert, Frank. “Assessing the Authoritativeness of Canadian and American Health Documents: A Comparative Analysis Using Informetric Methodologies.” Government Information Quarterly 22.2 (2005): 277‐96.

Author(s): Michael Corkett

Journal: Evidence Based Library and Information Practice
ISSN 1715-720X

Volume: 1;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 74;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Government Publications | Biomedical Information | Quality Assurance | Canada | United States

Objective ‐ To assess by means of citation analysis whether the public trust afforded health documents published by the Canadian and U.S. governments is appropriate, and to ascertain whether differences in the respective health care systems influence how publications are produced.Design – Comparative study.Setting – The Canadian Depository Service Program (DSP) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) websites.Subjects – One hundred sixty‐six electronic documents sourced from the DSP website, and 284 electronic documents sourced from the DHHS website.Methods – Subjects were randomly selected from repositories offering the most comprehensive collections. Documents with evidence of references to other works used in preparation were separated from thos ewithout such characteristics. Data variables were collected from documents with evidence of references. Statistical analysis of the data was undertaken.Main results – Of the respective samples, 89(53%) from the DSP and 109 (38.4%) from the DHHS contained references. Personal authors were identified in 46 (51.7%) and 63(58%) of the respective subsets. Handbooks and guidebooks accounted for the largest portion of the DSP subset (29; 32.6%) and government periodicals were the largest constituent of the DHHS subset (41; 37.6%). Scholarly journals were the most common reference type for both the DSP (44%) and the DHHS (58.5%) subsets. The number of references per document was widely dispersed for both subsets; the DSP mean was approximately 64 (SD=114.68) and the DHHS was 73.71 (SD=168.85). Kruskal‐Wallis subset analysis of median number of references by document type found differences generalizable to the entire DSP (p
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