Exploring the Use of Evidence Based Practice Questions to Improve the Search Process

by Appleton, Elizabeth A.

Abstract (Summary)
Evidence Based Practice (EBP) is a relatively new approach that professionals are using to cope with the ever-growing body of literature in their fields. The goal of EBP is to effectively use this body of literature to improve professional practice, thus improving the quality of services. A major component of EBP is asking a focused, well-built question, referred to in this paper as an Evidence Based Practice Question (EBPQ). This paper reports the findings of an exploratory study that examines the use an EBPQ to respond to reference questions emailed to a university library reference desk. A purposive sample of 30 randomly selected reference emails was divided into two groups, the EBPQ group and the control group. The professional searcher who conducted the searches used the same approach in responding to each emailed reference question, except that the EBPQ group searches were guided by EBPQs, and the control group’s responses were not. The results indicate that searches guided by using EBPQs are more focused, apply more resources to the search process, and take less time than searches not guided by using EBPQs. These conclusions suggest that EBPQs appear to be useful for improving that search process and that further research is warranted.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Joanne G. Marshall

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:evidence based practice query formulation online information storage and retrieval


Date of Publication:04/09/2007

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