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TRIPSCY: Accessing the Health, Rehabilitation, and Education Literature  

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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This research guide was created to support a presentation held on May 21, 2013 for TRIPSCY, a project of the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI) and the University of Vermont.

TRIPSCY provides professional development to interdisciplinary, early intervention, and related services personnel through workshops & trainings, and mentorship support.

This research guide contains tabs and links for:


Why search the literature? Or... what we can learn from citation analysis.

In 1993, a major citation analysis project was launcehd by the Medical Library Association to identify the journals that are most frequently cited by authors in the allied health professions. Separate studies were conducted for Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech Language Pathology, and about fifteen other professions.

These studies found that for each profession, a small group of core journals (approximately 8-10) contributed about one-third of the references cited over the course of the three-year study period. The second third of the references came from a larger, middle set of journals, roughly 75-100 journals. The last one-third of references came from a very large set of journals, often between 1000 and 1500, emanating from a wide variety of disciplines. However, many of the journals in the last group contributed only one or two articles over the course of the study period.







What's the take-home message?  In order to find all the relevant articles on the topic, especially those appearing in journals that are outside the core group, one must conduct a comprehensive search of the literature, usually via an electronic database.


Occupational Therapy

Potter J. Mapping the literature of occupational therapy: an update. J Med
Libr Assoc. 2010 Jul;98(3):235-42. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.98.3.012. PubMed PMID: 
20648258; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2901014.

Physical Therapy

Fell DW, Burnham JF, Buchanan MJ, Horchen HA, Scherr JA. Mapping the core
journals of the physical therapy literature. J Med Libr Assoc. 2011
Jul;99(3):202-7. doi: 10.3163/1536-5050.99.3.007. Erratum in: J Med Libr Assoc.
2012 Jan;100(1):78. PubMed PMID: 21753912

Speech-Language Pathology
Slater LG. Mapping the literature of speech-language pathology. Bull Med Libr 
Assoc. 1997 Jul;85(3):297-302. PubMed PMID: 9285132; PubMed Central PMCID:
   This study is currently being updated, with anticipated publication in 2014.


Questions? Comments?

If you have lingering questions after the presentation, please feel free to submit a comment, and we'll do our best to answer it.

Also, we'd love to hear your comments about this research guide in general. Please click on the link below to share your thoughts and suggestions.


Contact Us

Nancy Bianchi, Reference & Instruction Librarian, Dana Medical Library, UVM

Frances Delwiche, Reference & Instruction Librarian, Dana Medical Library, UVM


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