Digital libraries in a clinical setting: friend or foe?

A Adams, Ann Blandford
in Chapter, Heidelberg


Clinical requirements for quick accessibility to reputable, up-to-date information have increased the importance of web accessible digital libraries for this user community. To understand the social and organisational impacts of ward-accessible digital libraries (DLs) for clinicians, we conducted a study of clinicians? perceptions of electronic information resources within a large London based hospital. The results highlight that although these resources appear to be a relatively innocuous means of information provision (i.e. no sensitive data) social and organisational issues can impede effective technology deployment. Clinical social structures, which produce information ? and technology ? hoarding behaviours can result from poor training, support and DL usability.