LETTERS large and faithful volunteer force to implement its use.

The inclusion of the Core Communications in Health materials in the resource list should have been accompanied by a note that materials are not for sale and require staff time commitments (which we have found to be approximately forty minutes per patient.) We use the CCH materials and think highly of them, but the staff time involved is not trifling and the impact on other services provided is great. The experience here in hospital library-based patient education has taught one sure lesson. There are no formulas for success-the most important ingredient the librarian can bring to the program is flexible participation on the health care team.

LIONELLE ELSESSER Minneapolis, Minnesota

Ambulatory Care and the Department of Medicine (both physicians), Dietetics, Pharmacy, Social Work, Nursing Education, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Alcohol Program, as well as the library. Any other special program in the hospital with a teaching function should also be included. All of these services have direct contact with patients and do patient teaching in their areas of expertise. We feel that it is important for these contacts to be coordinated, otherwise the physician and dietician may each assume that the other has covered a certain aspect of a patient's diabetes, for instance. In today's hospital the number of specialities is increasing all the time and the physician and nurse can no longer be expected to be the be-all and endall of direct patient care. LYNNE D. MORRIS Chicago, Illinois

To the Editor: CITATION ANALYSIS Although I cannot wholly agree with Ms. Elsesser's various and firmly held positions, I am To the Editor: glad to hear how other hospital librarians are adI have some comments on the paper by P. W. dressing patient health education. Brennen and W. P. Davey, "Citation analysis in As each hospital and clinic differ, library the literature of tropical medicine," BMLA 66: services to patient education programs should be 1978. 24-30, Jan. evolving. It is my hope that a part of that evolution will be the beginnings of meaningful discussion on 1. There is no doubt that English is by far the the hospital librarian's role in providing resources most important language for researchers in the field of tropical medicine, but its impact is overto the health education community. BRITAIN G. ROTH emphasized. An English-language abstracting Miami, Florida journal like Tropical Diseases Bulletin will of course have a tendency to review more Englishlanguage journals and articles than foreign ones. This is made clear for instance in Table 2 where To the Editor: one can see that the number of articles cited per Mr. Roth's article, "Health information for number of titles is generally less for foreign compatients: the hospital library's role" (BMLA 66: pared to the English-language publications, while 14-18, Jan. 1978) is an excellent overview of a there is no evidence that the former publish less topic which is becoming more and more important articles per title than the latter. One must bear in to all of us who are librarians, or who might one mind that Tropical Diseases Bulletin is a critical, day be patients. I am pleased to see it in BMLA. selective abstracting journal and by no means a I would like to make one comment about the comprehensive indexing service. committee Mr. Roth discussed that would coor- 2. There is no doubt that the position of the first dinate the patient education program. It is my two journals in the rank-order list is correct, but firm belief that limiting membership on this com- they are followed by a mixture of tropical mittee to physicians and nurses would be a mis- medicine journals, general journals (Lancet, Natake. I do not think he meant to leave out allied ture), and very specialized journals (Mosquito health personnel but I think more emphasis is News, Leprosy Review). Few valid conclusions necessary. At our VA Hospital the committee is may be drawn from this list, especially because no truly multidisciplinary. The chairperson is the account has been given of whether the articles Associate Chief of Staff for Education (a phy- were merely cited or more or less extensively sician) and members include representatives from abstracted. For instance, the Annales de la Bull. Med. Libr. Assoc. 66(3) July 1978



Societe Beige de Medecine Tropicale have published during the period covered four conference proceedings, of which three have been cited. Evidently these were counted as only three citations, whereas in fact they account for about 65 articles, all of which were mentioned in the abstracts. The Annales would then shift from the fortieth to the twentieth rank, where it belongs. 3. A probably more useful method for citation


analysis in tropical medicine would be to examine all medical journals bearing the word "tropical" in their titles and to count for a given period all reference citations in their articles, omitting all citations by authors to themselves or to the same journal as the one in which their paper appeared. G. ROELANTS Antwerp, Belgium

Bull. Med. Libr. Assoc. 66(3)July 1978

Citation analysis.

LETTERS large and faithful volunteer force to implement its use. The inclusion of the Core Communications in Health materials in the resource list sh...
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