DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The long-term objective of the proposed project is to provide the public health (PH) workforce with improved access to high quality, relevant PH grey literature reports in order to positively impact the planning, conducting, and evaluating of PH interventions. The project will consist of two components: 1) continuation of user-focused technical system development, and 2) deployment and evaluation of this system's impact on the tasks of the PH workforce in county health departments.
The system will automatically harvest web-based grey literature reports (utilizing rules trained on input from PH professionals) and then produce rich summaries of PH grey literature reports using the model of essential elements of PH intervention reports validated by PH specialists (Turner et al, In Press). After developing a user interface that capitalizes on both natural language querying and the display of search results in a structured, model-based summary, the system will be introduced into several county health departments and evaluated to determine its impact on information flows and uses.
The project will include intrinsic evaluations of: 1) the appropriateness of the grey literature reports harvested by the system; 2) the quality and sufficiency of summaries representing the full reports based on the PH intervention model and; 3) retrieval results for users' queries using metrics of precision and recall. Extrinsic evaluation will be done in PH departments participating in the New York Academy of Medicine's ongoing study of the relationship between information and effectiveness. The research will provide baseline measures. We will evaluate: 1) the ease and frequency of use, perceptions of currency, accuracy, and completeness of retrieved reports by county PH personnel, and; 2) impact of the system's usage on information flows and uses based on internal outcome measures within the county health departments.
The work proposed here shares both the missions of public health and the National Library of Medicine
through the design of an information system that exploits natural language processing technology to
efficiently collect and provide access to quality public health grey literature for the public health workforce.