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Abstract

Introduction: Journals are important tools for disseminating new knowledge to health professionals. The purpose of this study was to investigate workplace access to journals. Medical imaging workers (MIWs) were the allied health professional group studied. Methods: A two phase sequential exploratory mixed methods design was adopted to collect data from MIWs to develop a list of professionally relevant journals and to examine accessibility of journals across the profession. In addition, the derived list of journals was further examined to determine open access and open article availability. Results: Twenty-seven percent (n=88) of survey respondents (N=362) reported that they have access to one (18%, n=58) or none (9%, n=30) of the 94 identified professionally relevant journals. Difference in access was statistically significant for work setting (university, clinical), health sector (public, private), workplace type (teaching, non-teaching hospital, clinic), and area of specialization (nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, radiography, sonography). A positive relationship was shown to exist between increased effective workplace access to journals and frequency of use. This study also identified that open access journals and articles are currently limited for Medical Imaging workers. Conclusion: Whilst journals provide access to current peer-reviewed evidence, this study established that workplace access is currently problematic for medical imaging workers. Workplaces must act to increase access to journals for Medical Imaging Workers so that these professionals can harness new knowledge and base their practice on current peer–reviewed evidence.

Author Bio(s)

Madeleine Shanahan, PhD, is a Senior Lecturer at the RMIT University, School of Medical Sciences in Australia. Madeleine’s research has two broad foci. One area of interest is learning mediated by knowledge-tools with research conducted at the undergraduate and graduate Medical Imaging Worker (MIW) level. This research has employed quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. A second research focus examines technologies in medical imaging, where experimental design has been adopted.

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