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NURS 357: Introduction to Nursing Informatics

understanding primary vs secondary sources and omission in coverage of a topic

Background Information for your Information Literacy Competency Self-Assessment

Omission in Coverage of a Topic

It's likely that no one source is going to completely answer all of your research questions. Identifying omission in coverage of a topic helps you see what is missing from each information source. Is it generalizable? Identifying what is missing tells you more about what information you still need to find.

Evidence for omission in coverage of a topic might come from:

  • Limitations of the sample population or population demographics
    • Usually indicated in the "methods" section of a research article
  • Limitations of the intended scope of the information
    • What is the purpose of the information? Who is the intended audience?
  • Limitations of the study as noted by the authors within the article
    • Usually at the end of a research article, if noted
  • Citing outdated sources (if better information was available at the time of publication)
  • Detection of researcher/author bias
  • Your knowledge of the topic