OBJECTIVES: As part of a project to map the literature of nursing, sponsored by the Nursing and Allied Health Resources Section of the Medical Library Association, this study identifies core journals cited in maternal-child/gynecologic nursing and the indexing services that access the cited journals. METHODS: Three source journals were selected and subjected to a citation analysis of articles from 1996 to 1998. RESULTS: Journals were the most frequently cited format (74.1%), followed by books (19.7%), miscellaneous (4.2%), and government documents (1.9%). Bradford's Law of Scattering was applied to the results, ranking cited journal references in descending order. One-third of the citations were found in a core of 14 journal titles; one-third were dispersed among a middle zone of 100 titles; and the remaining third were scattered in a larger zone of 1,194 titles. Indexing coverage for the core titles was most comprehensive in PubMed/MEDLINE, followed by Science Citation Index and CINAHL. CONCLUSION: The core of journals cited in this nursing specialty revealed a large number of medical titles, thus, the biomedical databases provide the best access. The interdisciplinary nature of maternal-child/ gynecologic nursing topics dictates that social sciences databases are an important adjunct. The study results will assist librarians in collection development, provide end users with guidelines for selecting databases, and influence database producers to consider extending coverage to identified titles.
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