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Web Survey Bibliography

Title Epidemiologic Research and Web 2.0—the User-driven Web
Author Lee, B. K.
Source Epidemiology, 21, 6, pp. 760-763
Year 2010
Access date 30.11.2010

The basic information technology for epidemiologic surveillance was once (and often still is) “shoe-leather”—a term that harkens back to the days of John Snow and his predecessors, when data collection was limited by how far an epidemiologist could walk. Since then, the technological tools for data collection have evolved. The gradual adoption of the telephone in the late 19th and early 20th centuries facilitated the use of phones for surveillance purposes. By the 1950s, public health officials were using telephone interviews to onduct outbreak investigations1,2 and, in doing so, helped to usher in a new era in survey methodology. Likewise, the advent of the computer age profoundly altered the landscape of population-health research. In the last 30 years, electronic medical records,3 health insurance claims data,4 and population-based registers5 have allowed investigators to conduct research on large samples, and usage of computer data repositories has become accepted practice.
More recently, epidemiologists have taken advantage of the Internet as a communications medium to facilitate research. The world is increasingly “wired”: over 1.8 billion persons worldwide use the Internet, and population percentages of Internet users are high for many developed regions.6 Accordingly, many aspects of research, including recruitment,7 data collection,8 and even certain interventions9 have been implemented through the Internet.
But the value of the Internet for epidemiologic research is not simply as a faster method of reaching potential participants or onducting a survey, or as a replacement for the telephone when people are increasingly reluctant to respond to solicitations. User-driven Internet content—particularly the content produced under the Web 2.0 platform—offers research opportunities for epidemiology that have only begun to be explored.

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Year of publication2010
Bibliographic typeJournal article