An Inferential Spatiotemporal Approach for Knowledge Synthesis to Identify Trends in Public Health Research
36 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2023 Publication Status: Preprint
Decisions follow patterns that are introduced by human perception and decision making. Research and development (R&D) are influenced by decision trends as all decisions rely on heuristics. Furthermore, R&D publications can represent repetitive attempts to solve similar, or the same, problems. Literature reviews serve as an important tool for identifying these trends, but they are time consuming. The time commitment of a literature review can be reduced by using a sample of research. This will allow an infinite population of research to be generalized. A body of more than 1,000 childhood elevated blood lead (Pb) level (EBLL) research articles were used to extract publication years, research locations, and subtopics. These publications were grouped into research locations (i.e., U.S. states where research was conducted; not publication location) and averaged over years published (i.e., 29 years). Explanatory variables were used to conduct hypothesis testing. Significant variables were used to generalize the population of the annual average EBLL articles written per state. The range of the annual average of EBLL research articles by state was 0 to 1.7 articles, with a mean of 0.3 articles. Thirty-eight explanatory variables suggested a significant effect on research article production. These included temporal, sociodemographic, education, structure age, environmental, and economic variables. A predictive model was selected to generalize the population of articles. The locations with the most research production for this topic were California and New York. The locations with the least research production for this topic were Alaska, Hawaii, Nevada, Wyoming, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Analytical tools like this enable researchers to identifytrends and ask more questions about their field will mitigate these biases. This hypothesis testing and predictive modeling methodologyprovide researchers and other decision makers with analytical tools they can use to quickly identifyresearch trends and narrow their field of research.
Keywords: research bias, Rapid Review, geographical bias, Research trends, decision making, knowledge synthesis
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