Viral bronchiolitis for the clinician.


We were interested in determining the priorities of paediatric researchers, particularly in the Australian context. While most clinicians are adept at visualising quantitative data, textual data are less frequently explored in a visual manner. We used a word cloud to perform a visual analysis of this topic. Word clouds are pictures created from words, where the frequency with which a word appears in the submitted text is reflected in the prominence with which a word is displayed. The more frequent a word appears in the text, the larger it appears in the word cloud. The advantage of this form of visualisation is that it is easy to spot the most commonly occurring words and their relative frequency compared to others. On the other hand, it is difficult to make accurate estimates of those frequencies. Using PubMed, we retrieved the title of every article published by the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health from February 1990 to 1 March 2011. These article titles were then entered into an online word cloud generator, and a word cloud was created in a similar manner to a previous analysis. Prepositions like ‘for’, ‘or’ and ‘in’ were excluded from the word cloud. As Figure 1 demonstrates, the most striking feature of the word cloud is the dominance of the word ‘children’, which is not surprising, but very reassuring. It indicates that the paediatric research community, which publishes in the journal, are strongly focussed on children. Age subgroups of children appear prominently as well as general descriptors such as study location, syndrome and disease descriptors. Few specific disease terms (with the exception of infection and asthma) are easily recognisable, and study types such as randomised trials do not appear strongly. This word cloud provides an alternative technique for visualising topics considered important by Australasian paediatric researchers. This method relies on articles using explicit titles and so may not truly reflect the content of the articles; however, it does clearly indicate that the Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health remains squarely focussed on Australian children. Acknowledgements: Richard McGee is a recipient of a postgraduate research scholarship from the National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2012.02456.x

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Cite this paper

@article{Williams2012ViralBF, title={Viral bronchiolitis for the clinician.}, author={Christopher Williams}, journal={Journal of paediatrics and child health}, year={2012}, volume={48 5}, pages={453} }