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Title: Toxicology knowledge and information : the impact of new information and communication technologies
Author: Robinson, Lyn
ISNI:       0000 0001 3528 7724
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2003
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This thesis examines the communication of scientific knowledge. Specifically, it considers the effect of new information and communication technologies (ICTs) on this process. It focuses on the discipline of toxicology, although the findings should be applicable to related subject areas. Toxicology was chosen because it is a rapidly developing, multifaceted subject area, with a rich history of information resources. New ICTs are defined as those computer and telecommunication technologies which have permeated our society from around 1980 onwards. The aim is to define toxicology information at the turn of the millennium, and to predict how its communication processes will progress over the next 5-10 years. This is achieved by examining facets of the discipline, and by researching the changes which have occurred from the inception of the subject, to the present day. Emphasis is on those changes taking place over the past 20 years, as these parallel the contemporary phenomenon of rapid technological advancement in western society. No analysis of this kind has previously been undertaken for toxicology information. The methodology also presents a novel, composite, mechanism for the study and understanding of communication within a discipline. Specific outcomes: A systematic way to identify toxicology resources is defined. A model for toxicology communication in 2002, is derived. Toxicology is found to have changed from being a sub-discipline, to a field in its own right, which exports ideas in addition to importing them. Ways of overcoming deficiencies in retrieval from existing information systems and services are suggested. The effectiveness of available tools for organising and describing toxicology information is assessed, and a three layer model for representation of a toxicology statement is proposed. An understanding of the impact of new ICTs on toxicology communication is gained, which gives insight into possible changes in the near future.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available