Developing a corpus of the nursing literature: A pilot study

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AimThe purpose of this project was to develop and analyze a pilot corpus of the nursing literature.MethodsThe first issues for 2005 of six representative nursing journals were used to create a corpus of ≈ 250,000 words. This corpus was analyzed for word frequency using a concordance software package.ResultsThe process of developing and analyzing the corpus took the equivalent of ≈ 2 weeks' work for a single person. Approximately 7000 unique words were identified and sorted according to frequency.ConclusionsIn terms of time and cost, the development and analysis of a corpus is an efficient way of identifying the vocabulary which the nursing profession uses in its research publications. Even this brief pilot exercise was able to identify previously unexpected patterns of usage.

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