Nursing Information Behavior (NIB) in the Pandemic: Resilience of a Knowledge Base


  • Richard P. Smiraglia Institute for Knowledge Organization and Structure, Inc.
  • Elizabeth Milonas New York City College of Technology (CUNY)
  • Sergey Zherebchevsky Long Island University
  • Edmund J. Y. Pajarillo Adelphi University



Health care assumed epic proportions in 2020 as the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic swept the globe, crossing all social, geographic, economic and political lines. A key component of care at every phase of the pandemic has been home care nursing. A virtual domain analysis clinic (DAC) was constructed around the focus of nursing information behavior (NIB). An important question for research was the extent to which the ontological base underlying NIB might be the subject of conceptual evolution during the pandemic. The clinic began by using domain analytical techniques to extract a NIB taxonomy from a key text; the taxonomy was then mapped to an international nursing classification and published online where it could be available for scholarship. As the pandemic evolved the DAC employed ethnographic techniques to discover ways in which the knowledge base represented by the pandemic was affected over time. The knowledge base of NIB is resilient. The taxonomy of the domain originally drawn from research and mapped to a classification of practice is sustainably efficacious throughout this project. The analysis of video transcripts reveals ethnographic contexts emerging over the course of the pandemic that provide new contours for the knowledge base. Beyond the resilient core lies a rich panoply of emergent vocabulary. The vocabulary of the pandemic itself becomes part of the knowledge base of the home care nurse. The rise of an emotional layer beyond the core vocabulary of NIB reveals the contours of the social impact of the pandemic as vocabulary concerning the very human psychological and social impacts enter the knowledge base with terms forming a credo of moral fiber, hope, dedication and determination.