Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of the Medical Library Association





First Page


Last Page




Date of Submission

May 2014


OBJECTIVE: This study examined citation patterns and indexing coverage from 2008 to 2010 to determine (1) the core literature of health care chaplaincy and (2) the resources providing optimum coverage for the literature.

METHODS: Citations from three source journals (2008-2010 inclusive) were collected and analyzed according to the protocol created for the Mapping the Literature of Allied Health Professions Project. An analysis of indexing coverage by five databases was conducted. A secondary analysis of self-citations by source journals was also conducted.

RESULTS: The 3 source journals--Chaplaincy Today, the Journal of Health Care Chaplaincy, and the Journal of Pastoral Care and Counseling--ranked as the top 3 journals in Zone 1 and provided the highest number of most frequently cited articles for health care chaplaincy. Additional journals that appeared in this highly productive zone covered the disciplines of medicine, psychology, nursing, and religion, which were also represented in the Zones 2 and 3 journals. None of the databases provided complete coverage for the core journals; however, MEDLINE provided the most comprehensive coverage for journals in Zones 1 and 2, followed by Academic Search Complete, CINAHL, PsycINFO, and ATLA. Self-citations for the source journals ranged from 9% to 16%.

CONCLUSIONS: Health care chaplaincy draws from a diverse body of inter-professional literature. Libraries wishing to provide access to journal literature to support health care chaplaincy at their institutions will be best able to do this by subscribing to databases and journals that cover medical, psychological, nursing, and religion- or spirituality-focused disciplines.