This study aims to explore the gap between information needs and services for autism in China.
The gap is revealed by investigating the status quo of autism information needs and services. The authors extracted categories and subcategories of information needs through content analysis of academic documents and then supplemented the subcategories through text mining of an online forum. Meanwhile, categories and subcategories of information services were extracted through content analysis of autism websites. Finally, the authors matched the two to explore the gap and designed a quantitative index to measure it.
A total of eight and ten categories of information needs and services are extracted, respectively. In total, six categories of information needs can be partly matched, but nearly half of the subcategories failed. Huge gaps in economic support, sociality and policy mechanisms categories are observed through the quantitative index and medium gaps in social resource services and employment categories while almost no gaps in psychological/emotional counseling, rehabilitation skills training and professional knowledge/information categories.
This study takes a deep insight into the gap between autism information needs and services in China, providing evidences and suggestions for information providers to improve their services. Academic documents and online forum data are adopted to avoid the impact of stigmatization, which provides a multi-source data analysis approach for the information needs of special groups.
This study was supported by the National Social Science Fund of China (No: 20ATQ008) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.
Lu, Q., Song, B., Chen, J., Xie, I. and Shen, Y. (2021), "Information needs and services for autism in China: is there any gap between them?", Aslib Journal of Information Management, Vol. 73 No. 4, pp. 497-516. https://doi.org/10.1108/AJIM-11-2020-0370
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited