The compendium targets resources that are widely available (e.g., through national organizations’) and easily accessible (i.e., on the web). Given the wide-ranging set of possible sources, a snowball-sampling strategy was necessary. This strategy may have limited the search, in turn unintentionally excluding some resources, such as those from state or local sources or those not available on the web. Notably, this compendium is not intended to be a census of risk communications, as such a database would not be cost-effective to create and would be quickly outdated. Hence, caution should be used when making generalizations from the compendium or this summary.
The compendium itself is based on relatively easy-to-identify categories within multiple variables. Each of these pieces of data, in turn, was checked by at least two people. Identification of all-stars, however, was a more subjective process--and one designed to identify exemplars, rather than to provide a detailed evaluation of each resource (although inter-rater agreement was high). Phase 3 review was more qualitative, although structure was provided through the use of a standardized score sheet. Still, the subjective nature of these reviews should be acknowledged, and conclusions taken as suggestive. Furthermore, the materials included in the compendium were not reviewed by members of the target audience, and evaluations are not available assessing their application and usefulness to these specific populations.
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