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Banks Giustini 2011


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Banks Giustini 2011

  1. 1. “Standing Out In A Sea of Grey (Gray) Literature” April 2011 Webcast for Academy Health Marcus Banks / Dean Giustini AcademyHealth is dedicated to improving the knowledge base of health care decision-making by supporting the professional development of those who conduct and use health services research (HSR), advocating for the tools and funding necessary to do this important work, and helping to translate HSR findings into policy and practice...BackgroundThis document is part of our preparation for a three-part webinar series that will provide an overview ofgrey literature and approaches to searching it. Our part during the series is to provide a producersperspective of grey literature and how to distribute and preserve it. The following are some guidingquestions that we have been given in order to structure our presentation for April 12th, 2011.1. What types or kinds of grey (gray) literature are currently produced worldwide (think in terms ofgrey literature producers/suppliers), and for what purposes or reasons?. In Accessing Useful Information: Challenges in Health Policy and Public Health (Lasker 1998), a forumsponsored by the New York Academy of Medicine and National Library of Medicine, the challenges ofaccessing information in health policy research were noted “… professionals in [public health and healthpolicy] fields are extremely diverse in terms of discipline, extent of training, and work environment. …theinformation they need to carry out their work encompasses a broad range of subjects and sources.”. Generally, grey literature is currently produced for a range of purposes in many disciplines and in manydifferent types of public, private and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Some of the more common types of grey literature include preprints, e-prints, conference papers,research reports, research papers dissertations, professional society and conference posters,,proceedings, symposia, theses, white papers, working papers, environmental scans, strategic pla, policystatements, monographs, patents, newsletters, brochures, pamphlets, annual reports, fact sheets,leaflets, book chapters, bulletins, audiovisual materials, course materials, catalogues, press releases,statistical documents, interviews, directories, questionnaires, government documents, technical andscientific reports, bibliographies, expert summaries, clinical practice guidelines, etc. Letters, polls,speeches, transcripts, powerpoint presentations, position papers, podcasts, emails, vodcasts, webinarsare also being produced Marcus Banks | Dean Giustini [Grey Literature Producers] 2011
  2. 2. . In addition to traditional formats, the use of blogs, wikis and social networking tools such as Twitter,Posterous and Quora have introduced new forms of communication into the equation; they areresponsible for introducing newer forms of grey literature and grey data (Banks, 2010). The Internet domains searched most often are associations (.org), the educational sector (.edu),government (.gov), international (.int) organizations and various commercial (.com) companies.. Grey literature is used to supplement findings in the published/indexed literature with a goal toimprove how evidence is applied in health services research and policy. The grey literature improves overall decision-making in HSR because it provides alternate perspectives.Supplementary data can be used although its curation is in its infancy; health services and policyresearch share the same goals of improving the health of the population. The dearth of research in some areas drives enquiry; grey literature is more likely to contain ‘negative’reports (McAuley 2000) of health interventions; however the failure to identify grey trials in a systematicreview can affect the pooled results of a study, threaten its validity and introduce bias2. Who are the largest producers of grey literature and why?. As mentioned earlier, there are many grey lit-producing associations with the (.org) domain, academicorganizations and in the educational sector (.edu) as well as governmental (.gov), international (.int) andcommercial (.com) enterprises and think-tanks. Due to its mandatory requirement to provide open access to research, the National Institutes of Health( is also a major source of grey literature. New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) is committed to creating tools to assist librarians and healthprofessionals to find grey literature. See Grey Literature - Producing Organizations and other major producers of GL. Who are the largest producers of grey literature in the United States? In Canada? Which group(s) aremost likely to track developments in grey literature? ● CADTH (Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health) ● Grey Literature-Producing Organizations ● GreyNet International ● Italian Grey Literature Database, National Research Council ● MLA’s Public Health / Health Administration Section ● New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM) – Grey Literature Report Marcus Banks | Dean Giustini [Grey Literature Producers] 2011
  3. 3. ● OpenSIGLE Repository, System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe ● The Virtual Technical Reports Center ● – the World’s Largest Library Catalog3. How can we enhance and standardize the perception of rigour in grey literature?. It’s important to strengthen the capacity of decision-makers to find and evaluate research. Health librarians can be thorough and explicit about search strategies using frameworks like PRISMA and other standard frameworks. Encourage more interprofessional communication which is fundamental to increased use of researchevidence in the 21st century. it should be said that a lack of rigour in research was noticed in the 1990s as scientists exposed theinadequacies of the process and biases of the system. in health interventions, small but important effects were missed, different reviewers reached differentconclusions from same data and findings had more to do with the specialties of reviewers than withunderlying evidence. the fault with traditional reviews led to the need for a more rigorous approach in 1992 with thepublication of two landmark papers (Antman, Lau). The found that original studies of clot busting drugs after MI were not systematically reviewed so theirbenefits were missed for 20 years;. Narrative reviews were inadequate in summarizing knowledge; they omitted mention of effectivetherapies or suggested treatments that were ineffective; the evidence (if it had been collated) was clear. These papers showed there was much to be gained from collating research but that traditionalresearch had failed to extract this knowledge; the same rigour in secondary research (where the objectsof study are other studies) is needed • Antman EM, Lau J, Kupelnick B, Mosteller F, Chalmers TC. A comparison of results of meta- analyses of randomized control trials and recommendations of clinical experts. Treatments for myocardial infarction. JAMA 1992; 268: 240–248. • Lau J, Antman EM, Jimenez-Silva J et al. Cumulative meta-analysis of therapeutic trials for myocardial infarction. N Engl J Med 1992; 327: 248–254.4. In what ways has the electronic publishing “sphere” contributed to the field of grey literature?“...there is a greater need than ever before …for effective tools and filters for finding, interpreting,organizing and retrieving data that is important to us….” Horizon Report 2011 Marcus Banks | Dean Giustini [Grey Literature Producers] 2011
  4. 4. . Electronic publishing has made information more accessible and yet content can be hard to find;librarians have many stories about trying to find elusive reports; the digital age has not completelychanged that; e-publishing has changed scale and diversity of retrievable grey literature and contributedto changing definitions for grey literature. However, electronic publishing has made GL more visible, searchable and findable for manyresearchers using very limited means (Google). The emergence of search engines has helped to index (and make findable) much GL but carelesssearching creates other problems as some studies are missed; the surface web is estimated to be onetrillion pages so its functionality is hampered by limited methods of searching/organization; and, thedeep web is not captured by Google. Emerging standards and methods of description -- such as persistent identifiers (i.e. DOIs, UniformResource Name (URN) -- have helped to pinpoint the exact location of grey literature on the web makingit easier to identify, find and cite. The health bibliography is fragmented; since moving away from traditional peer-review we havedemocratized access in virtual "information hubs" but this has introduced other issues. By 2014, 95% of all journals will be electronic; this will allow researchers to probe in new directions andmobilize knowledge faster; one issue is whether finding so much information has led to having moretime to digest and evaluate it? Or does information overload make it less likely that researchers willhave any time to analyze research?. Metadata enrichment will take us to the next stage of knowledge discovery and move us closer to thesemantic web; it will require experienced librarians to describe grey publications so they can be foundquickly, efficiently and accurately5. How is grey literature being archived and how do researchers make this research easy to find?. All researchers should load their papers into either a major government repository such asPubMedCentral (PMC), their university library’s repository or obtain help from a librarian. Researchers should learn some basic principles for describing their research documents but can alsohire qualified librarians and grey literature experts. Researchers are forming social communities where they share, rate and discuss research, informationand ideas (not just published research) Marcus Banks | Dean Giustini [Grey Literature Producers] 2011
  5. 5. . Think about how you can make your research more visible; if the fulltext of your study is deep in adatabase or held by a publisher, make a structured abstract easily accessible to everyone. a good dissemination plan can guide and link your ‘research to action’; think about push strategies as asupplier or researcher as a form of distribution; pull strategies facilitate demand (audience) led access ;database searching is part of identifying research but do not forget about books, chapters in books,working papers, policy documents or departmental reports. To identify relevant studies, it is important to supplement searches with website browsing, contactingexperts and reference checking; searching for GL is vital to most search strategies; handsearching is alsovital as are extended techniques such as snowballing and reference harvesting. dissemination of your research should be planned; it requires forethought about the best way to tellyour audience; with substantial investment in your research think about an investment in archiving anddissemination. your research needs to be communicated to practitioners and policymakers; transfer of knowledge is acomplex process and depends on many factors at the level of individuals, groups, organizations andnational health systems. frameworks have attempted to represent the complexity of knowledge translation and the importanceof non-linear diffusion, highlighting a role for planned dissemination; researchers should consider howtheir research will be archived and include how their work will be preserved; decisions will need to bemade about which documents can be saved/discarded; data and assessment information should bepreserved; records of decisions should be kept; meetings, correspondence and review comments shouldbe kept as records of decision-making process; place copies of your reports in an institutional repositoryor archive it on your organizational website6. What are the preservation procedures for major producers? ● In the United States, the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program is led by the Library of Congress and sets forth policies to provide access to digital resources and support in terms for archiving and preservation activities ● reports produced by the Institute of Medicine receive Library of Congress numbers, and are preserved according to LOC standards. In general, producers do not pursue or receive LOC numbers for their grey literature ● many GL producers do not have clear policies about what and how to preserve materials. Although technology makes it less costly to store information, and much information is archived online, materials are accessible only as long as the organization is in existence. Producers should Marcus Banks | Dean Giustini [Grey Literature Producers] 2011
  6. 6. have hard-copy archives in on-site libraries, off-site storage or in a service such as the National Technical Information Service (NTIS).● producers internally archive materials to fulfill requests for materials with reprints rather than original copies. Many producers indicate they save materials on-line. All indicate some willingness to share materials with researchers but acknowledge that it is difficult for researchers to know what materials are available.● The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has a website entitled ‘Public Access’ which is an entry point for providing open access to NIH research● The Preserving Access to Digital Information (PADI) Web site, which is maintained by the National Library of Australia, is one of the most comprehensive and up-to-date sources of information about archiving digital information● Berman. Guide to Data Preservation (Integrity, Metadata, Action)● &●● RAND -● No preservation policy at Kaiser Family Foundation -● Good Archives Make Good Scholars: Reflections on Recent Steps Toward Archiving of Digital Information, Donald Waters● and For more information, see these wiki entries:Standing Out in a Sea of Grey Literature and Evidence-Based Public Health: A Librarian Pathfinder Marcus Banks | Dean Giustini [Grey Literature Producers] 2011