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Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017
’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for grey literature’ – L...
"information produced on all levels of government, academia,
business and industry in electronic and print formats not
con...
WHAT IS GREY LITERATURE?
"….Grey literature stands for manifold document types produced on all
levels of government, acade...
Grey literature…in the news
Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017
’Finding the hard to finds: Search...
In-between metaphor – grey zone…
Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017
’Finding the hard to finds: S...
Different types of grey literature
• Theses & dissertations
• Conference proceedings
• Newsletters
• Reports
• Government ...
• e-prints, preprints, post-prints
• emails, blogposts, even tweets
• Web 2.0 communication channels
• wiki articles & vir...
Differences between grey and published literature
Grey literature (hard to find) Published literature (easier to find)
# o...
Traditionally, grey literature is hard to find & control
• Difficulties with classification and cataloguing; storage
• Sho...
Impact in medicine
Although not considered a scholarly form of publication,
grey literature is produced by experts … and “...
Why grey is needed in trials – “positive trial” effect
Hopewell et al. (2007) Grey literature in meta-analyses of randomiz...
Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017
’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for the grey literature’
Extended search techniques
• Database searching & specialized databases and portals
• Searching obscure or small library c...
Expert strategies
• Document searches fully; ask for help from peers
• Network; modify your strategies as needed
• Import ...
Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017
’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for grey literature’
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Finding the hard to finds: searching for the grey literature in medicine

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Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’ Finding the hard to finds: Searching for grey literature’ – LIBR534

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Finding the hard to finds: searching for the grey literature in medicine

  1. 1. Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for grey literature’ – LIBR534 ’Finding the hard to finds: searching for the grey literature in biomedicine’
  2. 2. "information produced on all levels of government, academia, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing" ICGL Luxembourg definition, 1997 - Expanded in New York, 2004 revised in 2010 “…a body of materials [not] found easily through conventional channels such as publishers … frequently original and usually recent“ Wikipedia entry on ‘gray literature’ Definitions of “grey literature”… Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for the grey literature’
  3. 3. WHAT IS GREY LITERATURE? "….Grey literature stands for manifold document types produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats that are protected by intellectual property rights, of sufficient quality to be collected and preserved by libraries and institutional repositories, but not controlled by commercial publishers; i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body." – Twelfth International Conference on Grey Literature, 2010 ICGL update in 2010 Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for the grey literature’ http://www.textrelease.com/gl19callforpapers.html (Rome, Italy Oct 2017)
  4. 4. Grey literature…in the news Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for the grey literature’ …”The UN climate panel's credibility [was called into question recently] A British newspaper found holes in the IPCC report on the potential of tidal wave power claiming it was based on information, sourced from the website of a commercial wave energy company and student dissertations. This points to a fundamental flaw in the IPCC report - the use of what is called grey literature.”
  5. 5. In-between metaphor – grey zone… Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for the grey literature’
  6. 6. Different types of grey literature • Theses & dissertations • Conference proceedings • Newsletters • Reports • Government documents (including NGOs, IGOs) • Informal communication (telephone calls, meetings) • Translations • Census, economic & other data • Conference proceedings & abstracts • Research reports (completed & uncompleted) • Technical reports, standards, patents • Videos • Clinical trials & practice guidelines Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for the grey literature’
  7. 7. • e-prints, preprints, post-prints • emails, blogposts, even tweets • Web 2.0 communication channels • wiki articles & virtual worlds like Second Life • listserv archives (i.e. Google Buzz, Wave) • digital libraries (i.e. Institutional Repositories) • grey (gray) data; spatial data (ie. Google Earth) • meta-searching, federated searching, portals • databases of ongoing research • electronic & social networks • images, maps New sources of grey lit & data Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for the grey literature’
  8. 8. Differences between grey and published literature Grey literature (hard to find) Published literature (easier to find) # of documents being published Increasing at exponential rate Increasing, but at a more measured pace Speed of production Instant, due to self-publishing on the web, speed Slow(er), due to costs & editing process Cost Low (in most cases), free High, increasing all the time Accessibility Free, open, immediate in most cases (some $$$) Locked, gated access, $$$ (some OA) Quality Highly variable Excellent, edited, peer-reviewed Findability Improving but ‘hit and miss’ Generally stable Archiving Difficult due to sheer volume & formats Also difficult due to legal restrictions, space limitations and selection Impact on librarians New opportunities and roles for search-savvy librarians Problems arise due to copyright, licensing issues Role of publishers Some make content free to be good corporate citizens Commercial interests based on economic models not scholarly
  9. 9. Traditionally, grey literature is hard to find & control • Difficulties with classification and cataloguing; storage • Shorter print runs lead to lack of availability • Eventually becomes invisible Digitization trends = easier to find • Open access publishing • Search engines crawl web content • Collaborative writing • Informal scholarly publishing via wikis and blogs Shifts in grey literature Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for the grey literature’
  10. 10. Impact in medicine Although not considered a scholarly form of publication, grey literature is produced by experts … and “serves scholars and lay readers alike with research summaries, facts, statistics, and other data that offer a more comprehensive view of the topic of interest.” Outten, C. Gray Literature. 2008 • Medline is not enough… • Grey literature opens doors -- fills in ‘evidence’ gaps • Accessible on the open web via Google for free • Outside mainstream scholarship & research; unconventional format • Data-mining - think of hospital patient & epidemiological data Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for the grey literature’
  11. 11. Why grey is needed in trials – “positive trial” effect Hopewell et al. (2007) Grey literature in meta-analyses of randomized trials. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for the grey literature’ “…published trials tend to be larger and show an overall greater treatment effect than grey trials. This has important implications for reviewers who need to ensure they identify grey trials… to minimise the risk of introducing bias into their review. “
  12. 12. Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for the grey literature’
  13. 13. Extended search techniques • Database searching & specialized databases and portals • Searching obscure or small library catalogues • Hand-searching • Personal communication (i.e. telephone, email, tweets) • Scanning reference lists, bibliographies & academic CVs • Googling (i.e. Google, Google Scholar) • Contact experts in the field • Blogsearch, podsearch, specialized directories Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for the grey literature’
  14. 14. Expert strategies • Document searches fully; ask for help from peers • Network; modify your strategies as needed • Import citations into RefWorks • Watch scholarly publishing trends; copyright & ‘self-archiving’ • Identify relevant organizations to search • Consult hotspots of grey lit expertise: CADTH - Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies http://www.cadth.ca/index.php/en/publication/781 GreyNet - http://www.greynet.org Health technology assessment (HTAi) portal http://www.htai.org/index.php?id=229 OpenSIGLE - http://opensigle.inist.fr Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for the grey literature’
  15. 15. Dean Giustini, UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian - March 2017 ’Finding the hard to finds: Searching for grey literature’ htpp://slais.ubc.ca/index.php/Grey_literature “…it’s all grey – until you find it” The End

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