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Region 4 News June 21st, 2024
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Article: Going for the Grey

Posted in: #CC/Academic List, #Health Interest List, #Health Sciences List

Marie St. Pierre
Children’s Hospital of Colorado

Note: Marie received NNLM MCR Professional Development Funding to attend MLA 2019

At the 2019 MLA conference, I was able to attend the continuing education class “Going for the Grey: Finding Grey Literature for Complex Reviews”.  The instructors were Sarah Bonato, from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health of Toronto, Kelly Farrah and Monika Mierzwinski-Uraba, of the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Ottowa.

In the class, I discovered new sources of information, that would complement what can be found in published literature that is indexed in such databases as CINAHL, OVID or PubMed.  There are several ways to search and several ways to see if the information found is of use to the patrons requesting the literature search.

The internet can be searched for the professional or academic societies that will post information, editorials, guidelines or best practices, which may not be published as articles.  These are valuable to show what is currently being done in clinical and educational settings, for example.  Guidelines especially are a source of information, useful citations and help to determine best practice, but with the end of the National Guideline Clearinghouse, the organization that develops a guideline would need to be searched.

Other sources may include conference proceedings, powerpoints of lectures at academic settings.  The value would be in the source, and in the unique information that can be pulled from them.

I would now share a few examples from some literature searches that I have recently worked on.  First was a question on orienting new graduate nurses to float work.  This is a fairly specific question for which there was some published literature, but I wanted to round it out.  The first source found was an online article on the American Nurse Today website, which is not indexed to any database.  The article described what one health care system had done to boost success in their float pool with new nurses.  An article from MinorityNurse.com included new graduates in their discussion of float pools, also.  These were well written and both showed real solutions to the question at hand.

One other example was for Morning Report, which the librarians at Children’s participate in.  The librarians add related articles to the transcript of the report, then email out to a distribution list of several hundred health professionals.   The American Academy of Pediatrics has patient information, guidelines and other information that is not printed in their journal, but may be applicable to the report’s topic of the day.  This is a goldmine from an authoritative source.

This CE was helpful in reminding me to look not only at the databases of indexed literature but at all of the other sources of information that will help answer a question, in any sort of literature search situation.



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