#icmldub #eahil2017 CEC6: Librarians can help address reporting concerns in the biomedical literature, particularly for systematic reviews

So I’m delighted to say that my 2017 EAHIL experience is off to a flying start. I’ve just come out of the CEC session I co-ran with Shona Kirtley of @EQUATORNetwork, Tom Roper @tomroper ‏, Rebeca Isabel Gomez @Rebeca_Aetsa and Alicia Gomez @fagomsan  on how librarians can help improve the reporting of research. Putting together the session was great fun – wonderful to have an international collaboration, and the skype meetings, and email exchanges were really productive.

The session itself had 15 attendees from all over Europe, and despite the fact that I was part of the organising/delivery group, I learned as much from the attendees as from our own presentations.

For example

  • I didn’t know that the Equator network have action plans for librarians and universities to use to improve reporting of research (part of our presentation)
  • A colleague suggested that if you integrate your search results with a PRISMA reporting guideline it raises the researchers awareness of this checklist as a gold standard method of reporting the rest of their work (definitely going to steal/borrow this one!)

For example

  • There is a wealth of literature/evidence available to demonstrate a] the level of poor reporting of research, and b] that librarian input can improve this. I’ll be putting more of this evidence into presentations, onto our website etc.
  • As well as the stellar “50 Shades of Review” that Andrew Booth presented as part of the EAHIL CPD programme, a colleague said they’d share the table he made which presents the different types of review against how many databases, and an estimation of the time it should take to present.

We talked over the reasons why research is poorly reported, and the consequences of it. We were reminded of the scale of the problemimmense!

And we rounded off with a reminder that, as with so many things, this isn’t solved by someone else doing something. It’s solved by each one of us doing something – so we all wrote postcards with 2 or 3 actions that we were taking away. I’ll be posting these cards in a months’ time – as a reminder that we need to be part of the solution.

Our slides will be going up shortly, and we’ll also be sharing the feedback from group discussion – watch out for the link.


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