MLA13 and ICML – Day 2 pt1

Monday started with another sunrise seminar (What’s New in Wiley Health Sciences – Cochrane) and this time I did get there earlier. There was a queue to get in and I couldn’t see why but as I got closer, it became apparent – it was moving past the breakfast table. By the time I got there, there was no breakfast left! Luckily, I had a bottle of water with me and an apple. While I was in the queue, I waved to the presenter, Carol Lefebvre, who I work with on IRG activities. She didn’t see who was waving to her because a spotlight was shining in her direction. Anyway, this session was well attended (hence no breakfast) and I learnt of some interesting new developments.  Starting from this week, Cochrane reviews will be published as soon as they are ready. For people who are not lucky enough to have national provision, reviews marked Gold will be available for immediate access on a fee and those marked Green will be available up to 12 months. All reviews will be free access after 12 months.  Cochrane have developed a new product called Cochrane Clinical Answers which appears to be an overview gleaned from one or more systematic reviews on a topic. Cochrane is developing a methodological expectations guide that aims to improve the quality of reviews. One of the requirements in the guide is that searches must be run 12 months before publication to capture any new studies. One of the problems  is ascertaining the currency of a review (I’ll write about this soon). This will hopefully be addressed with another requirement which stipulates that enough documentation must be kept in order to enable full reporting. As I came out of that session, a woman approached me and said ‘Hi Catherine!’ and for the life of me I couldn’t recall who she was. I had to admit this and it turned out to be Lisa Kruesi from UQ. Whoops! Oh dear.

Next in the schedule was the Janet Doe lecture given by Joanne Gard Marshall. It was about encouraging medical librarians engage in research and evidence-based libary best practice. This wasn’t really relevant for me as I am not an academic engaged in research, so my attention wandered a little. I didn’t take any notes and used the time to check my email. I was trying to meet my co-blogger to work out who would cover what ICLC sessions.

After morning tea, I wandered into the Exhibitors Hall and stopped at the NLM Theatre where they were having a PubMed update session. These are all recorded and you can view them here (you need Adobe FlashPlayer 10.3 or above to view). I didn’t catch the entire session but what I learnt was that PubMed is now indexing author supplied keywords when supplied by the publisher. This is good news for the HTAi Disinvestment group which has been trying to get Disinvestment accepted as a MeSH term for some time. What this group can now do is develop a list of keywords with definitions for writers in this area. I also learnt that you can now edit searches in My NCBI. This is also welcome news, especcially for librarians engaged in systematic review searching.  There are some new training courses available at the NLM Training Centre (for US librarians unfortunately) but some recorded sessions are available here.

And it was 10.30am – on to the next session! I attended both parts of The Role of Librarians in Evidence-based Medicine and it seems that only Pt2 was covered by the MLA bloggers (I did this one). I was also chuffed to see that some of my posts made it to Krafty’s MLA Blog summary! Anyway, this session covered librarians engaged in teaching and/or promoting EBM. The major points that I took away from the first presentation (Abraham Wheeler, Michigan State University) was: teach the concepts not the tools and demonstrate learning outcomes. The last point is important to remember if you are ever engaged in planning education programs.  Shona Kirtley from the EQUATOR Network talked about addressing the issue of poor reporting of clinical trials by providing reporting guidelines for researchers.  Librarians are well positioned to have an impact on improving the quality of published studies by pushing reporting guidelines. This will be supported by a new EQUATOR International Librarians Network, which will be free to join. Next was a presentation about  tracking research impact. Of course, any mention of tracking research impact involves talking about citation numbers. However, I tell people that citation numbers are empty numbers in that they don’t tell you why the paper was cited. So, how can research impact be discovered? This is where the Becker Model comes in: from quanitative to meaningful health outcomes (impact). This model includes the many different ways in which impact can be felt: legislation, standards of care, economic, funding availability. Impact goes beyond numbers. The final presentation reiterated earlier presentations on how librarian-clinicial educator partnerships work in teaching EBM successfully. The librarians at Christiana Care Health System have been involved in teaching (with faculty) EBM concepts since 1990. Teaching takes the form of workshops on PICO and searching while the faculty teach critical appraisal skills (dictated by accreditation requirements). We don’t have anything as formal as that where I work. I teach searching skills that are topic based as well as resource based, and I attend journal clubs and audits. We are developing a new curriculum at a request of the Clinical School office – 30min chunks is the time limit.

This is a long post so I think I will split it in two parts. More digestible!

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