What I have to say about this session is limited, I fear, as I was presenting myself, and I find it hard to take in other papers when my mind’s on not splitting my trousers on stage. I mean no disrespect to my fellow presenters, and hope they understand. I’ve reconstructed a lot of this from the Twitter archive on Symplur.
In the first presentation, Danielle Rabb from CADTH, spoke on Single drug vs multiple intervention reviews: trends in systematic searching. When searching for multiple interventions searches can become quite complicated. They tend to use very broads PICOs. Useful resources from her paper included their grey literature checklist, Grey Matters, the Cochrane Handbook, Cochrane's Methodological Expectations for Cochrane Intervention Reviewsand the European Νetwork for Health Technology Assessment's Guidelines for Information Retrieval. CADTH themselves, as well as Grey Matters, offer other tools for searchers, the Peer Review of Electronic Search Strategies (PRESS) instrument and their filters, all available on their Literature Searching Tools in Support of Systematic Reviews page.
My paper, co-authored with Igor Brbre and Rachel Playforth, was What do users perceive to be the strengths and weaknesses of librarian- mediated and unmediated evidence/knowledge searches? We hope to publish, so, very briefly, we surveyed those who had evidence searches from Brighton and Sussex NHS Library and Knowledge Service in 2016, to see what they thought were the strengths of mediated searches. We found that librarians’ searches were perceived to be significantly better for all the attributes we asked about, expect for one, the understanding of the search question. What can we do about this? More attention to the reference interview, perhaps. I set the scene, while Rachel bore the brunt of the presentation. We kept Igor in reserve to answer the awkward questions.
Wichor Bramer presented Comparing the effectiveness of conceptual search methods: is a fast approach sufficient for the production of (sound) systematic reviews: a prospective, double- blinded, controlled study. Wichor's methods, which allow him to construct a systematic review search strategy in 70 minutes, are controversial, but full marks to him for putting them to the test with his co-authors Melissa Rethlefsen and Margaret Sampson. So far he’s tested his method with three searchers, all of whom missed some relevant papers, but he’s looking for more volunteers to join the study; I’d suggest contacting him on Twitter if you’re interested.
Finally, Mark Clowes, now working at ScHARR , spoke on What’s the prognosis for health librarianship? The role of the information specialist in a prognostic review. Mark has moved from being a traditional liaison librarian role to an embedded librarian, a co-producer of research. He told us of his involvement in a Health Technology Assessment in rheumatoid arthritis, which tried to assess which patients were more likely to develop severe symptoms. He used the text mining tool VOS Viewer to look for additional candidate markers of rheumatoid arthritis, which gave some reassurance that major search concepts had been covered, .
At the end we took part in a panel for questions and answers; I’m afraid panel discussions reduce me to a gibbering state. It’s like a job interview, but in front of a panel of several hundred people. I think I coped with the questions reasonably well, but don’t ask me what they were. There’s no evidence of any gaffes on Tiwtter, at least. We were fortunate in our session chair, Marshall Dozier, past president of EAHIL, who put us at our ease and encouraged us.