News roundup

Published: 27 March 2019

HRB at the Health Sciences Libraries Group Annual Conference 2019

The Health Sciences Libraries Group (HSLG) is the professional body for health librarians and information professionals in Ireland. A team of five health librarians and information specialists from the Health Research Board (HRB) attended either in an event organiser capacity and/or as conference presenters.

Low-angle photo of a microphone on a podium looking out over a blurred image of the audience

Mary Dunne and Mairea Nelson, who manage the HRB National Drugs Library, presented on the topic of predatory publishers. Librarians manage journal subscriptions and databases and are keenly aware of the considerations that should be taken when deciding where to publish. Librarians generally advocate open access publishing where possible, rather than handing over your work (and the rights to your work) to for-profit publishers. The advent of online open access publication has led to new publishers with questionable (‘predatory’) journals. One way to assess the suitability of a journal is to use a tool like the checklist on https://thinkchecksubmit.org/. And, of course, speak with your local health librarian before submitting.

Caitriona Lee, an Information Specialist with the HRB Evidence Centre, presented on the topic of reporting guidelines. These include things like who funded the work, what type of study was carried out, what types of patient groups were included / excluded, the software used ...in effect a recipe book for accurately writing up your research.

For instance, the problem of missing data in published research has implications for lack of transparency, research waste, research integrity, and reporting biases.

There are over 400 reporting guidelines (and extensions) at https://www.equator-network.org. The website provides options for choosing guidelines, including the Equator Guideline Wizard, a handy flowchart and a search function on the website. Both online and classroom-based training are available from the Equator network.

The conference brought together presenters from a variety of library and other roles. The event reflected the diversity of professional roles held by health librarians, the support for research and the conduct of research by librarians.

Slides from the presentations at HSLG 2019 are available on the HSLG website.

HRB information specialists are: Mary Dunne, Louise Farragher, Brian Galvin, Caitriona Lee, Mairea Nelson.