The Incorporation of Grey Literature into a newly formalized Research Services Program

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The Incorporation of Grey Literature into a newly formalized Research Services Program
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The ultimate goal of this project is to increase knowledge and use of grey literature resources amongst the librarians and patrons of a health sciences library at an academic medical center. Up until now, librarians at Dahlgren Memorial Library (DML) have informally and inconsistently introduced the concept of grey literature to the students, faculty, and researchers at Georgetown University Medical Campus and to the clinicians and nurses at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. The topic of grey literature may be tangentially referenced to in research consultations or workshops, and our online resource guide on this topic has yet to receive steady traffic. Moreover, we do not have marketing materials in place to help promote the use of grey literature, nor a system to track our interactions when we discuss it with our patrons. In sum, we have had a passive approach regarding the teaching of grey literature and we want to transition to a proactive approach by officially incorporating it into our services and our librarians’ repertoire of knowledge. This year, through a newly redesigned librarian position, we are formalizing a new research services program that will highlight different ways librarians can promote usage of grey literature, primarily during the initial stages of the research life cycle. Beginning with a background literature search and an environmental scan of all Association of American Medical Colleges library websites, we seek to learn how other health sciences libraries promote grey literature and whether it is incorporated into their research and education services. We have sought out webinars that focus on grey literature to build our foundation and have attended multidisciplinary conferences such as GL18 in New York City. To help realize our goal, we will offer a series of continuing education workshops for librarians on grey literature, both the topic and the means to locate it. We will introduce a research worksheet that contains a dedicated section for grey literature so librarians and patrons are consistently prompted to consider the use of these resources. In order to help promote and market grey literature, we will reach out to departments and committees to raise awareness of how our librarians can assist with their research goals. We wish to build upon our already strong integration in some academic programs such as the Medical School’s Medical Education Research Scholars track and the Department of Physiology’s Complementary and Alternative Medicine program. Lastly, we intend to capture librarian usage of grey literature resources and statistics using LibInsight.