AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

Nov/14

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Literature Search Strategy Week: Judy Savageau and Laura Sefton on Library Resources and the Important Role They Play in Evaluation Work

We are Judy Savageau and Laura Sefton from the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Center for Health Policy and Research (CHPR) and we’re here to introduce to you a week full of information about library resources and what role these might play in various components of your evaluation work from soup to nuts! We believe that the library here on our medical school campus, as well as those settings on our other four campuses throughout the state, is often a valuable resource for our work – from conducting literature reviews to help guide the development of a project using what’s currently known in the field all the way to the training reference librarians can provide in how to make a scientific poster that celebrates the successes of our projects at upcoming conferences.

Hot Tips: We recently polled our colleagues in the Research and Evaluation Unit at CHPR and asked them what library resources have been most helpful to them in the past year. What we heard included:

1) Using OVID, PubMed and/or SCOPUS for conducting literature searches;

2) Using MyNCBI to set up routine searches and notifications when relevant articles are published;

3) Meeting with a reference librarian to figure out better search strategies to find relevant articles and resources in the peer-reviewed literature;

4) Obtaining training in conducting a more broad environmental scan on a topic and how to access the ‘grey literature’;

5) Taking classes in PowerPoint and learning some ‘tricks of the trade’ in putting together a poster presentation;

6) Learning how to use bibliographic reference managers like RefWorks or EndNote; and

7) Using software available among the library’s many resources to help select the ‘best’ journals to which a manuscript might be submitted.

Rad Resources: While many of you might not be affiliated formally with a university library, you may have a local library ‘in your back yard’ that has similar resources available to you (e.g., through InterLibrary Loan) or a state institution (like UMass) where the public is welcome to use the library’s resources at little/no cost! Check it out!

We’ve partnered with four of our reference librarians and two of our new library fellows to create this week of posts that we hope will be helpful to you. We welcome any and all comments and additional topics that you would like to see covered in AEA365 blogs (e.g., copyright issues and when can a person embed an image from the Internet into an evaluation report; what defines the ‘public domain’?). Our reference librarians LOVE to teach and LOVE to be asked to partner with us in our work. This week, we’ll be highlighting many of the topics noted above.

Enjoy the week!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Literature Search Strategy Week with our colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. The contributions all this week are about using libraries, librarians, and library resources for evaluation projects. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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