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SLA 2004 Fishing in a Bucket: Gray Literature and the Whats on the Shelf Syndrome Bonnie Osif Penn State

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Presentation on theme: "SLA 2004 Fishing in a Bucket: Gray Literature and the Whats on the Shelf Syndrome Bonnie Osif Penn State"— Presentation transcript:

1 SLA 2004 Fishing in a Bucket: Gray Literature and the Whats on the Shelf Syndrome Bonnie Osif Penn State bao2@psu.edu

2 SLA 2004 It is said Give people a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach people to fish and you feed them for a lifetime.

3 SLA 2004 I say Give a person a resource and you solve a problem. Give a person access to resources – the world of resources – (and teach them to use/evaluate them) (and teach them to use/evaluate them) and you give them the world.

4 SLA 2004 The Fishing in a Bucket Syndrome Use what is already known Use what is already known Use what is on the shelf in the office Use what is on the shelf in the office Use what is in my colleagues office Use what is in my colleagues office Use whatever is on the web Use whatever is on the web Dont use resources Dont use resources

5 SLA 2004 The Alternative Fish the entire ocean of resources. This requires – Knowledge that the ocean exists Knowledge that the ocean exists Belief other information is valuable and worth the time and effort to find and use it Belief other information is valuable and worth the time and effort to find and use it Access to databases (& skills to use them) Access to databases (& skills to use them) Access to resources Access to resources –In-house, on the web, or through ILL –Ability to translate, if necessary Expert guidance Expert guidance

6 SLA 2004 Outline No answers - some summary observations to provide discussion points Quotes from recent documents Quotes from recent documents Statistical snapshots Statistical snapshots –Review of report bibliographies Gray vs. non-gray Gray vs. non-gray Local vs. global Local vs. global Comparison of 1998 study to 2004 study Comparison of 1998 study to 2004 study –Dissertation glance –ITRD holdings (LIST Committee study)

7 SLA 2004 This study of technologies imported from non-English language sources has yielded evidence that the limited availability of translations of non-English documentation… has delayed their adoption in the United States. Computed savings of $5million/year (conservative) Metcalf, Sci-Tech News, Nov. 2003

8 SLA 2004 In fact, a vast amount of transportation related information resources published by the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT), state departments of transportation (DOTs), professional associations, and other publishers is neither collected nor made available for use by others with any systematic process. Harder/Tucker Scoping Study for a National Strategic Plan for Transportation Information Management (Draft final report, 2003)

9 SLA 2004 Bibliography studies –Gray literature TRIS 1995 73% TRIS 1995 73% TRANSPORT 199685% TRANSPORT 199685% FHWA/TRB 199886% FHWA/TRB 199886% International reports 199989% International reports 199989% International reports 200449% International reports 200449%

10 SLA 2004 Bibliography studies 1998 (percentage of gray literature) Finland91% Finland91% Germany80% Germany80% Netherlands90% Netherlands90% Sweden97% Sweden97% FHWA86% FHWA86% 2004 (percentage of gray literature) Finland58% Finland58% Germany37% Germany37% Netherlands69% Netherlands69% Sweden42% Sweden42% FHWA17% FHWA17%

11 SLA 2004 Bibliography Study (2004) Gray Resources - Local vs. Global Finland70% Finland70% Germany79% Germany79% Netherlands78% Netherlands78% Sweden84% Sweden84% FHWA50% FHWA50%

12 SLA 2004 ITRD Series Review 98% of the identifiable publishers are gray 98% of the identifiable publishers are gray 42% are not held in the U.S. or Canada 42% are not held in the U.S. or Canada 84% are not held or the coverage is spotty at best 84% are not held or the coverage is spotty at best Budgets are threatened, threatening the 16% holdings Budgets are threatened, threatening the 16% holdings

13 SLA 2004 Dissertation Snapshot 19% of references to gray literature 19% of references to gray literature <2% of references to non-PSU resources <2% of references to non-PSU resources 0% to international resources (except ISO) 0% to international resources (except ISO)

14 SLA 2004 Observations Most commonly fished buckets are Most commonly fished buckets are –TRB –USDOT –International conferences –Major transportation journals –Local reports Numbers indicate the bucket may be getting smaller! Numbers indicate the bucket may be getting smaller!

15 SLA 2004 Observations Of the 17 reports used in the 2004 bibliography scan, only 7 of the authors were found in TRIS or Compendex. Not everything that is being reported in the gray literature is being published elsewhere.

16 SLA 2004 Observations With access to TRIS, TRANSPORT, Compendex and NTIS, the dissertations still With access to TRIS, TRANSPORT, Compendex and NTIS, the dissertations still –Used local material –Major journals –Gray literature from the U.S.

17 SLA 2004 Questions I have some questions. How can we... 1. work together to acquire, catalog, preserve, and ensure future access to core transportation research? 2. form partnerships that facilitate access to all of our collections? 3. leverage our participation in OCLC and the products and services it offers? 4. get more of our holdings into OCLC? 5. creative partnerships with all transportation information collectors, not just DOT libraries? 6. learn to overcome geographic boundaries? 7. encourage libraries with more resources to support, guide, motivate and encourage those with less? 8. find ways to quantify what we do to the people who fund us? 9. support each other in ways that ensure our mutual survival and research success for our patrons. Used by permission from Ken Winter (email to Tranlib 5/28/04)

18 SLA 2004 Editorial comments The bucket is getting pretty dry The bucket is getting pretty dry The fisher people are getting very hungry, even if some dont realize it! The fisher people are getting very hungry, even if some dont realize it! The ocean is lapping at our feet The ocean is lapping at our feet The cost of ignoring that ocean could be high The cost of ignoring that ocean could be high The crisis is real, known, and growing The crisis is real, known, and growing

19 SLA 2004 It is time to fish or cut bait!


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