Accelerating access to biomedical evidence

OpenGrey collaboration provides alternative to SCIRUS for non-commercial publishing

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Many readers know about Elsevier’s SCIRUS portal as a place to go fishing for grey (gray) literature.  Grey literature is typically  government studies and reports, academic theses and conference proceedings, and publications from  businesses and organizations that are primarily not in the publishing business and not seeking to earn publishing  income. While there is not the traditional qualitative peer review we associate with  journal literature,  most of gray literature does have professional editing and represent their sponsoring organizations in presenting data or factual information.


Even though SCIRUS is openly available for searching without a subscription, a decision by Elsevier to include a large volume of traditional indexing of commercial journals in SCIRUS can effectively obscure the unique grey literature reports that might answer a question.


OpenGrey is a portal that has emerged in Europe from the global work of the  Grey Literature Network Service. According to the description found on OpenGrey,

“The goal of GreyNet is to facilitate dialog, research, and communication between persons and organizations in the field of grey literature. GreyNet further seeks to identify and distribute information on and about grey literature in networked environments. Its main activities include the International Conference Series on Grey Literature, the creation and maintenance of web-based resources, a moderated Listserv and a LinkedIn Group.”

GreyNet- Grey Literature Network ServiceI would not be talking about  OpenGrey or GreyNet in this blog unless there was a substantial representation of grey biomedical  resources. Currently there are at least 116,000 Biomedical Science document citations, organized by the SIGLE Subject Classification, which has 246 subject sub-categories.  26 of these categories are in Biological and Medical Sciences:


Selecting the 06 Category link, your browser will open into a very usable browsing interface with a variety of search filtering options:

OpenGrey-Category-06One of OpenGrey’s goals is to readily distribute their content aggregation by allowing export of the complete database by OAI-PMH .   OpenGrey is a shared site under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0), for non-commercial use.

Besides GreyNet International, there 15 noted European scientific and technical centers that are contributing bibliographic records as partners.  These centers are also poised to provided actual full text documents, once a citation has been identified in OpenGrey.


Thu, February 16 2012 » Uncategorized

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