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Bibliometric study of grey literature in core veterinary medical journals

, : Bibliometric study of grey literature in core veterinary medical journals. Journal of the Medical Library Association 91(4): 434-441

Grey literature has been perceived by many as belonging to the primary sources of information and has become an accepted method of nonconventional communication in the sciences and medicine. Since little is known about the use and nature of grey literature in veterinary medicine, a systematic study was done to analyze and characterize the bibliographic citations appearing in twelve core veterinary journals. Citations from 2,159 articles published in twelve core veterinary journals in 2000 were analyzed to determine the portion of citations from grey literature. Those citations were further analyzed and categorized according to the type of publication. Citation analysis yielded 55,823 citations, of which 3,564 (6.38%) were considered to be grey literature. Four veterinary specialties, internal medicine, pathology, theriogenology, and microbiology, accounted for 70% of the total number of articles. Three small-animal clinical practice journals cited about 2.5-3% grey literature, less than half that of journals with basic research orientations, where results ranged from almost 6% to approximately 10% grey literature. Nearly 90% of the grey literature appeared as conferences, government publications, and corporate organization literature. The results corroborate other reported research that the incidence of grey literature is lower in medicine and biology than in some other fields, such as aeronautics and agriculture. As in other fields, use of the Internet and the Web has greatly expanded the communication process among veterinary professionals. The appearance of closed community email forums and specialized discussion groups within the veterinary profession is an example of what could become a new kind of grey literature.


PMID: 14566374

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