The Grey Lit Café

Grey literature debates: the contribution of this podcast

March 07, 2023 Anthony Haynes Season 3 Episode 29
The Grey Lit Café
Grey literature debates: the contribution of this podcast
Show Notes Transcript

We published our first episode on 8 March 2022. This episode, our 29th, marks our anniversary. In it, we discuss the contribution of the podcast, placing it in the context of other grey literature publications.

In particular, we attend to the question of perspectives - those of authors/originators, managers/information scientists, and readers/consumers.

We suggest that distinctive contributions of our podcast include (a) its archival function and (b) an emphasis on pragmatic aspects of the creation/origination of grey literature.

The latter concern articulates with the issue of quality infrastructure.

Note: the episode referred to (around 02:07) has in fact now been published: Consuming grey literature: a reader's perspective (15 Sept 2022).

References

Sarah Bonato, Searching the grey literature: a handbook for searching reports, working papers, and other unpublished research (Rowman & Littlefield, 2018).

Michelle Leonard & Susan E. Thomas (eds), Managing grey literature: technical services perspectives (American Library Association, 1922).

Dominic J. Farace & Joachim Schöpfel (eds), Grey literature in library and information studies (DeGruyter, 2010).

The grey journal: an international journal on grey literature (TextRelease)

Ulrich Harmes- Liedtke, Quality infrastructure for development: a platform for people interested in quality infrastructure.

Credits

  • Sound production: Bart Hallmark
  • Music: from Handel's Water Music, courtesy of the United States Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra
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About the publisher

This episode is published by Frontinus Ltd. We're a communications consultancy that helps organisations and individuals to communicate scientific, professional, and technical content to non-specialist audiences.

We provide

  • consultancy
  • mentoring
  • editing and writing
  • training

and work on presentations, bids and proposals, and publications (for example, reports and papers).

To learn more about services or explore ways of working together, please contact us via our website, http://frontinus.org.uk/.



Speaker 1:

Spd Blessed Day to you all and very warm. Welcome to the Gray LED Cafe podcast. Brought to you by Front Limited Front is a communications consultancy focused on engineering, infrastructure, sustainability, and research. With you today is Ji Musa political scientist and teaching associate at Cambridge University in this edition where we reflect on our own podcast by asking two key questions, what is the gray that cafe for? And what is its intended contribution? And I'm very honor, as always, to be accompanied by Mr. Anthony Hay, creative director of<inaudible> greeting, Mr. Anthony

Speaker 2:

Greeting Ji. And let me say, uh, straight away, we've discussed beforehand our own views on the contribution of this podcast, and we've got slightly different ways of expressing it. So let's start by me asking you how, how you conceptualize the contribution of the podcast. So how would you articulate the, the contribution for Gray Lip Cafe?

Speaker 1:

To be honest, I think I would divide it into two. So I have mm-hmm.<affirmative> can, I kind of found that there is a one that is broad, long, kind of broad and long-term contribution. We could even call it archival one. Um, okay. And that I perceive as our podcast is building a multifaceted, uh, arch archive of what is gray literature and how to do it. And this includes insights from the knowledge and experiences of yourself, Dr. Anthony, but also from other gray literature producers whom you have interviewed in other episodes as well.

Speaker 2:

I like the, the idea of archive, um, because I think, uh, we've tried to recall content which is either evergreen or fairly evergreen, in other words, doesn't go out of date quickly. And I think also, you kindly, you kindly said, it benefits from my expertise, uh, benefits from your expertise as well. So what's the second way you'd articulate the contribution?

Speaker 1:

Uh, on the side note, I, I'm kind of building expertise slowly, slowly. I'm glad you're glad we, through these episodes,<laugh>, but I wouldn't include, I need to be honest.

Speaker 2:

While I was thinking in particular, we have recorded an interview with you, uh, which, uh, as we speak, we haven't yet published, but is in the can. But, uh, but what's it, what's, uh, the, your second, uh, your second way of conceptualizing this contribution?

Speaker 1:

Sure. So our second contribution, I thi I see it in kind of from the eyes of the audience. So it's really related to them in the sense that I feel that with each absence we are providing our audience with brief, concise, and usable knowledge on different forms of grade literature. So they come outta each episode, hopefully empowered with, uh, new knowledge and skills needed to put a discussed form of grade literature to the test, uh, or to use depending on their circumstances and what stage of their career they are. Um, so yeah, so in general, one that's more a contribution to the field of great literature and one that's more targeted to the listeners and our audience.

Speaker 2:

Yes. And I particularly offer those various words that you've used to characterize it are particularly welcome of the word usable, because I think there's quite a, a kind of pragmatic ethos behind what we're trying to do. So thank you.

Speaker 1:

Definitely. And if I may allow me Dr. A to, can you now ask you what is the green left for? Well,

Speaker 2:

I think the way I'd approach that is by comparing and contrasting it with the landscape of gray literature publications that already exist. And it, it seems to me over the last, let's say decade and a half, I would say there are a few landmarks in this area. One is a book called Gray Literature in Library and Information Studies, which is edited by Fari in shirt film. There's another book called Managing Gray Literature, technical Services and Perspectives edited by Leonard and Thomas, our third book is Searching the Gray Literature by Sarah Bernardo, who we've published a, an interview with. Mm-hmm. And the, of course, there's also the ongoing publication of International Journal of Gray Literature. Obviously we put all the references into the show notes as usual. So I, I, I think the easiest way of expressing what, what I think and hope our podcast is contributing is by relating it to those.

Speaker 1:

And what are the kind of the key strengths of these publications from your point of view? Well,

Speaker 2:

I think taken together, they provide a great deal of insight concerning the management of gray literature. Mm-hmm.<affirmative> the insight on issues such as classification, archiving, dis uh, dissemination, that kind of thing. And as such, I think they really help to develop the perspective of librarians and information scientists especially, and to some extent of publishers as well. I think the other thing they do is provide insight concerning the use of great literature, how to, how to search for it and how to use it and so on. And so that in a sense gives us the perspective of readers or users as opposed to librarian or information scientists. Although having said that, it gives some perspective for readers, which is produced for readers and users on behalf of readers and users as opposed to perspective actually articulated by the readers and users themselves. But tho those are what I think are the main strengths of those landmark publications.

Speaker 1:

That's very interesting. And given these chances of that publications you had kindly outlined earlier, how can the Gray Lit Cafe contribute in this respect?

Speaker 2:

Well, I think to some extent we replicate some of those strengths, or I hope we do. It's not as if what we're doing is completely a hundred percent novel. I mean, for example, we've published an interview with Sarah Bernardo as one of my favorite episodes actually. And, and actually what we were trying to do was bring out the contribution of her work in that. So to some extent it's replicating those strengths. But I think also, uh, I hope what we're doing is providing a different perspective and a new emphasis. And in particular, I would say what we're doing is looking at things from the point of view of authors or I'm never quite sure what to call them actually, because they're not always authors. I mean, sometimes if you're producing a visual texture, not an author, are you mm-hmm. You are a designer or something, but let's call them authors or creators or originators. And so what we often discuss is how do you produce stuff, you know, if you need to produce a blog, if you, if you want to produce a poster, how, how do you get these things done?

Speaker 1:

Mm-hmm. Excellent. Wow. So would it be fair to say that the intended contribution of the gray, that cafe lies primarily in complimenting the contribution of other resources by focusing on questions of authorship, content creation, origination, for example? Yeah.

Speaker 2:

Uh, yes. I think in the processo we provide a second, uh, distinctive contribution beyond what I've already tried to articulate, which is actually a focus on quality. Mm-hmm.<affirmative> and the thinking there is very much influenced by the notion of, I'm going to use the phrase infrastructure of quality. In other words, a question of, um, how can we put in place measures designed to guarantee the achievement of quality in gray literature? Or, or if not to guarantee it, at least make it more probable that when authors and creators and so on set out to produce gray literature more probable that are going to produce something of high quality.

Speaker 1:

Wow, that's very interesting. I think definitely from a personal experience, sometime we get too hooked into how to do something and we forget how good to do something. Yes. Okay. Yes. So this, this definitely, and I, I think at the end of the day, this will, what will make the difference between two people creating the same thing or attempt to pay the same thing is kind, the quality is will be the benchmark. And definitely looking at all the apples we have done so far, we have always attempt and we pray that we will always attempt to give some insights and, um, helpful kind of skills into how good to make something rather than just how to make it. Yes.

Speaker 2:

And I think I, I would say, I, I think in doing what you say there, I think it dovetails with the contribution of the landmarks that I identified earlier, because my thinking is the higher of the quality. You know, there's all this effort going into managing gray literature, and it seems to me the higher of the quality of the gray literature that people are managing, that people are classifying and archiving, disseminating, so on, the more worthwhile those efforts become.

Speaker 1:

Definitely. Yes. And, uh, if I may also, it's kind of when, when we started talking about that together, even in person before we start the podcast, it has been, there have been lots of questions about kind of how to filter grade because it seems that whatever is not academic, it falls into grade, which is not necessarily true. Uh, or which I believe from, um, speaking with yourself as, um, great creator and, um, kind of judging in respect or evaluator and other people, there is a real interest into narrowing down realtor in terms of quality rather than just Yes, whatever is not academic is great literature, which is not Oh, yes. A true statement, uh, to start with, but yeah.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I absolutely agree. Yes.

Speaker 1:

So with regard to the infrastructure of quality that you kindly, um, pointed out, um, in the last part, uh, where can listener go to discover more about it? Because I think it's, it's a very interesting point and, um, many of our audience will be interested into definitely this idea of quality rather than just, uh, quantity or production per se. So where would you advise them to go?

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, I've got one answer by the way. I'll just say, I'll just say a word about the phrase, the phrase infrastructure quality is my own phrase. The standard phrase is quality infrastructure. Mm-hmm.<affirmative>, the reason I don't use quality infrastructure is as soon as you use that phrase, people start thinking of infrastructure in terms of things like building hospitals and motorways and bridges and so on, and broadband. And that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about soft things about things that help to create quality in whatever. And there was also, I'd recommend is a blog by Dr. Urich. Harm is Lika, I hope I'm pronouncing his name correctly. And, uh, as always, we'll put the reference into the show notes, but the blog is called Quality Infrastructure for Development, and the subtitle is a platform for people interested in quality infrastructure. And I found it consistently very articulate and also very wide ranging.

Speaker 1:

Excellent. Thank you so much Dr. Anthony as always for such, uh, enriching and, uh, interesting episode. And, uh, we look forward to, to the next one. Thank you. Thank

Speaker 2:

You. It's been a pleasure. And Ji

Speaker 1:

Thank you. Thank you all for listening. This was Ji Mua with Anthony Hayes. Gray Cafe is edited by Dr. Bart Hallmark and produced by front limited front specializes in gray literature forms such as proposals, publications, papers, and reports. The music is from handles water music, courtesy of the United States Marine Band and Marine Chamber Orchestra. See you next time. Bye.

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