Does OpenSigle exist for its own sake?

In Uncategorized on August 28, 2008 by Danielle Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,

The Internet Resources Newsletter, issue 165, arrived in my inbox and I read, with interest, that Sigle (System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe) had been reincarnated, courtesy of the Institut de l’Information Scientifique et Technique (INIST) and dubbed ‘OpenSigle‘.

My first thought was, this is great–they have finally made searching for grey literature less gruesome. And look, it even covers subjects such as autistic spectrum disorders and pregnancy (although documents on ‘feeding the pregnant hill ewe’ kept managing to creep in). So it is there, and it is topically relevant. To those interested in “fundamental and applied sciences, technologies, humanities and social sciences” at least.

That is where my positive regard faded. After clicking on a few references, I soon realised that the database simply let you know that the documents *existed*–they did not provide links to full text or even summaries. Typing the document’s title into Google revealed that, yes, the full text document was freely available, and also that it had been superseded (in this case it was a Department of Health best practice guideline on safeguarding children) by a more recent document.

While OpenSigle may be useful to members of INIST, who are presumably able to order these documents with a click of the mouse, it does not prove to be a useful, or a time-saving tool for me. Maybe the whole concept of a time-saving grey literature search tool is oxymoronic.

While I currently do not do very much grey literature searching, the best approach I have found, in the past, is to get to know your topic area by doing general internet searches, looking at resources that have been reviewed (such as the Canadian EBMSources, based at Laval) and checking with Intute, a free database of resources that subject specialists have selected and evaluated.


One Response to “Does OpenSigle exist for its own sake?”

  1. GreyNet’s Archive migrates further to the OpenSIGLE Repository – Amsterdam, 10 September 2008

    Net-users now have access to the authors’ biographical notes, abstracts, as well as the full-text papers and accompanying PowerPoints. GreyNet’s collection of conference based research is now further along in the process of migrating to the OpenSIGLE Repository. By December 2008, the last 5 years of research on grey literature will be online available. Currently, OpenSIGLE houses the following GreyNet Collections:

    GL6 – Sixth International Conference on Grey Literature (2004)

    GL7 – Seventh International Conference on Grey Literature (2005)

    GL8 – Eighth International Conference on Grey Literature (2006)

    Grey Literature Network Service
    Amsterdam, Netherlands

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