This chapter will examine elements of communication in our role as expert searchers. First, interprofessional communication and communicating as part of a team will be examined from the framework of core professional competencies. The practical use of peer communication to assure or improve search quality will be examined with the PRESS checklist. Next will be a discussion of presenting search results to gain maximum impact.
The chapter will go on to examine ways to increase discoverability, reproducibility and reusability of our work through mechanisms such as protocol registration, open access publication and data deposit. These are key to clear, complete, transparent scientific communication. The role of social media, broadly defined, in professional communication in support of search will also be discussed.
Our advances through formal research studies in methods of searching need to be communicated to professional audiences, both in library science and, more broadly, through academic communication or knowledge translation. Finally, future directions for research and practice will be suggested and conclusions and key points for reflection will be presented.
‘Interdisciplinary communication’ is defined in the Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) term as:
Communication, in the sense of cross-fertilization of ideas, involving two or more academic disciplines (such as the disciplines that comprise the cross-disciplinary field of bioethics, including the health and biological sciences, the humanities, and the social sciences and law). Also includes differences in patterns of language usage in different academic or medical disciplines.(National Library of Medicine, 2018)
Chapter 11 has shown just how important this collaboration with other members of the review team can be to maintaining the professional standing of the expert searcher.
Understanding training and expectations for communication can be very helpful. CanMEDS is a Canadian framework that identifies and describes the abilities physicians require to meet effectively the health care needs of the people they serve (Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, 2011). The overarching competency is that of medical expert, but the first specific role is that of communicator (see Case study 12.1). These role expectations can be paraphrased to describe the role of the searcher in the reference interview (see Case study 12.2).