Pam McKinney live-blogging from the second day of the LILAC conference: in this presentation Steph Grey and Trish Lacey from Public Health England knowledge and library services talk about tools to critically appraise visual materials. Public Health England is an evidence-driven organisation, using evidence from systematic reviews and other kinds of health research, and it’s important to use the right type of evidence for your question. Quality matters, so evaluation of evidence is really important. There are existing checklists that can be used to help evaluate health research studies, but sometimes in public health you need to use evidence that is outside the traditional gold standard of health information.
Infographics are developed at public health England, and can be really useful for conveying a message with great impact. Infographics are collected as evidence, so there needs to be a way of evaluating them. No existing checklist to help evaluate infographics was found, so after a literature search one was created based on sources found. It covers questions such as “is it biased” “can you find the source of the information” and “can you understand the infographics without knowledge of the area”. Visualisation literacyis an important area for further research, because people interpret visual information differently.
Grey literature is another type of source that is used at Public Health England. In this case there are existing checklists for evaluating grey literature. None of them quote me their needs because they needed a checklist that could account for multiple formats of grey literature. It was decided that a flow chart would be a good format for a checklist for grey literature because a checklist would have too many questions and be unwieldy