"Uniform Requirements" for grey literature: proposal for the adoption of "Nancy style"

De Castro, Paola and Salinetti, Sandra "Uniform Requirements" for grey literature: proposal for the adoption of "Nancy style". Publishing Research Quarterly, 2006, vol. 22, n. 1. (In Press) [Journal article (Unpaginated)]


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English abstract

The production of a valuable and formally correct document is strictly associated with the existence and application of reference standards that should be commonly used within the community of all the possible authors. In the biomedical field everybody knows what are the Uniform requirements for Manuscript submitted to Biomedical Journals, better known as "Vancouver style". A short story of this "style" will help understanding why we are proposing a "Nancy style" for Grey Literature (GL). Vancouver was the place were a small group of editors of medical journal met in 1978 to reach an agreement for a common format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. Since then, these guidelines, which were initially based on the format of references to be included in the publication, have been developing in scope and also the number of journals using them is widely increasing. Today, the border line between grey and open literature becomes less and less clear in terms of document online availability, therefore it seems particularly important to call the attention of all producers on the necessity to draw up a reference tool for writing and editing GL that now is mainly distributed through the Internet. This is particularly relevant in the absence of a proper ISO standard for the presentation of scientific and technical reports, the best sample of GL, since the valuable but not up-date ISO 5966, produced in 1982, was withdrawn, and not replaced by a new standard. Following the red thread of both the relevant editorial issues contained in the last edition of "Vancouver style" (October 2005, http://www.icmje.org/) and the basic principles of the ISO 5966, a proposal will be presented and discussed to reach an initial consensus on what might lead to the adoption of Uniform requirements for the correct production of institutional reports. This will be particularly useful now that open access is widely shared also by the GL community. The discussion and reflections to reach a consensus should include considerations on: - publishing and editorial issues (quality and copyright, new responsibilities associated with electronic publishing, institutional budget for document production and distribution, correct use of GL by lay people and the general media, etc.); - ethical issues (authorship, editorship, appropriateness of peer review, disclosure of conflict of interest, etc.); - document preparation (items to be included in the title page, abstracts, document structure, tables and figures, references, levels of revision editing, etc.). In this period of metamorphosis of GL, an open question concludes our reflections: Will "Nancy style" contribute to change the traditional grey bug into a colourful butterfly?

Item type: Journal article (Unpaginated)
Keywords: Grey literature, technical reports, institutional reports, scientific writing, standards, Nancy style, Vancouver style, grey resources
Subjects: H. Information sources, supports, channels. > HB. Gray literature.
Depositing user: Paola De Castro
Date deposited: 26 Apr 2006
Last modified: 02 Oct 2014 12:03
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10760/7468


Alberani V, De Castro P. Grey literature from the York Seminar (UK) of 1978 to the year 2000. Inspesl 2001;35(4):236-47.

International Organization for Standardization. Presentation of scientific and technical reports. (ISO 5966/82). Geneva: ISO; 1982.

International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Uniform requirements for manuscripts submitted to biomedical journals: writing and editing for biomedical publication. ICMJE: 2005. Available from http://www.icmje.org/. Last visited: 31/10/2005


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