“You are either part of the problem – or part of the solution…If you’re not an active part of the solution you are, by default, a part of the problem.” M.E.Huston. Yep. I’m quoting myself, how narcissistic is that? (Guess what, I didn’t really quote myself. Apparently I misquoted Eldridge Cleaver.) However, in this case, it absolutely applies. Let me explain.
A few weeks ago, I published a post about pseudoscience and the unfortunate (but true) trend we seem to be experiencing within speech-language pathology of sliding down pseudoscience’s slippery slope.
One of the ongoing excuses I heard was that the SLPs just weren’t sure where to find good evidence. Obviously there are the ASHA Journals, but for whatever reason, many SLPs don’t avail themselves to ASHA and it’s wealth of information. So, since I try very hard to offer solutions to the problems I point out, I thought I’d best share some alternatives to ASHA.
Of course, as always, you must read and interpret the research yourself. While there are many places where a quick “synopsis” is available, they are not always accurate…mistakes do happen after all. So, here they are…in no particular order.
SpeechBITE. SpeechBITE is a database of intervention studies. Created in 2008 by a team of SLPs at the University of Sydney (interestingly enough they created it because they wanted easier access to good research!). I strongly suggest you check it out…and if you are so moved, donate a bit to the site to help offset expenses.
The Communication Trust: What Works This site if one that’s fairly new to me. You do have to sign up (it’s free), but once signed up, it’s possible to look up the evidence supporting various treatment practices. Each listed practice includes a description of the purpose of the intervention, how it’s delivered, the evidence supporting it (or NOT supporting it), how it’s used in practice, “more information” which includes different links, and References. While this site doesn’t publish the research itself, it does give ready access to the research information on a particular treatment. As the professional, it would be up to the user to verify the information, but so far it’s been accurate for the things I’ve looked up.
Sage Journals: I’d like to say great things about this site…I’ve seen it referenced many times…unfortunately, you must have a subscription to view the full articles.
State Libraries: Many state libraries give full access to journals via ODIN to individuals who work in the public schools. (The link here is for the ND state library, but every state has one…are you utilizing it yet?)
The Practice Portal: Okay..this is an ASHA site, but it’s one I don’t think many people are utilizing. The Practice Portal provides EBP for specific difficulties. You do not have to be logged into your ASHA membership to access it. The Practice Portal provides information on the disorder, the incidence and prevalence, signs and symptoms, causes, roles and responsibilities, assessment, treatment, resources, and references.
Google Scholar: While you still have to read the research and you may not have access to all of them, Google Scholar helps compile the different research at a glance. For instance, I did a quick search on Childhood Apraxia of Speech and found articles from ASHA, Caroline Bowen, Larry Shriberg, and Edy Strand (all of whom I’d EXPECT to find articles from on this subject).
Academia: I hesitated to put this here…But…Academia is an open-source type site where authors can upload their research articles and allow individuals to read them. There is some great research there; however, it is not always true peer-reviewed research yet. Read it at your own caution.
Well…I think that’s enough for now. I’m hopeful some of you will leave comments telling me (and others) where you find YOUR journal articles. If there’s a cost to subscribing to a site, please add that if you have it handy. I’d love to compile a longer list.
Until then…Adventure on!
*********edited to add*******
I have received some great information already that I thought I should share with you all.
Additional research information is available at:
Research Gate: This site allows researchers to upload manuscript versions of their papers. You do need to sign up, but access to the papers are free. (Thanks Tricia McCabe)
Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences: This site is a great place to find information related to acquired/neurologic disorders. Some of the articles are free, however there is also the option of a membership fee. (Thanks Megan Sutton)
ASHA Evidence Maps This can be accessed through the ASHA Practice Portal. It’s a great way to link to all the various evidence available. (Thanks Megan Sutton).
Megan also mentioned that for SLPs who regularly supervise graduate students, it is possible to negotiate full library privileges through the university as a benefit of being a type of clinical faculty.
Health Force Ontario: Unfortunately this site is for SLPs in Ontario only (I don’t think you can be out of province on it, but maybe if your IP is Canadian???). However, for those of you in Ontario, it provides a great resource for research. Membership is free. (Thanks Kim Bennett)
@WeSpeechies Free Access Articles and Chapters: Some of the articles here are free only for a limited time, so it’s best to check back frequently (weekly). The rotating curator for the @wespeechies twitter group, selects articles based on the week’s topic. The articles are not necessarily comprehensive, but it is a great way to at least find the articles. The site also provides great information on Open Access articles (free). For those unaware, @Wespeechies hosts discussion regarding EBP on twitter. Check out the website for more information. (Thanks Caroline Bowen)
The Cochrane Library: A collection of six databases to help compile evidence. “Cochrane Reviews are updated to reflect the findings of new evidence when it becomes available because the results of new studies can change the conclusions of a review.” (Thanks Bronwyn Hemsley)
Speechpathology.com: One of my favorite places to get CEUs relatively inexpensively is at speechpathology.com. But, in addition to CEUs, there is an area called Clinical Resources that provides access to Articles, Ask the Experts, and other things (including state licensure board links, SLP professional associations, etc.). You can search for articles based on a certain subject without difficult. Again, you will need to verify accuracy as they are not always vetted or peer reviewed. If you’re not familiar with speechpathology.com I highly recommend you check them out. [shameless plug: If you decide to join, if you use the following link, I will receive $25 toward my membership http://www.speechpathology.com/memberships/invite/1069865 once you’ve joined people who use your code will help you with your membership].
Canadian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology: The online version of SAC-OAC
South African Journal of Communication Disorders: I believe this site is open access although you may need to register. (Thanks Caroline Bowen)
Caroline also reminded that ASHA has the Contemporary Issues in Communication Science and Disorders (CICSD) which is the biannual, peer-reviewed journal for NSSLHA. The webpage says it is not accepting new submissions, but there’s some good stuff in the archives 🙂
Caroline Bowen’s website speech-language-therapy dot com has a ton of information available, including links to open access journals, peer reviewed journals, and simply a plethora of information. Be sure to check it out…and if you happen to feel the urge, donate a bit for the bandwidth that helps her be able to offer this great information.
The Informed SLP will allow you to sign up to receive a newsletter every month that summarizes the research in the field. However, be cautious and remember, their interpretation may not be 100% accurate. As with anything, interpret with caution. It is however, a great way to determine what research you want to follow up with on your own.
I was also reminded (Thanks Felicity Bright) that many times it is possible to get access to an article behind a paywall by simply emailing the author of the article. Many times they will send a PDF of the article at no cost.
All the links are great – and bring up an important fact – research changes…EBP changes…We need to be continually looking to update our info. Just because something was (or wasn’t) EBP 5 years ago, doesn’t mean the status is unchanged now. We have to keep updating ourselves – keep reviewing. One of these days, maybe one of those pseudoscience things will become real science!
Keep them coming folks! This is great information!!