Two weeks ago I attended the International Clinical Librarians Conference (ICLC) in Leicester. As a grateful recipient of a YOHHLnet CPD bursary here are my reflections on the two day event.  On review of the draft programme I was particularly interested in the sessions relating to supporting systematic reviews and the use of AI in sharing knowledge.

Systematic Reviews
I have found supporting systematic reviews an enjoyable, rewarding and often daunting process so I was keen to learn from others. Michelle Maden opened the conference with an excellent overview of the process and gave some key pointers on working on systematic reviews including:
• Accuracy is key- a peer review of the search strategy is important.
• Provide a template for reviewers to record numbers for the PRISMA flowchart.
• When updating an existing review firstly appraise the existing search strategy as it is sometimes inadequate and it may be necessary to undertake a new search from the beginning.

The final point resonated with me as I have had some tricky conversations with clinicians who simply wanted me to “re-run the search”. Having courage in your knowledge and experience is important. Judy Wright shared how Information Specialists at the University of Leeds have devised a formula to estimate the volume of search results to help researchers plan their abstract screening workload. Historically the number of Medline results was used as a predictor of final results; however a retrospective analysis of 68 previous searches found Ovid Embase results to be a more precise predictor. Judy concluded that a multiplier mean of 2.04 works well across all the topics and study types tested.

The end of the first day concluded with a systematic review workshop. This was quite an ask at 5pm after a long and intense day but the knowledge café format worked well. There were varying levels of experience on my table and it was good to share frustrations as there is reassurance in knowing that others have experienced similar challenges.

Artificial Intelligence
Andy Tattersall from ScHARR gave a thought-provoking and amusing presentation on using AI to share knowledge. Since I'm not that knowledgeable about this topic, I was eager to find out more. I have used QuillBot to help with summarising but Andy introduced some tools I had not heard of, namely:
Biteable – video animation graphics tool
Gamma App – used to create presentations
OwlyWriter AI – used to write social media posts
Gencraft – Image creation

The speed of these tools was amazing but the presentation came with important caveats around the use of AI. Transparency is essential so it is important to acknowledge when AI has been used to create content. Human edits are often needed so don’t fully trust AI creations especially since AI hallucinations can fabricate references or quotes.  While AI can help with many elements of knowledge sharing, Andy stressed that where possible you should write in your own voice because AI summaries can be generic and depersonalising. The presentation created quite a discussion between attendees on the applicability of this software and the general need for societal appraisal of information.

As I failed to take any photos at the conference I used Gencraft to create a portrayal of my attendance at the event. You will see that Gencraft is very much like a search in that what you enter determines the quality of what you get but here are three attempts :

1) A ginger haired librarian at a conference. Sat at a desk with other people in the room. Listening to someone giving a presentation at the front of the room

2) A ginger haired librarian at a conference. Sat with other people around a rectangular table. Several other tables in the same room with other people. All listening to someone giving a presentation at the front of the room

3) Conference room with about 40 delegate sat in groups around rectangular tables. Ginger haired librarian listening to a presenter delivering a PowerPoint presentation at the front of the room.

I think picture 3 is the most accurate rendition. It made me smile to see how a librarian is depicted, very tweedy whilst all other delegates are in suits. I think this nicely emphasises a further concern with AI around the reinforcement of stereotypes.

Final thoughts
Lightening talks provided brief showcases of areas of interest including tips on presenting evidence at clinical meetings, tracking and classifying institutional publications, supporting evidence synthesis, information literacy in nurses, knowledge mobilisation and creating new services. I would recommend the ICLC to anyone as there is such a breadth of coverage with many practical applications and things to take away and try. The opportunity to connect and meet with people I had only seen via Teams was also invaluable.

Jenny Emmel – Knowledge Manager, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust
Co-produced using Gencraft.