Recognizing the value of meta-research and making it easier to find


  • Elizabeth Stevens Department of Population Health, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY
  • Gregory Laynor NYU Health Sciences Library, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, New York, NY



meta-research, Indexing, research on research


Meta-research is a bourgeoning field studying topics with significant relevance to health sciences librarianship, such as research reproducibility, peer review, and open access. As a discipline that studies research itself and the practices of researchers, meta-research spans disciplines and encompasses a broad spectrum of topics and methods. The breadth of meta-research presents a significant challenge for identifying published meta-research studies. Introducing a subject heading for meta-research in the controlled vocabularies of literature databases has the potential to increase the visibility of meta-research, further advance the field, and expand its impact on research practices. Given the relatively recent designation of meta-research as a field and its expanding use as a term, now is the time to develop appropriate indexing vocabulary. We seek to call attention to the value of meta-research for health sciences librarianship, describe the challenges of identifying meta-research literature with currently available key terms, and highlight the need to establish controlled vocabulary specific to meta-research.


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