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1.  Introduction* 
Objectives: This paper introduces the special supplement to the Journal of the Medical Library Association (JMLA) that documents the proceedings of the “Symposium on Community-based Health Information Outreach” held on December 2 and 3, 2004, at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). The goal of the symposium was to explore new models of health information outreach that are emerging as technology dramatically changes the abilities of medical and health services libraries to provide resources and services beyond their traditional institutional boundaries, with particular concern for consumer health information outreach through community-based organizations. The symposium's primary objectives were to learn about successful and promising work that had already been done as well as to develop a vision for the future that could inform the NLM's next National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) contract. Another objective was to review and assess the NLM's Strategic Plan to Reduce Health Disparities with special emphasis on Native Americans.
Method: The paper describes the background events and rationale that led to the NLM's decision to convene the symposium and summarizes the supplement's ten other papers, some of which were presented at the symposium and some of which were written afterward to capture the symposium's working sessions.
Results: The symposium convened approximately 150 invited participants with a wide variety of perspectives and experience. Sessions were held to present exemplary outreach projects, to review the NLM's Strategic Plan to Reduce Health Disparities, to summarize the research underpinnings for evaluating outreach projects, and to provide a futurist's perspective. A panel of community representatives gave voice to the participants in outreach projects, and sixteen posters describing outreach projects were available, many of them with community representatives on hand to explain the work.
Implications: This JMLA supplement provides a comprehensive summary of the state of the art in community-based outreach and a jumping-off point for future outreach efforts.
PMCID: PMC1255748  PMID: 16437797
2.  Linking research to practice: the rise of evidence-based health sciences librarianship* 
Purpose:
The lecture explores the origins of evidence-based practice (EBP) in health sciences librarianship beginning with examples from the work of Janet Doe and past Doe lecturers. Additional sources of evidence are used to document the rise of research and EBP as integral components of our professional work.
Methods:
Four sources of evidence are used to examine the rise of EBP: (1) a publication by Doe and research-related content in past Doe lectures, (2) research-related word usage in articles in the Bulletin of the Medical Library Association and Journal of the Medical Library Association between 1961 and 2010, (3) Medical Library Association activities, and (4) EBP as an international movement.
Results:
These sources of evidence confirm the rise of EBP in health sciences librarianship. International initiatives sparked the rise of evidence-based librarianship and continue to characterize the movement. This review shows the emergence of a unique form of EBP that, although inspired by evidence-based medicine (EBM), has developed its own view of evidence and its application in library and information practice.
Implications:
Health sciences librarians have played a key role in initiating, nurturing, and spreading EBP in other branches of our profession. Our close association with EBM set the stage for developing our own EBP. While we relied on EBM as a model for our early efforts, we can observe the continuing evolution of our own unique approach to using, creating, and applying evidence from a variety of sources to improve the quality of health information services.
doi:10.3163/1536-5050.102.1.005
PMCID: PMC3878930  PMID: 24415915
3.  NLM Medical Library Resource Improvement Grant Program: an evaluation. 
The Extramural Programs, NLM, undertook a staff study to evaluate the Medical Library Resource Improvement Grant Program in order to determine impact on hospital library development and to assess factors significant to regional medical library (RML) network development. Initiated in fiscal year 1971, the improvement grant program provides one-year, one-time grant awards of a maximum of $3,000 to assist in establishing a basic collection of books, journals, and other health science information resources for community hospitals and comparable health facilities. Applicants who received grant awards were compared to applicants who did not receive awards and to nonapplicants, using nine dependent variables, four independent variables, and responses to an RML questionnaire. Results show that the applicants who received awards outperformed the other groups, and that the improvement grant program has been successful in stimulating library development. As a result of this study, the improvement grant program will be modified to support consortium arrangements as well as individual institutions, and to extend the period of grant support to two years. Future grant support will be a maximum of $4,000 in the first year, and up to $3,000 with a provision of $1,000 in matching funds from the grantee in the second year.
PMCID: PMC199221  PMID: 938778
4.  Trends in hospital librarianship and hospital library services: 1989 to 2006 
Objective:
The research studied the status of hospital librarians and library services to better inform the Medical Library Association's advocacy activities.
Methods:
The Vital Pathways Survey Subcommittee of the Task Force on Vital Pathways for Hospital Librarians distributed a web-based survey to hospital librarians and academic health sciences library directors. The survey results were compared to data collected in a 1989 survey of hospital libraries by the American Hospital Association in order to identify any trends in hospital libraries, roles of librarians, and library services. A web-based hospital library report form based on the survey questions was also developed to more quickly identify changes in the status of hospital libraries on an ongoing basis.
Results:
The greatest change in library services between 1989 and 2005/06 was in the area of access to information, with 40% more of the respondents providing access to commercial online services, 100% more providing access to Internet resources, and 28% more providing training in database searching and use of information resources. Twenty-nine percent (n = 587) of the 2005/06 respondents reported a decrease in staff over the last 5 years.
Conclusions:
Survey data support reported trends of consolidation of hospitals and hospital libraries and additions of new services. These services have likely required librarians to acquire new skills. It is hoped that future surveys will be undertaken to continue to study these trends.
doi:10.3163/1536-5050.97.4.011
PMCID: PMC2759173  PMID: 19851491
5.  The Medical Library Assistance Act: An Analysis of the NLM Extramural Programs, 1965-1970 * 
The imbalance between medical library resources and information needs of the health professional led to a reexamination of the mandate for the National Library of Medicine. Legislation known as the Medical Library Assistance Act (MLAA) was passed in 1965 which enabled the NLM to (1) initiate programs to assist the nation's medical libraries and (2) develop a medical library network with the establishment of regional medical libraries to link the NLM with local institutions.
The National Library of Medicine, through the MLAA, has made available $40.8 million to the medical library community under a competitive grant and contract mechanism for the period July 1965—June 1970. A total of 604 projects has been executed in resources, research and development, training, construction, regional medical libraries, publications, and special scientific projects. An assessment is given of each of these programs and their impact on both the National Library of Medicine and individual medical libraries. In the aggregate, these programs have significantly improved library and information services to the professional health user. The principal limitation has been inadequate funding to accomplish the level of originally stated objectives.
PMCID: PMC197606  PMID: 5146762
6.  Findings from the Community Health Intervention Program in South Carolina: Implications for Reducing Cancer-Related Health Disparities 
BACKGROUND
The South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Research Network (SC-CPCRN) implemented the Community Health Intervention Program (CHIP) mini-grants initiative to address cancer-related health disparities and reduce the cancer burden among high-risk populations across the state. The mini-grants project implemented evidence-based health interventions tailored to the specific needs of each community.
OBJECTIVE
To support the SC-CPCRN’s goals of moving toward greater dissemination and implementation of evidence-based programs in the community to improve public health, prevent disease, and reduce the cancer burden.
METHODS
Three community-based organizations were awarded $10,000 each to implement one of the National Cancer Institute’s evidence-based interventions. Each group had 12 months to complete their project. SC-CPCRN investigators and staff provided guidance, oversight, and technical assistance for each project. Grantees provided regular updates and reports to their SC-CPCRN liaisons to capture vital evaluation information.
RESULTS
The intended CHIP mini-grant target population reach was projected to be up to 880 participants combined. Actual combined reach of the three projects reported upon completion totaled 1,072 individuals. The majority of CHIP participants were African-American females. Participants ranged in age from 19 to 81 years. Evaluation results showed an increase in physical activity, dietary improvements, and screening participation.
CONCLUSIONS
The success of the initiative was the result of a strong community-university partnership built on trust. Active two-way communication and an honest open dialogue created an atmosphere for collaboration. Communities were highly motivated. All team members shared a common goal of reducing cancer-related health disparities and building greater public health capacity across the state.
doi:10.1007/s13187-013-0479-8
PMCID: PMC3755099  PMID: 23645547
7.  Reference Books and Computerized Information Services: Partners in Librarianship 
As a basis for thoughts on the roles of reference books and computerized information services in general, a comparison is made of the value to medical libraries of a comprehensive reference tool (the new dual media publication Biomedical Research in Progress) and a comprehensive information center file (the Smithsonian Science Information Exchange, the national resource for information on research in progress). It is concluded that a detailed reference tool which is physically present for library users has several advantages, in particular the provision of both detailed and comprehensive retrieval of all biomedical research information at substantially less annual cost and with faster access time than is possible with comparable questions put to an information center. On the other hand, the information center is able to provide more up-to-date material in more flexible combinations. The recommendation is made that medical libraries avoid treating the comprehensive reference tool and the computerized information file as alternatives and instead view both as necessary and complementary to each other.
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PMCID: PMC197719  PMID: 5054308
8.  Eurocan plus report: feasibility study for coordination of national cancer research activities 
Summary
The EUROCAN+PLUS Project, called for by the European Parliament, was launched in October 2005 as a feasibility study for coordination of national cancer research activities in Europe. Over the course of the next two years, the Project process organized over 60 large meetings and countless smaller meetings that gathered in total over a thousand people, the largest Europe–wide consultation ever conducted in the field of cancer research.
Despite a strong tradition in biomedical science in Europe, fragmentation and lack of sustainability remain formidable challenges for implementing innovative cancer research and cancer care improvement. There is an enormous duplication of research effort in the Member States, which wastes time, wastes money and severely limits the total intellectual concentration on the wide cancer problem. There is a striking lack of communication between some of the biggest actors on the European scene, and there are palpable tensions between funders and those researchers seeking funds.
It is essential to include the patients’ voice in the establishment of priority areas in cancer research at the present time. The necessity to have dialogue between funders and scientists to establish the best mechanisms to meet the needs of the entire community is evident. A top priority should be the development of translational research (in its widest form), leading to the development of effective and innovative cancer treatments and preventive strategies. Translational research ranges from bench–to–bedside innovative cancer therapies and extends to include bringing about changes in population behaviours when a risk factor is established.
The EUROCAN+PLUS Project recommends the creation of a small, permanent and independent European Cancer Initiative (ECI). This should be a model structure and was widely supported at both General Assemblies of the project. The ECI should assume responsibility for stimulating innovative cancer research and facilitating processes, becoming the common voice of the cancer research community and serving as an interface between the cancer research community and European citizens, patients’ organizations, European institutions, Member States, industry and small and medium enterprises (SMEs), putting into practice solutions aimed at alleviating barriers to collaboration and coordination of cancer research activities in the European Union, and dealing with legal and regulatory issues. The development of an effective ECI will require time, but this entity should be established immediately. As an initial step, coordination efforts should be directed towards the creation of a platform on translational research that could encompass (1) coordination between basic, clinical and epidemiological research; (2) formal agreements of co–operation between comprehensive cancer centres and basic research laboratories throughout Europe and (3) networking between funding bodies at the European level.
The European Parliament and its instruments have had a major influence in cancer control in Europe, notably in tobacco control and in the implementation of effective population–based screening. To make further progress there is a need for novelty and innovation in cancer research and prevention in Europe, and having a platform such as the ECI, where those involved in all aspects of cancer research can meet, discuss and interact, is a decisive development for Europe.
Executive Summary
Cancer is one of the biggest public health crises facing Europe in the 21st century—one for which Europe is currently not prepared nor preparing itself. Cancer is a major cause of death in Europe with two million casualties and three million new cases diagnosed annually, and the situation is set to worsen as the population ages.
These facts led the European Parliament, through the Research Directorate-General of the European Commission, to call for initiatives for better coordination of cancer research efforts in the European Union. The EUROCAN+PLUS Project was launched in October 2005 as a feasibility study for coordination of national cancer research activities. Over the course of the next two years, the Project process organized over 60 large meetings and countless smaller meetings that gathered in total over a thousand people. In this respect, the Project became the largest Europe-wide consultation ever conducted in the field of cancer research, implicating researchers, cancer centres and hospitals, administrators, healthcare professionals, funding agencies, industry, patients’ organizations and patients.
The Project first identified barriers impeding research and collaboration in research in Europe. Despite a strong tradition in biomedical science in Europe, fragmentation and lack of sustainability remain the formidable challenges for implementing innovative cancer research and cancer care improvement. There is an enormous duplication of research effort in the Member States, which wastes time, wastes money and severely limits the total intellectual concentration on the wide cancer problem. There is a striking lack of communication between some of the biggest actors on the European scene, and there are palpable tensions between funders and those researchers seeking funds.
In addition, there is a shortage of leadership, a multiplicity of institutions each focusing on its own agenda, sub–optimal contact with industry, inadequate training, non–existent career paths, low personnel mobility in research especially among clinicians and inefficient funding—all conspiring against efficient collaboration in cancer care and research. European cancer research today does not have a functional translational research continuum, that is the process that exploits biomedical research innovations and converts them into prevention methods, diagnostic tools and therapies. Moreover, epidemiological research is not integrated with other types of cancer research, and the implementation of the European Directives on Clinical Trials 1 and on Personal Data Protection 2 has further slowed the innovation process in Europe. Furthermore, large inequalities in health and research exist between the EU–15 and the New Member States.
The picture is not entirely bleak, however, as the European cancer research scene presents several strengths, such as excellent basic research and clinical research and innovative etiological research that should be better exploited.
When considering recommendations, several priority dimensions had to be retained. It is essential that proposals include actions and recommendations that can benefit all Member States of the European Union and not just States with the elite centres. It is also essential to have a broader patient orientation to help provide the knowledge to establish cancer control possibilities when we exhaust what can be achieved by the implementation of current knowledge. It is vital that the actions proposed can contribute to the Lisbon Strategy to make Europe more innovative and competitive in (cancer) research.
The Project participants identified six areas for which consensus solutions should be implemented in order to obtain better coordination of cancer research activities. The required solutions are as follows. The proactive management of innovation, detection, facilitation of collaborations and maintenance of healthy competition within the European cancer research community.The establishment of an exchange portal of information for health professionals, patients and policy makers.The provision of guidance for translational and clinical research including the establishment of a translational research platform involving comprehensive cancer centres and cancer research centres.The coordination of calls and financial management of cancer research projects.The construction of a ‘one–stop shop’ as a contact interface between the industry, small and medium enterprises, scientists and other stakeholders.The support of greater involvement of healthcare professionals in translational research and multidisciplinary training.
In the course of the EUROCAN+PLUS consultative process, several key collaborative projects emerged between the various groups and institutes engaged in the consultation. There was a collaboration network established with Europe’s leading Comprehensive Cancer Centres; funding was awarded for a closer collaboration of Owners of Cancer Registries in Europe (EUROCOURSE); there was funding received from FP7 for an extensive network of leading Biological Resource Centres in Europe (BBMRI); a Working Group identified the special needs of Central, Eastern and South–eastern Europe and proposed a remedy (‘Warsaw Declaration’), and the concept of developing a one–stop shop for dealing with academia and industry including the Innovative Medicines Initiative (IMI) was discussed in detail.
Several other dimensions currently lacking were identified. There is an absolute necessity to include the patients’ voice in the establishment of priority areas in cancer research at the present time. It was a salutary lesson when it was recognized that all that is known about the quality of life of the cancer patient comes from the experience of a tiny proportion of cancer patients included in a few clinical trials. The necessity to have dialogue between funders and scientists to establish the best mechanisms to meet the needs of the entire community was evident. A top priority should be the development of translational research (in its widest form) and the development of effective and innovative cancer treatments and preventative strategies in the European Union. Translational research ranges from bench-to-bedside innovative cancer therapies and extends to include bringing about changes in population behaviours when a risk factor is established.
Having taken note of the barriers and the solutions and having examined relevant examples of existing European organizations in the field, it was agreed during the General Assembly of 19 November 2007 that the EUROCAN+PLUS Project had to recommend the creation of a small, permanent and neutral ECI. This should be a model structure and was widely supported at both General Assemblies of the project. The proposal is based on the successful model of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO), and its principal aims include providing a forum where researchers from all backgrounds and from all countries can meet with members of other specialities including patients, nurses, clinicians, funders and scientific administrators to develop priority programmes to make Europe more competitive in research and more focused on the cancer patient.
The ECI should assume responsibility for: stimulating innovative cancer research and facilitating processes;becoming the common voice of the cancer research community and serving as an interface between the cancer research community and European citizens, patients’ and organizations;European institutions, Member States, industry and small and medium enterprises;putting into practice the aforementioned solutions aimed at alleviating barriers and coordinating cancer research activities in the EU;dealing with legal and regulatory issues.
Solutions implemented through the ECI will lead to better coordination and collaboration throughout Europe, more efficient use of resources, an increase in Europe’s attractiveness to the biomedical industry and better quality of cancer research and education of health professionals.
The Project considered that European legal instruments currently available were inadequate for addressing many aspects of the barriers identified and for the implementation of effective, lasting solutions. Therefore, the legal environment that could shelter an idea like the ECI remains to be defined but should be done so as a priority. In this context, the initiative of the European Commission for a new legal entity for research infrastructure might be a step in this direction. The development of an effective ECI will require time, but this should be established immediately. As an initial step, coordination efforts should be directed towards the creation of a platform on translational research that could encompass: (1) coordination between basic, clinical and epidemiological research; (2) formal agreements of co-operation between comprehensive cancer centres and basic research laboratories throughout Europe; (3) networking between funding bodies at the European level. Another topic deserving immediate attention is the creation of a European database on cancer research projects and cancer research facilities.
Despite enormous progress in cancer control in Europe during the past two decades, there was an increase of 300,000 in the number of new cases of cancer diagnosed between 2004 and 2006. The European Parliament and its instruments have had a major influence in cancer control, notably in tobacco control and in the implementation of effective population–based screening. To make further progress there is a need for novelty and innovation in cancer research and prevention in Europe, and having a platform such as the ECI, where those involved in all aspects of cancer research can meet, discuss and interact, is a decisive development for Europe.
doi:10.3332/ecancer.2011.84
PMCID: PMC3234055  PMID: 22274749
9.  Research: the third dimension of librarianship. 
The rapid accumulation of data through increasingly sophisticated computer technology has created an unprecedented information explosion which might better be called an ignorance explosion. Data gathering emphasizing quantity rather than quality, speed of transmission rather than reliability or relevance, poses a challenge to the future of librarianship. Two concerns are discussed: (1) Relationship of technology to the information age. Librarians must be concerned with the methodology used in data collection, including the value judgments reflected in this activity. (2) Preparation of medical librarianship for the future. The profession will grow only as a result of individual effort, the recognition of people, and an appreciation of human values. Thus far, attempts to evaluate needs focus on technology while neglecting research into the human aspect. The author proposes that dimensions of the total professional model for medical librarianship must include research, as well as education and practice. The need to aid in the development of library researchers at the Ph.D. level through a National Library of Medicine program similar to that offered to researchers by the National Institutes of Health is stressed. By way of federal assistance and scholarships made available through national library associations, library research can become the vital and effective third dimension that will redefine the traditional concept of information storage and service in human terms, thus introducing a new relevance into the area of medical librarianship during the coming decades.
PMCID: PMC226407  PMID: 7356492
10.  NLM extramural program: frequently asked questions. 
New and aspiring investigators often ask the same questions of experts as proposals are formulated, written, and submitted to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) for peer review. The NLM's Division of Extramural Programs (EP) provides support to medical libraries, academic medical centers, individuals, and industry through numerous types of grants and contracts. A complex set of processes and procedures is in place and is familiar to established and funded researchers, but to few others. A collection of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and their answers on these issues has been prepared by the Biomedical Library Review Committee (BLRC), a standing advisory group to the NLM that meets three times a year to review and score proposals. The BLRC and two experts on National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants and contracts compiled their advice in an electronic FAQ that has been edited and abridged as an introduction to NLM EP for investigators from medical library science, informatics, and biotechnology. The BLRC expects that if new investigators are able to avoid common mistakes and misconceptions, their proposals will improve in quality and they will be able to spend their time more effectively in proposal preparation.
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PMCID: PMC299396  PMID: 8826620
11.  The Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce: a collaboration to improve and protect the public's health, 1995–2006 
Objective: The paper provides a complete accounting of the Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce (Partners) initiative since its inception in 1997, including antecedent activities since 1995.
Methods: A descriptive overview is provided that is based on a review of meeting summaries, published reports, Websites, project reports, databases, usage statistics, and personal experiences from offices in the National Library of Medicine (NLM), six organizations that collaborate formally with NLM on the Partners initiative, and one outside funding partner.
Results: With ten years of experience, the initiative is an effective and unique public-private collaboration that builds on the strengths and needs of the organizations that are involved and the constituencies that they serve. Partners-supported and sponsored projects include satellite broadcasts or Webcasts, training initiatives, Web resource development, a collection of historical literature, and strategies for workforce enumeration and expansion of public health systems research, which provide excellent examples of the benefits realized from collaboration between the public health community and health sciences libraries.
Conclusions: With continued funding, existing and new Partners-sponsored projects will be able to fulfill many public health information needs. This collaboration provides excellent opportunities to strengthen the partnership between library science and public health in the use of health information and tools for purposes of improving and protecting the public's health.
doi:10.3163/1536-5050.95.3.301
PMCID: PMC1924938  PMID: 17641765
12.  Cohort studies in health sciences librarianship 
Question: What are the key characteristics of the cohort study design and its varied applications, and how can this research design be utilized in health sciences librarianship?
Data Sources: The health, social, behavioral, biological, library, earth, and management sciences literatures were used as sources.
Study Selection: All fields except for health sciences librarianship were scanned topically for either well-known or diverse applications of the cohort design. The health sciences library literature available to the author principally for the years 1990 to 2000, supplemented by papers or posters presented at annual meetings of the Medical Library Association.
Data Extraction: A narrative review for the health, social, behavioral, biological, earth, and management sciences literatures and a systematic review for health sciences librarianship literature for the years 1990 to 2000, with three exceptions, were conducted. The author conducted principally a manual search of the health sciences librarianship literature for the years 1990 to 2000 as part of this systematic review.
Main Results: The cohort design has been applied to answer a wide array of theoretical or practical research questions in the health, social, behavioral, biological, and management sciences. Health sciences librarianship also offers several major applications of the cohort design.
Conclusion: The cohort design has great potential for answering research questions in the field of health sciences librarianship, particularly evidence-based librarianship (EBL), although that potential has not been fully explored.
PMCID: PMC128954  PMID: 12398244
13.  A Community Translational Research Pilot Grants Program to Facilitate Community–Academic Partnerships: Lessons From Colorado’s Clinical Translational Science Awards 
Background
National growth in translational research has increased the need for practical tools to improve how academic institutions engage communities in research.
Methods
One used by the Colorado Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute (CCTSI) to target investments in community-based translational research on health disparities is a Community Engagement (CE) Pilot Grants program. Innovative in design, the program accepts proposals from either community or academic applicants, requires that at least half of requested grant funds go to the community partner, and offers two funding tracks: One to develop new community–academic partnerships (up to $10,000), the other to strengthen existing partnerships through community translational research projects (up to $30,000).
Results and Conclusion
We have seen early success in both traditional and capacity building metrics: the initial investment of $272,742 in our first cycle led to over $2.8 million dollars in additional grant funding, with grantees reporting strengthening capacity of their community–academic partnerships and the rigor and relevance of their research.
doi:10.1353/cpr.2012.0036
PMCID: PMC3607296  PMID: 22982851
Translational research; community engagement; health disparities; community-based participatory research; community–academic partnerships; grant funding
14.  Service providers and users discover the Internet. 
Although the Internet has evolved over more than twenty years, resources useful to health information professionals have become available on the Internet only recently. A survey conducted by the Regional Medical Libraries of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine in the fall of 1993 indicates that libraries at academic institutions are much more likely to have access to the Internet (72%) than are libraries in hospital environments (24%). Health information professionals who take on the challenge and exploit the Internet's resources find rewards for themselves and their clients. The basic electronic mail capability of the Internet allows colleagues to collaborate, communicate, and participate in daily continuing education. Internet terminal and file-transfer capabilities provide improved access to traditional resources and first-time access to new electronic resources. Through the Internet, online catalogs are available worldwide, and document delivery is faster, cheaper, and more reliable than ever before. Institutions can make organizational, full-text, online, and publication information available through Internet tools such as direct file-transfer protocol (FTP), menu-based Gopher, and hypertext-based Mosaic. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is among organizations finding new ways to provide service through the Internet. NLM now uses electronic mail to communicate with users, FTP service to distribute publications, and tools such as Gopher and Mosaic to distribute publications and graphics and connect users to online services. The Internet allows service providers and health sciences information professionals to work in a rich, new medium whose potential is just beginning to be explored. At the same time, its characteristics--including lack of formal organization, standards, quality control, and permanence--pose a challenge.
PMCID: PMC225967  PMID: 7841912
15.  Complementary competencies: public health and health sciences librarianship 
Objectives: The authors sought to identify opportunities for partnership between the communities of public health workers and health sciences librarians.
Methods: The authors review competencies in public health and health sciences librarianship. They highlight previously identified public health informatics competencies and the Medical Library Association's essential areas of knowledge. Based on points of correspondence between the two domains, the authors identify specific opportunities for partnership.
Results: The points of correspondence between public health and health sciences librarianship are reflected in several past projects involving both communities. These previous collaborations and the services provided by health sciences librarians at many public health organizations suggest that some health sciences librarians may be considered full members of the public health workforce. Opportunities remain for productive collaboration between public health workers and health sciences librarians.
Conclusions: Drawing on historical and contemporary experience, this paper presents an initial framework for forming collaborations between health sciences librarians and members of the public health workforce. This framework may stimulate thinking about how to form additional partnerships between members of these two communities.
PMCID: PMC1175799  PMID: 16059423
16.  Public library consumer health information pilot project: results of a National Library of Medicine evaluation 
In October 1998, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) launched a pilot project to learn about the role of public libraries in providing health information to the public and to generate information that would assist NLM and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) in learning how best to work with public libraries in the future. Three regional medical libraries (RMLs), eight resource libraries, and forty-one public libraries or library systems from nine states and the District of Columbia were selected for participation. The pilot project included an evaluation component that was carried out in parallel with project implementation. The evaluation ran through September 1999. The results of the evaluation indicated that participating public librarians were enthusiastic about the training and information materials provided as part of the project and that many public libraries used the materials and conducted their own outreach to local communities and groups. Most libraries applied the modest funds to purchase additional Internet-accessible computers and/or upgrade their health-reference materials. However, few of the participating public libraries had health information centers (although health information was perceived as a top-ten or top-five topic of interest to patrons). Also, the project generated only minimal usage of NLM's consumer health database, known as MEDLINEplus, from the premises of the monitored libraries (patron usage from home or office locations was not tracked). The evaluation results suggested a balanced follow-up by NLM and the NN/LM, with a few carefully selected national activities, complemented by a package of targeted activities that, as of January 2000, are being planned, developed, or implemented. The results also highlighted the importance of building an evaluation component into projects like this one from the outset, to assure that objectives were met and that evaluative information was available on a timely basis, as was the case here.
PMCID: PMC35252  PMID: 11055298
17.  Evidence-based librarianship: an overview 
Objective: To demonstrate how the core characteristics of both evidence-based medicine (EBM) and evidence-based health care (EBHC) can be adapted to health sciences librarianship.
Method: Narrative review essay involving development of a conceptual framework. The author describes the central features of EBM and EBHC. Following each description of a central feature, the author then suggests ways that this feature applies to health sciences librarianship.
Results: First, the decision-making processes of EBM and EBHC are compatible with health sciences librarianship. Second, the EBM and EBHC values of favoring rigorously produced scientific evidence in decision making are congruent with the core values of librarianship. Third, the hierarchical levels of evidence can be applied to librarianship with some modifications. Library researchers currently favor descriptive-survey and case-study methods over systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, or other higher levels of evidence. The library literature nevertheless contains diverse examples of randomized controlled trials, controlled-comparison studies, and cohort studies conducted by health sciences librarians.
Conclusions: Health sciences librarians are confronted with making many practical decisions. Evidence-based librarianship offers a decision-making framework, which integrates the best available research evidence. By employing this framework and the higher levels of research evidence it promotes, health sciences librarians can lay the foundation for more collaborative and scientific endeavors.
PMCID: PMC35250  PMID: 11055296
18.  The Oral History Program: I. Personal views of health sciences librarianship and the Medical Library Association. 
The Medical Library Association Oral History Program uses accepted oral history techniques to collect and preserve interviews with members. The original taped interviews and transcripts are kept in the Medical Library Association archives and made available for research purposes; edited copies of the interviews are distributed through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and members are encouraged to borrow and read the histories. Summaries of forty-three interviews provide personal views on health sciences librarianship and the Medical Library Association.
PMCID: PMC226349  PMID: 9578936
19.  The Oral History Program: III. Personal views of health sciences librarianship and the Medical Library Association. 
The Medical Library Association Oral History Program uses accepted oral history techniques to collect and preserve interviews with members. The original taped interviews and transcripts are kept in the Medical Library Association archives and made available for research purposes; edited copies of the interviews are distributed through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and members are encouraged to borrow and read the histories. Summaries of forty-three interviews provide personal views on health sciences librarianship and the Medical Library Association.
PMCID: PMC226437  PMID: 9803287
20.  The Oral History Program: II. Personal views of health sciences librarianship and the Medical Library Association. 
The Medical Library Association Oral History Program uses accepted oral history techniques to collect and preserve interviews with members. The original taped interviews and transcripts are kept in the Medical Library Association archives and made available for research purposes; edited copies of the interviews are distributed through the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and members are encouraged to borrow and read the histories. Summaries of forty-three interviews provide personal views on health sciences librarianship and the Medical Library Association.
PMCID: PMC226383  PMID: 9681172
21.  The Chilling Effect: How Do Researchers React to Controversy? 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(11):e222.
Background
Can political controversy have a “chilling effect” on the production of new science? This is a timely concern, given how often American politicians are accused of undermining science for political purposes. Yet little is known about how scientists react to these kinds of controversies.
Methods and Findings
Drawing on interview (n = 30) and survey data (n = 82), this study examines the reactions of scientists whose National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded grants were implicated in a highly publicized political controversy. Critics charged that these grants were “a waste of taxpayer money.” The NIH defended each grant and no funding was rescinded. Nevertheless, this study finds that many of the scientists whose grants were criticized now engage in self-censorship. About half of the sample said that they now remove potentially controversial words from their grant and a quarter reported eliminating entire topics from their research agendas. Four researchers reportedly chose to move into more secure positions entirely, either outside academia or in jobs that guaranteed salaries. About 10% of the group reported that this controversy strengthened their commitment to complete their research and disseminate it widely.
Conclusions
These findings provide evidence that political controversies can shape what scientists choose to study. Debates about the politics of science usually focus on the direct suppression, distortion, and manipulation of scientific results. This study suggests that scholars must also examine how scientists may self-censor in response to political events.
Drawing on interview and survey data, Joanna Kempner's study finds that political controversies shape what many scientists choose not to study.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Scientific research is an expensive business and, inevitably, the organizations that fund this research—governments, charities, and industry—play an important role in determining the directions that this research takes. Funding bodies can have both positive and negative effects on the acquisition of scientific knowledge. They can pump money into topical areas such as the human genome project. Alternatively, by withholding funding, they can discourage some types of research. So, for example, US federal funds cannot be used to support many aspects of human stem cell research. “Self-censoring” by scientists can also have a negative effect on scientific progress. That is, some scientists may decide to avoid areas of research in which there are many regulatory requirements, political pressure, or in which there is substantial pressure from advocacy groups. A good example of this last type of self-censoring is the withdrawal of many scientists from research that involves certain animal models, like primates, because of animal rights activists.
Why Was This Study Done?
Some people think that political controversy might also encourage scientists to avoid some areas of scientific inquiry, but no studies have formally investigated this possibility. Could political arguments about the value of certain types of research influence the questions that scientists pursue? An argument of this sort occurred in the US in 2003 when Patrick Toomey, who was then a Republican Congressional Representative, argued that National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants supporting research into certain aspects of sexual behavior were “much less worthy of taxpayer funding” than research on “devastating diseases,” and proposed an amendment to the 2004 NIH appropriations bill (which regulates the research funded by NIH). The Amendment was rejected, but more than 200 NIH-funded grants, most of which examined behaviors that affect the spread of HIV/AIDS, were internally reviewed later that year; NIH defended each grant, so none were curtailed. In this study, Joanna Kempner investigates how the scientists whose US federal grants were targeted in this clash between politics and science responded to the political controversy.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Kempner interviewed 30 of the 162 principal investigators (PIs) whose grants were reviewed. She asked them to describe their research, the grants that were reviewed, and their experience with NIH before, during, and after the controversy. She also asked them whether this experience had changed their research practice. She then used the information from these interviews to design a survey that she sent to all the PIs whose grants had been reviewed; 82 responded. About half of the scientists interviewed and/or surveyed reported that they now remove “red flag” words (for example, “AIDS” and “homosexual”) from the titles and abstracts of their grant applications. About one-fourth of the respondents no longer included controversial topics (for example, “abortion” and “emergency contraception”) in their research agendas, and four researchers had made major career changes as a result of the controversy. Finally, about 10% of respondents said that their experience had strengthened their commitment to see their research completed and its results published although even many of these scientists also engaged in some self-censorship.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that, even though no funding was withdrawn, self-censoring is now common among the scientists whose grants were targeted during this particular political controversy. Because this study included researchers in only one area of health research, its findings may not be generalizable to other areas of research. Furthermore, because only half of the PIs involved in the controversy responded to the survey, these findings may be affected by selection bias. That is, the scientists most anxious about the effects of political controversy on their research funding (and thus more likely to engage in self-censorship) may not have responded. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that the political environment might have a powerful effect on self-censorship by scientists and might dissuade some scientists from embarking on research projects that they would otherwise have pursued. Further research into what Kempner calls the “chilling effect” of political controversy on scientific research is now needed to ensure that a healthy balance can be struck between political involvement in scientific decision making and scientific progress.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0050222.
The Consortium of Social Science Associations, an advocacy organization that provides a bridge between the academic research community and Washington policymakers, has more information about the political controversy initiated by Patrick Toomey
Some of Kempner's previous research on self-censorship by scientists is described in a 2005 National Geographic news article
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050222
PMCID: PMC2586361  PMID: 19018657
22.  Medical Librarianship in Nigeria--a review of the literature and comments on some problems and prospects. 
The literature of medical librarianship of Nigeria is reviewed. The staff structure of Nigerian univeristy libraries and, in particular, of the medical libraries attached to them is restrictive, unprogressive, and unconducive to the development of medical librarianship in Nigeria. These medical libraries should cease to be administered and regarded as just unavoidable appendages of the main university libraries. They should be independent, full-fledged libraries of their own, recognixed as full academic departments of their respective colleges or faculties, with their heads being in no way inferior in status to other heads of academic departments.The granting of faculty status to Nigerian unviersity librarians should go the whole way and let the principle of multiple professorships be applied to the staff structure of unviersity libraries. Efforts are being made to effect bibliographic organization of Nigerian medical literature. A national library of medicine for Nigeria, however, humble its beginning, should be established.
PMCID: PMC198885  PMID: 1139064
23.  Evaluation of the Research Grant Program of the Foundation of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists, 1995–2008 
Background:
Pharmacist-led research has grown substantially over the past 10 to 15 years. The Research Grant Program of the Research and Education Foundation of the Canadian Society of Hospital Pharmacists (CSHP Foundation), initiated in 1992, is the only funding opportunity available specifically to members of the Society.
Objective:
To evaluate the status of research projects funded by the Research Grant Program of the CSHP Foundation, to examine the outcomes of these projects, and to determine the opinions of grant recipients regarding this competition.
Methods:
An e-mail survey was sent to each of the 34 hospital pharmacist researchers who received funding from the Research Grant Program of the CSHP Foundation during the period 1995 to 2008. Survey questions sought to evaluate scholarly outcomes (i.e., publications and presentations) from funded projects. The opinions of grant recipients about the value of the program were also solicited.
Results:
One of the potential respondents had returned the grant money and was ineligible for the survey. Of the 33 potential respondents, 30 (91%) responded to the survey. Overall, 24 of the projects had been completed at the time of the survey, and 19 of these had been published, resulting in a total of 26 manuscripts. Abstracts had been presented for 21 of the projects. In total, 49 abstracts had been presented at national (22), international (13), provincial (7) and local (7) conferences. The median award was $5000 (interquartile range $5000 to $7500). Eleven of the projects had received additional funding, primarily from the recipient’s hospital or health authority or from university sources. The survey respondents indicated that the grant from the CSHP Foundation had been critical to completion of their projects and had been of assistance in securing additional funding, when such funding was necessary. Respondents felt that dedicated research funding for hospital pharmacists in Canada should continue.
Conclusions:
The Research Grant Program of the CSHP Foundation has been important to hospital pharmacists, enabling a variety of research projects to be initiated and completed. The high rate of project completion and the large number of publications and presentations resulting from this work speak to both the quality of the work and the dedication of the research teams. The CSHP Foundation should continue to fund this competition and should explore a more robust model, with larger awards and more funded projects each year.
PMCID: PMC3242572  PMID: 22479094
hospital pharmacy; research; funding; grants; survey; pharmacie d’hôpital; recherche; financement; bourses; sondage
24.  Impact of Community-Based Maternal Health Workers on Coverage of Essential Maternal Health Interventions among Internally Displaced Communities in Eastern Burma: The MOM Project 
PLoS Medicine  2010;7(8):e1000317.
Mullany and colleagues report outcomes from a project involving delivery of community-based maternal health services in eastern Burma, and report substantial increases in coverage of care.
Background
Access to essential maternal and reproductive health care is poor throughout Burma, but is particularly lacking among internally displaced communities in the eastern border regions. In such settings, innovative strategies for accessing vulnerable populations and delivering basic public health interventions are urgently needed.
Methods
Four ethnic health organizations from the Shan, Mon, Karen, and Karenni regions collaborated on a pilot project between 2005 and 2008 to examine the feasibility of an innovative three-tiered network of community-based providers for delivery of maternal health interventions in the complex emergency setting of eastern Burma. Two-stage cluster-sampling surveys among ever-married women of reproductive age (15–45 y) conducted before and after program implementation enabled evaluation of changes in coverage of essential antenatal care interventions, attendance at birth by those trained to manage complications, postnatal care, and family planning services.
Results
Among 2,889 and 2,442 women of reproductive age in 2006 and 2008, respectively, population characteristics (age, marital status, ethnic distribution, literacy) were similar. Compared to baseline, women whose most recent pregnancy occurred during the implementation period were substantially more likely to receive antenatal care (71.8% versus 39.3%, prevalence rate ratio [PRR] = 1.83 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.64–2.04]) and specific interventions such as urine testing (42.4% versus 15.7%, PRR = 2.69 [95% CI 2.69–3.54]), malaria screening (55.9% versus 21.9%, PRR = 2.88 [95% CI 2.15–3.85]), and deworming (58.2% versus 4.1%, PRR = 14.18 [95% CI 10.76–18.71]. Postnatal care visits within 7 d doubled. Use of modern methods to avoid pregnancy increased from 23.9% to 45.0% (PRR = 1.88 [95% CI 1.63–2.17]), and unmet need for contraception was reduced from 61.7% to 40.5%, a relative reduction of 35% (95% CI 28%–40%). Attendance at birth by those trained to deliver elements of emergency obstetric care increased almost 10-fold, from 5.1% to 48.7% (PRR = 9.55 [95% CI 7.21–12.64]).
Conclusions
Coverage of maternal health interventions and higher-level care at birth was substantially higher during the project period. The MOM Project's focus on task-shifting, capacity building, and empowerment at the community level might serve as a model approach for similarly constrained settings.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Background
Every minute, somewhere in the world, a woman dies of complications related to pregnancy and childbirth. Access to essential maternal and reproductive health care (including family planning) is particularly bad in war-torn countries. In Burma, for example, where there have been decades of conflict between the military junta and ethnic minority resistance groups, the maternal mortality rate (the number of deaths among women from pregnancy-related causes per 100,000 live births) is around 380, whereas in neighboring Thailand it is only 44. Maternal health is even worse in the Shan, Mon, Karen, and Karenni regions of eastern Burma where ethnic conflicts and enforced village relocations have internally displaced more than half a million people. Here, the maternal mortality rate is around 1,200. In an effort to improve access to maternal health services in these regions, community-based organizations in Burma, the Johns Hopkins Center for Public Health and Human Rights, and the Global Health Access Program undertook an innovative pilot project—the Mobile Obstetric Medics (MOM) project—between 2005 and 2008. Local health workers from 12 communities in eastern Burma received training in antenatal care, obstetrics (the care of women during childbirth), postnatal care, and family planning at the Mae Tao Clinic in Mae Sot, Thailand. These “maternal health workers” then returned to Burma where they trained local health workers and traditional birth attendants to provide maternal health care to their communities.
Why Was This Study Done?
Before the MOM project started, nearly 3,000 women living in the study communities were surveyed to evaluate the coverage of essential antenatal care interventions such as urine testing for infections during pregnancy, screening for malaria, and deworming; Urinary tract infections, malaria, and hookworm infections all increase the risk of poor maternal and neonatal outcomes. The preproject survey also evaluated how many births were attended by people able to deal with complications, and the provision of postnatal care and family planning services. In this study, the researchers undertake a similar postproject survey to evaluate the impact of MOM on the coverage of essential maternal health interventions among internally displaced communities in eastern Burma.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
Between October 2008 and December 2008, trained survey workers asked nearly 2,500 ever-married women of reproductive age from the project's study communities about their access to antenatal and postnatal care, skilled birth attendants, and family planning. The results of the postproject survey were then compared with those of the “baseline,” preproject survey. The general characteristics (age, marital status, ethnicity, and literacy) of the women included in the two surveys were very similar. However, 71.8% of the women whose most recent pregnancy occurred during the implementation period of the MOM project had received antenatal care compared to only 39.3% of women surveyed at baseline. Similarly, among the women questioned during the postproject survey, 42.4% had had their urine tested and 55.9% had been screened for malaria during pregnancy compared to only 15.7% and 21.9%, respectively, of the women questioned in the preproject survey. Deworming had increased from 4.1% to 58.2% during the project, postnatal care visits within 7 days had doubled, and attendance at birth by people trained to deal with obstetric emergencies had increased 10-fold from 5.1% to 48.7%. Finally, the use of modern contraception methods (slow-release contraceptives, oral contraceptives, and condoms) had increased from 23.9% to 45.0%.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings reveal a substantial improvement in access to maternal and reproductive health care in the study communities during the MOM project. However, because the study compared two independent groups of women before and after implementation of the MOM project rather than concurrently comparing groups of women who did and did not receive the services provided by the MOM project, this study does not prove that the MOM approach was the cause of the changes in the coverage of essential maternal health care. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that the type of approach used in the MOM project—the expansion of interventions (including components of emergency obstetric care) delivered outside healthcare facilities by community-based providers—might be an effective way to deliver maternal and reproductive health services in other parts of Burma and in other places where there are ongoing conflicts.
Additional Information
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000317.
More information about the MOM project is available in previous publications by the researchers in PLoS Medicine, in Reproductive Health Matters, and in Social Science and Medicine
Additional resources are also available on the MOM Project
The Reproductive Health Response in Conflict Consortium provides information on how conflicts affect reproductive health
The World Health Organization provides information on all aspects of health in Burma (in several languages)
The Mae Tao clinic also provides general information about Burma and its health services
The Burma Campaign UK and Human Rights Watch both provide detailed information about human rights violations, including those that affect maternal health in Burma
The United Nations Population Fund provides information about safe motherhood and maternal and reproductive health during conflicts and among refugees (in several languages)
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000317
PMCID: PMC2914639  PMID: 20689805
25.  Assessment of the National Library of Medicine's health disparities plan: a focus on Native American outreach* 
Journal of the Medical Library Association  2005;93(4 Suppl):S10-S20.
Objectives: Overcoming health disparities between majority and minority populations is a significant national challenge. This paper assesses outreach to Native Americans (American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians) by the National Library of Medicine (NLM). A companion paper details NLM's portfolio of Native American outreach projects.
Method: NLM's Native American outreach is assessed in light of the presentations at a community-based health information outreach symposium and the goals set by NLM's plan to reduce health disparities.
Results: NLM's current portfolio of Native American outreach projects appears most advanced in meeting the goal set in area 1 of the health disparities plan, “Promote use of health information by health professionals and the public.” NLM's portfolio also shows significant strength and good progress regarding area 2 of the plan, “Expand partnerships among various types of libraries and community-based organizations.” The portfolio is weaker in area 3, “Conduct and support informatics research.” More knowledge-building efforts would benefit NLM, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, and Native American and community-based organizations.
Implications: The current Native American outreach portfolio should be continued, but new approaches are needed for evaluating Native American outreach and for forging collaborations with Native American groups, approaches grounded in consultation and mutual understanding of needs and perspectives.
PMCID: PMC1255749  PMID: 16239954

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