The authors' goal was to assess changes in the role of librarians in informatics education from 2004 to 2013. This is a follow-up to “Metropolis Redux: The Unique Importance of Library Skills in Informatics,” a 2004 survey of informatics programs.
An electronic survey was conducted in January 2013 and sent to librarians via the MEDLIB-L email discussion list, the library section of the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy, the Medical Informatics Section of the Medical Library Association, the Information Technology Interest Group of the Association of College and Research Libraries/New England Region, and various library directors across the country.
Librarians from fifty-five institutions responded to the survey. Of these respondents, thirty-four included librarians in nonlibrary aspects of informatics training. Fifteen institutions have librarians participating in leadership positions in their informatics programs. Compared to the earlier survey, the role of librarians has evolved.
Librarians possess skills that enable them to participate in informatics programs beyond a narrow library focus. Librarians currently perform significant leadership roles in informatics education. There are opportunities for librarian interdisciplinary collaboration in informatics programs.
Informatics is much more than the study of technology. The information skills that librarians bring to the table enrich and broaden the study of informatics in addition to adding value to the library profession itself.
The research tested the accuracy of the VIVO Harvester software in identifying publications authored by faculty members affiliated with a National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Sciences Award (CTSA) site.
Health sciences librarians created “gold standard” lists of references for the years 2001 to 2011 from PubMed for twenty-five randomly selected investigators from one CTSA site. These gold standard lists were compared to the same twenty-five investigators' reference lists produced by VIVO Harvester. The authors subjected the discrepancies between the lists to sensitivity and specificity analyses.
The VIVO Harvester correctly identified only about 65% of the total eligible PubMed references for the years 2001–2011 for the CTSA-affiliated investigators. The identified references produced by VIVO Harvester were precise yet incomplete. The sensitivity rate was 0.65, and the specificity rate was 1.00.
While the references produced by VIVO Harvester could be confirmed in PubMed, the VIVO Harvester retrieved only two-thirds of the required references from PubMed. National Institutes of Health CTSA sites will need to supplement VIVO Harvester–produced references with the expert searching skills of health sciences librarians.
Health sciences librarians with searching skills need to alert their CTSA sites about these deficiencies and offer their skills to advance their sites' missions.
To support clinical researchers, librarians and informationists may need search filters for particular tasks. Development of filters typically depends on a “gold standard” dataset. This paper describes generalizable methods for creating a gold standard to support future filter development and evaluation using oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) as a case study. OSCC is the most common malignancy affecting the oral cavity. Investigation of biomarkers with potential prognostic utility is an active area of research in OSCC. The methods discussed here should be useful for designing quality search filters in similar domains.
The authors searched MEDLINE for prognostic studies of OSCC, developed annotation guidelines for screeners, ran three calibration trials before annotating the remaining body of citations, and measured inter-annotator agreement (IAA).
We retrieved 1,818 citations. After calibration, we screened the remaining citations (n = 1,767; 97.2%); IAA was substantial (kappa = 0.76). The dataset has 497 (27.3%) citations representing OSCC studies of potential prognostic biomarkers.
The gold standard dataset is likely to be high quality and useful for future development and evaluation of filters for OSCC studies of potential prognostic biomarkers.
The methodology we used is generalizable to other domains requiring a reference standard to evaluate the performance of search filters. A gold standard is essential because the labels regarding relevance enable computation of diagnostic metrics, such as sensitivity and specificity. Librarians and informationists with data analysis skills could contribute to developing gold standard datasets and subsequent filters tuned for their patrons' domains of interest.
The purpose of this lecture is to challenge librarians in clinical settings to leverage the opportunities presented by the current health care environment and to develop collaborative relationships with health care practitioners to provide relevant services.
Health care organizations are under financial and regulatory pressures, and many hospital librarians have been downsized or have had their positions eliminated. The lecture briefly reviews hospital librarians' roles in the past but focuses primarily on our current challenges. This environment requires librarians to be opportunity focused and pivot to a new vision that directs their actions. Many librarians are already doing this, and colleagues are encouraging us to embrace these opportunities. Evidence from publications, websites, discussion lists, personal communications, and the author's experience is explored.
Developing interdisciplinary and collaborative relationships in our institutions and providing relevant services will mark our progress as vital, contributing members of our health care organizations.
What information resources are available to health care practitioners not affiliated with the University of New Mexico? How satisfied are they with those resources?
The state is rural and medically underserved.
The authors interviewed practitioners, using a nine-item guide. Interview transcripts were coded using QSR NVivo 9 software.
Fifty-one practitioners were interviewed. Most use online information resources. Many have access to a point-of-care resource within an electronic health records system. They often expressed dissatisfaction with available patient education resources.
New Mexico practitioners routinely use electronic information resources but indicate they need better patient information.
The purpose of this study was to understand factors that may affect the usage of a consumer health center located in a public library. More specifically, the authors wanted to know what health resources are of interest to the community, what patrons' perceptions of their experience at the center are, and finally, how staff can increase utilization of the center. In general, perceptions of the center were positive. The findings support that participants appreciate efforts to provide health information in the public library setting and that utilization could be improved through marketing and outreach.
Increased demand for data-driven decision making is driving the need for librarians to be facile with the data life cycle. This case study follows the migration of reference desk statistics from handwritten to digital format. This shift presented two opportunities: first, the availability of a nonsensitive data set to improve the librarians' understanding of data-management and statistical analysis skills, and second, the use of analytics to directly inform staffing decisions and departmental strategic goals. By working through each step of the data life cycle, library faculty explored data gathering, storage, sharing, and analysis questions.
After a reduction in full-time equivalents, 2 libraries in large teaching hospitals and 2 libraries in small community hospitals in a western US statewide health system saw opportunity for expansion through a regional reorganization. Despite a loss of 2/3 of the professional staff and a budgetary decrease of 27% over the previous 3 years, the libraries were able to grow business, usage, awareness, and collections through organizational innovation and improved efficiency. This paper describes the experience—including process, challenges, and lessons learned—of an organizational shift to regionalized services, collections, and staffing. Insights from this process may help similar organizations going through restructuring.
Ethical behavior in libraries goes beyond service to users. Academic health sciences library directors may need to adhere to the ethical guidelines and rules of their institutions. Does the unique environment of an academic health center imply different ethical considerations? Do the ethical policies of institutions affect these library leaders? Do their personal ethical considerations have an impact as well? In December 2013, a survey regarding the impact of institutional ethics was sent to the director members of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries. The objective was to determine the impact of institutional ethics on these leaders, whether through personal conviction or institutional imperative.