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A Librarian by Any Other Name The Role of the Informationist on a Medical School Research Team.

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Presentation on theme: "A Librarian by Any Other Name The Role of the Informationist on a Medical School Research Team."— Presentation transcript:

1 A Librarian by Any Other Name The Role of the Informationist on a Medical School Research Team

2 Presenters Sally A. Gore, MS, MS LIS Research Librarian & Informationist Lamar Soutter Library University of Massachusetts Medical School Mary E. Costanza, MD Principal Investigator Professor of Medicine University of Massachusetts Medical School

3 The Informationist Librarian Expert in health information resources Collection development General reference assistance Instruction Searching assistance Informationist Expert in health information resources and extensive domain knowledge Consultation services Database training Systematic review Knowledge management Writing

4 These new professionals might be called informationists (not a graceful term, but one that parallels such terms as gastroenterologists or hospitalists), or clinical knowledge workers (in parallel with social workers). These new professionals might be called informationists (not a graceful term, but one that parallels such terms as gastroenterologists or hospitalists), or clinical knowledge workers (in parallel with social workers). A Little History the big picture

5 A Little History at UMMS A Funding Opportunity A Chance to Expand Service Finding Collaborators Making it Happen

6 The Grant Promoting Breast Cancer Screening in Non-Adherent Women A five year ( ) clinical research project funded by the National Institutes of Health. A large controlled trial of women in a local health plan ages randomized to 1 of 3 ways to improve getting mammograms regularly every 1-2 years

7 Promoting Breast Cancer Screening in Non-Adherent Women GOAL OF THE STUDY: To assess the cost-effectiveness of each arm in improving: a.Mammogram scheduling b.Mammogram completion c.Self-efficacy in repeating mammogram

8 Large data sets to handle Multiple data sources Multiple investigators Confusion among data sources re variable definitions and names Need to improve communication among investigators Need for categorizing, creating taxonomies, clarifying data collection inconsistencies Why an Informationist? The Collaborator’s View

9 Grant requirements for an embedded informationist Review of ‘mother’ grant needs Description of informationist’s training and strengths Consultations with library seniority Consultations with co-investigators Iteration of multiple drafts Submission of grant application Writing the Grant Proposal step one

10 Informationist should be a colleague Share in discussion of progress of ‘mother’ grant Assist in analyzing data Participate in writing and publishing team manuscripts Meet with team regularly Writing the Grant Proposal step two

11 SUCCESS!! Grant Funding: September 2012 – January 2014 Supporting 20% of Informationist’s Time (10 hrs/wk)

12 We Begin Introduce Informationist to team members Meet with individual key members of team Participation at weekly team meetings Review ongoing reports from analyst(s) Extricate Informationist from on-going library duties

13 UMass Medical School – Family & Community Medicine Principal Investigator Project Director Scheduler, Counselor Instructor Administrative Secretary – Medicine Principal Investigator Behavioral Psychologist – Biostatistics Biostatistician Analyst – Center for Health Policy & Research Director, Expert in Cost Analysis Research Assistant – Library Informationist Fallon Community Health Plan – Claims Data Representative Reliant Medical Group – Research Director – Research Coordinator – Site Project Director – Analyst – IT Guru – Chief of Radiology – Phone Counselors – Phone Schedulers – Primary Care Physicians Claricode – Programmer The Team

14 Progress to Date the informationist AIM 1: Improve effectiveness and efficiency of communication w/in team regarding data AIM 2: Articulate technology issues related to implementation of the study AIM 3: Enhance information organization, management, utilization, and access skills of team members AIM 4: Assess value of an informationist to the research team

15 Progress to Date the team Study began Jan Slowly winning battle with: tracking system glitches collating multiple data sources miscommunication re variable names and definitions 40,000 women on study 4,500 reminder letters sent 1,000 Wave 2 “Booster” reminder letters sent

16 Lessons Learned so far… Need cooperative players Need buy-in from research team Earlier imbedding on team to improve research efforts Optimum: join team early and help write ‘mother’ grant Increase covered Informationist’s time Be realistic about decreasing library commitments

17 The Future of Informationists Sally’s Thoughts Graduate programs MUST change Research is NOT optional Soft skills need to be recognized Role isn’t always for librarians Mary’s Thoughts Days of a single PI are over Complex clinical studies have huge data bases from many data sources Clear communication among investigators critical Informationists can provide a team with conceptual cohesion Hmmmm…


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