NLM Informationist Supplement Grant: Daring to Dive into Documentation to Determine Impact Public Deposited

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  • February 22, 2019
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  • Objectives: Three informationists were integrated with an NIH R01-funded research team for two years on an NLM Administrative Supplement for Informationist Services from 2014 to 2016. What impacts, implicit and explicit, have resulted from this partnership? What recommendations can this team make about research services generally and specifically to this library? What suggestions can this team make for this grant program going forward? Methods: Prior informationist awardees supported by National Library of Medicine administrative supplements have reported on their experiences through webinars, publications, grant reports, and posters. This collective wisdom was valuable in planning for the evaluation portion of this library’s administrative supplement. This team used a logic model; researcher and informationist interviews; notes from more than 30 team meetings and debriefings; field notes and memos; and impact tables (positive and negative impacts on the R01 research team/their research and on the informationists/library) to collect data. Analytical methods included 1) an independent review of these data by two librarians to compile a master list of key themes and 2) a second independent review by these librarians for impact evidence (direct quotes, observations, and inferences). Broad categories that have emerged to date include impacts resulting from informationist participation; challenges; successes; replicable service ideas; how researchers work; and lessons learned (e.g., for informationists, for the NLM grant program). This poster will summarize these methods, findings, and recommendations. Results: The use of a logic model at the beginning of the grant and ongoing updates of the impact tables throughout aided tracking and reporting of progress and impacts. The added decision to collect qualitative data, the act of collecting it, and first-pass analysis of those data also helped the team a) demonstrate the value of embedded informationists, b) understand researchers™ work context, and c) identify librarians™ professional development needs. Understanding researchers™ work contexts helps librarians target not only resources and services but how and when to get researchers™ attention. In order to support researchers more effectively, librarians in liaison roles need expanded knowledge of the local research infrastructure as well as knowledge of local and major granting agencies™ funding mechanisms, processes, timelines, jargon, and staffing. Conclusion: The use of varied evaluation techniques, including a logic model, qualitative methods, and keeping detailed impact tables throughout the life of an NLM Administrative Supplement for Informationist Services is a worthwhile strategy for demonstrating the impact of informationists embedded in research teams.
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  • Medical Library Association. Annual Meeting (2017: Seattle, Wash.)
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