Barriers to doing research in health librarianship

I thought this paper, though focussed on the UK, was applicable to the Canadian context. The major barriers identified were:

  • lack of time and organizational support to engage in research
  • a poorly organized research agenda and lack of strategic leadership
  • lack of research confidence and skills among librarians 
  • the health library community does not see itself as research oriented and tends not to prioritize important research questions

Spring H. An investigation into the barriers to and priorities for research engagement in health librarianship. Int J Health Info Manage Res. Spring 2014.


To date, there have been no studies that examine issues of research engagement exclusively within the context of UK health librarianship. This is the first and largest study of its kind and aimed to consider research participation in health librarianship, and answer the question, what are the barriers to and priorities for research engagement in health librarianship?  A focus group attended by 7 participants was followed by a UK wide survey involving a total of 316 representatives from eight identified categories of health librarianship.  The focus group reached consensus on the five key barriers and five key priorities to research engagement in health librarianship.  The survey results revealed that research engagement in health librarianship is linked to a number of factors including organisational and professional cultures around research, perceived limited resources to support research, perceived opportunities for research, and a diverse understanding and perception of what research is amongst health librarians.

Dean Giustini, MLS, MEd
UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian
Diamond Health Care Centre, VGH
2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver BC
t: 604.875.4505

Dig Deep Ask Your Medical Librarian!

Here are the posters which form the basis of a collaboration between the Medical Library Association & the Canadian Health Libraries Association (CHLA/ABSC). Note the two logos at the bottom of each poster. As the CHLA/ASBC Public Relations Director, I will look into printing these posters professionally so that you can buy copies for your library. Alternatively, you can copy the poster yourself locally. Stay tuned. ~Dean

A refreshing new medical librarian blog

Ah, the power of the well-written blogpost – and, on a new blog from a newly-minted Australian hospital librarian (reminds me of my 1st days in hospital libraries) @InfoSeer

“My first month as a hospital librarian” …

#medlibs #canmedlibs

Dean Giustini, MLS, MEd
UBC Biomedical Branch Librarian
Diamond Health Care Centre, VGH
2775 Laurel Street, Vancouver BC
t: 604.875.4505

Web-based productivity tools, 2014

This list of web-based productivity tools is an update to an older document. It is in preparation for a presentation to the Saskatchewan Health Libraries Association on May 2nd, 2014. Let me know if you think something should be added (or, removed).

Here is a pdf copy (with links) of the document, web-based productivity tools 2014

UBC MLIS students win 2014 Login Paper Prize (CHLA/ABSC)

This year’s winner of the Login Paper Prize, an award sponsored by Login Canada and administered through the Canadian Health Libraries Association / Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada (CHLA/ABSC), is the following paper by three UBC MLIS students. The paper will be published in the fall edition of the JCHLA/JABSC. Congratulations to Mary, Ariel & Iris!

Emerging roles for health librarians in electronic medical records (EMRs) and data management

Mary Corbett, MA, MLIS Candidate
University of British Columbia

Ariel Deardorff, BA, MLIS Candidate
University of British Columbia

Iris Kovar-Gough, MA, MLIS Candidate
University of British Columbia


To examine current and developing roles for health librarians in electronic medical record (EMR) initiatives in British Columbia and elsewhere in Canada.

Searches were conducted in the library and information science databases (LISTA, LISA), biomedical databases (MEDLINE, CINAHL, EMBASE) and on the web for grey literature.

Canadian health librarians can draw on their core competencies and experience in e-science librarianship to contribute to EMR initiatives.

EMRs are growing more popular in Canada. Health librarians have previously participated in EMR implementation and data management and have demonstrated that opportunities are available to be involved in these areas. Examples from e-science librarianship, such as building data dictionaries and data management plans and infrastructure, give further direction to health librarians’ involvement in EMRs. Overall, Canadian health librarians have a unique set of skills to play key roles in developing EMR initiatives.


To become involved in EMR projects, health librarians must develop their core competencies and informatics skills to be partners with clinical researchers. Health librarians can learn from e-science librarianship about curating, managing, aggregating and disseminating data (with the appropriate information security) in research. In consideration of the current roles of librarians in EMRs and the emerging roles and practices identified by e-science librarianship, we urge librarians to consider how they can contribute to EMR initiatives across Canada.



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