Informationist

Definition

An Informationist service merges the knowledge and expertise of a health care professional with the information retrieval skills of a librarian. If the Informationist does not have the expertise of a health care professional, they often have advanced training or a degree in a science area. The advantage to having the Informationist service is to fully integrate a professional with expert knowledge of library resources and discipline-specific subject expertise into the clinical setting. Their role can include searching for literature, building information literacy through teaching, providing data management services, and assisting in the overall research process. As an example of Informationist practices, the library at the National Institutes of Health Library train their librarians in advanced biostatistics, epidemiology, genetics, evidence-based medicine, clinical research ethics, principles and practice of clinical research, and analysis of clinical or research articles to be better prepared to work within a clinical or biomedical research team. Like an embedded librarian, an Informationist is usually stationed within a research team as opposed to within the actual library. Recently that National Library of Medicine has supported the role of the Informationist by providing grant opportunities to health sciences librarians who may be suited for this particular role.

Further Resources

Cooper D. (2011). Is the informationist a new role? A logic model analysis(link is external). Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 99(3):189–92

Davidoff F, Florance V. (2013). The Informationist: A New Health Profession?(link is external) Annals of Internal Medicine, 132(12):996–8.

Federer L. (2013). Embedded with the Scientists: The UCLA Experience(link is external). Journal of eScience Librarianship, 2(1).

Federer L. (2013). The librarian as research informationist: a case study(link is external). Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 101(4), 298–302. dx.doi.org/10.3163%2F1536-5050.101.4.011

Goode V, Anton B. (2013). Welch Informationist Collaboration with The Johns Hopkins Medicine Department of Radiology(link is external). Journal of eScience Librarianship, 2(1):16–9.

Gore S. (2013). A Librarian by Any Other Name: The Role of the Informationist on a Clinical Research Team(link is external). Journal of eScience Librarianship, 2(1):20–4.

Hanson K, Bakker T, Svirsky M, Neuman A, Rambo N. (2013). Informationist role: clinical data management in auditory research(link is external). Journal of eScience Librarianship, 2(1):25–9.

Hasman L, Berryman D. (2013). NLM Informationist Grant – Web Assisted Tobacco Intervention for Community College Students(link is external). Journal of eScience Librarianship, 2(1):30–4

Polger MA. (2010). The Informationist: Ten Years Later(link is external). Journal of Hospital Librarianship, 10(4):363–79.

Rankin JA, Grefsheim SF, Canto CC. (2008). The emerging informationist specialty: a systematic review of the literature(link is external). Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 96(3):194–206.

Surkis A, Mccrillis A, Mcgowan R, Williams J, Schmidt BL. (2013). Informationist Support for a Study of the Role of Proteases and Peptides in Cancer Pain(link is external). Journal of eScience Librarianship, 2(1).

Whipple E, Odell J, Ralston R, Liu G. (2013). When Informationists Get Involved: the CHICA-GIS Project(link is external). Journal of eScience Librarianship, 2(1):41–5.

Williams JD, Rambo NH. (2015). An extensible and successful method of identifying collaborators for National Library of Medicine informationist projects(link is external). Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA, 103(3), 145–147. doi.org/10.3163/1536-5050.103.3.008

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