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The librarian as research informationist: a case study

Lisa Federer
Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA 2013, 101 (4): 298-302

QUESTION: How can an embedded research informationist add value to the scientific output of research teams?

SETTING: The University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library is an academic health sciences library serving the clinical, educational, and research needs of the UCLA community.

METHODS: A grant from the National Library of Medicine funded a librarian to join a UCLA research team as an informationist. The informationist meets regularly with the research team and provides guidance related to data management, preservation, and other information-related issues.

MAIN RESULTS: Early results suggest that the informationist's involvement has influenced the team's data gathering, storage, and curation methods. The UCLA Library has also changed the librarian's title to research informationist to reflect the new activities that she performs.

CONCLUSION: The research informationist role provides an opportunity for librarians to become effective members of research teams and improve research output.

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