Innovation & Research Practice

Paper: Program Description Abstract

Elevating Health Sciences Librarians’ Research Capacity through an Innovative Research Training Institute

Sunday, May 5
5:05 PM - 5:20 PM
Room: Columbus IJ (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Background : The MLA Research Training Institute (RTI) is a three-year program funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to equip practicing health sciences librarians with key research competencies related to scholarly research, inquiry, and publishing. The centerpiece of the RTI is a five-day immersive research workshop, where librarians develop the skills necessary to conduct a research study during the ensuing year. RTI fellows participate in an online community of practice, which reinforces learning goals and provides ongoing support. A secondary objective of the RTI is to spur health information research to advance evidence-based practice in health sciences librarianship.
Description : Planning for the RTI began in 2015 and grew out of the work of the MLA Research Imperative Task Force. Intensive planning and implementation of RTI activities occurred during the first year of the grant. Five faculty developed a curriculum to teach the cohort of 20 fellows about the process of conducting research from start to finish. During the workshop at the University of Illinois-Chicago campus, faculty engaged participants with discussion about research methods and analysis, hands-on activities, and peer-to-peer/peer-to-faculty mentoring. Fellows, with faculty mentoring, are participating in a yearlong experience of conducting a research project at their home institutions. Pre- and post-test surveys were conducted to measure the fellows’ learning of the research concepts. Data was gathered from participants regarding their research progress and outputs via quarterly reports. Informal feedback and other evidence of fellows’ research activities were collected.
Conclusion : Developing the MLA RTI has already had a positive impact on the first cohort practicing health sciences librarians’ ability to conduct research. The authors will examine the impact of the research training and support program on participants’ research and practice. Fellows’ pre- and post-test results that measure changes in research confidence and capability to design and conduct research will be discussed. Research progress and output of cohort members will be shared. Other types of research activities resulting from fellows’ participation in the RTI program will be described.

Jodi L. Philbrick, AHIP

Senior Lecturer
University of North Texas
University of North Texas
Denton, Texas

Jodi L. Philbrick, Ph.D., A.H.I.P., is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Information Science at the University of North Texas. Her research areas of interest include compentencies for health sciences librarians and technology applications in health sciences libraries. She currently serves as a co-lead instructor of the MLA Research Training Institute. In the past, she served as a member of the MLA Board of Directors, Chair of Section Council, Interim Editor of MLA News, and President of the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association.


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Lorie A. Kloda, AHIP

Associate University Librarian, Planning & Community Relations
Concordia University
McGill University
Montreal, Quebec, Canada


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Susan Lessick, AHIP, FMLA

Librarian Emerita/Project Director, RTI
University of California, Irvine
Anaheim, California


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Elevating Health Sciences Librarians’ Research Capacity through an Innovative Research Training Institute

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