Information Management

Lightning Talk: Research Abstract

Library Support of the Research Lifecycle

Monday, May 6
5:10 PM - 5:15 PM
Room: Columbus KL (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

Objectives : In what ways do health sciences libraries support the research lifecycle?


Methods : Qualitative data was collected from biomedical researchers using a semistructured interview instrument. The instrument asked researchers to describe their workflow from idea inception to the dissemination of findings. A document analysis of research lifecycle models assisted in the creation of the interview instrument. Analysis of the interview data utilized open coding techniques, which allowed for the data to be explored and conceptual categories to emerge. Data was collected until saturation of codes occurred and then reviewed for consistency to increase reliability of code application throughout data analysis. In many cases, participants described aspects of their research that co-occurred with additional activities of the research process. Network analysis software was used to visualize the relationship between codes and illustrate the connection between library research support services and the practices of biomedical researchers.


Results : The network analysis visualization tool demonstrates that libraries were frequently mentioned as a resource supporting the research lifecycle. However, the visualization also illustrates that library support resides on the fringe of research activity. In addition, the clustering algorithm does not associate library support with the traditional library strengths of literature searching, systematic reviews, and citation management. Results from the analysis suggest that library resources and services are important to research, but not integrated within other research practices.


Conclusions : This study sought to uncover how health sciences libraries support the research lifecycle. Qualitative interviews with researchers provided rich information on the practices of biomedical workflows. Analysis of the co-occurrence of codes from interview data analysis illustrate how library resources and services connect with other aspects of the research lifecycle. Findings from this study suggest that many traditional library services are not integrated with other workflows in biomedical research. Additional research on the needs of research workflows might increase libraries’ understanding of their role in biomedical research.

Bart Ragon

Associate Director
Univ. of Virginia
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, Virginia

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