Research Impact Informationist Emory University Atlanta, Georgia
Background: At many academic institutions, faculty librarians are encouraged or required to make scholarly contributions. At academic health sciences centers, the published journal article predominates as the form in which the library’s users most frequently define their own successes in this area. However, the journal article can also be one of the more daunting scholarly outputs which librarians engage in for their own work. To increase the number of librarians regularly engaging in academic writing, a librarian writing group was piloted at one academic health sciences library using Wendy Laura Belcher’s book “Writing Your Journal Article in Twelve Weeks” (ISBN 9781412957014).
Description: Fourteen librarians were invited to participate; eight librarians completed the pilot in Spring 2018. Belcher’s workbook was selected as a guide and participants rotated leading discussions. The bi-weekly meetings aimed to develop habits and approaches to regularly engage in writing and break down the common planning components of the journal manuscript. Surveys at the beginning and end of the pilot measured the impact of the writing group in helping participants meet their writing goals and the extent to which participation in the group increased participants’ confidence towards completing a manuscript for publication.
Conclusion: All participants reported increased confidence, with four participants submitting a manuscript for publication by the end of the program. Administrative support was found to be a key factor in success as well as a major influence in the positive feedback from the program participants.