Information Management Librarian Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine Stratford, New Jersey
Background: A new curriculum implemented at the medical school for the 2019/2020 academic year includes a medical scholarship requirement. The scholarship course designed to support this requirement runs throughout the 4 years of medical school and culminates in a Capstone project. Goals for the course include exposing students to scientific inquiry, developing scientific literacy, and cultivating basic competency in written and oral scientific communication. In support of these goals Librarians were tasked during the first semester with teaching students sessions on formulating research questions, selecting and searching appropriate databases, using EndNote, and creating an annotated bibliography on a preselected topic.
Description: Students were divided into teams and charged with finding 20 relevant, reputable sources of information to help answer a research question derived from preselected topics and to create an annotated bibliography that would be graded. A librarian developed a 45 minute lecture and PowerPoint presentation instructing students on how to format and write an annotated bibliography. The librarian prepared for the class by doing a search of the library literature and the Internet for information related to teaching and writing annotated bibliographies. Students learned what comprises a good annotated bibliography, its purpose in scholarly literature, utilizing a publication style and following good citing practices. Several published annotated bibliographies on healthcare topics were identified and select annotation were also used as examples of good annotations and to illustrate the difference between an abstract and an annotation.
Conclusion: Formal evaluations from the medical students and assessment on the class are not yet available, but feedback from faculty who oversee the medical scholarship course has been positive. Based on student questions after the annotated bibliography class it became apparent that students needed more assistance in utilizing publication styles and using good citing practices than anticipated. Plans for the next academic year are to either strengthen this section of the annotated bibliography course or to create a separate session taught by a librarian on publications styles and citing practices.