Background: The purpose of the evaluation of the impact of National Library of Medicine (NLM) Associate Fellows’ projects is to assess what outcomes resulted from fellowship projects conducted between 1992 – 2012. An additional goal was the opportunity to explore what constitutes a “high impact” project, to inform staff, guide current Associate Fellows in their project selection process, and to highlight high impact projects in recruiting for the Associate Fellowship Program. Previous evaluations of the NLM Associate Fellowship Program to date have not included an assessment of the completed projects.
Description: This study is the first assessment evaluating the outcomes of the projects beyond the completion of the project itself. Outcome criteria categories were: saved staff time, saved money, created a new position, new product or service, confirmed proposed approach worked or didn’t work, established objective measures or standards, improved methodology in decision-making or ineffective/not effective/null. Projects were determined to have “high impact” if two or more reviewers agreed on the significance of the project. High impact projects were projects identified by two or more reviewers as resulting in a project that saved staff time, money, or aided in decision-making.
Conclusion: Eighty-four percent (142) of the projects were identified by at least one reviewer as having an outcome; twenty-eight (17%) of the projects were identified by two or more reviewers as having an outcome. These twenty-eight projects were determined to be “high impact” projects. Six (21%) of the high impact projects had a publication associated with it, and six (21%) of the high impact projects had a presentation associated with it. Combined twelve (43%) of the high impact projects had either a publication or national conference presentation associated with it.