SLA Biomedical and Life Sciences Division

2013 Contributed Papers

Altmetrics for the information professional: A primer
Linda Galloway & Janet Pease, Syracuse University

Altmetrics, or alternative citation metrics, provide researchers and scholars with new ways to track influence across a wide range of media and platforms. From deciding what to read based on tweets, to enhancing scholarship with collaboration, altmetrics will exert more and more influence on the scholarly landscape. Awareness of altmetric tools, and the ways in which they can be used, will position information professionals at the forefront of this exciting new era in knowledge dissemination and assessment.

As social media plays an ever increasing role in the communication of scholarship, the authors will discuss how altmetrics can be a valuable addition to the information professional’s tool kit. Beginning with a review of simple readership tools, and continuing with an overview of complex aggregator programs, the most promising and/or mature products will be described. Some of the many uses of altmetric data will be discussed, including the advantages of participating in large, diverse interest groups, informal reviews of formal documents, and the rapid (and arguably more complete) measure of research impact. The authors will further demonstrate how to use altmetrics to complement and enhance existing methods to provide readership advisory services for ourselves and our patrons, facilitate knowledge sharing, indicate effectiveness, and supply evidence for promotion and tenure.

It’s a Win Win: Using a Vendor Scorecard to Manage Your Vendors
Dawn Lynn & Jennifer Kooy, Abbott Labs

Abbott Laboratories is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to discovering new medicines, new technologies and new ways to manage health. Abbott Library Information Resources serves a diverse group of internal clients with very different and wide-ranging information needs. The Library mission is to provide world class, corporate-wide access to knowledge resources, literature research capabilities and information delivery solutions to support and enable Abbott’s market leadership.

In 2010 Abbott Library Information Resources was asked by our upper management to more fully document our content management and acquisitions procedures as well as to review these processes in order to make recommendations to improve the management of the Library content portfolio. The resulting deliverable, nicknamed “the vendor scorecard,” has become our standard tool for tracking both vendor performance and contract negotiation successes and has become the source of valuable benchmarks that librarians have been able to leverage during contract negotiations. Additionally, the scorecard has contributed to a better understanding of the content portfolio management and acquisition process up the Library reporting chain.

This paper will outline all the components tracked in the vendor scorecard as well as explain the various reporting spreadsheets that have been developed to report and track our progress through the yearly budgeting and contract negotiating process. Additionally the paper will highlight how the scorecard is used as a tool in contract negotiations and underscore the value the library has found in having one standard repository of vendor and budget information.

Using Focus Groups to Assess the Information Literacy Skills of First Year Pharmacy Students
Jennifer R. Martin, Information Services, Arizona Health Sciences Library, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Marion K. Slack, Department of Pharmacy Practice & Science, College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona

Background: The objective of this study was to assess the information literacy skills of entering first year professional pharmacy students and to understand their knowledge of library services and resources. It was observed that incoming students were unfamiliar with applying basic library research skills necessary to answer questions in their case studies course. According to the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, Standard Number 12, “graduates must be able to retrieve, analyze and interpret the lay, and scientific literature to provide drug information and counseling to patients” (Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education, 2007). Conducting this study would allow both the librarian and professor to address those areas of deficiencies. Focus groups were conducted to determine the information literacy skills of all entering students. The collaborative effort by the embedded librarian and the professor to conduct this study helped reveal gaps and resulted in strategies to address the needs of the students.

Methods: The data was collected using focus group sessions. Two sessions were held with fourteen first year professional pharmacy student volunteers. These sessions were held during their second semester and were approximately fifty-five minutes in length. A series of nine open-ended questions were given with follow-up probing questions to stimulate further discussion. Both sessions were audio recorded and transcribed for analysis.

Results revealed a range of skills: some students’ were very capable of identifying highly relevant literature for their case studies, while other students had difficulties locating basic information. The study revealed that the typical search strategy was first using Wikipedia, then PubMed, and then MD Consult. It was also revealed that students did not use physical resources such as textbooks located in the library. They relied mostly on electronic formats of materials and if an article were not available in an electronic format, they would not retrieve it. Students also had difficulties distinguishing between different types of databases and the information included in those databases. Many would not know how to search these specialized databases and would often rely on Google.

By identifying deficiencies in students’ general knowledge of using library resources prior to their entering pharmacy school, the librarian and professor were able to address these needs through instruction at the beginning of the semester. It also allowed the librarian to create a tool to measure information literacy skills for future incoming students and to address areas of weakness through additional instruction. These strategies were designed to continually improve upon students’ information competency skills throughout their didactic coursework, as they enter rotations, and in professional practice.

Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. "Accreditation Standards and Guidelines for the Professional Program in Pharmacy Leading to the Doctorate of Pharmacy Degree." 7/1/2007 2007. 9/8/2010

Using Personalized Education Delivery to Improve Community Clinic Patients’ Knowledge of Hypertension
Taneya Y. Koonce, Knowledge Management/Eskind Biomedical Library, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.
Nunzia B. Giuse, Knowledge Management & Eskind Biomedical Library, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.
Songphan Choemprayong, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Sandra L. Martin, Ed.D., Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.
Marcia Epelbaum, Eskind Biomedical Library, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.
Sheila V. Kusnoor, Knowledge Management/Eskind Biomedical Library, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN.

Objective: Medically underserved patients are at greater risk for acquiring preventable, chronic diseases. In particular, the incidence rate of hypertension in community clinics is nearly three times as high as primary care settings and further disparities exist by race and ethnicity. In one of the first studies of its size and scope, we previously demonstrated that the unique strategy of tailoring hypertension educational information to emergency department patients’ health literacy level and learning style preferences enhanced their knowledge about the disease. This work tested the applicability of the successful model in an urban community clinic patient population.

Methods: One hundred eighty-six English and Spanish-speaking hypertension patients from a local community clinic were initially enrolled in the study. Two health science librarians guided all phases of the study by recruiting and delivering intervention materials. During their clinic visit, patients completed assessments determining hypertension knowledge, health literacy and preferences for learning about health information via visual, aural, read/write, or kinesthetic modalities. Intervention group subjects received hypertension information compiled and delivered in a personalized format tailored to their health literacy level and learning style preference; control subjects did not receive any educational material. The hypertension knowledge test was re-administered two and six weeks later via telephone, and changes in test performance were determined. A multivariate linear regression analysis was used to test the effects on post-test hypertension knowledge scores.

Results: Subjects in the control group showed a modest increase in hypertension knowledge test scores at two weeks (Δ = 0.5 questions) and six weeks (Δ= 1.0 question) after completing the pre-assessment questionnaire. By contrast, intervention group participants showed marked improvements in test performance at two weeks (Δ = 2.21 questions) that persisted at six weeks (p< 0.05). After adjusting for other factors, including gender, race, health literacy level, learning style, and income, a multivariate analysis indicated that assignment to the intervention group, pre-test score, and education level were significant predictors of post-test score at both two and six weeks after the initial clinic visit.

Conclusion: Personalizing health information to health literacy and learning preference is an effective strategy for improving community clinic patients’ knowledge about hypertension. The higher incidence of hypertension in this population provides an opportunity for greater impact. The results of this study clearly demonstrate that personalizing education can make a difference in patients’ overall knowledge of their condition, thus increasing the clinician’s ability to engage them in their own care. Additionally, this study demonstrates how librarians in their role as educators can positively impact outreach efforts to the community.

Rev. May 2013