May 2014 – Volume 8 – Number 3

A Focus on Expertise

M.J. Tooey

M.J. Tooey
Executive Director

In the last issue of Connective Issues, I gave an update about the progress of the strategic listening tour that is the foundation for the HS/HSL’s new strategic plan. In that update I discussed how we are using Expertise, Resources, and Place as three concepts that provide a simple description of the entirety of the library experience. In this column I would like to focus on Expertise.

For centuries library professionals have been the experts responsible for acquiring, organizing, and disseminating knowledge resources. As the resources have evolved, the work of our library faculty has evolved, requiring new skills and competencies, and affording new opportunities for partnerships and support. Their traditional roles are translational in nature. Over the past few years a considerable amount of time and effort has been expended in this translational effort to grow expertise. Many HS/HSL librarians have attended the Woods Hole Bioinformatics Course. Several have also been trained in the intricacies of systematic reviews. Others have developed expertise in the molecular biology resources of the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

We have brought this expertise together in our Research Connection program, which provides a single place for our research community to find the knowledge informatics support they need. This expertise ranges from systematic reviews to metadata analysis. A piece about the components of the service can be found in the article following this one. Since it was introduced on March 31, response has been extremely positive. Some examples of the work being done are:

  1. Library faculty have worked on about a dozen systematic reviews. One of the faculty has been written into a grant application requiring her systematic review expertise. One systematic review has been published and another submitted for publication.
  2. Two metadata management library faculty members consulted on a project to apply metadata to increase a website’s findability and usability.
  3. An analysis was done to assess the impact of the joint seed grants awarded to UMB and College Park researchers. Publications, presentations, and additional grants awarded were examined.
  4. Library faculty have worked with faculty authors on the PubMedCentral compliance mandate increasing UMB’s compliance rate from 77% to 88%. Compliance is extremely important as NIH will not award or renew grants if the investigators are out of compliance.

These are just a few examples of the work being done. At a recent meeting at the National Library of Medicine, there was a strong suggestion that in addition to requiring that data management plans be a component of any NIH grant application, the quality of the data management plans will now be considered as part of the review process. Assisting UMB faculty with data management plans will need to become part of the Research Connection program. We embrace these possibilities.

Next issue: Resources.

Research Connection

Research Connection

Add value to your research experience through Research Connection, a comprehensive suite of services and expertise designed to support your research. Contact us to arrange for one-on-one personalized research assistance, presentations to groups on special topics, expert online searching and more. We will collaborate with you in each step of the research process: idea exploration, review of the published literature, information management, authorship, assessing the impact of research, and more. Visit the Research Connection webpage to request these services:

  • Research Consultation – Meet one-on-one with a faculty librarian for personalized research assistance.
  • Systematic Reviews – We will design and manage complex, thorough searches in multiple databases.
  • Research Impact Assessment – We will work with you to quantify your research impact for promotion, tenure, or grant applications.
  • Assistance with NIH Public Access Compliance – We can check your NIH compliance status and assist you in taking the necessary steps for compliance.
  • IRB Research Consent Form Review – We will review your research consent form and make comments and suggested edits to help ensure that it is at an appropriate reading level for study participants.
  • Publication Strategies – Use our expertise in establishing a research profile such as ORCID, maintaining copyright or maximizing research impact before you publish.
  • Guest Lecturers – Help build students’ research and information literacy skills by including us as a guest lecturer in a class.
  • Explore Library Expertise – A faculty librarian with subject expertise is assigned to each school. We have additional expertise in health literacy, community engagement, knowledge management and more.

Through Research Connection, we have also developed online resources in areas such as publication strategies/ORCIDs, assessing research impact, NIH public access compliance and conducting systematic reviews.

Happy Sweet 16 – We Brought You More Than a Cake

cake replica of the HS/HSL building

We recently celebrated 16 years of the Library being in the 601 W. Lombard Street location with a replica cake of the building and a large group of Library friends. It is difficult to believe that we have been in this location for so long.

There are many things to recognize and celebrate after being in the building for 16 years. Some of these include: a wealth of study space available, expert faculty librarians and staff, and the availability of innovative resources. This list of creative offerings includes the Presentation Practice Studio. The Studio is a sound-proof private room that allows students, faculty, and staff to practice presentations, record videos, or capture other useful video and dialog. We provide expert assistance for your convenience.

Dr. Perman Cutting the Cake

Dr. Jay Perman
President, University of Maryland, Baltimore

Other notable resources are the two video-conferencing rooms. These allow faculty, staff, and students with university-related business to communicate with health professionals all over the world. Library staff provides user support to allow this collaborative tool to be accessible to everyone.

We would be remiss not to mention the various upgraded collaboration rooms that were created 6 years ago, thanks to funding from a very special donor. Large LCD monitors allow students to share electronic resources and information in the 2nd floor study rooms. In addition to this, students may also reserve rooms online for their study groups.

Finally, we most recently added study pods on the 1st floor, which are a hint of what future study furniture might be like. Large monitors allow students to plug in their laptops or other devices and display their information. These “study pods” are convenient and comfortable and add to the study space available. This is always a plus during finals.

Sixteen years have passed since we moved to this location. As we celebrate our innovations and continuous improvement we hope that you will agree that we really have brought you more than a cake!

Questions? Call Aphrodite Bodycomb, Associate Director for Administration and Operations, at 410.706.8853.

Library Access After Graduation

Graduation Cap

Students often wonder if they will be able to access HS/HSL resources after graduation. The answer is: yes, but only for a few months. After your library account expires, you are still welcome to come into the Library to access information. There are also a number of free resources that we make available through our website. Under the "Databases" heading, click on "unrestricted only" to search databases that offer free access.

HS/HSL Partners with the Southeastern/Atlantic Region

National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeastern/Atlantic Region (SE/A)

HS/HSL is privileged to be home to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeastern/Atlantic Region (SE/A), an outreach arm of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). This relationship with NLM affords HS/HSL the opportunity to partner with diverse groups throughout SE/A’s ten-state region, which also includes the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC. These partnerships have, at heart, the goal of providing access to quality health information for both consumers and health professionals.

One component of SE/A’s activities is funding small projects conducted by network members. Over the years SE/A has funded hundreds of projects, many of which have grown to have national effect. The funding is competitive, and, unfortunately, SE/A had to turn away more than half of the applicants. This year SE/A has funded thirty-two projects that support health information outreach or help build capacity for such outreach. SE/A helped the New England Region (NER) extend its Public Health Information Access (PHIA) project to West Virginia’s public health workers. This five-year project, which includes fifteen other states, provides licensed access to electronic resources—databases and journals—for the state public health workforce. SE/A has committed to providing two years support for this project in West Virginia.

Similarly, SE/A has aided the Health Sciences Library Association of New Jersey Group Licensing Initiative (GLI) in bringing its services to the Southeastern/Atlantic Region. Like PHIA, the GLI project has pre-negotiated deals with e-journal vendors to get the best bulk licenses for end-users, in this case, hospital libraries, which can save 15-60% on medical resources.

Other projects SE/A is funding have a more local effect. For instance in West Virginia, South Central Educational Development, Inc. has a project to help the Bluefield, WV community understand and access the site made available through the Affordable Care Act. In Georgetown, SC, MaFlo’s Health & Wellness Team located in MaFlo’s Beauty Salon, is providing consumer health information courses and drop-in MedlinePlus consultations. And, here at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, HS/HSL will be hosting a national symposium on health information to bring HS/HSL’s 200th Anniversary celebration to a close.

Space prevents a complete list and description of all our projects, but those may be found at the NN/LM SE/A website in the near future. University of Maryland, Baltimore faculty, staff, and students who think that they may have a fundable health information access project should consult the NN/LM SE/A blog "SEA Currents" in January and February of 2015 for the next round of funding opportunities.

Notable Tech Trends: Quantified Self, Learning Analytics, and Big Data

Charts and Graphs

One of the recent major technology trends to note is ‘Quantified Self.’ According to this year’s Horizon Report Higher Ed edition, "Quantified Self describes the phenomenon of consumers being able to closely track data that is relevant to their daily activities through the use of technology" (p.46). This trend is enabled by the wearable technology devices – such as Fitbit and Google Glass – and the Mobile Web. Wearable technology devices automatically collect personal data. Fitbit, for example, keeps track of one’s own sleep patterns, steps taken, and calories burned. The Mobile Web serves as the platform that stores and presents such personal data collected by those devices. Using these devices and the resulting personal data, we get to observe our own behavior in a much more extensive and detailed manner. Any meaningful pattern emerging from such observation can lead to a better way to improve ourselves.

Quantified Self is a notable trend not because it involves an unprecedented technology but because it gives us a glimpse of what our daily lives will be like in the near future, in which many of the emerging technologies — the mobile web, big data, wearable technology — will come together in full bloom.

Learning Analytics can be thought of as the application of ‘Quantified Self’ to education. It is being explored at various institutions, though it is at an early stage (see "How Learning Analytics Are Being Used in Education" by Katie Lepi in Edudemic for examples). By collecting and analyzing the data about student behavior in online courses and other learning environments, Learning Analytics aims at improving student engagement, providing more personalized learning experience, detecting learning issues, and determining the behavior variables that are the significant indicators of student performance.

The rise of "Big Data" raises a serious concern about privacy and security. Students, faculty, and researchers in higher education implicitly trust the systems developed by or in use at their institutions. But how the data kept and shared at those systems are used and accessed should be made as transparent as possible. In the area of clinical data, there is already a notable movement which aims at fostering the mutually beneficial collaboration between the patients who own their personal health data and the researchers who can analyze such data to generate new insights and knowledge in a more transparent manner. See “Citizens as Partners in the Use of Clinical Data” by John Wilbanks at O’Reilly Data Blog.

Bohyun Kim, Associate Director, Library Applications and Knowledge Systems

Research Impact Symposium a Success!

Research Impact Symposium

From left to right: Dr. Bruce Jarrell, Chief Academic and Research Officer, University of Maryland, Baltimore; Dr. Patrick O’Shea, Vice President and Chief Research Officer of the University of Maryland, College Park; Sean Fahey, Vice Provost for Institutional Research, Johns Hopkins University; Dr. Sonny Ramaswamy, Director, National Institute of Food and Agriculture

The HS/HSL, in partnership with Elsevier, hosted Research Impact: A Discussion from Institutional, Economic, and Researcher Perspectives on March 31, 2014. The day was divided into three panels of three speakers each and included representation from UMB, other Maryland and US academic institutions, the State of Maryland and Federal governments, and scholarly publishers. The symposium attracted over 80 participants from UMB and other regional institutions.

The two morning panels addressed how academic institutions and grant-funding agencies support research, and the impact of that research on state and local economies. Over lunch, a representative from Elsevier showed various metrics which can be used to gauge the impact of research, and the HS/HSL rolled out its new Research Connection program. After lunch, the program continued with a panel that discussed how metrics—particularly altmetrics—are changing the way that the work of individual researchers is measured.

Staff News

Chris Hansen, Reference Technician, was recognized as Employee of the Month for December 2013. He received a framed certificate, a letter from President Perman, and an award of $250. He was nominated by Patrick Lyons, Reserves Coordinator, for his willingness to go "above and beyond what is required" to help the library provide "exponentially better service." Congratulations, Chris!

Andrew Youngkin, MLIS, AHIP, was an invited speaker at the Florida Health Sciences Library Association’s annual meeting in Orlando, FL. His presentation on April 4th was entitled, "Exploring mHealth Devices for Health Technology Instruction."

Nancy Patterson, MLS, presented "Health Literacy: Challenges & Solutions" and "Health Outreach: Funding & Resources" at the National Association of Social Workers (WV Chapter) Conference in Charleston, WV on May 2nd.


Alexa Mayo, MLS, AHIP, published "Improving Medical Education in Kenya: an International Collaboration," in the Journal of the Medical Library Association, 102 (2), April 2014.

María M. Pinkas, MLS and Na Lin, MLS, published "ERM Ideas and Innovations: Digital Repository Management as ERM," in the Journal of Electronic Resources Librarianship, 26 (1), March 2014.

María M. Pinkas, MLS, Megan Del Baglivo, MLS, Ilene Robin Klein, MSLS, Everly Brown, MLIS, Ryan Harris, MLIS, AHIP, and Brad Gerhart published " Selecting and Implementing a Discovery Tool: the University of Maryland Health Sciences and Human Services Experience” in the Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries, 11 (1), January-March 2014.

Kimberly F. Yang, JD, MLS, published, "Centralizing Distributed Resources and Making Them Searchable," in 2013 Best Practices for Government Libraries: Managing Evolving Resources: Strategies, Capabilities, and Alternatives, a publication by LexisNexis.

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