Themes

The themes developed by the International Programme Committee (IPC) in consultation with the Local Organising Committee (LOC) are:

Roadmap of our Profession
Technology Uptake
Ecology of Scholarly Communications
Impact + Assessment
Benchmarking + Advocacy
Evidence-Based Practice

  • ROADMAP OF OUR PROFESSION: The boundaries of health librarianship keep expanding while we face ever more constraints including tighter budgets and calls to justify our work and our libraries. What is the roadmap of our profession? What are the new competencies we need to add to our list? How do we improve Library and Information Studies (LIS) education and recruit to help a new generation of health librarians take on challenges? How do we shape our roles and services to meet the needs of a diverse clientele of researchers, students, caregivers, patients and the public?
  • TECHNOLOGY UPTAKE: Health librarians have long adopted and championed new technologies. How do current apps, text mining and artificial intelligence (AI) shape our work? What technologies are on the horizon and how will they affect health librarianship? Is technology moving fast enough?
  • ECOLOGY OF SCHOLARLY COMMUNICATIONS: Biomedical publishing ecology is complex and ever-changing. As national consortia push back on Big Deals with major publishers, the Open Access (OA) movement is picking up momentum. How can we take advantage of this? Where can we add the most value in the research life cycle? What concrete actions can we take to make research more transparent, accessible, and reproduceable? What can we do to support FAIR Data Principles?
  • IMPACT + ASSESSMENT: There’s pressure on institutions and on individual researchers to be increasingly data driven and to prove their value. As librarians, we’re expected to know enough about metrics and impact to guide our institutions. What innovations have we brought to the use of traditional metrics and altmetrics /next generation metrics, and how do they help researchers and administrators shape the impact and value of their narratives? How do metrics mesh with the values of libraries and librarians? What role do alternative metrics have in Open Science? What indicators can help us assess good research practice? Are new “standards” evolving? Why do many organisations still adhere to the Impact Factor (IF) and h-Index when they hire and promote faculty? If we cooperate with research institutions and organisations, can we change this?
  • BENCHMARKING + ADVOCACY: Although we struggle against static or shrinking budgets and must continually justify the existence of the medical libraries, we still look forward to the opportunities Open Access 2020 Initiative (OA2020) offers to health librarians and information specialists. How can we turn our expertise in registering, archiving, and protecting literature to benefit our institutions? How do we prove the return on investment offered by medical librarians and intellectual property? Can we turn our own local and national experiences, and those of other librarians, into tools that increase European recognition of the value added by health librarians and libraries?
  • EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE: Evidence-Based Medicine (EBM) + Evidence-Based Librarianship (EBL). We all want medical and health care decisions to be based on high-quality scientific evidence, but there is considerable time lag between discovery and introduction of knowledge into practice. Resources for systematic reviews vary widely across countries, and so does their recognition within the academy. Systematic searching and adherence to robust reporting guidelines help to make research more transparent to researchers, clinicians and the public. How can we employ new technologies and new data sources, like data mining, AI, and ‘citizen science’, to expand and enrich the evidence base? And more broadly, how can we bring to our own profession the methods and ethos of evidence-based practice to build a robust framework for evidence-based librarianship?

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