Coming Vacancy Announcement – Informationist with Expertise in Bibliometric Analysis

Shortly the NIH Library will open a vacancy announcement on USAjobs for two energetic and highly qualified individuals to serve as informationists.  These individuals would be expected to have some science background or experience,  and expertise in bibliometric analysis.   More information on the NIH Library Informationist Program can be found at:

Salary range is $62,467.00 to $115,742.00 / Per Year, and the location is Bethesda, Maryland, conveniently located at a metro stop for easy commuting.

This vacancy announcement opens in mid-March and will be posted for five days. This brief posting period is because of the federal government’s interest in accelerating the hiring process and should not be interpreted as an indication that someone has already been selected.

 This position will be announced for all US Citizens and for status candidates (current or former government employees).  It will be announced at the GS-11, 12 and 13 grade levels.  Below is GS-13 level position descriptions.  If you have a college degree, please request your transcript from your university  in advance, as you may need it for the application process.  Anyone interested in this position should watch USAjobs over the next two weeks.


Librarian (Medical and Biological Sciences Informationist)


I.  Introduction

The position is located in the Education Services Branch (ESB), Division of Library Services (DLS), Office of Research Services (ORS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The National Institutes of Health is one of the largest biomedical and behavioral research centers in the world, with a staff of more than 20,000, over 9,000 of whom are medical and scientific specialists and/or physicians. The Division of Library Services is the focal point for the exchange of biomedical and scientific information vital to the support of the research activities conducted at the National Institutes of Health. DLS also provides information services and resources to several other agencies within the Department of Health & Human Services. The Library’s interdisciplinary collection is extensive in scope and intensive in depth of coverage. The collection consists of over 10,000 online journals, 85,000 monographs and numerous general scientific databases including Web of Knowledge and Scopus, plus specialty databases and tools for chemists, neuroscientists and molecular biologists.

The Education Services Branch (ESB) is responsible for (1) initiating outreach activities such as the informationist program and other consulting activities; (2) providing a dynamic instructional program that includes information management education and end-user search training; (3) developing the information commons; and (4) property management.

The NIH Library also participates in the HHS Libraries Consortium, which encourages resource sharing and cooperative procurement of electronic resources among the larger HHS agency libraries to better serve the information needs of all Department employees.  The incumbent participates in these intra-departmental initiatives.

The incumbent provides bibliometric analysis in support of the NIH intramural community.  He or she also provides liaison services for one or more NIH Institutes or Centers (ICs) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies.


Major Duties

The primary duty of the incumbent is to serve as an informationist.   In addition, the incumbent may serve on or lead one or more Library teams, and perform duties such as search analyst and reference librarian, bibliometric analyst, data visualization specialist, instructor and/or online tutorial developer.

— Acts as information advisor and consultant to NIH ICs, branches and laboratories, and may provide services to one or more of the HHS agencies served by the NIH Library. Analyzes potential user groups and identifies appropriate audiences for targeting library services and programs. Consults and collaborates with NIH staff to aid them in locating, accessing, identifying and managing information. Develops new and innovative information products and services needed by clinical and research groups, with a focus on bibliometric or portfolio analysis.  Retrieves, synthesizes and reports medical information as a member of a research team.  Serves as the information specialist on the research team, attending staff meetings, journal clubs, special interest groups or rounds providing needed research assistance and information support for the team.  Informs Branch Chief of new NIH information requirements.

— Serves as team leader or coordinator.  In conjunction with team members, identifies team initiatives in support of the NIH Library balanced scorecard objectives, and develops strategies to meet them; recommends guidelines, policies, and procedures; and ensures that logistics and other administrative tasks are accomplished including establishing meeting times, meeting agendas, and schedules.  Monitors day-to-day activities and serves as knowledgeable resource person in area of responsibility.  Develops and implements mechanisms for obtaining customer feedback on services and products to assure high level program effectiveness and the future development of effective new products and services.  Mentors team members, provides guidance in procedures and methods, provides feedback on team members’ activity to appropriate supervisors, and develops tools or workflows to meet new requirements.

— Provides reference and research services in response to requests for information on biomedical subjects. Responds to e-mail, telephone or in-person requests from NIH staff using the full spectrum of print and electronic library research techniques and facilities available. As a search analyst, the incumbent prepares literature searches and bibliographies on medical, biological, chemical and allied subjects using the bibliographic biological research databases of the National Library of Medicine, The Dialog Corporation, Thomson Reuters, Elsevier, Lexis-Nexis and other suppliers. Additionally uses appropriate NIH-developed in-house systems.  The incumbent may also search non-bibliographic databases such as STN, SciFinder, Reaxys, GenBank, OMIM, etc. for chemical structure or genomics information.  Employs software and hardware to download database information, to convert data from one platform to another, to upload data into bibliographic management software, to create customized databases of citations, to produce finished bibliographies, to send and receive files via electronic mail and to manipulate molecular structure information for input into non-bibliographic databases.

— Provides comprehensive reference, research and information services for a broad range of current and retrospective areas of biomedical science in order to create customized products or information packages for customers.  These products include, but are not limited to, research impact analyses; productivity and influence metrics for an IC, research group or individual researcher; publication strategies based on citation metrics; and routine or customized reports regarding publication activity within an IC or research lab.  Researches and develops bibliographies, briefing guides, and specialized publication lists.  Based on project parameters and goals, and knowledge of commercial and in-house databases, recommends the appropriate suite of tools.  Develops customized presentations for various audiences to show research impact. Tailors work to suit the information needs of the desired audience, using objective publication and citation metrics.  Reviews data to ensure the quality of each customized product.  The Librarian responds to a variety of specialized data calls utilizing publication and citation databases, representing, visualizing, and citing these metrics for audit purposes.  Solutions may require changing, interpreting or developing innovative information programs or approaches that can be used and adapted by other experienced librarians.

— Develops a program of instruction and provides instruction in the use of bibliometric tools, print and electronic resources, bibliographic management software, microcomputers, library and national resources. Designs and writes training plans, class manuals, and publicity for the instruction program. Develops web-based training modules.

— Designs, develops and maintains online tutorials for NIH Library instruction classes using hypertext mark-up language (HTML) or appropriate authoring software. Uses common Internet file formats such as html, jpg, gif, and multimedia applications on the Web. Uses advanced coding or scripting languages or standards to optimize Web page interactivity, animation, layout organization or content structure. Uses LibGuides (research and information guides) or other content management software as needed.

— Continues professional development by making presentations at and attending conferences, symposia, meetings, and training programs; serving on committees; publishing articles or editing books; and making in-house presentations.  Consults with other technical specialists, librarians, researchers, scholars, and peer groups within and outside NIH to keep abreast of developments, new methods, and search techniques in library and information science and biomedicine.  May conduct research to improve or evaluate services or resources.

— Collects, analyzes, and reports statistics that document the service levels and trends in service provision.  Prepares a variety of reports including project, monthly narrative, quarterly goals and objectives, and statistical reports as needed.

— Performs other duties as necessary.


Factor 1.  Knowledge Required by the Position

— Extensive knowledge of medical, biological, genetic, chemical, epidemiological, biostatistical, and other general scientific theories, principles, practices and vocabulary.

— Extensive working knowledge of clinical or basic sciences research, including principles, theories, and practice.

— Authoritative working knowledge of the principles, theories and practices of information science.

— Expert knowledge of communications, marketing and promotional activities.                                                 

— Expert knowledge of the information-seeking habits and needs of researchers and clinicians; mastery of the reference function of library work including searching for, analyzing, synthesizing, organizing, managing and reporting information to be used by researchers and clinicians to solve highly complex information requests.

— Authoritative knowledge of the major scientific and medical databases.

— Knowledge of management principles and skill in the application of such principles to plan, coordinate, and evaluate team efforts.

— Extensive knowledge of the theories of bibliometric analysis, including a variety of metrics in use today, their strengths and limitations, tools to derive and display these metrics.

— Extensive knowledge of the concepts of adult learning and ability to teach.

— Expert knowledge of electronic information systems, common desktop applications, commercial and in-house bibliographic retrieval software, bibliographic management software and other software and devices.

— Knowledge of hypertext mark-up language (HTML) or online tutorial authoring or editing software, content management software, LibGuides, web graphics, common Internet file formats, web multimedia applications and advanced coding or scripting languages or standards.

— Extensive knowledge of assessment and evaluation techniques and the ability to apply this understanding, along with commercial and in-house bibliographic or grant data retrieval software, to prepare information that NIH staff may use to identify trends and opportunities for future funding.

— High level of ability in oral and written communication.

— Knowledge of public relations in scientific organizations to enable the incumbent to develop customized presentations for various audiences to show research impact.

— Extensive knowledge of scientific bibliography, scientific resources, and principles of collection development; broad knowledge of specific scientific disciplines (e.g., immunology, genetics, biochemistry).

— Comprehensive knowledge of the NIH mission and programs.


Factor 2.  Supervisory Controls

The employee works under the supervision of the ESB Chief, who defines continuing areas of responsibility or long-term assignments, sets the general objectives, and indicates available resources. Overall deadlines flow from the work situation or, in the case of projects or reports, the librarian consults with the supervisor to establish priorities, deadlines, and resources required.

The librarian, having developed expertise in the particular specialty or function, is responsible for planning and carrying out the work, resolving most of the conflicts that arise, integrating and coordinating the work with other functional areas (e.g., cataloging, reference, preservation, collection development). The librarian interprets policy, regulations, and directives on own initiative in terms of established objectives. In some assignments, such as special projects, studies, or evaluations, the librarian also determines the approach to be taken and the methods to be used. The librarian keeps the supervisor informed of progress, potentially controversial matters, issues with far-reaching implications, and intractable problems.

The supervisor reviews completed work from an overall standpoint in terms of feasibility, compatibility with other library or information program requirements, or effectiveness in meeting objectives or achieving expected results.


Factor 3.  Guidelines

Guidelines include established written policies of the NIH, HHS, the NIH Library, the American Library Association, the Medical Library Association and the standards associations of the information community.  The incumbent uses considerable independent judgment and discretion in determining the intent of established guidelines and in interpreting and revising existing policy and program guidance for use by others. The incumbent is recognized as an authority in informationist, reference, mediated searching, and bibliometric analysis areas, and is expected to develop, modify and interpret guidelines.  The incumbent uses considerable independent judgment in the application of scientific principles, instructions from the technical manuals, and Federal laws regulating copyright, privacy rights, and information management.


Factor 4.  Complexity

— Accomplishment of the objectives of the NIH Library and the ESB requires that the incumbent work with highly specialized scientific materials to provide answers demanding substantial depth of analysis to questions of great variety.  Answering such questions often requires solving difficult problems in information access, presentation and dissemination.  As a subject-matter specialist the Librarian collaborates with the scientific staff in the resolution of their information needs, providing informationist services and in collection development.  The Librarian uses automated systems and networks to improve information-seeking and management practices of the scientific community.

— Providing informationist services requires a high level of independent judgment; facility in teaching and providing technical leadership; versatility and originality in adapting and modifying precedents, methods and techniques; and ability to devise, develop, and implement new techniques.  Informationist duties require not only directing the user to information sources, but also locating and evaluating the information itself.


Factor 5.  Scope and Effect

— The quality of the work related to the application of electronic systems, database selection, and utilization of other resources to provide information, affects the efficiency and accuracy not only of the NIH but also for other organizations in the United States that will utilize the information.

— Work related to bibliometric analysis contributes to NIH’s understanding of the current impact of its work, as well as possible predictors for future investment.

— Work involves planning and developing an innovative information program; establishing new information services and products; developing guidelines for the provision of such services; and evaluating the effectiveness of the programs.  Work related to the improvement of information tools and information seeking habits of scientists affects the quality of research at the laboratory level, the quality of NIH reports at all levels, and the cost-effectiveness of library services.

— All work makes an international impact directly or indirectly through the reputation of the NIH laboratories and staff.


Factor 6.  Personal Contacts

Work contacts include all staff of the NIH, including program officials several managerial levels above the informationist, visiting scholars and scientists, staffs of other organizations, both national and international, and the general public seeking medical and scientific information from the NIH on a non-routine basis.  Work contacts may also include senior staff at various HHS agencies.


Factor 7.  Purpose of Contacts

— Daily contacts are with persons from any level of the institution, including international visitors and scholars, seeking factual information and instruction.  Contacts require motivating personnel to utilize library programs and services and to resolve problems concerning such issues as policies and procedures.  Contacts further can be for guidance in systematic review development or in providing consultations in analysis of research.  Some contacts may require the defense of methodology and implementation of alternative solutions.

— Committee contacts are for the purpose of developing new information products and for the evaluation of such products.  Such contacts may be with staff of the institutes, national libraries, national associations, and other groups working on access to biomedical research information.



Factor 8.  Physical Demands

The work is accomplished in an office and library environment and is mostly sedentary in nature.  However, the work may require crouching, walking up and down steps, portage of light objects, and some walking to and from other NIH buildings, or traveling to various HHS agency offices in the metropolitan DC area.


Factor 9.  Work Environment

The work is performed in an office, laboratory or library setting.



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