What is Research and Assessment?

The 2007 update to the MLA Research Policy Statement suggests the following domains for health information research:

  • community dimensions of information practice
  • effective information dissemination and delivery strategies
  • health information structure, acquisition, and use
  • information behaviors including human–technology interaction
  • information contexts and meaning
  • information policy and standards
  • information technologies and their transformational nature
  • knowledge translation
  • leadership and organizational change
  • marketing, communications, and advocacy
  • systems thinking
  • teaching and learning

From: The Research Imperative: The Research Policy Statement of the Medical Library Association: Domains of Research (2007).


If you are unsure if your work is research, take a look at some of these questions from a 2002 article on evidence-based librarianship by Jonathan Eldredge in the MLA Research Section journal Hypothesis:

  • Which print journal subscriptions are best to retain in thecoll ection when an electronic version is available?
  • Are students who have been taught information skills more or less likely to continue to further study?
  • What personality characteristics in librarians make them good or bad searchers?
  • Do library skills courses improve the information-seeking skills of students?
  • Do library desk staff members provide accurate responses to reference questions?
  • Which Web pages on a library Web site are most usable?
  • Does weeding some classification ranges in a monographs collection result in higher usage than the unweeded, but otherwise similar ranges?
  • Do the benefits of a value-added resource such as Ovid databases outweigh the costs when compared to a free resource such as PubMed?
  • Which methods of teaching search skills result in clinicians searching for their own evidence in patient care?
  • Do medical students learn searching skills more effectively from librarians or teaching faculty?
  • Why do potential users, who are presently non-users, not use their library?
  • Why do some people utilize reference services while others rarely or perhaps never utilize the same reference services, in spite of a recognized and shared need for information by all of these people?
  • How do users structure their search strategies in lieu of formal information skills training?
  • Why do some users prefer certain information resources over equally relevant information resources?
  • How do we know if a library program or service has been successful?

From: Eldredge, Jonathan. “Evidence‐Based Librarianship: Levels of Evidence.” Hypothesis 16.3 (2002): 10‐13.

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