The Research Imperative: The Research Policy Statement of the Medical Library Association
Research Skills Set
Health information professionals use published research to provide information services to their users; collaborate with other health professionals in completing research projects; make decisions in their own profession; and initiate, complete, and implement their own research projects.
Whether using research from the information sciences or other disciplines or conducting their own research projects, librarians need certain skill sets. The following skills are those that all health sciences librarians should strive to acquire. The skills are listed in three sections: those that are basic to all librarians, those that health sciences librarians will probably acquire in practice (advanced), and those that are more specialized. The more specialized skills may not be applicable to all librarians, but every librarian should be aware of them and know that they might need to acquire them to complete research or evaluation projects. These skills are the keys to the professional research imperative and are those that the MLA educational policy statement emphasizes in Competencies for Lifelong Learning.
Librarians will use these skills to produce new knowledge and to integrate existing knowledge (translational purposes) both within and outside health librarianship and within and outside their home institutions.
MLA fully supports its members' need to identify, produce, and apply the best-available evidence when making important decisions and when supplying information to health care colleagues and others. Accordingly, MLA provides opportunities for its members to learn necessary skills through its programs and services. Individual members may also need to seek skills from other local and regional sources.
Medical Library Association
Last Updated: 2007 September 14