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JMLA Special Issue on New Century, New Roles for Health Sciences Librarians

The Journal of the Medical Library Association is planning to devote the October 2013 issue to papers that focus on the outcomes experienced by health sciences librarians who have taken on new roles. This issue will include invited papers summarizing the current state of the field. In addition, submissions are encouraged from those with new roles who are willing to share their successes, or failures, with their peers. To be considered for this issue, papers must be submitted by February 15, 2013. Further details on topics of interest, requirements for submission, etc. are located on the MLA web site.

The advent of both digital content and new forms of communication has made radical changes in the expectations of health science library users for access to information. Responding to the opportunities provided by these changes, some librarians and libraries have changed their focus, no longer emphasizing libraries as keepers of the information universe, but instead stressing their ability to provide expertise in support of those who work in the health information universe.  A number of new paradigms have been reported at conferences and in the media: embedded librarians, e-science experts, support for translational medicine, and data curation and management.  This special issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association will help us gain a better understanding of these new paradigms.

The following types of submissions are particularly welcomed:

  • Brief Communications that describe evaluations of either the need for, or success of, new roles.
  • Case studies that describe, in depth, new or innovative roles for librarians, such as embedded librarians, e science experts, support for translational medicine, or data curation.
  • Full-length research papers investigating a research question related to new roles for health sciences libraries or librarians.

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