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PSRML Internship Experience: Promoting ClinicalTrials.gov

By Sophia Prisco
Department of Information Studies student
UCLA Graduate School of Education and Information Studies

During the 2012 fall quarter, I had the opportunity to intern with the Pacific Southwest Regional Medical Library. During the course of my internship, I worked on an NLM initiative to promote results in ClinicalTrials.gov. ClinicalTrials.gov is a freely available registry and results database of publicly and privately supported clinical studies of human participants conducted around the world. The National Library of Medicine believes that health sciences librarians are ideally placed to advocate to the clinical research community the importance of complying with registration and reporting requirements as mandated by the FDA. For the project, I reconfigured a Moodle class based on the framework created by Stephen Kiyoi, who recently completed his NLM Associate Fellowship at PSRML. I also created promotional materials to better equip health sciences librarians with the skills and knowledge to advocate for this resource at their institutions.

ClinicalTrials.gov website

Constructing and executing a pilot version of the Moodle class was a unique opportunity to gain valuable teaching experience. This was the first time I designed and monitored a class. I determined class objectives, made PowerPoint lecture slides with sound, generated discussion questions, and found resources to assign for reading. The RML has wonderful resources for trainers and I was able to participate in the online Teaching with Technology class, taught by my supervisor, Kay Deeney. The class taught instructional librarians how to effectively reach remote learners through online teaching methods. Through that class I discovered many innovative ways to teach online, which helped me with the design of my ClinicalTrials class. It was very rewarding to see people actively respond to discussion posts, and take away new information and ideas from my class. I was happy to receive positive and constructive feedback that I can apply to future classes.

Through my project I discovered how valuable librarians are to the resources at their institutions. Librarians can improve a resource like ClinicalTrials.gov by not only promoting it, but also by advocating to its users that they comply with important rules that benefit all users of the resource. At this internship I also learned more about the NN/LM and how it supports health sciences librarians. It was inspiring to see how active and passionate the RML staff is in promoting health information to professionals and to the public. Health sciences librarianship is a unique profession that reaches out to communities, and can help improve access to health information, so that individuals can make more informed decisions on their health and well-being. My internship experience has strengthened my interest in health sciences librarianship and gave me new insight into the many roles of a health sciences librarian!

The course, ClinicalTrials.gov: results reporting, unique evidence, and evolving policy will be offered in a distance learning format in 2013, with MLA Continuing Education credits.

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