National Network of Libraries of Medicine
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Informationist

An Informationist service merges the knowledge and expertise of a health care professional with the information retrieval skills of a librarian. If the Informationist does not have the expertise of a health care professional, they often have advanced training or a degree in a science area. The advantage to having the Informationist service is to fully integrate a professional with expert knowledge of library resources and discipline-specific subject expertise into the clinical setting. Their role can include searching for literature, building information literacy through teaching, providing data management services, and assisting in the overall research process. As an example of Informationist practices, the library at the National Institutes of Health Library train their librarians in advanced biostatistics, epidemiology, genetics, evidence-based medicine, clinical research ethics, principles and practice of clinical research, and analysis of clinical or research articles to be better prepared to work within a clinical or biomedical research team. Like an embedded librarian, an Informationist is usually stationed within a research team as opposed to within the actual library. Recently that National Library of Medicine has supported the role of the Informationist by providing grant opportunities to health sciences librarians who may be suited for this particular role.