Call for Papers

Health and Biosciences Libraries Section

Establishing the librarian in the health research process


16 August 2013


University Hall, Lee Kong Chian Wing
Auditorium, Level 2
21 Lower Kent Ridge Road
Singapore 119077

The IFLA Health and Biosciences Libraries Section invites proposals for presentations at the Section's pre-conference programme in Singapore on Friday, 16 August 2013.

Health librarians work in a research-intensive sector.  All health librarians are involved in health research to some extent whether they work in an academic or clinical settings.  Research output is an important measure of success for teachers, clinicians and paraprofessionals across the health sector.   Access to information is obviously a factor in ensuring quality in research output and librarians have responded to the changing needs of research to ensure that information is delivered where and when it needed. 

We know the information environment has changed radically in the past couple of decades and experienced researchers are less dependent on librarians for literature searches and the other information services. Many librarians have responded to this change and have enthusiastically and strategically established themselves as key players in the development of collaborative research projects.This is not the complete picture, of course, and for much of the library sector the scope to expand services and learn the new range of required skills is limited.  This session will hear about those who have successfully navigated the transition to collaborative research and we will try to identify how librarians can support each other to become central to the research programme.

Papers may cover some of the following topics:

  • How can health librarians identify clinical research opportunities in all sectors, and offer their information and knowledge skills to the research team?
  • What new roles will emerge to build on the achievements of the clinical librarian and the embedded librarian in clinical and other research?
  • What are the new specialised services being provided by librarians to answer the more complex needs of the contemporary health researcher?
  • Librarians now actively facilitate evidence-based decision making and must respond authoritatively to questions on research quality and design. How will this affect the perception of librarians across the health sector in the future?
  • Collaborative research initiatives will become increasingly common as funders seek to reduce overlap, get faster results and facilitate translational research.  This presents great opportunities for librarians but what will it require in terms of new management skills and mastery of new disciplines such as team science?
  • The increasing importance of institutional repositories and other open access platforms has created a range of new roles for librarians.   How will the collaborative effort between researchers and librarians, essential to ensure the success of these new platforms, affect the future training and career development of librarians?
  • Systematic reviews and other products of research synthesis are the bedrock of evidence-based medicine.  As librarians develop critical appraisal, statistical and other skills their roles have expanded beyond the search strategy and literature retrieval phase.  What difficulties face librarians in combining this work with the more familiar information management tasks?

Proposals should include:

  • A structured abstract (Objectives/Project Scope; Methods; Results; Conclusions/Implications) of 350 - 400 words
  • Summary of the author(s) details (name, institution, position) and briefbiographical statement of no more than 50 words
  • Submit proposals electronically no later than March 30, 2013 to
  • Selected presenters will be notified by May 01, 2013

Papers or presentations

Presenters will be expected to submit final versions of their papers or presentations by June 01, 2013. The language of the session will be English. Presenters will have up to 30 minutes at the programme to deliver their presentations, and time will be allowed for an open forum to allow audience interaction

We are most grateful to the library staff of the National University of Singapore who will be hosting this session.

Information on the venue and arrangements for the day will be available at a future date.

Additional information

Please contact Brian Galvin
Chair, IFLA HBS Section


All proposals must be in before 30 March 2013.

All expenses, including registration for the conference, travel, accommodation etc., are the responsibility of the authors/presenters. No financial support can be provided by IFLA, but a special invitation can be issued to authors.

Congress Attendance Grants

The Singapore National Committee and IFLA have worked hard to secure funds for Conference Participation Grants. Up-to-date information will be available on our Conference Participation Grants webpage.

Last update: 11 February 2013