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Supporting 'Best research for best health' with best information

Beecroft C, Booth A, Otter M, Keen C, Lynch C ...see all

Health Information and Libraries Journal, vol. 26, issue 4 (2009) pp. 307-315

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Abstract

Background: This article describes the potential role for National Health Service (NHS) libraries in supporting health research. The content is partly based on the proceedings of the 'Best Information for Best Research for Best Health' event at University of Leicester in November 2006., Objectives: With reference to the UK Department of Health's Research and Development (R&D) strategy, Best Research for Best Health and the Cooksey Review of public funding of health research, the article seeks to identify areas where NHS library and information staff can become involved in supporting the research process., Methods: The authors examined the challenges and opportunities that these reports offer and looked at two areas where library and information services (LIS) staff can potentially expand their services-supporting researchers at every stage of the research process and transferring research into practice., Results: Staff in NHS libraries need to create an environment in which their role in the research process is recognized and valued. LIS staff can develop roles within the research process and thereby improve the robustness and validity of research outputs. Training and development of LIS staff is a key priority and can be taken forward despite the limitations of budgets and staffing levels., Conclusions: A proactive and assertive approach is needed to achieve a cultural shift within NHS library practice from supporting research from the outside, to being fully integrated within the research process., Copyright (C) 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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