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Objective: To understand the experience of the informationist recipients of NLM-funded Administrative Supplements for Informationist Services and gather evidence for their impact on NIH-funded biomedical research

Methods: A mixed methods approach consisting of a survey of principal investigators and a focus group of informationists.

Results: Informationists appeared to have a positive impact on their team’s research, especially in the areas of data storage, data management planning, data organization, and literature searching. In addition, many informationists felt that their involvement increased their research skills and made them true research partners. Assessing their own impact was a challenge for the award recipients, and questions remain about the best evaluation methods. The overall experience of the informationists and researchers was mixed but largely positive.

Conclusion: The NLM-funded informationist supplement award appears to be a successful mechanism for immersing informationists into research teams and improving data management in the supported projects.


National Library of Medicine, Informationist, data management, data science

Article Correction History

The HTML and PDF versions of this article were corrected on December 4, 2017 to change the Creative Commons license from CC BY-NC-SA to CC0 at the author's request.


Thanks to the informationists and PIs for sharing their experiences. Thanks also to Kathel Dunn at the National Library of Medicine for her support and guidance. This research was supported by an appointment to the NLM Associate Fellowship Program sponsored by the National Library of Medicine, NIH and administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education and by the Intramural Research Program of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine (NLM).

Corresponding Author

Ariel Deardorff, Library and Center for Knowledge Management, University of California, San Francisco, 530 Parnassus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94143-0840, ariel.deardorff@ucsf.edu

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Copyright © 2016 The Author(s).

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons 1.0 Public Domain Dedication.

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Table 1: Research Data Management Areas of Impact

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Table 2: Literature Areas of Impact

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Table 3: Additional Needs

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Appendix 1: Survey Questions

Appendix2_1095.pdf (529 kB)
Appendix 2: Focus Group Questions



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