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Library and Information Science | Medical Education



In this short communication, attendees will: 1. Be able to recognize examples of successful collaboration between an academic health sciences library and the medical school curriculum 2. Discover methods to develop similar collaborative initiatives at other medical schools.


In 2010, the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) introduced a new, integrative curriculum. This curriculum includes a mandatory culminating experience called the Capstone Scholarship and Discovery Course (CSD). The CSD ensures that every graduating student completes an individualized, mentored, scholarly project that builds on their personal passion and medical school experience. Librarians in the Lamar Soutter Library (LSL) have become incorporated into the CSD in ways that capitalize on our research and information management skills. Most mentoring for the CSD occurs within one of five Learning Communities or "houses.” A librarian is assigned to each house so that every student has a “personal librarian” to consult as they formulate their hypothesis, conduct their literature review, and design their data management plan. In 2014, the LSL partnered with a 2nd year student to construct an online guide on effective scientific and scholarly writing for the CSD.


As each student begins their 1st year at UMMS, they are assigned to one of five houses. As they begin their CSD projects in year 1, they are encouraged to meet with their house librarian to develop research and data management plans. Students and faculty have welcomed this collaboration and have sought ways to continue to highlight this unique mentoring relationship. Two such initiatives were the creation of an online scientific writing guide and a video project where librarians discuss the importance of sound research methodologies in CSD projects.


The writing guide, launched at the start of the 2014-15 academic year, is prominently linked from the library's medical student portal. This portal is the third most visited of 46 existing subject guides which gives this content significant exposure going forward. The Lamar Soutter Library continually seeks ways to interact with our student body. This collaborative effort highlights how these relationships continue to be forged.


Capstone Project

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Higgins M., Levin L. (2015). Building Meaningful Bridges: Collaborations between students, faculty, staff and librarians. Poster presented at the Northeast Group on Educational Affairs, April 10, 2015, Worcester, MA.

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2015 Northeast Group on Educational Affairs

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.