Developing research capacity in health librarians: a review of the evidence

Hannah Rossall, Chris Boyes, Kim Montacute, Patrick Doherty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This critical review considers current issues of research capacity development in UK health care and the role of health librarianship in this context, placing particular focus on the use of research networks. There is a growing literature base recognising the need for librarians to engage more with research. The concepts of evidence-based health librarianship and clinical librarianship are discussed in the context of research and examples of existing good practice are reviewed. It is suggested that librarians should build on this through better consideration of evidence based methodologies, hierarchies of evidence, improvement of research skills, and a collective endeavour to identify research priorities. The importance research capacity is being given in the Department of Health R&D strategy and the use of networks in achieving this is discussed, and it is suggested that the utilisation of networks and collaboration should be undertaken and explored in more depth in developing research capacity in health librarianship. Areas where librarians currently engage with research and use networks and collaborative practices to contribute to the research base are reviewed. A co-ordinated approach to developing research capacity is called for and it is argued that the use of networks would be beneficial in assisting the process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-74
Number of pages16
JournalHealth information and libraries journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008


  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Librarians
  • Libraries, Medical
  • Research

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