Fifth week

Lack of the English muscles

I found one more challenge in my English skills. I don’t have muscles needed to speak it. I know the word, I know how it should be pronounced, but it does not come out of my mouth or throat (like G). So I decided to find training program for these muscles. And I did. Here is an article about it:

So now I practice my English by reading laud local newspaper (Geelong Independent) and with difficult words like:

  • prescription (this was the word why I decided I needed to do something to this problem)
  • vocabulary
  • development, developmental
  • necessarily, essential
  • advertisement

After hard training, I can now say prescription and sometimes I use vocabulary, so that other people can understand it.

Liason, Embedded, Branch, Data or Medical librarian?

This week we discussed with Joy about the Role of the research librarian in Health libraries. I’m a pit worried I can give her only my opinion of this issue. And my opinion is not the one librarians commonly agrees. So I try to find somehow neutral ways to discuss this. I did not succeed.

First I give a list of the common research support services of libraries:

  • Collections (linked to research life cycle => the foundation of other services)
  • Training (Information literacy, awareness services, systematic search strategies, etc.)
  • Scholarly Publishing and Repository (academic writing, reference management, selection of Publication media, Open Access, dissemination of research findings, Publication repository, ResearcherIDs like ORCIDs, etc.)
  • Research Impact Measurement (Bibliometrics for all variety purposes from Annual reports to selection process of new Professors/senior physician, Altmetrics)
  • Research date management (training, guides, toolkits, support writing DMPs)
  • Grand application (this is actually selection of other services mentioned above: literature search, research impact services, DMPs, publication list of researchers, etc.)

But after presenting this list I realized that this is my list. This is how I see the library research services. This is not neutral, even I did find these from different libraries web pages. It’s not easy to be neutral if you have a strong opinion how things should be done. 😀

A list of library services don’t even tell you what is the role of research librarian. There is so many ways to arrange the service. Should we be Liason, Embedded, Branch, Data or Medical librarians?

So I tried to search different research librarian and health librarian job adds to find out more of the roles available. We read those job descriptions + articles about modern role of research librarians and found out that there are easy to conquer vacancies available (I find those quite dull), but many more vacancies for super humans. One of these is the job description of research librarian in Barwon Health. That is a very wide role. In fact you need to be all these; Liason, Embedded, Branch, Data and Medical librarian. Isn’t it wonderful?

I have been an embedded type librarian of a couple of research groups. It was very wonderful, rewarding job to do. It did take some time before they get to know me, I need to work hard for that. But when they did, I could be part of their research process in so many different ways. But then I needed to be part of other projects of library. And it was hard! I couldn’t walk those corridors these research groups where located, I need to go around that building outside, because if they saw me, they needed something important. And I did not have time for them as needed.

I get them to trust me first and then I had to let them down. At least I felt like that. It was horrible. I do not want to never ever do  that again. If you are a real embedded librarian you need to be only embedded librarian. Or it can be a project that stops scheduled. To draw a line will not be easy task anyway.

I like this nice article about embedded librarianship by Jake Carlson and Ruth Kneale [1]. It is a practical guide for those who are planning to work as a part of research group as a librarian.

To be an embedded librarian, even a short period, teaches a lot. At least I feel like I it really did. In a small library it’s not so essential though. In a small library you look outside of library world quite naturally. It’s why I love small libraries so much.

Research life cycle again

We had a workshop with all library staff members ( but director. She’s on the holiday in UK). All staff members means Blair, Helen, Joy and me. Not too large group of people. This time I give them post-it-notes + markers of different color and asked them to write keywords related to research. I give them 10 minutes time to write. (It was too much, they were faster.) I draw the circle to a white board and after writing we started to build the Research life cycle cloud around the circle. You can see that in the Picture 1.
(Maybe you even can see it right way this time, if the bug of this blog service is repaired.)

Research life cycle

Picture 1: Research life cycle of Clinical/Medical research [CC 4.0 BY-SA].

The mysterious red balloon on the right is the administration process with regulating authors. I mean those governmental organizations supervising the health, medical, clinical and drug research. Like Fimea in Finland (

We found out that all staff members did know the research life cycle quite well. You can see same keywords many times on the white board. It is a nice starting point for service research development. But we see the life cycle quite differently than researchers. Or we stress different parts. We give more space for them on the white board than researchers would give. We gave a half of the life cycle for writing and publishing. That’s is not usually the case in clinical or medical research. For some senior researchers, the research idea and grant applications are the main part of research life cycle and for some doctoral student the laboratory work is the thing they uses most of their time.

This time I gave one research article to workshop participants as a home work. Its name is “Medical scientists’ information practices in the research work context”, by Annikki Roos, Terkko – Medical Campus library, Helsinki University Library [2]. It is quite hard work to read it, because of information (or more like social) science framework needed to increase the academic value of the article. But there is nice results and a very good discussion. Next time when I’ll make research about this same topic, I ask researchers to write the life cycle like they see it and I measure the space they use for different things.

My brains like to change qualitative things to quantitative numbers. That way you can’t make highly valuated academic science, but sometimes it works for practical purposes. It could help telling other librarians how researchers are thinking. Or I may do that research for fun anyway. Or I could give this task for my team members. 😀


We moved yesterday nearby coast line. We have a nice view (Picture 2) and it lures us to go outside for a walk. So we will.


Best regards,


[1] Carlson, Jake, and Ruth Kneale. “Embedded librarianship in the research context navigating new waters.” College & Research Libraries News 72, no. 3 (2011): 167-170.[]

[2] Roos, Annikki. “Medical scientists’ information practices in the research work context.” Health Information & Libraries Journal 32, no. 1 (2015): 23-36.

3 thoughts on “Fifth week

  1. Haha, perhaps the pic about the research cycle is upside down because we are sitting on antipodal points… – Birgit

    • Yes perhaps. 🙂 And it’s so easy to think here. So much blood in my head, while head heading down all the time.

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