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Evidence based library and information practice: the time is now

University of Alberta Learning Services
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  • Medicine


Microsoft Word - Comm_Marshall.doc Evidence Based Library and Information Practice 2006, 1:1 110 Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Commentary Evidence‐based Library and Information Practice: The Time is Now Joanne Gard Marshall Alumni Distinguished Professor, School of Information and Library Science University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, North Carolina, United States of America E‐mail: [email protected] © 2006 Marshall. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Over the last decade we have seen the concept of evidence based practice (EBP) emerge not only in the health professions but also in fields such as social work, public policy and even business. As a group that is dedicated to helping others find the information they need to do what they do better, it is high time that library and information professionals put EBP to work for themselves. But major changes in how we approach what we do take time and there are usually several inputs required before a new movement takes hold. I would argue that we are getting to the point where these inputs are accumulating and that the time is right to begin engaging in major efforts to develop, evaluate and apply our own version of EBP. Since medicine was one of the first professions to develop and use EBP, it is not surprising that health science librarians have been in the forefront of adopting evidence based librarianship. The cost containment issues in health care generally have been strong drivers for examining current physician practices in relation to outcomes and building the scientific knowledge‐base upon which to make clinical decisions. EBP is being mandated through public policy documents and various fund

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