You choose, we deliver: Providing educational opportunities to researchers in STEM
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OBJECTIVE/BACKGROUND: Subject librarians at the University of Maryland (UMD) Libraries have experienced an increased demand for research support not only in the health and medical sciences but also from education, engineering, agriculture, library science, humanities, and social sciences. With the goal to provide sustainable support to graduate students and faculty who are writing scientific texts, we developed a suite of systematic review services. METHODS: To introduce researchers to the process of compiling the best evidence on a particular topic, we developed online materials with resources supporting the systematic review cycle. To justify the librarian's time and efforts, we provided a description of the three-tiered free service. In addition, we designed a face-to-face workshop series based on participants’ feedback. The pilot program was launched in three phases during the academic year of 2018-2019 under the UMD Libraries’ Research Commons Unit. RESULTS: A total of 18 workshops in two locations were offered, including a webinar to a group of 10 international researchers. The workshops were attended by 124 including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and librarians with 62% attendance from the registrants’ pool of 200. New relationships with faculty were established resulting in three co-authored peer-reviewed publications, four joint projects underway, and one co-authored grant proposal. We received eight requests for consultation following or instead of in-person workshops. Another 12 research teams requested research assistance or workshops recordings. CONCLUSIONS: The Systematic Review workshop series at UMD Libraries has been successful during the pilot phase. Benefits for librarians include increased expertise in conducting systematic reviews, familiarity with tools and techniques involved with it, creating new relationships with faculty and students, and co-authoring publications and grants. Designing online materials exposed this service to an international audience.
Poster presented at the MAC/MLA Annual Meeting, “Rising to the Occasion,” Durham, NC, October 5-7, 2019.