Impact of Research Consults: Development and Implementation of a Survey at the W.K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library.
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Introduction: Individual research consults in academic libraries are rarely evaluated, and when they are, their impact on scholarly pursuit or the specific projects for which the consults were booked is not assessed. We developed a tool to collect feedback from individuals supported through research consults with librarians at the Dalhousie University W.K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library. Using the collected responses, we aim to answer the following research question: How do users apply the knowledge and skills shared in individual research consults? Methods: We created a survey tool using REDCap software based on a review of the literature and existing consult evaluation instruments. Data collection variables include user demographics, characteristics of the specific research consult, user satisfaction, and details regarding scholarly outcomes. Data collection takes place directly following the research consult, and longer-term outcomes are assessed with follow-up questions after 3 months. Questionnaire data are analyzed and summary statistics are used to describe the demographic characteristics and post-consult information use of respondents. Qualitative data from open-ended questions are coded to identify themes. Results/Discussion: Preliminary results from our research consult evaluation tool provide insight into the impact of our research support services and illuminate ways to improve consult sessions for our users. The survey also offers other libraries a tool they can use or adjust to measure impact in their local setting. Furthermore, the initial results of our study can be used to justify librarian time and effort dedicated to providing research consults at academic libraries.
Parker R, Helwig M, Hancock K. Impact of Research Consults: Development and Implementation of a Survey at the W.K. Kellogg Health Sciences Library. Proceedings of CHLA/ABSC. Lightning Talk. 2019 June; Ottawa, ON.