Investigating the need for scholarly communications positions in Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries member institutions

Kim Mears, Sandra L. Bandy


Background: The role of health sciences librarians has expanded in the scholarly communications landscape as a result of the increase in federal public access mandates and the continued expansion of publishing avenues. This has created the need to investigate whether academic health sciences libraries should have scholarly communications positions to provide education and services exclusively related to scholarly communication topics.

Methods: A nine-question online survey was distributed through the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) email discussion list to gather preliminary findings from and opinions of directors of health sciences libraries on the need for scholarly communications positions.

Results: The survey received a 38% response rate. The authors found that AAHSL members are currently providing scholarly communications services, and 46% of respondents expressed the need to devote a full-time position to this role.

Discussion: Our survey reveals a juxtaposition occurring in AAHSL member libraries. While administrators acknowledge the need to provide scholarly communications services, they often experience budget challenges in providing a full-time position for these services.


Scholarly Communications; Emerging Roles; Academic Health Sciences Libraries; Job Descriptions

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Copyright (c) 2017 Kim Mears, MLIS, Sandra L. Bandy, MS, AHIP

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