How to build a bioinformatics service in a year
Is part ofAssociation des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada. Congrès annuel ; Calgary (Alb.), 2011-05-26 - 2011-05-30.
Publisher(s)Éditions Sciences Canada
Introduction: Biomedical scientists need to choose among hundreds of publicly available bioinformatics applications, tools, and databases. Librarian challenges include raising awareness to valuable resources, as well as providing support in finding and evaluating specific resources. Our objective is to implement an education program in bioinformatics similar to those offered in other North American academic libraries. Description: Our initial target clientele included four research departments of the Faculty of Medicine at Universite´ de Montréal. In January 2010, I attended two departmental meetings and interviewed a few stakeholders in order to propose a basic bioinformatics service: one-to-one consultations and a workshop on NCBI databases. The response was favourable. The workshop was thus offered once a month during the Winter and Fall semesters, and participants were invited to evaluate the workshop via an online survey. In addition, a bioinformatics subject guide was launched on the library’s website in December 2010. Outcomes: One hundred and two participants attended one of the nine NCBI workshops offered in 2010; most were graduate students (74%). The survey’s response rate was 54%. A majority of respondents thought that the bioinformatics resources featured in the workshop were relevant (95%) and that the difficulty level of exercises was appropriate (84%). Respondents also thought that their future information searches would be more efficient (93%) and that the workshop should be integrated in a course (78%). Furthermore, five bioinformatics-related reference questions were answered and two one-to-one consultations with students were performed. Discussion: The success of our bioinformatics service is growing. Future directions include extending the service to other biomedical departments, integrating the workshop in an undergraduate course, promoting the subject guide to other francophone universities, and creating a bioinformatics blog that would feature specific databases, news, and library resources.