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Denise Koufogiannakis

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Denise Koufogiannakis

University of Alberta Libraries

  • Collections and Acquisitions Coordinator

  • electronic collections
  • acquisitions
  • evidence based practice
  • scholarly communication
  • knowlege transfer

Subject areas and related deposits

  • Book review

  • Critical appraisal


    • Academic Librarians’ Conception and Use of Evidence Sources in Practice

      Objective – The objective of this study was to explore and understand how academic librarians use evidence in their professional decision making. The researcher aimed to gain insights on the relevance of the current EBLIP model to practice, and to understand the possible connections between scientific research and tacit knowledge within the practice of LIS. Methods – A grounded theory methodology was used, following the approach of Charmaz (2006). Participants were 19 academic librarians in Canada. Data was gathered via online diaries and semi-structured interviews over a six-month period in 2011. Results – Two broad types of evidence were identified (hard and soft), and are generally used in conjunction with one another. Librarians examine all evidence sources with a critical eye, and try to determine a complete picture before reaching a conclusion. As well, librarians use a variety of proactive and passive approaches to find evidence. Conclusions – These results provide a strong message that no single evidence source is perfect. Consequently, librarians bring different types of evidence together in order to be as informed as possible before making a decision. Using a combination of evidence sources, depending upon the problem, is the way academic librarians approach decision making.

  • Eblip

  • EBLIP (Evidence Based Library and Information Practice)

  • EBLIP (Evidence Based Library and Information Practice) Conference

  • Educational and training interventions (ETI)

    • ReLIANT: Reader's guide to the Literature on Interventions Addressing the Need for education and Training

      Librarians need to be able to read critically published accounts of educational and training interventions (ETI) and to apply the results to their own practice. One mechanism for assisting library practitioners in doing this is the critical appraisal checklist. This article describes the process of developing such a checklist – involving a literature review of existing frameworks and experience in appraising such studies for a systematic review of information literacy skills training. The ReLIANT instrument is offered as a first attempt to equip library practitioners with a tool for use when appraising published reports of educational and training interventions.

  • Evidence based practice

    • Considering the place of practice-based evidence within Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP)

      Since its inception, the focus of evidence based library and information practice (EBLIP) has been on research evidence, although many other factors also contribute to professional decision making. This paper draws upon practice theory and examples of practice-based evidence in other professions in order to explore how practice-based evidence should be factored into the EBLIP model. Examples of how practitioners can use practice-based evidence within their decision making, and how the EBLIP model can include practice-based evidence, are also presented.

    • How Academic Librarians use Evidence in their Decision Making: Reconsidering the Evidence Based Practice Model

      The model for evidence based library and information practice makes assumptions about the way librarians should use evidence to inform decisions. This study explores how academic librarians actually use evidence in their practice, the types of evidence that are useful to them, and whether the decision making model upon which EBLIP is based fits with the ways academic librarians actually incorporate research. A grounded theory methodology was used, within a pragmatic philosophical approach. The 19 study participants were academic librarians in Canada. Data was gathered via online diaries and semi-structured interviews over a 6 month period in 2011. Findings encompass three main areas: 1) the concept of evidence and the sources of evidence that are used by academic librarians in their decision making; 2) how academic librarians use evidence, namely to convince in individual or group decision making; and 3) determinants of evidence use in decision making. Several elements of the existing EBLIP model were identified as being insufficient, and based on the findings, a revised model of EBLIP is proposed. The new model is more inclusive of different types of evidence that are important for librarians, explicitly includes the professional knowledge of librarians, and accounts for the context in which decision making occurs. This study is the first to focus on how academic librarians use evidence in their decision making; to determine what types of evidence they use; and to consider whether the existing EBLIP model is one that is applicable for academic librarians. The findings highlight the impact of collaboration and organisational dynamics upon decision making and evidence use. Convincing emerged as the main theoretical concept in relation to how evidence is used. The new model proposed in this thesis is grounded in the research data from this study and is more applicable to the needs and realities of academic librarians than the current model that was adopted from medicine.

    • Transferring evidence into practice: what evidence summaries of library and information studies research tell practitioners

      Introduction. Critical appraisal is a crucial aspect of evidence-based practice. In order to determine whether research is valid, reliable and applicable, the evidence-based practice process advocates that published research be critically appraised. Between 2006 and 2008, the journal Evidence Based Library and Information Practice published 101 evidence summaries, critically appraising research in library and information studies. These evidence summaries can be examined in order to determine common strengths and weaknesses of research relevant to library and information studies and identify commonalities in existing evidence summary commentaries. Method. We undertook a directed qualitative content analysis of the commentary portion of all 101 evidence summaries published in the journal, Evidence Based Library and Information Practice from 2006-2008. Findings. Evidence summaries reveal more weaknesses than strengths in the library and information studies research. In general, evidence summary writers tend to remark on weaknesses relating to validity and reliability, yet paradoxically point out strengths with respect to research's applicability to practice. Conclusions.Further research is required to understand why evidence summary writers note more weaknesses than strengths in library and information studies research and whether this reflects the actual quality of the research in general.

  • Information literacy instruction

    • Effective Methods for Teaching Information Literacy Skills to Undergraduate Students: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

      Objective ‐ The objective of this systematic review was to assess which library instruction methods are most effective for improving the information skills of students at an introductory, undergraduate level, using cognitive outcomes (measuring changes in knowledge). The study sought to address the following questions: 1) What is the overall state of research on this topic? 2) Which teaching methods are more effective? Methods ‐ This project utilised systematic review methodology. Researchers searched fifteen databases and retrieved 4,356 potentially relevant citations. They reviewed the titles and abstracts for relevance, and of those, 257 complete articles were considered in‐depth using a predetermined inclusion/exclusion form. There were 122 unique studies that met the inclusion criteria and were subjected to an extensive data extraction and critical appraisal process. Of these studies, 55 met author‐defined quality criteria to provide information on the effectiveness of different teaching methods. From this review there was a final group of 16 studies with sufficient information to enable meta‐analyses and calculations of standardized mean differences. Results ‐ The overwhelming majority of studies were conducted in the United States (88%). Experimental or quasi‐experimental research methods were used in 79 studies (65%). Teaching methods used in the studies varied, with the majority focused on traditional methods of teaching, followed by computer assisted instruction (CAI), and self‐directed independent learning (SDIL). Studies measured outcomes that correlated with Bloom’s lower levels of learning (‘Remember’, ‘Understand’, ‘Apply’). Sixteen studies compared traditional instruction (TI) with no instruction, and twelve of those found a positive outcome. Meta‐analysis of the data from 4 of these studies agreed with the positive conclusions favouring TI. Fourteen studies compared CAI with traditional instruction (TI), and 9 of these showed a neutral result. Meta‐analysis of 8 of these studies agreed with this neutral result. Another group of 6 studies compared SDIL with no instruction, and meta‐analysis of 5 of these agreed that the result was positive in favour of SDIL. Conclusion ‐ Based on the results of the meta‐analysis, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that CAI is as effective as TI. Evidence also suggests that both TI and SDIL are more effective than no instruction. Additional comparative research needs to be done across different teaching methods. Studies comparing active learning (AL), CAI, and SDIL would greatly enrich the research literature. Further studies utilizing appropriate methodologies and validated research tools would enrich our evidence base, and contribute to the growth of knowledge about effectiveness of particular teaching methods.

  • Librarianship

  • Open Access Publishing

    • Librarians and Libraries Supporting Open Access Publishing

      As new models of scholarly communication emerge, librarians and libraries have responded by developing and supporting new methods of storing and providing access to information and by creating new publishing support services. This article will examine the roles of libraries and librarians in developing and supporting open access publishing initiatives and services in higher education. Canadian university libraries have been key players in the development of these services and have been bolstered by support from librarians working through and within their professional associations on advocacy and advancement initiatives, and by significant funding from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation for the Synergies initiative – a project designed to allow Canadian social science and humanities journals to publish online. The article also reflects on the experiences of three librarians involved in the open access movement at their libraries, within Canadian library associations, and as creators, managers, and editors in two new open access journals in the field of library and information studies: Evidence-based Library and Information Practice published out of the University of Alberta; and Partnership: the Canadian Journal of Library and Information Practice and Research hosted by the University of Guelph. As active participants in the creation of open access content within their own field, the authors are able to lend their experience to faculty in other disciplines and provide meaningful and responsive library service development.

  • Systematic reviews