Affirming our commitment to research: the Medical Library Association's research policy statement: the process and findings
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PURPOSE: Building on its 1995 research policy statement, the Medical Library Association (MLA) has issued a new research policy, The Research Imperative. This paper shares the background research that informed the new policy. METHODS: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with fifty-one key informants representing various library types, functions, geographic locations, ages, and ethnicities. The grounded theory approach was used to analyze the resulting textual database. Additionally, to gather input from the membership as a whole, two open forums were held at MLA annual meetings. RESULTS: Key informant data indicated that the policy should provide roles for MLA in leadership, advocacy, collaboration, services, education, publishing, and development of a research agenda. Evidence-based library and information practice was emphasized. Six themes emerged to center the new policy: creation of a research culture, challenges, domains of research, research skills set, roles of stakeholders, and measurement of progress. CONCLUSION: Reflecting the interests and beliefs of the membership, The Research Imperative challenges MLA members to build a supportive culture that values and contributes to a research base that is recognized as an essential tool for future practice.
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