INF 7610: Health Sciences Information Services and Resources

Credits: 3

MLIS Prerequisite(s): INF 6010, 6080, 6120

MSIS Co-requisite(s): INF 6000

Rationale for inclusion in curriculum

The health sciences community is composed of physicians, allied health care professionals, scientists, social scientists, patients and their families. To be an effective member of this community, the health sciences information professional must understand the information needs and the information-seeking behaviors of these various groups. Further, health information can be retrieved from a variety of electronic sources. The increased access to health sciences literature and related health information requires well-trained search analysts. As such, information professionals must possess an in-depth knowledge of the various resources that are available. This course is also designed to provide students with the theoretical and practical knowledge needed to meet the current, evidence-based requirements of health care professionals.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  1. The role of government agencies and professional organizations such as the National Library of Medicine, the Medical Library Association, and local and state associations in health sciences librarianship.
  2. The health information professional’s role in library operations and management, research, grant-seeking, and professional activities.
  3. The need to conduct an in-depth reference interview.
  4. Primary sources of information for health sciences professionals; including how to identify, compare, and critique health resources.
  5. The major bibliographic databases including MEDLINE (PubMed), Psychological Abstracts (PsycINFO), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), and other tools for identifying journal literature in the health sciences
  6. Current trends in evidence-based practice in multiple healthcare fields.
  7. Current issues and resources for consumer health and health literacy.

Course methodology

This course is designed to introduce students to health sciences libraries and librarianship, including academic health sciences and hospital libraries, the healthcare environment, and the people they serve. Students will develop an understanding of issues unique to health sciences libraries, including those related to library management, collections, technology, services, and others. Students will also be introduced to government and professional organizations, various electronic health resources and databases, and the concept of evidence-based health care.  

Bases for evaluation of student performance

Evaluation may consist of the following:

  • Research papers
  • Database searching assignments
  • Examinations
  • Presentations
  • Participation/discussion


To be determined

Approved: 1/12

Updated: 8/13