HSLI Newsletter


Serving Illinois Health Information Professionals

UIUC’s Dr. Catherine Blake is Keynote Speaker at Virtual 2022 HSLI Annual Conference (Session 9:00-10:00 AM CDT on Thursday, September 8)

(via the HSLI Conference Planning Committee)

This year’s Health Science Librarians of Illinois (HSLI) Annual Conference will take place¬†online from Wednesday, September 7, to Friday, September 9. Registration is now open, with a deadline of Wednesday, August 31. Please check the Conference website for additional details and updates.

The Conference keynote speaker is Dr. Catherine (Cathy) Blake. Her presentation is titled “Evidence-Based Librarianship and the Case for Quality over Quantity”. It will take place from 9:00 to 10:00 AM CDT on Thursday, September 8. An overview of the session, along with a brief biography, are below.

Librarians have long played a critical role in teams that conduct systematic reviews. They partner with investigators to construct carefully search strategies that ensure all relevant studies are identified. To avoid publication bias, citations are hand-searched, and some teams even reach out to authors to identify “bottom-drawer” literature, where a study has been conducted but not yet published. This example embodies the idea that getting the right data takes work but is critical to reach a valid conclusion. More importantly, that easily-accessible information can be misleading. This talk will provide a series of examples that illustrate when data quantity is no substitute for quality, and how librarians are uniquely positioned within complex data ecosystems to ensure that the same biases that occur when using literature are not recreated or reinforced when researchers shift to re-using data.

Dr. Blake is a Professor in the School of Information Sciences at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UI). Professor Blake currently serves as Program Director for the Information School’s Master’s degree in Information Management (MSIM) and the campus-wide Master’s degree in Bioinformatics (Bio) programs. She holds a courtesy appointment in Computer Science and is affiliated with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), the Illinois Informatics Institute (I3), and the Personalized Nutrition Initiative (PNI).¬†For more information on Dr. Blake and her work, please check here.

“High-quality content. Great moderators. Good technology platform.”–attendee at 2021 HSLI Annual Conference

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