February 4th, 2010

Other Aeries: CTSA/CTSIs in EBSC

The following is a guest post by Amy Donahue, who is using Google Wave in a way that should be of interest to many medical librarians and others at Clinical/Translational Science Institutions (CTSIs). Did I know what a CTSI was, let alone that I worked at one before now? No. If you’re part of a research university chances are pretty good you do too so check the list of them, hop on Wave and help her out!

Do you work at an organization that’s received a Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)?  Or have some affiliation with a Clinical/Translational Science Institution (CTSI, list of them here) that may apply or be applying for a CTSA?  Would you like to help out with a case study involving CTSA/CTSIs and evidence-based scholarly communication (EBSC)?  Are you sick of the acronyms yet?

If you answered yes to the questions above, consider contributing to a unique case study (there won’t be any more acronyms…I don’t think), to be presented at the EBSC Conference at the University of New Mexico this March!

Amy Donahue, a 2nd Year National Library of Medicine Associate Fellow, is looking for people who meet the above criteria (you don’t have to work directly with a CTSI, just have some affiliation) to take a quick poll and possibly join a discussion. The unique part? The study is exploring the potential of Google Wave for CTSI collaboration, and the poll and discussion are taking place within Wave itself.

A bit of information on the study, abridged from its abstract:


Google’s new service, Google Wave (currently in beta, by invitation only), is touted as the next big communication tool—combining e-mail, social networking and chat with the potential to create a new world for collaboration.  Information professionals should be aware of this tool and its capabilities as they are uniquely situated to use it, evaluate it, and teach it.  This is especially true for those at CTSA-minded institutions, given the promise of interdisciplinary collaboration with researchers and the potential for the creation of new authorship models.  This case study will provide an early evidence-based evaluation of Google Wave’s potential.


This study focuses on Google Wave users from the US who are involved and/or affiliated in some capacity with clinical and translational science institutions (CTSIs), including those who have received or are applying for the National Institutes of Health Clinical and Translational Science Awards.  These users include librarians and information professionals as well as various CTSI support staff and researchers.


This case study explores Google Wave using qualitative survey and discussion tools. Specifically, in order to take advantage of Wave’s collaboration capabilities, a unique authorship model is being proposed for this project.  Two “waves” have been created to this purpose.  The first one is public and consists of several brief survey questions (using a polling gadget created specifically for Wave) designed to collect demographic data on the respondents’ roles (librarian, CTSI researcher/support staff, general public), if and what specific features/gadgets/bots might be useful, and who the respondents might use Wave to collaborate with.  The second wave is a private, guided discussion on Wave’s collaboration potential. Anyone who contributes to the private discussion wave will have the option to be considered an author on this project, creating a formal test case on the actual collaboration potential.

If you’d like to participate and are on Google Wave already, you can find the public poll by logging in and searching for the string “tag:ctsa with:public” in the search box.  Once you’ve taken the poll, you’ll be invited to join in the discussion wave.  If you’re not yet on Wave and would like to be, Amy’s got a few extra invites and could scrounge up even more if needed (I have 20 to add to the pile).  Contact her for an invite, and with any questions, at adonahue [at] umn.edu.

Many thanks to Nikki for posting this!
You’re welcome! It’s always a pleasure to not be monopolizing the conversation over here and I warmly welcome blog entries from others if they are related to health informatics, health information in general, medical librarianship, and possibly bacon. Let me know if you’re interested!

Posted at 07 11 AM | share a comment | print this post

Leave a Reply