UMass Medical School’s IR Helps Department of Psychiatry Reach All Its Stakeholders

Dr. Kathleen Biebel, associate professor of psychiatry and co-director of the Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center (SPARC) at UMass Medical School, spoke earlier this year about the success her department and research center are having reaching the variety of stakeholders inherent in health care research:

eScholarship@UMMS has been a game changer for us…It is a fantastic platform for knowledge translation and dissemination of our research, and massively expands our reach and capacity to share findings from our research with all sorts of stakeholders – researchers, people with lived mental health experience, family members, providers, laypeople – all over the world.  What’s great about eScholarship@UMMS is that we can document and measure this reach – the usage statistics help us identify what areas of research are particularly relevant at any given point in time, and where people are downloading our products.” [Read more in LSL Now]

SPARC is funded as a “Research Center of Excellence” by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health, so it is particularly important to them to disseminate their research in a user-friendly format that everyone can access and to be able to measure how readers from their state are accessing their content.

As Dr. Biebel mentioned above, getting information to disparate stakeholders such as providers and consumers of behavioral health services and their families was a challenge the library helped to meet. When the Research Center told Lisa they had a topical newsletter, the IR offered the needed publishing tools to expand its content and readership into a journal that “translates research findings into concise, user-friendly information that is accessible to all.” This first journal, Psychiatry Information in Brief, was so successful that they just started a second, Journal of Parent and Family Mental Health, which they are happy to say already has over 1,000 readers for the first issue.

Lisa Palmer, Institutional Repository Librarian at UMass Medical School, shared how the six-year partnership with the Department of Psychiatry exemplifies the library’s direct support of the larger institution’s research and education missions. In line with these goals, the library has published nearly 150 collections of faculty and student research, making as much as possible available to the community in full-text format.

Lisa describes the success of their partnership:

“The collaboration is a win-win because each of us brings important skills and resources to our projects: the library has the platform and experience with publishing services, and the Department of Psychiatry has the content experts and the need to share that material effectively. They are thrilled that the library provides these services at no direct cost to them; they are very committed to the platform, as it saves them time and money. They find the publishing model easy to use, the display visually appealing, and the metrics a great way to document the reach of their research. The library is delighted to support our faculty and students in creating and disseminating scholarly content, especially in emerging or underserved disciplines.”

The library and the Department of Psychiatry are currently working together on a collection of multimedia presentations and webinars with embedded videos, expanding the content they offer their stakeholders beyond what was once possible.