Available Until 2/6/2027

Evidence-Based Practice for the Medical Librarian*


For more information or to schedule this course, please contact Sarah Cantrell <sarah.cantrell@duke.edu>.

This 8-week online course is designed to be an introduction to the process of evidence-based practice (EBP) and to the supporting roles and opportunities for medical librarians. Participants will learn how to identify the basic study designs for clinical medicine, compose focused clinical questions, peer review search strategies, and assess the risk of bias in published studies. As you move through the content, you will be able to identify roles librarians can undertake in providing EBP training and support.

The format of the course is a combination of a printed manual, independent readings, videos, webinars, and practice through a series of exercises. Instructors will guide you through the material and provide individual feedback for the exercises.

See course outline at: https://sils.unc.edu/programs/ebm

To see current course avalibility and join  the waitlist please visit: https://sils.unc.edu/programs/ebm

Learning Objectives

1. Identify and explain the 6 steps in the practice of EBP 
2. Identify the major study designs in clinical medicine
3. Identify the parts of a well-built clinical question 
4. Identify appropriate resources to answer clinical questions
5. Identify and explain the potential risks of bias in randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews. 
6. Identify and explain the potential risks of bias for at least one other type of study (prognosis, harm or diagnosis)
7. Identify at least 4 roles for librarians in supporting EBP education and practice for health care professionals


Week One and Two: Introduction and Question Building

  • What is EBM?
  • Why is EBM important?
  • Is it reasonable to expect evidence from the literature?
  • What are the controversial issues surrounding EBM?
  • What is the librarian's role in EBM?
  • Constructing a well-built clinical question
  • Class Review 1 and Exercise 1

Week Three and Four: Selecting the Resources and Conducting the Search

  • Selecting resources
  • Searching MEDLINE
  • How to teach MEDLINE within context of EBM
  • Class Review 2 and Exercise 2

Week Five and Six: Evaluating the Evidence

  • Role of the Librarian
  • Appraising articles on Diagnosis
  • Appraising articles on Therapy
  • Appraising articles on Prognosis
  • Appraising articles on Etiology/Harm
  • Appraising articles on Overviews
  • Class Review 3 and Exercise 3

Week Seven and Eight: Roles for the Librarian, Final Assignment and Wrap-up

  • Roles for the Librarian
  • Final Assignment (and Final Project for UNC SILS students only)
  • Class evaluation

MLA CE Credits: 35