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The Evolution of Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, Part II: The Broader Professional Purpose of EBLIP

Keywords: Evidence Based Library and Information Practice , EBLIP , History of EBLIP , Subject Discipline Formation , Invisible Colleges , Professionalism , Paradigms , Thomas Kuhn , Philosophy of Science , History of Science , Professional Identity

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Abstract:

Part I in this series of commentaries in theDecember 2012 issue provided a consensus definition and description of EBLIP. The five steps of the EBLIP process consist of: 1. Formulating an answerable question 2. Searching for the evidence 3. Critically appraising the evidence 4. Making a decision and applying it 5. Evaluating performance Part I reviewed how answering different types of questions raised in step one require differenttypes of evidence. Competing evidence,conceptualized primarily in terms of applied research, study design, and quality of the evidence, will guide the third step of critical appraisal. The completed EBLIP process finally should lead the busy practitioner to an informed decision based on the best available evidence. Part II in this commentary series delves into the broader purpose, or function, of EBLIP within the library and information professions. The deceptively easy answer to this question hinges simplistically upon defining EBLIP as a decision making process, and that would be a technically accurate answer. This commentary explores the deeper function of EBLIP that relates to professional identity and practice, however. By exploring these deeper meanings we might be able to chart our journey toward nurturing and sustaining EBLIP in the future.

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