evidence-based practice

EBLIP chat: Day 3 – a few definitions

#blogjune Day 3: Let’s kick off our evidence-based library and information practice (EBLIP) discussions with a few definitions.


G’day, Alisa Howlett here from the University of Southern Queensland library, where I’m here to talk about all things evidence-based practice in the library and information science profession in three minutes or less. I’m going to talk about little snippets of evidence-based practice in this video series. Not only what it is and where it came from but also some of the challenges and opportunities for implementing at an individual practitioner level and also at an organisational level.

So in this little snippet I’m going to just delve into a few definitions. I find definitions are a good place to start for subsequent discussions. So I’ll refer to my notes for this one.


The first one was a direct adaptation from evidence-based medicine and it’s been the most widely cited. Booth (2002) says that it’s “an approach to information science that promotes the collection, interpretation and integration of valid important and applicable user-reported, librarian-observed and research-derived evidence, the best available evidence moderated by user needs and preferences is applied to improve the quality of professional judgments.” Oh there’s a lot there.

The second definition is I guess coming from a more profession level perspective and encourages librarians to do research. Crumley and Koufogiannakis (2002) says that it’s a “means to improve the profession of librarianship by asking questions as well as finding, critically appraising and incorporating research evidence from library science and other disciplines into daily practice. It also involves encouraging librarians to conduct high quality qualitative and quantitative research.”

And the third definition is probably the most recent – that EBLIP is a “structured process of articulating questions or problems, collecting and interpreting and applying valid and reliable evidence to support decision-making and continuous service improvement in professional practice” (Howlett and Thorpe, 2018).

EBLIP is about…

We can gather a few things from these definitions. 1. That it’s an approach; it’s a means, it’s a process through which continuous improvement is made. The second is that it’s about using and applying evidence and I would argue in a deliberate and conscious way. The third thing is that its intention is to inform continuous improvement to practice and service. This suggests that evidence-based practice is an ongoing activity once adopted.

If you have any questions about EBLIP please do let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

Until next time, take care. Cheers

You can also view Day 3 (Definitions) video here.


Booth, A. (2002). From EBM to EBL: two steps forward or one step back? Medical Reference Services Quarterly, 21(3), 51-64.

Crumley, E., & Koufogiannakis, D. (2002). Developing evidence-based librarianship: practical steps for implementation. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 19(2), 61-70.

Howlett, A. & Thorpe, C. (2018). It’s what we do here: embedding evidence-based practice at USQ Library. Asia-Pacific Library and Information Conference, Gold Coast, QLD. 2 August 2018.

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