Collections, Programs and Services
Unconscious, or implicit, bias in medical research and care has been well documented—black patients on average receive less pain medication; heart attacks are underdiagnosed in women; and anyone who isn't a white male is underrepresented in clinical trials. This bias has important consequences, like differences in the quality of care that patients receive and in the efficacy of drugs across populations.
Our experience as medical librarians led us to develop a workshop that addresses what we can do as librarians to mitigate the effects of bias in literature searches. While we begin by talking about health information from both a consumer health and clinical care viewpoint, we invite librarians from all subject specialties to join this workshop. We offer our experiences and research as a starting point for an interactive workshop, which explores tools that librarians can use to recognize and address unconscious bias ourselves, in scholarly research, and in the library systems we use to retrieve information.
This workshop includes blended lecture and group discussion, as well as hands on activities. During this workshop, participants will a) define implicit bias and identify bias in academic health sciences research b) develop techniques to address implicit bias in reference interviews including how to craft research questions and search queries, and c) explore techniques for running workshops for librarians on objectives a and b.