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Minutes of the 14th Meeting of the CISTI Committee on Health Sciences Information March 2, 2007

This meeting was held as a teleconference call. Members circulated individual reports in advance of the meeting.


  • Tamsin Adams-Webber (CHLA/ABSC)
  • Pam Bjornson (Director General, CISTI)
  • Beverly Brown (CISTI and Committee Secretary)
  • Daphne Bruce (Industrial Library Representative)
  • Paul Clark (CHLA/ABSC)
  • John Cole (AFMC)
  • Ada Ducas (Committee Chair and member of the Advisory Board for CISTI)
  • Mary Low (CISTI and incoming Committee Secretary)
  • Merle McConnell (Health Canada
  • Susan Powelson (CHLA/ABSC)
  • Marc Valois (ASTED, Section santé)

Note: Susan Powelson joined the call in anticipation of replacing Tamsin Adams-Webber on the Committee.

Daphne Bruce left the call after the first hour.

Call to order

The meeting was called to order at 1:05 p.m. ET.


A. Ducas welcomed Pam Bjornson, the new Director General of CISTI, and Mary Low, CISTI’s Partnership Development Officer. M. Low will replace B. Brown as Committee secretary.

Approval of the Agenda

The agenda was approved without change.

Approval of the Minutes of the October 10, 2006 Meeting

The minutes were approved without change.

Business Arising

Action: B. Brown will send C. Brault and M. Valois the report submitted to this Committee that provided an analysis of resources needed to create a French MedlinePlus site. Action is completed. M. Valois explained that ASTED’s section santé will send out a survey to members to measure the level of interest in Quebec for a French MedlinePlus site.

Action: B. Brown will investigate the need for more nursing and allied health titles in CISTI’s collection. The lists of titles submitted by four AFMC libraries are now with CISTI Acquisitions for selection decisions. New Action: M. Low to verify the status of decisions with CISTI Acquisitions staff.

Action: B. Brown will report on CISTI providing PubMed and DOCLINE web training. The DOCLINE and CISTI Source coordinator position has been filled and the possibility of offering web training is now possible. J. Cole also asked whether CISTI could act as an intermediary for organizing a webcast of training on the National Center for Biotechnology Information’s (NCBI) protein and genome databases. New Action: M. Low will discuss DOCLINE and PubMed web training with appropriate CISTI staff and will investigate the possibility of CISTI assisting with a webcast of NCBI protein and genome database training.

NNLH Concept of Operations document and next steps (T. Adams-Webber /M. Low)

A NNLH stakeholder meeting was held at CISTI on February 26, 2007. Members of the NNLH Task Force were present as well as representatives of organizations that funded the Concept of Operations - CISTI, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), the Canadian Medical Association and the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA). A representative from Canada Health Infoway was also present.

An NNLH business plan was identified as the next step.  CISTI and PHAC will provide support and Canada Health Infoway may contribute as well. It was felt that Canada Health Infoway would be a valuable supporter and be positioned to provide guidance. Attendees also identified the need for champions to help carry the initiative forward and the need to create an advisory group to represent librarians as well as other stakeholders. A broader stakeholders meeting will be held on May 29, 2007 in conjunction with the Canadian Health Libraries Association Conference in Ottawa.

CIHR Policy on Open Access and Activities Involving CISTI (M. Low)

CISTI and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) have been in discussions to create a Canadian version of PubMed Central International (PMCI). CISTI has estimated costs for a PMC International mirror site and has shared these with CIHR officials. CISTI will be meeting with CIHR again this month to continue discussions.

CIHR indicated that CIHR senior management recently approved their open access (OA) policy and that the last step is approval by the CIHR Governing Council in March 2007. CIHR would like to have the PMCI Canada site operational when their OA policy is announced and in effect. Genome Canada may be able to provide some funding.

J. Cole asked how institutional repositories and PMCI Canada would complement each other. M. Low responded that the CIHR draft OA policy allowed deposit in both the mirror site and institutional repositories. The Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL) group could facilitate a discussion between institutional repositories and a PMCI site. University libraries have experience in managing institutional repositories. J. Cole indicated that the University of Calgary (UC) institutional repository holds electronic theses as well as current and retrospective collections of designated university communities. The UC Faculty of Engineering has asked that all research be deposited in the university’s institutional repository.

Individual Reports

Members distributed individual reports in advance of the meeting.  Highlights from the reports follow.

Hospital Library Report (P. Clark)

Hospital libraries rely on CISTI to provide affordable access to CISTI’s health sciences collection. Libraries encourage CISTI to hold the line on document delivery price increases.

The Cochrane Library has been made available to users in New Brunswick. There is need for bilingual content with, as a minimum, the translation of the Cochrane plain language summaries.

CISTI is encouraged to consider creating a central index of health technology publications. The Committee had a question on what grey literature CISTI holds in its collection.  Action: M. Low will investigate grey literature in CISTI’s collection and collection policy.

Health Canada (M. McConnell)

The Science Library Network at Health Canada was under review in response to budget reductions announced in 2005. Following broad internal consultation, senior management at Health Canada have revisited the decision. There is a renewed commitment to implementing a new organizational structure and to re-investing in the Science Library Network.

Industrial Sector Report (D. Bruce)

The Special Library Association (SLA) conference will be held in June in Denver, Colorado. The 2006 annual salary survey and workplace study are now available for purchase.

CHLA/ABSC Report (T. Adams-Webber)

Editors of the Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association are investigating the process involved in instituting peer review. Editors of volunteer-run, peer-reviewed journals will be contacted to find out about organizational issues, workflow and costs. It was suggested that CHLA/ABSC consider Osprey, a manuscript tracking system that NRC Research Press offers to organizations.

AFMC (J. Cole provided a verbal report)

Statistics on library activities is a major concern for AFMC libraries.  New measures of academic library outputs need to be created.  The results of LIBQUAL surveys are generally concrete and provide useful data to the library.

The AFMC meeting will take place from May 5-9 in Victoria, B.C. with the library committee meeting on May 6 and a half-day workshop on May 7.

The Alberta Relais consortium will be providing post-to-web article delivery to the requestor’s desktop.

The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) recently announced awards for the humanities and social sciences.  The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) will receive $19.1M for digital licenses in the social sciences and humanities.  CFI has also announced the Research Hospital Fund to support the infrastructure for large-scale, hospital-based research initiatives.

Advisory Board for CISTI (A. Ducas provided a verbal report)

Dr. Bruce Balcom is the new Chair of the Advisory Board.  One of the items discussed at the last meeting on October 23, 2006, was the NRC strategy and its implications for CISTI.  Implementation of the NRC national program and NRC horizontal initiatives will require that CISTI create “virtual” multi-disciplinary teams of information specialists and technical business analysts located across Canada.

Future Directions (P. Bjornson)

P. Bjornson noted that the environment in which the Committee functions has changed.  The NNLH initiative is now very active and CISTI is playing an important role.  There is strong medical/health representation on the CISTI Advisory Board and a CISTI Partnership Development Office has recently been established.  Ongoing requirements for the Committee on Health Sciences Information need to be examined in the context of the health library community’s and CISTI’s needs in terms of advice and information. 

It was agreed that further discussion on the future of the Committee is needed.  Members will consult with their constituents. P. Bjornson and A. Ducas will discuss at the April 2007 Advisory Board for CISTI meeting.  M. Low will discuss with AFMC members at the May AFMC meeting.  The Ottawa CHLA/ABSC conference will also offer an opportunity for exchange.  Action: P. Bjornson and M. Low will consult, determine next steps and communicate with Committee members.

Next Meeting and Adjournment

The time, date and place of the next meeting will be determined as part of the next steps activities.

Members thanked Bev Brown for her contributions as secretary to the Committee.

The meeting adjourned at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Date Published: 2007-06-08
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