Call for Papers: Open Sessions

Health and Biosciences Libraries Section


"Achieving a healthy future together: diverse and emerging roles for health information professionals"

The IFLA Health and Biosciences Libraries Section invite interested professionals to submit proposals for the open session to be held during IFLA WLIC in Wroclaw, Poland, from 19-25 August 2017.

Health information professionals will contribute to the 2017 WLIC theme of Libraries, Solidarity and Society by sharing examples of achieving a healthy future together. Abstracts/papers that describe examples of new and/or changing approaches which envision health information services delivered by librarians working together with multiple stakeholders to achieve a healthy society are welcome. Ethics and ethical professional practice underpin the theme and subthemes and should be reflected in all abstracts/papers.

Sub themes

1. Scholarly publishing and scholarly impact of health information:

This sub-theme focuses on value and scholarly impact of health information services. Examples of how health information professionals have demonstrated the value and impact of their services are very important as libraries have to demonstrate return on investment, among others.  Health information professionals play a huge role in advising their clients on all aspects of the scholarly publishing process, including writing, submitting a manuscript to a scholarly journal, the peer review process, how to promote published articles to increase impact as well as the open access publishing models.  Many also manage institutional repositories that not only contain details of research outputs but also link to citations that will demonstrate impact and collaboration and increasingly the research data underpinning the output.

2. Alternative measurement of impact beyond traditional scholarly output:

Papers for this sub-theme should present the alternative options for measuring the impact of medical/health research and scholarly publication that are emerging. Conventional bibliometric analysis of output can be complemented by metrics that assess the dissemination of medical/health research through social media and other methods that engage the public.

3. Evolving and emerging sources of health information:

This sub-theme focuses on the role of the health information professional that is changing and broadening as we engage with emerging technologies and technological approaches to ensure that the maximum benefit is drawn from research.  By developing our skills in data mining and data visualisation, for example, we are helping researchers to reveal new and deeper insights from the information at their disposal.  This is moving beyond the traditional journal article to include genomic data, patient-specific data, and data from social media. Our increasing promotion of Open Access (OA) to research, such as through OA journals and repositories, also contributes to this aim.

4. Delivering health information services at the point of need:

Papers for this sub-theme should focus on delivering health information services at the point of need and should include point of care resources, embedded librarians, clinical librarians, researchers, informationists and outreach services to the community. Librarians are moving out of libraries to form strong relationships with those who require their expertise on site and virtually.  New models emphasize a strong connection to the communities they serve and working within healthcare environments to effectively meet the needs of practitioners, researchers and students.

5. Lightning talks

Abstracts will be selected for either full papers or for lightning talks. If your abstract is not accepted for a full paper, please indicate if you would like it to be considered for a lightning talk. The selection committee will assume that the abstract author is not interested in the lightning talk option if s/he does not indicate so.

A lightning talk is essentially a very short presentation that focuses on a key message that the presenter would like to share. It allows the presenter to share what s/he is working on and for the audience to find out what is happening in her/his project/library service/research. The purpose of a lightning talk, therefore, is to articulate a topic in a quick, clear and insightful manner. The selected lightning talk presenters will be required to prepare two slides and will have three minutes in which to speak.

Submission Guidelines

The proposals must be submitted in an electronic format and must contain:

  • Title of abstract/paper
  • Summary of abstract (250 – 300 words maximum)
  • Indicate the sub-theme your abstract is focusing on
  • Speaker’s name, address, telephone number(s), professional affiliation, email address, keywords (not more than five) and biographical note (40 words).
  • Authors whose abstracts are selected should prepare full papers that should not be longer than 5000 words.

Important dates

24 February 2017:  Deadline for submission of abstracts
31 March 2017:        Notification of acceptance/rejection
2 June 2017:             Deadline for submission of full paper

Submissions should be sent as email attachments, by the dates indicated above, to:

Maria G. N. Musoke
Chair, IFLA Health and Biosciences Libraries Section
Email: and copy to

Proposals will be reviewed by members of the Health and Biosciences Libraries Section Standing Committee.


All proposals must be in before 24 February 2017.

Please note

At least one of the paper’s authors must be present to deliver a summary of the paper during the program in Wrocław, Poland. Abstracts should only be submitted with the understanding that the expenses of attending the conference will be the responsibility of the author(s)/presenter(s) of accepted papers.

All papers that are presented at the WLIC 2017 will be made available online via the IFLA Library under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license.

Authors of accepted papers must complete the IFLA Authors’ Permission Form.

All expenses, including registration for the conference, travel, accommodation etc., are the responsibility of the authors/presenters. No financial support can be provided by IFLA, but a special invitation letter can be issued to authors.

Congress Participation Grants

List of opportunities for support is available on our Conference Participation Grants webpage.