Grant to expand women’s health resources, promote leadership

By Kristen O’Reilly

UMass Medical School Communications

April 01, 2014

Elaine Martin, director of the Lamar Soutter Library, is principal investigator on a National Library of Medicin-funded project that aims to build a stronger community of women’s health researchers at UMass Medical School by improving and promoting access to women’s health resources.

A National Library of Medicine-funded project aims to build a stronger community of women’s health researchers at UMass Medical School by improving and promoting access to women’s health resources, with the ultimate goal of helping women secure academic leadership positions.

The Women’s Health Resource (WHR) Dissemination Outreach Project received a second year of funding to expand an online compilation of scholarly work by UMMS women’s health researchers, publications about women’s health, and information about UMMS scholars and experts, among other initiatives.

“We hope to fill an information gap, and help women researchers promote themselves and their research,” said Martha Meacham, MLIS, MA, library fellow and project manager for the grant. Principal Investigator is Elaine Martin, DA, director of the Lamar Soutter Library, working in partnership with the Women’s Faculty Committee and the Women’s Leadership Working Group.

Noting the persistent underrepresentation of women as full professors, deans and academic department chairs nationwide, Meacham said the WHR project hopes to help address “whatever bias and gender inequity that exists in academic medicine that makes it more difficult for women to achieve academic leadership.”

The new funding will strengthen the Library Guide online compilation to include resources in three new topic areas: women’s mental health, dermatology and women’s aging—all strengths of UMMS researchers. The intent is also to expand the eScholarship@UMMS gallery with profiles of  14 UMMS faculty who conduct women’s health research.

The grant will fund workshops addressing open access publishing and research impact, including new “altmetric” tools that evaluate the impact of research in innovative ways. Other initiatives include expanding the current mentoring program, promoting the use of the NIH’s Women’s Health Resources Portal, and finding new ways to disseminate information about women’s health research, including a quarterly newsletter and the continued use of social media.

For more information about the project, contact Meacham at Martha.meacham@umassmed.edu, or 508-856-2143.