Re-Examination of Evidence-based Librarianship (EBL): A content analysis of journal articles

Shuichi Ueda, Junko Shiozaki, Chihiro Kunimoto, Yosuke Miyata, Sawako Hayashi, Shinji Mine, Emi Ishida, Keiko Kurata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: The evidence-based librarianship (EBL) approach promotes the application of research results to library services and at the same time, is a promising methodological frame-work for further improving the quality of research in library science. In this paper, the issues surrounding EBL and its application are discussed. Method: One hundred Japanese journal articles on library and information science were coded according to the level of their EBL evidence (one of seven levels), the three types of EBL questions, and the domain of the article as defined in the EBL approach. Results: Thirty three articles were identified as case studies (Level 6) and fifty three articles were identified as expert opinion (Level 7). Only two articles were coded as summing up (Level 2) which are said to have high EBL evidence. Thirty percent of the papers did not contain questions; therefore, they were not able to be assigned to one of the three types of questions. Fifteen of the articles were in the "collections" domain and twenty three were in the " management" domain; however, no articles were in the "marketing/ promotion" domain. Since the concept of EBL is derived from evidence-based medicine (EBM), it can be difficult to apply it to articles in library and information science.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalLibrary and Information Science
Issue number59
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Library and Information Sciences


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