Molecular Biology Information Service: an innovative medical library-based bioinformatics support service for biomedical researchers

Brief Bioinform. 2020 May 21;21(3):876-884. doi: 10.1093/bib/bbz035.


Biomedical researchers are increasingly reliant on obtaining bioinformatics training in order to conduct their research. Here we present a model that academic institutions may follow to provide such training for their researchers, based on the Molecular Biology Information Service (MBIS) of the Health Sciences Library System, University of Pittsburgh (Pitt). The MBIS runs a four-facet service with the following goals: (1) identify, procure and implement commercially licensed bioinformatics software, (2) teach hands-on workshops using bioinformatics tools to solve research questions, (3) provide in-person and email consultations on software/databases and (4) maintain a web portal providing overall guidance on the access and use of bioinformatics resources and MBIS-created webtools. This paper describes these facets of MBIS activities from 2006 to 2018, including outcomes from a survey measuring attitudes of Pitt researchers about MBIS service and performance.

Keywords: bioinformatics; next generation sequencing; software; training; workshops.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research*
  • Computational Biology / methods*
  • Database Management Systems
  • Internet
  • Libraries, Medical / organization & administration*
  • Organizational Objectives
  • Research Personnel*
  • Software