Bridging the gap: A library-based collaboration to enhance data skills for clinical researchers

Matthew B. Carson*, Sara Gonzales, Pamela Shaw, Daniel Schneider, Kristi Holmes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Enterprise data warehouses (EDWs) serve as foundational infrastructure in a modern learning health system, housing clinical and other system-wide data and making it available for research, strategic, and quality improvement purposes. Building on a longstanding partnership between Northwestern University's Galter Health Sciences Library and the Northwestern Medicine Enterprise Data Warehouse (NMEDW), an end-to-end clinical research data management (cRDM) program was created to enhance clinical data workforce capacity and further expand related library-based services for the campus. Methods: The training program covers topics such as clinical database architecture, clinical coding standards, and translation of research questions into queries for proper data extraction. Here we describe this program, including partners and motivations, technical and social components, integration of FAIR principles into clinical data research workflows, and the long-term implications for this work to serve as a blueprint of best practice workflows for clinical research to support library and EDW partnerships at other institutions. Results: This training program has enhanced the partnership between our institution's health sciences library and clinical data warehouse to provide support services for researchers, resulting in more efficient training workflows. Through instruction on best practices for preserving and sharing outputs, researchers are given the tools to improve the reproducibility and reusability of their work, which has positive effects for the researchers as well as for the university. All training resources have been made publicly available so that those who support this critical need at other institutions can build on our efforts. Conclusions: Library-based partnerships to support training and consultation offer an important vehicle for clinical data science capacity building in learning health systems. The cRDM program launched by Galter Library and the NMEDW is an example of this type of partnership and builds on a strong foundation of past collaboration, expanding the scope of clinical data support services and training on campus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere10339
JournalLearning Health Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2023


  • clinical data warehouse
  • data science
  • learning health system
  • medical informatics
  • research data management
  • workforce development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health Information Management
  • Health Informatics


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