Role of the Research Mentor

As a research mentor, your main role is provide the mentee with advice, encouragement and guidance on how to write an abstract that has a fair chance of being accepted for the EAHIL + ICML 2017 conference. A structured abstract is expected to be submitted for oral presentations and posters. Refer to the US Medical Library Association’s guide for structured abstracts.

What does this involve?

It means having a dialogue with the mentee via email which may be supplemented by a telephone or Skype call to provide direction. It is advisable to manage the expectations of the mentee by outlining from the start your availability. Be mindful that some participants may have never presented a paper or poster before. In this case additional advice should be given on giving a good presentation. Also participants may not use English as their first language therefore an offer of assistance with the English language is encouraged.
Other participants may have never run a continuing education course or interactive session before. In this scenario try to encourage the participant to have a test-run of their course or/ interactive session if at all possible with their local library & information cohort.
Some participants may seek a research mentor as they have been unsuccessful in the past or to sharpen their abstract writing skills. In all cases, emphasize abstracts need to be a good match to the overall theme of the conference and one of the subthemes.

What is outside the scope of the Research Mentor?

Mentors should not write or re-write the mentee’s abstract. They should only make suggestions or comments. If the mentee is seeking assistance on any other part of the conference please refer them to the conference website for contact information.

Useful Reference Materials


Structured Abstract

The Structured Abstract: An Essential Tool for Researchers

Interactive Sessions

101 Interactive Training Techniques
Memories from the Stockholm Workshop JEAHIL Vol.9 Issue 3, 2013

Continuing Education Courses/Workshops

Top Ten Secrets for a Successful Workshop Doug Johnson
EAHIL 23 Things

Code of Conduct

Please adhere to the IFLA Code of Ethics for Librarians and other Information Workers  in all dealings with your research mentee.

Directive and Experiential Models of Mentoring

There are different models for mentoring. For the purposes of ICML + EAHIL 2017, the ‘Experiential’ model of mentoring will be the preferred model. The table below outlines how this model works.


  • Mentor plays the role of “expert teacher” and directs the project
  • Mentor encourages a degree of dependence from the Mentee
  • Mentee is somewhat reactive to the Mentor’s plans and ideas.
  • Mentor plays a leading role in establishing goals and expected outcomes.
  • Mentee is guided by the Mentor’s approaches and models.
  • Mentor plays a leading role in ensuring outcomes are achieved.
  • Mentee is “pupil”, responding to the Mentor’s suggestions.
  • Mentee is passenger in Mentor’s journey.


  • Mentee is the proactive “partner” in the learning process.
  • Mentee makes all final decisions regarding the project, guided by input from, or in consultation with, the Mentor.
  • Mentee proactively brings plans & ideas ‘to the table” for comment by the Mentor.
  • Mentee establishes goals and expected outcomes, after taking into account the Mentor’s ideas.
  • Mentee develops his/her own approach and chooses appropriate models, in collaboration with the Mentor.
  • Mentee is accountable for achieving outcomes.
  • Mentee is the responsible experimenter, learning by doing, and by reflection and evaluation of the project’s progress.
  • Mentee is the driver of the journey.

Adapted from “Quick Guide for Mentors and Mentees (from “A Report on Mentoring to the University of Queensland”)