Best Practices in Knowledge Management

Jan 25, 2022

A co-authored blog with Springer Nature & Heather Desmarais, MLS

Posted by Springer Nature

One of the main reasons that Springer Nature partners with MassBio is to make setting up your company’s infrastructure a little less complicated. Below, we’ve interviewed our partner in the industry, Heather Desmarais, MLS, about her role as President of HJD Consulting, LLC, a knowledge management firm, and the importance of managing your company’s “knowledge,” whether that refers to internal information, or external resources like book and journal subscriptions from Springer Nature. 


(Springer Nature) Heather, you’re a Knowledge and Information Management (KM) consultant. For those of us who may not know, can you tell me a little bit about what KM means?


(Heather Desmarais, MLS) Knowledge Management refers to the capturing, sharing, retrieving and managing of information within an organization.  The goal is to make knowledge shareable and easily findable so that you’re building off of what already exists within the organization rather than starting from scratch. Knowledge management practices inject efficiency into daily work by saving time and effort.


(Springer Nature) What are some of the challenges your clients are facing when they first call you up?


(Heather Desmarais, MLS) I work with a lot of preclinical organizations that are running lean to keep costs down.  That means that the responsibilities of a role like mine tend to be divided up throughout the organization and are a bit of an afterthought and honestly, a burden, to whomever ends up with them.  I find that people are wearing a few hats, but that their focus and interest tends to be on their department’s needs and not necessarily on the needs of the organization as a whole.  This leads to inefficiencies due to siloed content and duplication of efforts and resources.      



(Springer Nature) In addition to helping curate internal knowledge, do you work with your clients to set up access to external information, like peer-reviewed literature from key industry journals?


(Heather Desmarais, MLS) Absolutely.  The need for access to literature is often one of the main reasons they come looking for help.  And it’s not just access, but the management and sharing of the literature as well.  I always recommend a literature management tool to my clients because it’s part of the infrastructure that is important in implementing a knowledge culture.  There are several that I recommend to my clients based on their needs and budget.


Aside from providing access to PDFS, another benefit of a literature management system is that it helps with managing copyright compliance as it’s built right in. Since this is an area that most are not well versed in, it’s a huge benefit to the organization in reducing risk of copyright infringement.  



(Springer Nature) Is access to peer-reviewed research relevant to their industry important to most of your clients?  Definitely.  


(Springer Nature)  Can you tell us a little bit about the process of what it’s typically like to set up access to academic journals for your clients? 


(Heather Desmarais, MLS) My clients usually don’t have a real grasp on what journals and content they are reading because the access hasn’t been centralized.  Researchers may be obtaining content from a variety of sources (academic affiliations, personal subscriptions, Google Scholar, etc.) so there is no way to track what they’re using.  


They often give me a list of journals that they want access to, but I don’t recommend that they dive right in with subscriptions with no data to support that purchase.  I work with all the major publishers and can make recommendations based on their business models to best suit the client’s needs.  I find that purchasing prepaid tokens from major publishers is a great first step since they save the client money per download.  After we have a few months of usage statistics from users accessing content through one literature management system, we can then make decisions on journal subscriptions.  Both subscriptions and tokens can be integrated into the literature management tool making it easy for the end user to access licensed content.  



(Springer Nature) What are the main benefits for yourself and your clients being members of the MassBio ecosystem?


(Heather Desmarais, MLS) One of the main benefits of a MassBio membership is the great discounts on commonly used tools and content, such as Springer Nature journals, Adis Insight for business intelligence.



Bringing easier access to key information and literature is one of the main reasons Heather & Springer Nature partner with MassBio! For more information on Heather’s Knowledge Management services, reach out to her at, or visit


To learn about the discounts to Springer Nature ebooks and journals that your company can take advantage of as a member of MassBio, check out Springer Nature’s page on MassBioEdge here, or contact your Springer Nature representative: 

Christina Sontag  



Additional Resources provided by Springer Nature: 

  • Organization, Discovery, and Output: A Knowledge Manager’s Role in the Tech Landscape

    • Description: View this webinar for a discussion on knowledge management in the corporate space. Learn about day-to-day work, what goes into decision making for new tools and resources, and the evolving role of Librarians and non-Librarians in the corporate space and the even newer space of high tech. Panelists include individuals from Facebook, Dropbox, and Springer Nature.

    • Webinar Recording

  • Managing Institutional Knowledge and Insight

    • Text and data mining (TDM) tools are enabling researchers and information managers  to enrich internal and external content and discover relationships among a variety of content and across disciplinary fields. Information and knowledge managers can play key roles in the development and implementation of TDM projects – acquiring and licensing the right tools and content, managing and linking knowledge models, and identifying data silos and specialized resource collections. Learn more about how information managers can contribute to TDM projects and what questions information managers need to ask before a TDM project is initiated in this white paper.

    • View this webinar to learn more about how information managers can contribute to Text and Data Mining (TDM) projects and what questions information managers need to ask before a TDM project is initiated.

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