AMBER – The Ambulance Research Repository

Name Matt Holland and Michelle Dutton

Email Matt.Holland@nwas.nhs.uk Michelle.Dutton@mft.nhs.uk

Your service/ organisation

Library and Knowledge Service for NHS Ambulance Services in England [LKS ASE]

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust Library

Who asked

This KM story is about the development of amber – the ambulance research repository.   amber is part of a package of services that the Library and Knowledge Service for NHS Ambulance Services in England [LKS ASE]  agreed to deliver in partnership with the National Education Network for Ambulance Services [NENAS].  

What did they say?

Knowledge about repositories among the paramedic/ambulance research community was limited.  To raise awareness of the benefits of repositories LKS ASE with colleagues in Health Education England [HEE] conducted a consultation with interested parties. LKS ASE also made contact with the National Ambulance Research Steering Group [NARSG] who represent ambulance research in the UK.

Briefly, what they said was …

1) There is a need for a central database of ambulance service publications to answer the question what has been published?

2) There is a need to provide information about publications in electronic form to support the forthcoming development of the NASRG website.

3) There was an understanding that a repository was a tool to support an emerging research infrastructure for ambulance service research.

4) There was a concern about the inclusion of unpublished research in the repository.

5) There was an interest in the idea of a repository from a other communities reached by the consultation in Urgent Care and Allied Health Professions who identified the repository as a solution to dissemination and sharing of knowledge in their areas of activity. 

What did you do?

LKS ASE worked with NARSG and the LKS ASE Steering Group to ensure the chosen solution, the structure of the repository and branding and marketing were appropriate. The repository software chosen was Atmire’s Open Repository.

LKS ASE partnered with  Manchester University NHS FT Hospital Library to input the data.  The plan is informed by our shared experience of  repository development and management.  This experience enabled us to trouble shoot the technical challenges and make good decisions about the data quality.

Planning for the repository began in March 2019.  Once procedures and processes had been worked through with Manchester, data entry started in May 2019.  The repository reached its first milestone in September 2019 with the branding and marketing in place and 3 years of data (2017 to date).  The repository will be completed in March 2020. 

LKS ASE attended the Emergency Services Show, and the College of Paramedics Research Conference as an exhibitor for a soft launch of amber.  Further attendances are planned for 2019 and 2020.  All ambulance services in the UK were sent the publicity material for internal distribution.   LKS ASE created a marketing website materials and showcased amber at exhibitions and conferences.

How did it help?

amber has answered the question what has been published. amber is be part of the planned NARSG website and ambulance service partners will link to amber on intranet and webpages.

The view expressed at a recent research conference is that ambulance service research in general has crossed a threshold of development.  amber’s development is timely helping raising the profile of ambulance service research.  The creation of amber enables a number of future developments:

1) a possible extension of the content amber to other nations to match the UK footprint of the ambulance service research infrastructure  – to include Scotland, Wales and NI.

2) to include full text content (pre and post prints) to enable amber to register with international repository search engines BASE, OpenDOAR and ROAR.

November 2019