All posts by Emily Hurt

Expert Search Early Adopters Pilot Update

In mid-September HEE began a pilot to understand how best to help LKS in England move from using HDAS to using provider interfaces (EBSCOhost, Proquest and Ovid – see here for further detail). The Expert Search Early Adopters pilot is now nearly two months in, and the following is an update of how the project is progressing, along with some detail around what will happen over the next few months.

There are four early adopter groups, which are roughly aligned to regional geographies: Greater Manchester, East Midlands, East of England, and Kent, Surrey and Sussex. 33 LKS are taking part with approximately 120 staff involved in total in the pilot. There’s a wide mix of experience across the groups, with some services frequently using provider interfaces to search and others rarely setting foot outside of HDAS.

Training sessions have been delivered to pilot participants by Proquest, EBSCOhost and Ovid. Cambridge University Medical Library have also run sessions for staff as they have extensive experience of using provider interfaces for searching and wanted to share their knowledge with peers.

Those services without reference management software in place were offered licences for Endnote, and a subscription to Refworks is also available to all participants. The two products use different distribution models (Endnote requires individual licences and software needs downloading onto PCs, whereas Refworks is web based) as the pilot needs to evaluate ease of access and stability as well as the functionality of reference management software. Participants are also being encouraged to use freely available reference management tools such as Zotero and Mendeley if they wish.

To date there have been three different stages of data collection: an initial baseline participant survey, which collected some demographic info and asked people to think about the potential challenges and benefits of switching to provider interfaces, a phase one baseline search data collection survey (pre-switch) and a phase two search data collection survey (post-switch). It was hoped that participants in the pilot would be able to switch from using HDAS in October, but for a variety of reasons this has been moved to early November.

84 participants completed the initial baseline participant survey. 69% of respondents had 5 or more years searching experience, with 52% carrying out between 1 and 3 searches a week, and 10% carrying out between 4 and 6 searches a week. Participants were asked: What do you expect to be the greatest challenges of moving away from HDAS to provider interfaces? Responses were analysed for themes and six were identified, in order of frequency:

• Challenges relating to search results
• Challenges relating to using new products
• Challenges relating to helping library users
• Challenges relating to time
• Challenges relating to provider interfaces
• Challenges relating to using multiple interfaces

Participants were also asked: What do you foresee as the biggest potential benefits of moving from HDAS to provider interfaces? For this question there were nine themes identified, listed below in order of frequency:

• Benefits relating to stability of the search interface
• No benefits
• Benefits relating to search results
• Currently unsure of benefits
• Benefits relating to the skills of library staff
• Benefits relating to library users
• Benefits relating to the development and improvement of interfaces
• Benefits relating to reference management software
• Benefits relating to the functionality of interfaces

During the evaluation stage of the project, which will be towards the end of this year and the start of the next, participants will be asked about the training provided, reference management experiences and revisiting what they thought would be the potential challenges and benefits of switching. The information we collect about searches carried out pre and post switch will be examined to ascertain the impact on the time it takes to carry out a search, and identify any specific issues with the search process. All of the resulting data will be used to help shape the rollout of training and support for the rest of the LKS in England.

For any questions about the project, please email Emily.hurt@lthtr.nhs.uk.

Emily Hurt
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Vicky Price
Vicky Price Consulting