Category Archives: Resource Discovery

Expert Search Early Adopters pilot – pre-switch search data

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: https://kfh.libraryservices.nhs.uk/resourcediscovery/frequently-asked-questions-2/)

Phase one of data collection ended in November 2020 and we’re able to share some of the results from our survey around pre-switch searches (carried out primarily on HDAS). This was undertaken to capture ‘normal’ search behaviour, so we could do some comparing and contrasting with searches carried out on provider interfaces after the pilot groups switched. The data collected is a great snapshot of search activity and is fascinating reading if you’re interested in search behaviour.

We had 68 searches recorded during this phase. We asked participants to briefly describe their search – purpose, level of complexity etc. As expected, topics were wide ranging and search requesters were from a multitude of staff groups.

The most frequently used resources were HDAS Medline (76% of searches), HDAS CINAHL (63% of searches) and HDAS EMBASE (50% of searches). Results were collated using reference management for 13% of searches, and Endnote Desktop was the most frequently used reference management tool.

Exactly 50% of searches were completed in a single session and the other 50% over multiple sessions. The time it took to complete a search varied wildly, with the shortest taking just 20 minutes and the longest 15 hours – this was a search to support a systematic review. There were two searches captured that fitted into the systematic review category, and as their times vastly skewed the average search time they were removed from calculations. With the remaining 66 searches the average time to complete was 2 hours 51 minutes, with most taking between 1-2 hours or 2-3 hours (44% and 29% respectively).

We asked participants to tell us what had gone well with their search, what didn’t go so well, and what changes could be made to improve their search experience. Things that worked well included being able to search multiple resources without switching interfaces, being able to collate results and search history into one document for the search requester, and searches where the topic was straightforward and therefor easy to find results for. There were common issues around glitches in HDAS, de-duplicating results and the search topic either proving difficult to search for, or being outside of the scope of the databases available to the searcher. Possible improvements included increased stability (fewer interface glitches), less scrolling and a cleaner interface, and having access to reference management software to de-duplicate and collate results.

Finally we asked people to rate their search experience a star rating, where 1 is poor and 5 is excellent. The average rating was 3.7, with 34% rating 3 stars, 42% rating 4 stars and 21% rating 5 stars.

Phase two of data collection is now well under way, and we are asking participants to fill out a similar survey for any searches they carry out on one specific day of their working week. We’ll be sharing the results from this phase over the next few months.

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

2020: Reflections from HEE’s Resource Discovery Team

 At the end of an extraordinary year when online resources and service delivery unexpectedly took on even more significance, this post highlights some of the developments within the Knowledge for Healthcare resource discovery workstream. None of these would have happened without the invaluable input of health library and knowledge services staff across the country.

The COVID-19 Search Bank

In March, librarians from across the regions rallied to create a bank of peer-reviewed evidence searches relating to coronavirus, with the shared aim of making the best use of specialist librarian skills and capacity at a crucial time.  Over 200 searches and strategies have been shared to date. We will continue to build this resource into 2021. Learning from this will help inform future thinking about the value of sharing searches and peer review.

Open Access and repositories

 The Open Access CoP thrived this year, with so many healthcare library staff involved in supporting open access and organisational repositories. HEE and NIHR jointly commissioned research into open access in the NHS and in October hosted a virtual round table on the topic for national bodies. There is clear appetite for joined-up policy and strategy. There is also interest in shared publishing platforms and repositories, so at the end of November, we were delighted to invite NHS library services to participate in a project to pilot a new shared NHS repository hosted by the British Library.

Moving to using database provider interfaces

Once the decision to decommission HDAS had been taken, we quickly started work on the next steps. As part of a portfolio of work, we were delighted to receive applications from eight library networks wishing to fast-track to using provider interfaces and reference management software – and just sorry that we could only support four. The 120 staff and 33 services in these four pilot groups have gamely undertaken training and testing and provided feedback and are a pleasure to work with. Thank you!

Moving to shared library management systems

 At the beginning of the year, HEE announced support for the plan to support the transition from over 90 local and legacy LMS to regionally shared LMS, fully funded by HEE. We all took a gulp: this makes sense in so many ways but won’t be easy. Library staff and users in the South West and North East already benefit from recently implemented shared LMS and, of course, we all know that system upgrades involved pains in order to achieve the gains.

In September, we started engagement with library teams in the East of England and Kent, Surrey & Sussex, the regions being supported to move forward next. Libraries in the Midlands, where there are already some locally shared LMS, are now considering what might work best for them. Participants in our HEE funded Senior Leadership Development Programme will be working with colleagues in the North and London to explore the benefits, opportunities and practicalities of shared LMS so that we can share the lessons learned.

E-books

Many library services reported an increase in demand for e-books this year. In May, HEE awarded Kortext a contract to offer collaborative, credit-based e-book purchasing for NHS library services in England. This has taken longer than hoped to mobilise. However, the HEE-funded titles chosen for each region are now accessible, and Kortext is open for business for local libraries wishing to work collaboratively to build on this collection.

BMJ Best Practice

In the second year of our national subscription to BMJ Best Practice, we’ve seen usage continue to rise. Thank you for everything you’ve done to promote the resource to your users. For example, at the outbreak of the pandemic, the team at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust promoted Best Practice as part of a carefully selected suite of knowledge resources suitable for trainees. Analysis of usage in the following months showed that uptake in wave one was followed by sustained growth in use. This year, we have worked closely with BMJ to create resources for inductions and to highlight the role that Best Practice patient information can play in health literacy and shared decision-making. These resources and more are available on the BMJ/HEE landing page. We’ve also worked with BMJ’s Clinical Engagement Lead and Health Informatician to integrate Best Practice into clinical workflows and organisation practices.

Towards a new national website for LKS staff

 Lots of work has taken place behind the scenes this year to plan a new website for Library and Knowledge Services staff in England, to replace the current Knowledge for Healthcare blog, libraryservices.nhs.uk website and wiki. The national team has been busy updating and archiving existing content and making documents accessible. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the work to test the new website through alpha and beta phases.

Towards a new national discovery service

At the beginning of December, we announced that the contract for a new national discovery service for the NHS in England has been awarded to EBSCO EDS. Through the year we have developed the specification, undertaken a robust procurement and held virtual engagement sessions with library managers and staff. Our sincere thanks to everyone involved. The feedback and input you provided will be invaluable in helping to shape and develop the system to meet your needs and those of the health care workforce. Now the hard work really begins!

Wishing you all the best for a happy and healthy festive season,

Helen, Lucy, Helene, Richard, Jenny, Franco and Becky

 

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