Developing Impact Case Studies

These resources have been developed to assist services in compiling impact case studies.

Perhaps you have not created an impact case study before and need some guidance, or perhaps you have submitted case studies to the Impact Case Study database which the review teams have sent back for more work.

Resources which might help:

1 – The review team checklist.
This is the checklist which impact case study review teams use when reviewing case study submissions.  Remember the case study story has to make sense to someone outside your library organisation.  Any case study meeting the first three criteria is accepted for addition to the database.  Case studies deemed to meet the 4th and 5th criteria may be escalated to HEE Library Leads for awareness with impact vignettes created for use.

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2 – Mock-Up Example Case Studies.

These have been created to raise awareness of both good practice and common omissions when compiling and submitting case studies:

a – Case Study 1
This is an example of a great LKS impact case study.  There is clarity about the challenge faced by the Trust, the role of the library and knowledge service in addressing this challenge, the intervention, and the outcome.  There is detail of funding saved as a result of the intervention, direct improvements for patients, and a quote provided by a named library champion who has benefited directly from the work.

This case study is likely to be accepted for addition to the database and will be escalated for the attention of HEE leads as well as being turned into an Impact Vignette.

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b – Case Study 2
This is a basic example of an LKS impact case study.  There is basic, if minimal, information about the background challenge, how the library service helped, and the outcome.  Notice how the “story” is told less effectively than in case study 1 with less engagement from the reader.  There is no detail of cost savings or time saving made nor is there a named champion.

This case study is likely to be accepted for addition to the database but will not be escalated due to the limited information provided.

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c – Case Study 3
This is a poor LKS impact case study.  There is coverage of the background and details of what the library did to help.  Crucially however there are not details of any outcomes and impact.  The library service found some information – so what? What was it used for? What were the outcomes?  We are provided with a named witness statement and a quote but notice the quote contains feedback on how welcoming the library staff are rather than anything about the impact they have had.

This case study would be sent back to the originating library with an invitation to add further detail if available and resubmit.

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d – Case Study 4
This is a poor LKS impact case study.  There is some basic information about the background and what was done to address the problem.  There is information about the outcomes and the impact resulting.  A named champion for the work is quoted together with details of the cost savings and patient safety improvements.  At first glance this looks ideal.  But what did the library do in this process?  The library and knowledge service is not mentioned anywhere in the story.

This case study would be sent back to the originating library with an invitation to add further detail if available and resubmit.