Supplementary dataset

A suggested supplementary dataset for collection by NHS library and knowledge services. It can be used as you see fit.

  • Add data collection that is helpful to your LKS
  • Data can be collected over the period  most useful to your situation
  • You may want to collect some data regularly to see trends; other data can be collected as and when needed
  • Think about what data would be most useful to you and your service.  What do you want to use it for?
  • Remember that data is only of use if there is a story to go with it.

A number of library and knowledge services already collect supplementary data and use them in a number of different ways.

Open Athens

  • OpenAthens hasn’t been included in the supplementary dataset
  • This data can be found using the reporting functionality of the OpenAthens interface

Example – data use at King’s College London

Alan Fricker, Head of Clinical Library Services at King’s College London shares his story about why he collects supplementary data.

  • “In preparing the action plan style annual report I am really keen to have statistics that help tell a story and engage.
  • As far as possible I do not want to include any numbers where I do not have some qualitative explanation to accompany them.
  • Without the story most numbers are a “so what?” moment waiting to happen.
  • In line with the principles for good metrics I want stats that are:
    • Meaningful – to my audience not just to the library service – things that important to them.

A good example was GMC data which is significant for people who hold our funds.

In our satisfaction data some topics draw a lot more answers than others – I would suggest this is a guide to what people actually care about in our service.

    • Actionable – I want to be able to talk to people about things we might do that will affect the figures we have.

In the report I am always looking to explain potential reasons for change or to propose ways that we might address negative trends / unsatisfactory levels of use.

Our recurring user surveys in South London have been great for showing how changes to the service over time (increased ejournals / opening hours for example) have lead to shifts in satisfaction.

    • Reproducible – I tend to look for figures that I can readily access and refresh the data if I need different time periods.

I prefer not to use things that involve human input (enquiry stats for example) as these can be somewhat unreliable and hard to validate).

So active OpenAthens users is a great favourite – I record this figure each month but it is the annual figure I would use in my annual report as this reflects the overall shift over the past year rather than picking out a good or a bad month.

    • Comparable – I tend to stick to comparing against our own performance through time as this is the area where I have most control over what has been happening and strong data.

GMC was another area where I might pull out some comparator data as this is very appealing to stakeholders who want know where they stand against their peers.

I would not be worried about whether we look the best in these as we want to engender a joint stake in making progress.

  • The action plan style report has had a much greater impact than the previous text heavy document.
  • It has helped guide conversations with key stakeholders and support discussion at meetings.
  • It has been a way to reach out to people I have not had enough contact with and to secure meetings with others.
  • It has been circulated to places and meetings I was not able to go to.
  • Some of that is undoubtedly down to using it in a different way than I would have tried with the old style report.
  • Some of it is also because people opening it are quickly presented with numbers and stories that speak to their interests.” Presentation about the Annual Report.