Tag Archives: HDAS

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

STEP: Phase 3 Applying the skills now available!

This final module provides the opportunity for learners to apply all of their learning to the NICE Healthcare Databases Advanced Search (HDAS).

Our ‘Building the Foundations’ modules helped users to assess their level of skill in literature searching, find out more about the resources available and start planning a search.

The second phase of the project ‘Developing the skills’ supported users in applying a range of searching techniques to find relevant articles quickly and easily.

This final module in our programme encourages users to test all of the above by learning about how to apply these skills to HDAS.

All modules are freely available on the eLearning for Healthcare web site, without the need to login, links to the individual modules are included below:

Module 1 Introduction to searching

Module 2 Where do I start searching?

Module 3 How do I start to develop a search strategy?

Module 4 Too many results? How to narrow your search

Module 5 Too few results? How to broaden your search

Module 6 Searching with subject headings


Module 7 How to search the Healthcare Databases (HDAS)

Please feel free to place these links on your websites use the attached flier to promote the modules. Don’t forget that we also developed animations to help users apply OR/AND in their searches. These can be included in training sessions or added to your web sites:

Full length animation OR/AND

Short animation OR

Short animation AND

Attached are some FAQs  about the modules which you may find helpful.

If you require further information, please contact the project leads:

Tracey Pratchett, Knowledge and Library Services Manager, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust tracey.pratchett@lthtr.nhs.uk

Sarah Lewis, Library Services Manager, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust to sarah.lewis23@nhs.net

National Core Content Procurement – Survey Feedback

To follow Richard Bridgen’s update on the national core content procurement work, I’d like to follow up with a short post to mention how we used feedback from January’s survey of NHS library teams to refine the selection criteria for HEE-funded digital knowledge resources.

As a reminder, selection criteria are high level criteria used at the start of the procurement process (the ‘invitation to quote’ stage) to guide our decisions about which resources to seek quotes for, and then again at the end of the process, to select and justify the final resources purchased. They are thus different from evaluation criteria which are used in the middle part of the process, to evaluate all capable providers.

The responses to the survey question about selection criteria were mostly very helpful. They helped further define the criteria we had already proposed, for instance to reflect the aspects of ‘quality’ and of ‘breadth’ that you feel are important. For instance, currency of content (lack of embargoes) is clearly regarded as important, and many survey respondents highlighted the need to try to better cater for specialist groups. Survey responses also pointed to the need to include ‘continuity’ as an additional criterion: many of you commented on the value of long term stability and the fact that if a resource has been purchased centrally for some years, funds which may once have been used to purchase it locally will have long since been diverted elsewhere!

Some of the suggestions for ‘additional’ selection criteria – such as access via mobile devices, interoperability, service availability, stability of content, customer support – were a useful reminder of what is important to customers, but are in fact already built into the Framework Agreement procurement process. This is because they are included in Framework as service requirements: suppliers will not have been included on the Framework unless they can demonstrate they meet these requirements. Some of the suggestions were unfortunately too broad to be useful without further clarification (‘usability’ was our favourite in this category!).

So in summary, as a result of your feedback, we have added widened our definitions for all criteria, and added continuity to the list, which now looks like this.

Breadth: this resource will contribute to a collection which supports our aim to provide the NHS workforce in England access to resources which support the range of NHS functions, specialisms and priorities;

Quality: this resource supports our focus on resources which healthcare and knowledge professionals regard as being of high quality. Key indicators of quality are currency, authority (peer-reviewed content, expert editors) and relevance;

Value for money: there is evidence that

  • central or collaborative procurement of this resource provides a clear discount on local procurement
  •   if this resource were not purchased centrally or collaboratively, many organisations would seek to purchase it locally;
  • current or anticipated usage of this resource indicates that full text cost per download is/will be less than the cost of access via document delivery

Discoverability: this resource is likely to be readily discoverable via multiple routes, including the NICE-provided infrastructure and current/future alternative routes;

Recommended by LKS: a significant number of LKS think it is essential or highly desirable to include this resource amongst those purchased centrally;

Continuity: it makes sense to continue to make procure this resource centrally/collaboratively, because it meets other criteria and there is dependence on its continued availability/discontinuation would have a significant adverse impact.

Thanks again for your input.

Helen Bingham
Head of Knowledge Services and TEL, HEE (South)