Tag Archives: HDAS

Expert Search Early Adopters pilot – searches in provider interfaces

In mid-September 2020, 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 pilot period has now ended and we’re in the process of finalising the project report. Today we’re sharing our findings from the post-switch searches that our participants carried out in provider interfaces between November 2020 and January 2021. We asked people to record data for one day of each week, and they filled in an online form for any searches they did that day. We had 296 searches captured, from quick 20 minute scoping searches to 16 hours’ worth of searching to support a large evidence review and everything in between. We think it’s a fascinating set of data and we could write many, many blog posts about it, but we’re showcasing some of the highlights here. If you have any burning questions about our findings that aren’t addressed here, please post them in the comments below and we’ll try and answer.

Pilot participants were faced with a choice when searching, as Medline is available in all three provider interfaces – Ovid, EBSCO and Proquest. As reflected in pre-switch search data it continued to be the most frequently used database, with 92% of searches using Medline from one provider or another. Ovid Medline was the most frequently used resource overall (70% of searches), with Ovid EMBASE second (61%) and EBSCO CINAHL third (40%).

More post switch searches were carried out over multiple sessions (57%) than in a single session (43%). The time taken to complete a search varied between 20 minutes and 16 hours. As with our pre-switch search data, 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 for this blog post. With the remaining 294 searches the average time to complete was 3 hours 13 minutes, with most taking between 2-3 hours or 3-4 hours (23% and 21%).

Participants used many different combinations of interfaces and databases to search. The use of multiple interfaces was spread pretty evenly, with 41% using one provider interface, 39% using two and 20% using three. Where searches did use just one interface, 62% used Ovid.

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 the use of reference management software for amalgamating results, the ease of use of subject headings within the provider interfaces, and using one interface – where the search is carried out in multiple databases but in a single provider interface. Things that didn’t work so well included difficulty producing outputs for end user, a perception that the whole process took a lot longer, and problems with reference management software, whether it was difficulty importing results or not being able to format references in a desired style. The suggestions for improvements to the search experience covered a multitude of elements, some related to the interfaces themselves, others around issues with reference management software, the time burden of adapting to new functionality and the extra login steps needed to access databases.

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, with 10% rating 1 star, 18% rating 2 stars, 42% rating 3 stars, 21% rating 4 stars and 9% rating 5 stars.

The qualitative data collected about the search experience has been key in shaping the final report for the project, including recommendations for moving forward, and it will be published towards the end of April. For any questions about the project, please email Emily.hurt@lthtr.nhs.uk.

Emily Hurt
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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

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