CILIP Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB) for Health

It’s useful sometimes to reflect on what you actually do at work each day.   What you do after you switch the computer on in the morning. How much activity is just the day today process of being at work? How much is exercising the skills that separate you from the punters? Familiarity does breed contempt. Do things often and long enough and you stop seeing them as special or distinctive.

If you need refreshing on professional skills, what they are and do you have them, you could do worse than review the CILIP’s Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB). I completed this as evidence for LQAF 3.1c, the one about the skills mix. Turns out on a dark night with the light behind me I could pass for a super one person library service with enough of the right knowledge and skills to run a healthcare library service. Sadly, working alone in a large organisation I was never going to make the ratios add up. Nul points on that one. Now there is Professional Knowledge and Skills Base (PKSB) for Health, from Knowledge for Healthcare, which offers a healthcare specific perspective, and yes I have tried that one too. So here is what I learned.

… first the science bit

The PKSB is a summary of the possible knowledge and skills that define the domain of the library and information profession. Using the PKSB marking sheet helps you identify which skills you have now, and which you would like to improve or acquire in the future. Some you won’t need, depending on your job description.

You can use the PKSB for Health as a stand alone .pdf or login to the CILIP website and use it in conjunction with the online version of the PBSK. Although the wording is different there is a direct correspondence in the questions between the two, PSKB and the PKSB for Health. The online version gives you a .pdf file of your answers and comments plus one for areas for improvement or development.

This is going to take some time

You won’t knock this off in one sitting. It takes time to read through each criteria, assess your response and score you current level of knowledge / skill from 1 to 4 as well as your desired level of knowledge / skill. Scoring fatigue sets in quickly. However, this isn’t a Facebook quiz! It’s much more important than that. Seriously. Take your time and allocate four or more slots to go through it.

It probably won’t tell you anything you didn’t already know

I already know where my weak spots or development opportunities are. Knowledge Management would be one. Some management skills. Possibly not demonstrative enough, possibly … . Clearly areas for development will be reflected in how you respond to the questions in the PKSB for Health. Unless a lack of self awareness is one of your weaknesses, nothing you discover should surprise you. What it will do is help you articulate specific areas that you can pick up with CPD or further personal development.

Some stuff you just don’t need

No one can have everything. Some stuff you just don’t need. You have to filter your answers though the lens of what you might reasonably need for your job, or to get the next one. Only the self deluded would claim 4 in every area. The extensive scope of the PKSB for Health may surprise you though, but some criteria are just of passing interest.

Some stuff is of historic interest but may be useful

I can do a bit of cat and class of course. There are some parts of AACR 2 and DDC 19 that are like old friends. Well, there you have it. DDC 19. That dates me a bit. Over the course of a career you pick up skills that you can store away for when you might need them again. I can’t see cat and class being anything I need in the near future, but it does illustrate the scope of the skills a jobbing librarian might pick up. These may still be useful to show your employer – as suggested – the extent of your knowledge.

Make notes, it does save time

The temptation is to skip typing / writing notes. The problems come when you want to pick up those criteria that you scored for improvement and can’t quite remember why or what you wanted to do about it. Making notes is a useful aide memoire to avoid having to revisit things again.

How is it for you …

In the mind of this blogger anyway there is a golden thread that links the PKSB for Health (what we personally aspire to achieve), the Learning Zone (how we might get there), LQAF (what we do now) and Knowledge for Healthcare (where healthcare librarianship aspires to be in the future). Being realistic about the amount of free time and energy there is in any workplace I have chosen to be instrumental in my approach to the PKSB for Health and focus on things that serve all of them. That certainly reflects my job, being a one person band all be it in a network of wonderful regional colleagues and LQAF. There are other personas that you might approach the PKSB for Health with. Early career librarian, aspiring manager and so on. Without being prescriptive it means more, as they say, if you know where you are coming from.


Day, A., 2016. Roll the drums and sound the trumpets the Professional Knowledge and Skills Base for Health has arrived. Available from: [Accessed 14 August 2016].

Learning Zone

PKSB for Health brochure PKSB for Health – Requires CILIP Login

PKSB for Health – NHS Library & Knowledge Services – Requires Login

Matt Holland, @NWASLibrary NWAS LKS Librarian, NWAS LKS is supported by HCLU North.

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CPD and all that by Matt Holland

Two weeks into a MOOC on Recommender Systems (see the next LIHNNK UP, Land of Geek column) and I realise the college level algebra required to complete the assignments was far beyond that required for CSE maths. For younger readers, CSE’s are what you did at school when dinosaurs roamed the library stacks. What to do? Retreat quietly and leave the course? Then there was no chance of getting the valued certificate. I decided to continue just to learn something new, skipped the assignments and just reviewed the course materials. It felt like I had turned a corner. Learning for it’s own sake. So this is a reflection on the journey of continuing professional development, and why, in my view you have never had it so good.

Formal education … you have to do it because it’s good for you.

As a graduate entry profession you have to do some time before the lectern. I did my PG Diploma in Library Studies at a university in the North of England. Not to be too specific. I doubt anyone would remember me anyway. I didn’t attend all the lectures. Like any vocational course it was a compromise between education and training. There was a small knowledge base, once you had mastered Bradford’s Law, Cataloguing and User Studies you pretty much had it covered. The rest were bolt on units in marketing and management and a few other things I don’t remember or prefer to forget – statistics, did I write that out loud? Overshadowing the course was a feeling that technology was going to change everything. Then computers had teleprinters, not screens.

More Formal education … but this time you volunteered …

Once you get started on the postgraduate route it’s hard to stop. Next was a Diploma in Management Studies (DMS) at a university in the South of England. A fantastic course. Being part time I could apply what I learned while I learned it. The best sort of vocational education.   So to the MA. Finally achieved by research at a University in the Centre of England. Another great learning experience. Free from the constraints of the curriculum, researching a topic that interested me and again work related.

Some things just come our way …

Some things just come your way. Learning comes from working with people who know more than you or work in a different areas. Many of the projects in media, research and digitisation that were most productive came from collaborations with academic colleagues and library colleagues in different organisations. It’s not something you can plan for but you can be open to opportunities to break out of the day to day grind. Fortune, as they say, favours the brave.

Writing about it

If you want to learn something write about it. It may not always be a success. The benefit if you pull it off is to have something at the end of the process that proves you were there in the first place. Each output is a tangible reminder of what you learned. Researching or writing a guides or websites, blogging, writing a paper, editing a book and anything in between are great learning experiences. As an added bonus writing brings you into contact with other people and opportunities for networking and developing future projects.

Courses and Conferences

The best learning experiences, apart from experience itself, are based around face to face teaching / training, backed up by the long tail of supporting activities, materials and technology bundled up as blended learning. All cpd should be this way. The problem. Barriers of distance, (synchronous) time and cost.

Staying out of your depth … not waving but learning to swim

The slow learning times are usually those where you are on top of your work. This is probably goes against the conventional wisdom of management development courses. Being out of your depth, providing nobody gets hurt, and trying to getting some kind of control back is the best way to learn about anything. I have to put in a mention for boredom at work as well. That usually leads to the what to do next question and then taking the risk to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone. It’s a virtuous circle.

Getting it wrong … really, I’m not waving …

If you take risks then sometimes things go wrong. The grant proposals that get knocked back. The damning reviews of your much laboured over article. Getting into something that you have no hope of delivering and having to admit that well, I need to get out of this, and fast. We have all been there. Failure teaches you more than success. The secret is not to make the same mistake twice. Be better prepared next time, maybe get some help from those that know more. On no account give up. No one will remember the failures except you.

eLearning and MOOCs

Imagine a world where the cpd options were to take formal courses or read up on a topic, and I do appreciate the irony of this but stay with me. Imagine another world where learning opportunities are many. Information is from experts conveyed through a social media enabled global classroom using a curriculum tried and tested in some of the best universities. Oh, and it’s free – for now. If you are thinking, well so what? you may not fully appreciate your good fortune. If you think that you are now taking cpd in colour having been brought up on black and white cpd. I know how old you are. Which is where I came in.

If you don’t already know the big hitters in MOOCS are Coursera, FutureLearn and EdX. Look also at the Knowledge for Healthcare, Learning Zone for healthcare library specific information.

Matt Holland
NWAS LKS, supported by HCLU North.
July 2016

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Case Study: Current Awareness: Prehospital Emergency Care Current Awareness Update by Matt Holland

Knowledge for Healthcare aka KfH, is, among other things, taking a fresh look at everyday library practices. Read the Knowledge for Healthcare blog for the full story. This Case Study reflects on the report of the Current Awareness Services Task and Finish Group (CAS T&FG).

Some Background

The initial service, the Prehospital Emergency Care Current Awareness Update (PECCAU) was a partnership between the National Ambulance Research Steering Group and Lincolnshire PCT (Price, Holland & Perry 2011). PECCAU was created to support researchers working in Ambulance Services which at that time had limited or no access to healthcare libraries. The service concentrated on material from the National Core Content and Open Access journals, with four to six issues year. This approach limited the subject coverage but made it easy for recipients to access content.

Move forward to 2015. The original editor, Alison Price, handed over the service to NWAS LKS. NWAS LKS already produced a monthly service that was a combination of academic research and any relevant publications and websites from the NHS, related organisations and think tanks, anything really.

For NWAS LKS as a single person part-time service, a commitment to two CAS in the same topic area was unsustainable. Healthcare library services spend an average of eight hours per week on CAS,  a point highlighted in the Current Awareness T&FG Report. Clearly for some it carries a significant overhead. Following a rethink the NWAS LKS service was closed and NWAS LKS now just produces PECCAU. The scope of the national service was widened to include all relevant scholarly / academic publications. The service simply lists articles under main headings. Generally 80 plus articles each month with links to the publishers website. To add value all articles are tweeted through @NWASLibrary in the month prior to the compilation of each issue with their own hashtag #NWASLKSParamedic and included in a publicly available two Mendeley Groups, one for the current issue, one cumulating previous issues.


PECCAU has a clear aim, to be distributed as widely as possible and by any means possible. The subject coverage is broad, relevant to anyone working in, or researching, pre-hospital and emergency care. This is clearly different from the individualised recommender based systems, or narrowly focused subject services. Research in CAS T&FG report looks a typology by format, bulletins are the overwhelming choice. It might be helpful to categorise CAS services by intention or audience since much of what defines the service flows from that, rather than the tools used to produce it or the formatting.


No rights are asserted over PECCAU and reuse is actively encouraged. Individual library services do configure it to point users their own collections. The suggestion from the CAS T&FG is that CAS should adopt an appropriate Creative Commons License which seems like good advice. Future issues will contain a Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) statement.


There are two parts to this, production and sharing. PECCAU is a collaboration between NARSG and NWAS LKS. Production is in house, however, using an aggregator (Feedly Pro ) and a relatively easy to update template. Sharing is via eMail lists relying on colleagues to share through their networks. Collaboration is the metric adopted by CAS T&FG, luckily PECCAU ticks that box. A simple regional/national repository of bulletins would be a useful additional channel to reach an even wider audience.

Formats and all that

The CAS T&FG report identifies the bulletin as the format of choice for CAS. With little evaluation it’s hard to know if this is a producer choice or consumer choice. It’s certanly easy to create and distribute. On the produce once use many principle PECCAU creates different outputs of the same content. This is helped by using a Mendeley database as the core engine of creation able to knock out the data in a number of ways.

Good Practice

The area of Prehospital Care is still just about able to fit into in one large monthly bulletin. The volume of content means that summarisation isn’t cost effective. Individual papers, reports and guidelines of note are flagged up in the Editor’s Introduction. The CAS T&RG exemplars all have summarisation as a feature. If this forms part of the proposed Outline what a good Current Awareness Services should look like in terms of content then PECCAU could be in trouble. Good practice guidelines sound like a very good idea if broadly written, to provide a baseline quality standard.


Thoughts on the traditional library survey are available elsewhere. True evaluation is usage. That requires a distribution channel with a built in metric using a commercial mailing list manager e.g. MailChimp or Google Analytics. Currently none of these are planned for PECCAU although qualitative feedback is very positive.


Price, A., Holland, M. & Perry, R. 2011, Unlocking the Prehospital Evidence Base: Making the most of library services in clinical research. Ambulance Today, October. 19-26. Available from: [Accessed 27 May 2016}.

Matt Holland, NWAS LKS, Librarian.
NWAS LKS is supported by HCLU

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My recipe for a perfect library induction by Victoria Treadway

Last week I attended a course run by LIHNN (Library and Information Health Network Northwest) and facilitated by Deborah Dalley on ‘How to deliver a memorable induction’.  I was asked to help out by delivering an example of a library induction presentation that wasn’t particularly inspiring.  I delivered some very detailed and dreary slides to the group that were service-focused (rather than customer-focused) in a very uninterested way.  What I thought at first was just an amusing exercise actually really helped me to think more deeply about what a meaningful induction might look like.

Our service has always delivered individual and group inductions and these are usually consist of a general run-down of the services and resources that are on offer from the library.  We’re pretty good at customising the content of the induction to the audience, so for a group of nurses we’ll focus on nursing resources for example, but I don’t think we’ve taken full advantage of this crucial ‘touchpoint’ with potential users of our service or thought properly about what they’ll remember about the library as a result.

Last year we did some work on branding our service, so as a team we have a very clear idea about the brand promise that we want to convey to the end user (“Tailored services in the right place at the right time”), but I think we could go further in conveying our brand in inductions, which are our first, and arguably, most important point of contact with a prospective customer.

My learning points from the course are listed below.  On writing these down, a lot of them seem obvious, but please bear with me…

  • The 3 words that describe how I’d like my induction session to be are ‘unexpected’, ‘engaging’ and ‘impressive’
  • The purpose of my induction is to raise the profile of the library, generate usage, and therefore make a difference to patient care
  • The ultimate message that I want people to leave my induction session with is that ‘using the library will make me a better practitioner’

As tempting as it is to fill a 10 minute induction slot with as much practical information as possible, I thought a lot about the lasting message that I wanted to leave people with. I don’t want them to remember that photocopying costs 5p!  My perfect induction session consists of three simple messages:

  1. Using the library will make a difference to you (it will ensure you are an informed, innovative, progressive and evidence based practitioner)
  2. Using the library will make a difference to the service you deliver (it will ensure you have accurate information on which to base decisions, it will encourage a learning culture and ensure your team is up to date with good practice)
  3. Look at these awesome real life examples that demonstrate how the library makes a difference to other individuals and teams in your organisation!

Within this model, I can mention some library services / resources, but they won’t be the driving force of my presentation.  To make the induction more memorable and engaging, I want to tell the story of some of our customers.  So, there’s my recipe for my perfect library induction; I just need to test it out in practice.  Watch this space!

This post was first published on Victoria’s bog – Librarian in my pocket: A health librarian’s adventures in Library Land (and some professional development stuff too…)

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Digital Marketing. Still four P’s but everything else has changed by Matt Holland

An appraisal objective this year was to learn more about digital marketing to better understand and improve the Virtual Library and Knowledge Service (VLKS) marketing effort. The aim was to complete a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on digital marketing. The MOOC chosen was Marketing in a Digital World from the University of Illinois delivered by Coursera.

For colleagues who haven’t already taken a MOOC on Coursera, courses are free. You get a certificate saying you have completed the course, useful for CPD / appraisal. You can pay for a validated certificate which has more information about you and contributes credits to courses made up of linked units which Coursera calls a specialization. Other brands of MOOC are available!

The following is a selective reflection on the course and on marketing the VLKS. Trying to fit what is essentially a commercial model to a public service environment. It’s not a review of the whole course or a summary of the contents. Go to Coursera for that.

The funnel is dead …

The model for the consumers decision to buy has changed. The linear funnel model consumers narrowing down searches from initial impulse to search to actual purchase is out.


Source: McKinsey June 2009.

… welcome to the loop

In is the consumer decision journey (CDJ) is in. CDJ is an Iterative model that incorporates aspects of social media.


Source: McKinsey June 2009.

Here are a few other useful ideas to throw into the mix.

  • Digital Touch Points – points of interaction between consumers and services. The short version is the more touch points you have the more likely the consumer is to buy your brand. The successful brands in the digital marketplace are very good at this.
  • Multi Channel Marketing – the capability to interact with your consumers across different media, this would include digital and physical/retail space.
  • Post Purchase Experience – consumers share their experience of buying / consuming the brand with others through social media e.g product reviews. These are the customers who become loyal customers as they invest time and effort in sharing their experiences through digital media, typically reviewing a product or posting a comment about their purchase experience on social media.
  • Authenticity – The degree of synchronicity between you brand values and the actions associated with your brand. For example claiming environmental awareness but manufacturing in an exploitative or environmentally damaging way. Consumers are good at seeing “inauthenticity” and spreading that through social media.
  • Co-Creation The process by which customers share in the creation of your product, in a range from product suggestion to crowdsourcing the design of components.

Consumers behaviours are changing too. Consumers move seamlessly between digital and physical spaces depending on preference, context and task. The old analogy of digital immigrants / digital natives looks tired now. Many customers are born digital, the rest are adapting fast. Digital is now “normal”.

What does it all mean?

It is a big step to transfer the lessons of digital marketing directly to the health care library sector! However, there are enough areas of commonality to make it worth thinking about:

  • all our users are also consumers and transfer their expectations and experience from one area of activity to another;
  • the same lessons apply broadly to any organisations which deliver services to users / consumers, whatever the economic model;
  • library “products” are born digital (journals, books, software, reference and much more) or can be delivered digitally as well as face-to-face (advice, enquiries and training). Being Digital, excuse the pun, gives libraries an advantage in adopting the lessons of digital marketing.

What would you do differently?

What aspects of NWAS LKS Marketing Plan be different or new if it were written with digital marketing in mind? The three year NWAS LKS marketing plan was in fact written last year, but is subject to an annual review.

#1 Simplified Processes

The idea of journeying through the libraries services is interesting. Simplifying the consumer decision journey is a key strategy for successful digital marketing. Health care libraries are encouraged to offer a core set of services (draft), however, this is from the point of view of What we offer … rather than a user journey perspective or What do you want to do today … ? Just asking this question raises challenging design issues. Services statements, web links and websites offer services but do they offer solutions to our users? I am guessing no. The NWAS LKS website is in the services offered not solutions genre. A rethink of library processes / website from the users perspective would go into my Marketing Plan.

#2 Digital Touch Points

You have to meet your users where they are. If they are using social media then your health care library has to be in the mix too. This is (yet) another good argument for having a coherent and planned approach to social media. In a one person service, this is a struggle. Add a new channel and you add more work. An analysis of the best social media to use and looking at ways to integrate into overall library communications strategy would be a marketing objective.

#3 Content Marketing

Content is still king of the web. This is the lesson of successful digital marketing campaigns. Looked at from the point of view of digital marketing, writing good content for other people to use, or reuse, is the best way of selling your service. Remember to link back to your website and make your moniker unmissable. At least part of the role of the healthcare librarian is giving information, putting your journalist hat on and packaging it up for other people to use is just the next step. I would include an objective to look for opportunities to place content on websites and newsletters.

#4 Authenticity

A definition of quality is we say what we do and we do what we say. That could also be a definition of authenticity.   Lack of authenticity is the dissonance between a claimed characteristic, feature or value and an underperforming or contradictory reality.   It’s hard for a health care library to be inauthentic, but not impossible. Welcoming and easy to use but a website from hell and hard to find physical space. I don’t think this represents any service that I know, but I would check that the claimed values of the library match reality in any marketing I did.

#5 Working with users

How do you use your users post experience feedback to sell library services to non-users – closing the CDJ loop? Traditional means of gaining user experience data usually fail. Did someone say survey! However, a lively social media presence can draw users in to share experiences as part of the normal interactions with the libraries. Looking at innovative ways to encourage or solicit post experience feedback, avoiding Library MacLibraryFace, would be in my new Marketing Plan.

Matt Holland NWAS LKS supported by HCLU North @nwaslibrary













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A Guide to Using Social Media for Research Purposes by Matt Holland

This guide is aimed at Allied Health Professionals (AHPs). It takes you though the basics of building a research profile using social media, how to maximise your impact and the tools you can use to assess your impact. If you have any comments or want to add any resources contact

Your Profile

Your profile tells the world about you and makes you easy to find for like minded researchers. It should allow you to post details of your publications and the full text if you have the right to do so under the Green Open access route. See guide to Open Access here. The following suggestions for profile sites have different emphases and audience appeal.


Katz, M., 2014. How to promote your work on LinkedIn. Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

Posner, M., 2011. Creating Your Web Presence: A Primer for Academics. Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

Your Communication: ways to share your ideas, opinions and research

You need a forum to share information with your audience. As a minimum you need your own Twitter account [ ] so that you can Tweet and follow the Twitter feeds of other researchers and research organisations. Important too is a blog either on WordPress [ ] or Blogger [ ]. Sustaining a blog alone can be hard work and time consuming. Consider contributing to another blog as a guest or share a blog with interested colleagues.


Davies, F., 2015. Tips and Tricks: How to promote your research successfully online. Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

Eassom, H., 2014. How to promote your research through blogging. Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

Your Identity: Managing your researcher identity online

Manging your identify means using one of a few web based systems to create an alpha numeric tag that uniquely identifies you. This tag links your biographical data to your publications. The benefit to you of identity software is that your can maintain your information in one place and share that data with other systems without having to input it each time it is needed, just by giving your tag or unique ID. For example:

  • publishers can drawn down your data for their article submission and publication systems;
  • your data can be shared with university repositories, research funders online application systems and research assessment systems;
  • these systems can feed back to your profile enhanced bibliographic data when you publish anything or are successful in a research application.

Which system should you use?


ORCiD [ ]. This system works with major publisher and academic systems and it’s easy to register. You get an ORCiD, private page and control over what data is exchanged and is seen on your public profile. See example [ ].


ResearcherID is from Thomson Reuters [ ]. Researcher ID and ORCiD can work together to exchange data if you have both ID’s. See an example here [ ].

Scopus ID

Scopus ID which is preassigned by Scopus to published authors. You can’t self register. See and example here [ ]. Your are able to correct and update the information attached to your Scopus ID, by contacting Scopus with Updates.


Johnson, R., 2016. Maintaining an Online Scholarly Identity. Available from: [Accessed 29 March 2016].

Utrect University Library. 2016. Researcher Profiles. Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

Your Outputs: making your research findable

You can enhance the impact of your writing by making it easy to find by search engines. This is also called Search Engine Optimisation or SEO. Typically, it requires a careful choice of keywords to include in your title, abstract and other article metadata. Metadata is information about your article e.g. author supplied keywords. You may just consider this clear and concise writing. If you look at the readings you can see there is some strategy as well. These lessons might equally apply to blog posts and other types of publication.


Green, A.M., 2013, Search Engine Optimization and Your Journal Article: Do you want the bad news first? Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

Grieves, C., 2015. Maximising the exposure of your research. Search engine optimisation and why it matters. Available from: [Accessed 26 March 2016].

OpenScience, 2014. Why and how should you optimize academic articles for search engines? Available from:   [Accessed 26 March 2016].

Your Outputs: putting your research online

Setting aside the debate about the effects of Open Access, OA removes barriers between you and your reader so it is easy to share across social media. This section looks at tools to publish your research using the Green (self archiving route). Check publishers conditions on SherpaROMEO. In general you can publish a pre or post print in some form of repository.

Institutional Repositories (IR) If your work is associated a university you can deposit their IR if they have one.

figshare [ ] allows you to upload posters, data files and presentations. Gives you a DOI to allow you to share your work.

Mendeley [ ] you can upload your own articles. Mendeley automatically links to these on your Menedley profile page.

PeerJ Preprint Server [ ] Upload pre publication versions of papers for feedback. Note there is a basic screening process for Pre prints. See instructions to authors.

ReseachGate [ ] acts as a repository with facilities to upload and maintain the full text of your work.


Hoyt, J. & Binfield, P., 2013. Who Killed the PrePrint, and Could It Make a Return? Available from: [Accessed 29 March 2016].

Swoger, B., 2013. Understanding your rights: pre-prints, post-prints and publisher versions. Available from: [Accessed 29 March 2016].

Your Impact: measuring your impact

You measure your impact by counting mentions of your work or interactions with your published outputs, for example the number of times the full text of your articles are downloaded. Traditionally these impacts or metrics were citation based. However, on the internet all activity is trackable creating a new series of metrics also called altmetrics, for example number of Tweets, mentions on blogs or number of downloads.

Citation Metrics

These tools are free to register and access. The number of citations will vary depending on the dataset from which citations are derived. Google Scholar citations counts tend to be high, ResearcherID lower.

Google Scholar Citations [ ] Tracks your citations and calculates additional metrics e.g. h-index.

ResearchGate (RG) [ ] Calculates citations and downloads by RG users. Other metrics such as the RG Score are not widely accepted.

ResearcherID [ ] Calculates citation metrics.


Altmetric [ ] calculates article level metrics based tracking a number of sources including social media.

The Altmetrics Bookmarklet for your web browser can automatically calculate Altmetrics for articles with a DOI or PubMed.

ImpactStory [ ] Now subscription only but with as 30 day free trial. Draws in bibliographic data from ORCiD, Google Scholar and other sources and generates a profile page where you can track your metrics.

Mendeley [ ] records readership statistics, the number of times a reference is saved into a personal library. This is used by some services, such as ImpactStory as a metric.


altmetrics: a manifesto Available from: [ Accessed 27 March 2016 ]

Matt Holland
NWAS Librarian
March 2016


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The digital delivery of health library services by Rebecca Stevenson and Andrew Carrick

Advances in digital technologies over recent years have allowed (and necessitated) health libraries to examine how services are delivered, and to explore new ways of meeting the needs of users. For the Library and Knowledge Service of Rotherham Foundation Trust such a challenge has led to the development of an online presence which aims to provide a comprehensive service to users.


The library is housed within the hospital, with its physical collection and the services offered readily accessible to those who work within the building itself. However, our services are also provided to a number of organisations based in the wider Rotherham area. These include Rotherham CCG, Rotherham Public Health, GPs, and NHS England.


Developing a digital library service has allowed us to reach these groups, and has many advantages for these users. Weng et al (2013) writes of how the rise of digital technologies has allowed for information to be accessed from any location, while web 2.0 and social media allow for interaction with users in new ways (Boulos & Wheeler 2007; Taylor & Francis Group 2014).


We use a number of such technologies to engage directly with our users including WordPress,, and Twitter. Other platforms are used in support of this including Weebly, Feedly, FiveFilters and IFTTT.


Through our website, users are able to access a range of electronic resources from any location, such as e-books; e-journals; health bulletins; databases and guidelines. In addition, the more traditional services offered by the LKS can also be accessed online:

  • electronic forms allow new members to join
  • literature searches can be requested
  • Inter library loan service
  • range of training resources
  • photo library of health promotion resources

All of these can be viewed from tablets and smartphones.


However, arguably the key advantage of this online resource lies with the ability to provide and update health professionals with the information and evidence they need. The website is home to a series of specialty pages which are designed around specific subjects and for specific user groups. From these specialty pages, users can select their area of interest and are taken to a bespoke collection of resources in their field.


Many of these specialty pages have newsfeeds that appear at the bottom which are updated as and when relevant content is available. Via these newsfeeds, users are kept informed of the latest developments in their field, with links to relevant research, guidelines and policy updates appearing here. Users are encouraged to sign up for alerts which notify them when new content is added. Printable versions of these newsfeeds are also available.


We are currently exploring the benefits of collaborative working: current awareness has the potential to be a truly collaborative venture, with different subject areas being looked after by different health librarians – the technologies are now available for the effective sharing of this content so as each organisation has access to a comprehensive collection of newsfeeds.


At the time of writing, we have 15 such newsfeeds; the challenge now is to provide a comprehensive current awareness service to cover all the key specialty areas within health.

Rebecca Stevenson and Andrew Carrick 
The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust Library and Knowledge Service



Boulos, K.M.N. & Wheeler, S., 2007. The emerging Web 2.0 social software: an enabling suite of sociable technologies in health and health care education. Health information and libraries journal, 24(1), pp.2–23.

Taylor & Francis Group, 2014. Use of social media by the library : current practices and future opportunities. , (October), pp.1–30.

Weng, Y.-H. et al., 2013. Increasing utilization of Internet-based resources following efforts to promote evidence-based medicine. BMC medical informatics and decision making, 13, p.4.

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