All posts by Tom Roper

Current awareness chat: transcript and analytics

Thanks to everyone who participated in last night’s current awareness chat, and in particular to Lucy Reid for leading.

The transcript and analytics are now available on Symplur. Join us next month to talk about knoweldge management, in preparation for #Knovember18, at 8 p.m. on Tuesday 16th October.


Current awareness chat: introduction and questions

With thanks to Lucy Reid, here’s an introduction to, and questions for,  next Tuesday’s chat on current awareness service. Join us on 18th September at 8 pm.

Keeping up-to-date is vitally important for healthcare practitioners.  But, as we all know, the pace of change and the volume of publishing makes this difficult.  Current awareness services are a valuable tool for helping staff to keep up-to-date with their area of practice and most NHS LKS services report offering current awareness services ranging from circulating tables of contents and using Knowledge Share for personalised alerts through to bespoke abstracting create tailored current awareness bulletins.  In 2015-16, a Knowledge for Healthcare working group found that 84 NHS England library services were producing one or more current awareness bulletins.  During this #ukmedlibs chat we’d like to revisit these findings and delve a little deeper into the creation and circulation of current awareness bulletins.  We’ll be thinking about at the Knowledge for Healthcare current awareness bulletin guidelines and bulletin repository ( so do have a quick look ahead of time if you can.


  1. Do you produce your own current awareness bulletins, circulate bulletins produced by other services or both?
  2. What characterises a high quality bulletin?  Are there any that you’d recommend as exemplary?
  3. How are you evaluating your current awareness bulletins? Do you look at usage, reach or impact? What are your findings?
  4. How much time do you spend in an average week on your current awareness bulletins (compiling, modifying and circulating)?
  5. Have you used the Knowledge for Healthcare current awareness bulletin guidelines and bulletin repository ( to inform your practice or source bulletins?
  6. The principle behind the guidelines and repository is to facilitate collaboration and reduce duplication in bulletin production. Whether you’re a creator or distributor of bulletins, what would help colleagues to “do once and share”?

Current awareness services: September chat, 8pm Tuesday 18th

Our September chat will be on current awareness services, and will be led by Lucy Reid, Deputy Head of Library and Knowledge Services and Technology Enhanced Learning at  London and KSS Library and Knowledge Services, and her colleagues from her cohort on the Knowledge for Healthcare Senior Leadership programme. Questions will follow soon, but mark your diaries for 8pm on Tuesday 18th, and remember the hashtag, #ukmedlibs.

Open access: transcript and analytics of the July #ukmedlibs chat

Thanks to everyone who took part in last night’s chat on open access. The transcript and analytics are now available, thanks to Symplur.

We may only have scratched the surface of a complicated subject, but there were some potentially useful actions: CILIP’s Health Libraries Group undertook to review their position on open access to Health Information and Libraries Journal, EAHIL offered their expertise, whose journal has been open access for some time and recently moved to a new platform, and several of us now have Open Access Week in our diaries.

We takle a break in August, but will be back in September, for what the French call la rentrée. Enjoy the summer.

July chat on open access: 8pm, Tuesday 17th July

For July’s chat we’ll be talking about open access, both generally, and as it applies to our own professional literature. Join us online for a chat led by Tom Roper

Open access has been with us for a long time. The Budapest Intiative, the Bethesda statement and the Berlin declaration statements are fifteen or more years old. Yet much of the biomedical literature remains behind paywalls, inaccessible to those who use it and even to those who created it.

As for our own professional literature, while the Journal of the Medical Library Association, The Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association / Journal de l’Association des bibliothèques de la santé du Canada, and the Journal of the European Association for Health Information and Libraries are all fully open access, our own professional journal, Health Information and Libraries Journal, has yet to support open access fully. The publishers, Wiley, permit self-archiving of pre-print versions, while accepted (peer-reviewed) version may only be self-archived after a 24 month embargo period; authors may use Wiley’s OnlineOpen system, for a fee of $3,000.

March #ukmedlibs journal club: transcript and analytics

The transcript and analytics of our March journal club chat, a discussion of Chu F, Ball A Using Quality Improvement Tools to Redefine a Clinical Librarianship Program: A Case Study J Hosp Libr 2018 1-7 Thanks to everyone who participated. Next month’s chat, on library statistics and how to make the best use of them, takes place on Tuesday 17th April at 8 pm. 

Journal club: March #ukmedlibs chat: Using Quality Improvement Tools to Redefine a Clinical Librarianship Program

We haven’t run a Twitter journal club for a while, so for the March chat, at 8 pm on Tuesday 20th March we’ll have a discussion about this paper:

Chu F, Ball A
Using Quality Improvement Tools to Redefine a Clinical Librarianship Program: A Case Study
J Hosp Libr 2018 1-7

It’s not open access, but if you ask your document supply colleagues nicely, they should be able to find you a copy.

UPDATE: with thanks to Nikki Dettmar of the #medlibs chats, there’s a copy in the University of Washington’s repository:

Let’s talk about ethics: #UKMedLibs chat on CILIP’s ethical principles 8pm 20 February

Ethical principles underlie everything that we do: the choices we make in our own lives and the actions that we take at work.  Getting the principles right therefore has wide implications – not just for dry-sounding theory, but for day to day activities.

This #UKMedLibs chat is an opportunity to contribute to CILIP’s Big Conversation reviewing the ethical principles for the professional body.  You can find out more about the review here and you may find it helpful to refresh your awareness of the ethical principles before the chat

Come to the chat prepared to be honest and reflective!

Our questions:

  1. Were you aware of the ethical principles (be honest!)?
  2. How have you applied the ethical principles in your work?
  3. What do you think are the big ethical issues in healthcare library and knowledge services?
  4. Do any of the principles need updating (e.g. if new technologies have made a difference)?
  5. Which would be your top 3 ethical principles to keep?
  6. Which ethical issues are missing?
  7. Who do you think should sign up to the ethical principles?
  8. What would make is easy to apply the ethical principles in your work?
  9. What feedback would you like to give to CILIP on the ethical principles?

The chat will be led by Ruth Carlyle. Ruth is Policy Officer for the Health Libraries Group, and joined Health Education England in April 2017 as Head of Library & Knowledge Services and Technology Enhanced Learning, HEE Midlands and East.  She completed her information science training in the pharmaceutical industry and then moved into the voluntary sector, most recently overseeing Macmillan Cancer Support’s partnership cancer information and support services.

Last night’s quiz

The transcript and analytics of last night’s quiz are now available. Congratulations to our worthy winner, @StephGrey84. A £20 voucher kindly donated by Wolters Kluwer is on its way to you.

If you were baffled by any of our questions, here’s the answers, in italics:

  1. Name the three people responsible for #ukmedlibs: Holly Case, Sam Burgess and Tom Roper (we accepted names or Twitter handles)

  2. What’s the first line of A Christmas Carol? Marley was dead: to begin with

  3. Which #ukmedlibs chat is considered to be the biggest one so far? #amilliondecisions, September 2017

  4. What is the name of the traditional Italian Christmas cake? Panettone…or panforte

  5. What was the date of our very first #ukmedlibs chat? 19th May 2015

  6. By which date should Christmas decorations be removed? 5th or 6th January [controversial, so we accepted either answer]

  7. Who has just been appointed Vice-President of CILIP for 2018? David Stewart [An answer of the King in the North was also considered correct]

  8. Which country donates a Christmas Tree to the UK every year as token of gratitude for support during WW2? Norway

  9. Who are the leads for the STEP e-learning modules? Sarah Lewis and Tracey Pratchett

  10. According to the traditional song, how many ladies dancing were there? Nine

  11. Which website hosts the #ukmedlibs transcript and analytics? Symplur

And finally, who or what is this? [picture of an elf] Elf on the shelf!

And the answers to the Name that librarian picture round were

June Tabor [folk singer and former library assistant in the London Borough of Haringey’s libraries: no one identified her correctly]
Mao Zedong (or Mao Tse-Tung if you’re old-fashioned like me)
Angus Wilson [novelist, who worked at the British Museum Reading Room]
Georges Bataille [French librarian and writer]
Philip Larkin [though someone thought it was Eric Morecambe]
Leslie Morton [It seems the author of Garrison-Morton, and one of the architects of NHS librarianship as we now know it, is poorly remembered. Read this obituary if you wish to remedy this. I hope people who apply for the bursary set up in his memory ensure they know who he was]
Jorge Luis Borges
S.R. Ranganathan

A merry Christmas and a happy new year to everyone who’s taken part in our chats in 2017. In the new year we have chats on institutional repositories (16th January) and professional ethics (20th February). If you have ideas for chats, do get in touch. We can help facilitate a chat.





#ukmedlibs Christmas quiz 2017

The first ever #ukmedlibs Christmas quiz is now live, with Holly Case at the controls. You can enter in three ways:

  1. Preferred method, as it makes marking easy: see the questions and submit your answers via the Google form. You’ll need to enter an e-mail address, which we promise we will not share with anyone.
  2. Watch the @ukmedlibs Twitter account. We’ll tweet the questions one by one, and you can reply with a direct message to us – don’t tweet answers to all and sundry, please. It doesn’t matter if we don’t follow you – we’ve set our account to receive DMs from anyone.
  3. E-mail your answers to


  1. No Googling. How will we know you haven’t? We won’t, but we hope your professional integrity will stop you
  2. Holly’s decision on everything is final
  3. If there’s a tie, we have a tie break question. The first person to submit a correct answer will win,

We’ll do our best to announce the winner at 9, or as soon as we can afterwards.

We’re very grateful to Wolters Kluwer, who have donated a £20 Amazon voucher to be awarded to the winner. If you win, we’ll ask for a postal address to which to send it.

Happy quizzing. from Holly, Sam and Tom

Website for the #ukmedlibs Twitter chats