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Assessing the NHS Evidence

In Website reviews on May 5, 2009 by africker Tagged: , , , ,

As previously reported on this blog – NHS Evidence has now gone live.  So what do people think so far?   Ben Toth likes itFade have put together a quick search guide.  Otherwise blog coverage tends to just be announcements that it has gone live with some idea of what you might find if you follow the link.

The giant blue eye will take some getting used to.  I await the blue coconut ring liquorice allsort promotional items with impatience.

Search itself is fast and, on early testing, provides good results.  Results for a search on a health management topic were excellent with an impressive selection of relevant fulltext source documents retrieved (With SCIE Online to the fore) .   The filters / navigators are a good idea but will need careful examination to be clear on how they work. 

Output options are currently limited but this is in line with the style of searching NHS Evidence is set up to support ie immediate satisfaction.  Worth noting is the fact that all search terms and settings are present in the URL returned post search and it is infact this that is shared if you try and email results.  

A good development would be inclusion of search terms in the page title element (a well known search engine does this).    This would constitute a simple visible history for searchers.

The links through to the rebadged Health Information Resources (AKA the National Library for Health) are a little clumsy in terms of the way they manage the Athens journey.  The link for Athens login, for example, places the user at the registration form with a small section of text for those already registered.  These flows will definitely be improved as the site develops.

A useful future development would be some background thesaurus mapping (similar to the complexity hidden by a simple search in PubMed).  This would be particularly useful if it could support disambiguation to prevent some of the pitfalls of keyword based searching. 

A promising start.

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