HILJClub – Novel insights into views towards H1N1 during the 2009 Pandemic: a thematic analysis of twitter data

This edition of HILJ Club has been prepared by:

Catherine McLaren. LKS Development Manager; Library & Knowledge Services and Technology Enhanced Learning, HEE Midlands and East. @cmmclaren

HILJ Club is a intended as a simple way for people to do a bit of CPD by engaging with articles published in HILJ.  HILJ is the journal of the Health Libraries Group of CILIP and all members have access.  Working with Wiley we should be able to open articles up to all for a month around the discussion.  The article selected this time is Open Access which makes this simpler.

The plan remains to pick an article to be discussed from each issue of HILJ. The organising group (Alan Fricker, Catherine McLaren, Morag Clarkson, Lisa Burscheidt, Tom Roper) have picked articles thus far but in future people would be welcome to volunteer to host.  At present articles are hosted on peoples blogs but we may set up a platform at some point.  Generally the host will offer some questions as prompts and then the discussion can go where interest takes it.

Over to Catherine…

#HILJClub, CPD for library staff, especially those interested in health. This time around I got to choose the article we are looking at.

Ahmen, W., Bath, P. A., Sbaffi, L and Demartin, G. (2019) Novel insights into views towards H1N1 during the 2009 Pandemic: a thematic analysis of twitter data. Health Info Libr J, 36: 60-72. doi:10.1111/hir.12247

Background

Infectious disease outbreaks have the potential to cause a high number of fatalities and are a very serious public health risk.

Objectives

Our aim was to utilise an indepth method to study a period of time where the H1N1 Pandemic of 2009 was at its peak.

Methods

A data set of n = 214 784 tweets was retrieved and filtered, and the method of thematic analysis was used to analyse the data.

Results

Eight key themes emerged from the analysis of data: emotion and feeling, health related information, general commentary and resources, media and health organisations, politics, country of origin, food, and humour and/or sarcasm.

Discussion

A major novel finding was that due to the name ‘swine flu’, Twitter users had the belief that pigs and pork could host and/or transmit the virus. Our paper also considered the methodological implications for the wider field of library and information science as well as specific implications for health information and library workers.

Conclusion

Novel insights were derived on how users communicate about disease outbreaks on social media platforms. Our study also provides an innovative methodological contribution because it was found that by utilising an indepth method it was possible to extract greater insight into user communication.

Questions

What? What do you think of this article? What do you think of the research methods? Is there something else that you would have liked to have seen included in the article?

So what? Does this article encourage you to use twitter as the bases for research? Do you think this method could or should be used to research other areas of the profession?

Now what? What areas of the profession would you be interested in researching in a similar way? Will you change your practice as a result of reading this article? If so, how? If not, why not?

 

This article came to my attention because over the last year library and knowledge service staff within the NHS in England have been introduced to health literacy. How they can support NHS staff understand and use health literacy to support the public. So that the public’s health decisions are health literate. The health literacy challenge is already large and anything the brings stress, fear or anxiety to a person reduces their health literacy. How much more so would this be in a large international public health emergency like Swine Flu or Ebola. The writers acknowledge that twitter can be useful in this area; ‘This is because common misunderstandings and key questions relating to health can be rapidly identified and correct information can be consequently disseminated’.

Let’s focus on the questions.

What?

This article interested me for a number of reasons including that Twitter is a social media tool that a lot of library staff use. It is used both personally and professionally but are we aware of how it can be used as a research tool? This article looks at ‘data driven qualitative insights into tweets relating to’ an event of international importance; in this case infectious disease outbreaks and particularly the 2009 Swine flu outbreak.

The article suggests ‘that the methodology applied in this study can be adapted for the analysis of discussions surrounding libraries as well as the profession as a whole’.  Therefore, it is important to judge how robust this methodology is and how and when it might be reproduced in other parts of the profession.

The research question asked within the article was “What type of information was shared on Twitter during the peak of the 2009 swine Flu Pandemic?”

What comes to mind is how do you define the peak of the 2009 Flu Pandemic. The authors defined it as April 28th and 29th 2009 and that Google Trends showed the highest peak during this period of time. UK government data does not support this, instead showing the week beginning June 15th 2009 as being the peak. Figure 1, Health Protection Agency, UK (2010) Epidemiological report of pandemic (H1N1) 2009 in the UK. Available at: https://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20140713172844/http://www.hpa.org.uk/Publications/InfectiousDiseases/Influenza/1010EpidemiologicalreportofpandemicH1N12009inUK/ [Accessed 29/5/2019].

Data from Australia also doesn’t support the idea that the end of April 2009 was the peak of the pandemic, Figure 4 puts it at the middle to end of July 2009.  Department of Health, AU (2010) Annual Report of the National Influenza Surveillance Scheme, 2009. Available at: https://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/cdi4104-j [Accessed 29/5/2019].

The World Health Organisation declared a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern” on 25th April 2009. WHO (2010) Evolution of a Pandemic A(N1N1) 2009, April 2009 – August 2010. Available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/78414/9789241503051_eng.pdf;jsessionid=FC3A8C2A60656D1C3597D76F02F03173?sequence=1 [Accessed 29/5/2019] and a phrase 5 pandemic (wide spread human infection) on 29th April 2009. This maybe why the dates in April where chosen as being the height of the outbreak, as this was when it was high in people minds and online google searches were being done, but it was not the clinical peak of the outbreak as shown by UK, Australian or WHO government surveillance data.

The original number of tweets under review were 214,784 and it was reasonable to filter down these tweets first by removing identical tweets and then near identical tweets at a 60% threshold. After this a 10% sample of the remaining tweets were taken (n=7679).

Eight themes across the study emerge from the two days of data. These were than used along with Twitter’s advance search feature to see if the themes were present across the outbreak of January 2009 to November 2009.

Going forward it would be interesting to see if the themes highlighted in the 2009 Swine Flu outbreak also goes across other worldwide health emergencies such as the 2014 Ebola outbreak (or other national health emergencies). It would also be interesting to see where the interest in an outbreak appears to peak on Twitter or google compared to clinical data around a disease peak. How this data might then be used by governments and health organisations to disseminate information to a worried public would also be of interest.

So What?

This article does highlight to me how twitter and possible other social media platforms can be used to research public perceptions. Linked into concerns around fake news it is important for library staff to understand the positive and negative issues of social media and that research can give us insights into how it is used on an international and more local level. I could see how this type of research could be used to investigate other parts of the profession and especially how it might work for areas within health librarianship. What would have been helpful is a more detailed methods section, but I think there is enough information to give a way forward.

Now What?

I think the work around health literacy within the NHS in England may well be an interesting area to undertake this type of research. Finding out how library staff are reacting to this work, also interested organisations and how members of the public are also interacting with this work. Pulling out the themes of these interactions would allow for more nuanced support as the work goes forward. Taking this research forward would rely on support from the centre around funding and specialist skills which may well be limited in the short term but might be more possible in the medium to long term. We will just have to wait and see.

Catherine McLaren. LKS Development Manager; Library & Knowledge Services and Technology Enhanced Learning, HEE Midlands and East. @cmmclaren


Comments are open!

 

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Journal clubbing – beyond saints, spies and salespeople

I had been planning to read this article on analogies for liaison roles since it came out so was pleased it was selected for my work journal club

BEYOND SAINTS, SPIES AND SALESPEOPLE: NEW ANALOGIES FOR LIBRARY LIAISON PROGRAMMES – Peter Barr and Anthea Tucker – In the Library with the Lead Pipe 19 Sep 2018

Working in a functionally aligned service it is always interesting to see how others experiences tally with ours.  Locally we have also done a great deal of work around things like Customer Service Excellence so debates around the language of the market in HE are ones we have thought about a fair bit (to the point where I spoke at an event we organised on the student as customer).  We had common experiences with the authors about needing to explain a new role within a functional model and the difficulty other departments could have in understanding this.  Looking at the website for their service it seems they retained some aspects of the traditional subject liaison role that I am not sure this was significant.  In contrast to the authors experience we did not experience a drawing away from the other functional teams.  While it has not always been easy there has been concerted work to bring teams closer together with part of the role locally specifically focussed on liaison internal to the service.

The article considers a range of analogies that have been used to help explain the role of liaison staff and suggests some other possibilities.  It was interesting to see how comfortable people were with these or not and we considered a few alternatives (the fixer perhaps).  I liked the idea of selling being not just about commercial imperatives but also “to convince of the worth of” this tallies with the strong thrust around impact and advocacy in NHS libraries.  There was a somewhat adversarial position taken that viewed sales as purely negative when there is scope for us to work with suppliers in more positive ways – they have things we want to buy and an interest in developing the use of resources (I recognise not all relationships will be positive).

I was glad the article came down ultimately to building and presenting our professional identity as librarians.  We can learn a great deal from the way other people go about their work but we should be strong in our own professional base.

 

 

The NLH Enterprise Architecture – looking to the future

For a couple of years now I have had a copy of “An Enterprise Architecture for the National Library for Health: Direction of travel and deliverables” sat in my inbox.  At the time I was preparing a report considering HDAS (the NHS in England interface for searching literature databases) and I wanted to remind myself of the content of this dimly remembered document.  Linda Ferguson kindly dug it out (on a site since dead) and it has been sat nagging me ever since.

The version of the EA above dates from 2006.  I confess I failed to grasp the scope of the vision it represented at the time.  The language is by nature technical but the ambition is very clear.  A number of initiatives now under way in the NHS in England could be plucked directly from this document and would certainly be much easier to deliver if we had gone further down some of the paths it suggests.

The document lays out a plan for delivery of NHS Library web based services.  At the core is the need for “a set of interoperable, networked services that conform to appropriate open standards”.  This would be supported by various things such as shared schemas for meta data and a central registry for API specifications.

I want to consider how the implications anticipated at the time have worked out and where things might be going in the future.

There were several implications identified for national services

 

A coherent and integrated user journey is desired. Presentation layers, what the user sees as a web page and how results are presented, will be separate from content and services and owned and built by the NHS.

Procurement will focus on content and the necessary APIs to integrate content into the discovery and current awareness processes. Increasingly, we do not wish to purchase content locked into any single portal.

A core search service will index all NHS content. It too will have a SOA, providing the basis for search pages. It will integrate with related services such as link resolvers

An NHS resolver service will be a key component in the delivery process. The NHS will wish to procure and own a resolver solution as a managed service.

An NHS library– wide Access Management System is being procured. Use of this system will be mandated for information suppliers. It will be SAML compliant.

Much of this has come to pass though perhaps without the core search service.

HDAS has reasonably successfully allowed for changes to the suppliers of content (databases) without massively impacting the experience of searching for the end user.  The varying API offered by suppliers have not fully supported the consistent search experience desired and there have been performance issues.  What has not happened perhaps is the ongoing integration of other services such as document supply and support at the point of need into HDAS.

We have seen the procurement and integration into HDAS of different link resolving solutions.  OpenAthens has been a long standing partner for access management.

Looking to the future work is underway to deliver an NHS England wide discovery solution and how well this maintains control over the web page and presentation of results will be interesting.  This could potentially be the “core search service”?  NHS Evidence already does this job for some categories of materials but stays away from the literature databases that would swamp the materials it aims to present.

A missed opportunity was the investment to create an NHS England wide Library Management System based in one of the Open Source solutions.  A small central team could have administered and developed a tailored approach that would have matched some of the ambititions of the EA.  I suspect the overall cost over the past decade would have been significantly lower and the opportunities for creating a platform for services greater.

There were also implications flagged for local services

local e-content, whether procured or NHS generated can, by adhering to EA principles, be integrated with national content, either within NLH or within other portals.

New services can be built up around this technology. For example, local current awareness and alerting services can be integrated with national services to provide the user with one way of getting knowledge updates

A single NHS library-wide Access Management System provides web Single Sign-on linking library services to their user base and will provide a bridge to NHS SSO services, opening up library service to non-library users.

Generally we have been happily plugging in locally procured content into national systems.  A gap has been around a solution for ebooks and this will need to be addressed in any new discovery layer as this format grows in importance.  The ability to integrate local content will depend on standards and considering these might be an early priority (as fixing them later will be trickier).

Recent revisions to HLISD will hopefully have maintained the commitment to the important location and service information being available via API to build other service offers.  The wide adoption of KnowledgeShare raises questions of how this (or an equivalent) might be integrated into a future national digital service.

In an ideal world we would have single sign on using peoples Trust logins – any additional login (even one as familiar as OpenAthens) is an unwanted barrier so an NHS SSO is the right ultimate target.


So quite a lot progressed and quite a lot left to do.  As the NHS in England moves towards the procurement of a new discovery tool it feels to me more critical than ever that we maintain the drive of the NLH Enterprise Architecture for the delivery of “a set of interoperable, networked services that conform to appropriate open standards”.  What I would like to see more of is the role of the person supporting at the point of need within that networked service.

These are my views based on my involvement with various aspects of the health libraries system at different points.  I am very happy to be corrected on points of accuracy – and challenged on matters of opinion!

HILJ CPD reading Volume 35 No 3 – Developing a generic tool to routinely measure the impact of health libraries

Welcome to the second experimental online reading group aimed at encouraging discussion of interesting articles in HILJ.  The first attempt took place around Volume 35 No 2 on CILIP Social Link (link may require CILIP login and may not take you to the right place).  Unfortunately we found SocialLink did not really offer quite what was needed so future editions will rove across any ones blog that cares to host.

I raised the possibility of having a regular discussion on articles from HILJ at HLG2018 having muttered about it for some time and as others expressed an interest (in particular Lisa Burscheidt, Morag Clarkson, Catherine Mclaren and Tom Roper) here we are.

As an HLG Member you should have access to HILJ via the link below https://archive.cilip.org.uk/health-libraries-group/health-information-libraries-journal/access-health-information-libraries-journal-hilj though many have it in a Wiley bundle and that maybe easier! The article this time is OpenAccess anyway so should be straightforward.

The idea is that an article will be selected from each issue to be discussed. The group have picked an article but there might be a vote in future or we may carry on picking a favourite by some other means (perhaps the host blogger gets to choose). The intention is to select articles with practical applications. We will offer some questions as prompts but the discussion can go where interest takes it.

The article selected this time is:

Developing a generic tool to routinely measure the impact of health libraries

Stephen Ayre, Alison Brettle, Dominic Gilroy, Douglas Knock, Rebecca Mitchelmore, Sophie Pattison, Susan Smith, Jenny Turner

Pages: 227-245 | First Published: 18 July 2018

Abstract
Background

Health libraries contribute to many activities of a health care organisation. Impact assessment needs to capture that range of contributions.

Objectives

To develop and pilot a generic impact questionnaire that: (1) could be used routinely across all English NHS libraries; (2) built on previous impact surveys; and (3) was reliable and robust.

Methods

This collaborative project involved: (1) literature search; (2) analysis of current best practice and baseline survey of use of current tools and requirements; (3) drafting and piloting the questionnaire; and (4) analysis of the results, revision and plans for roll out.

Findings

The framework selected was the International Standard Methods And Procedures For Assessing The Impact Of Libraries (ISO 16439). The baseline survey (n = 136 library managers) showed that existing tools were not used, and impact assessment was variable. The generic questionnaire developed used a Critical Incident Technique. Analysis of the findings (n = 214 health staff and students), plus comparisons with previous impact studies indicated that the questionnaire should capture the impact for all types of health libraries.

Conclusions

The collaborative project successfully piloted a generic impact questionnaire that, subject to further validation, should apply to many types of health library and information services.


I picked this article as this has been a hot topic for some time now.  I expect many of us will have experience and views on the generic impact questionnaire so there should be useful discussion.  I have not read the article before selecting it!

Starter Questions –
What? What do you think of this article / the generic impact questionnaire / etc?
So what? Does this change your view of the tool?  What changes might we want to see with the tool?
Now what? Are you going to do anything with it?

The next edition of the HILJ CPD Reading experiment (name suggestions welcome! #HILJClub perhaps?) will appear when volume 35 no 4 appears and be hosted by Lisa Burscheidt over at That Black Book.

Look forward to the discussion!  The comments box is further down in this template than I realised so do scroll down to reach it!

Journal Clubbing – Understanding Academics: a UX ethnographic research project at the University of York

Summer edition of my team journal club this time we read

Blake, M. and V. Gallimore (2018). “Understanding academics: a UX ethnographic research project at the University of York.” New Review of Academic Librarianship: 1-25.

I picked this article as I was interested both in the methods used and the potential findings.  I lead on UX work and Uni of York consistently do interesting things in the liaison and engagement sphere so this was an easy one to select.

Overall it left us wanting more.  The methodology section was very light and did not address a number of questions that would have been useful to support the article.  There is no detail of the recruitment strategy or of the semi structured interview schedule for example.  We wanted to know more about the cognitive maps and it would have been great to see a bit of these. While we know that new contacts were made we do not know to what extent the data were gathered from already friendly faces.  They would at least have been sufficiently well disposed towards the library to engage in an extended interview exercise.

The description of academic lives was felt interesting but not surprising. We did wonder if there was a nervousness in writing something that would be published and visible to the interviewees given the emphasis on relationship building.  Generally we wanted to push further into the questions.  A colleague had recently attended a “secret life of an academic” talk where a number of important topics were discussed that have not surfaced in the article at all.  We wondered about the absence of research data management from a library perspective.

Finally we wanted to know more about the changes that had resulted.  This was clearly a major undertaking and the need to see impact from this was felt imperative.  The section on how the data was used to generate user requirement for a change of Reading List software would have been brilliant to read – how did they do this? what difference did it make versus what was known already? etc.

Having said all this – it was a good article for our journal club prompting lots of discussion.  We had useful thoughts on what we might want to know from academics and how we might ask them.  And colleagues at York definitely have expertise and experience we would value!

 

 

On reading – Frugal Innovation

When I started in libraries a couple of years ago (ahem) I thought we were pretty stretched budget wise.  It turns out I started in a period of relative plenty for NHS libraries with a relative flood of cash coming into the system.  Despite that we were always trying to see how to make the money go further while dealing with the expanding possibilities from all things tech.

And here we are now – pressure on the money we have, not a lot of money in prospect, ever growing demands and possibilities.  So what to do?

I saw a positive review of “Frugal Innovation – how to do better with less” (2016) Radjou, N. & Prabhu, J. so thought it might be worth a read (you can check out the brief version and watch the TED Talk if you like).

The book is heavily based in the corporate world but is useful for all that.  There are a wealth of case studies included which help illustrate successes (but not much talk of failures that I recall).  The authors identify six principles for frugal innovation that I will consider in a library context.

Principle 1 – engage and iterate

I think there is a lot of potential for libraries here.  A big part is how we can become more agile.  Smaller NHS libraries have a real advantage here. A small team working in a manageable sized organisation can rapidly take an idea from light bulb moment to launch (provided it doesn’t cost too much money!).  I loved working like this and always enjoy seeing people doing things like this in the Sally Hernando awards.  My experience is that this kind of agility is definitely harder to drive in the much larger services found in a university environment.

We are increasingly active in seeking (and gaining) engagement with the users of our services. This can only be to the benefit of the service.  We are not our users and the more we can understand their motivations, needs and world the stronger the chance of us innovating towards them.  UX work is making great progress with understanding the library in the life of the user.

Principle 2 – flex your assets

A lot of the examples in this chapter are from manufacturing.  Sharing resources is a path libraries have long pursued and there may be yet more mileage to go.  We could consider also how we can improve our supply chain. Big academic services still buy a lot of stuff so there must be potential to work better with suppliers to direct this.

In many cases libraries have a significant amount of prime space and there have been some good initiatives aimed at bringing related activities into that space to drive better uptake of evidence resources and services.  How might we package our services differently to bring them closer to the people who need them?

Principle 3 – develop sustainable solutions

Improving our sustainability can have positive impacts.  For manufacturers they can turn waste products into other products or find others who need to buy them.  There are markets for our used books (though most things are only fit for pulp when we have finished with them).  Encouraging reduced use of plastic can have an impact on our waste bills.  Sustainability is also a big driver for many of our staff and can create real engagement around thinking about how we might encourage reduced use of paper for example.

Principle 4 – shape customer behaviour

There are some interesting ideas here about gamification and visualisation.  These cna be used to encourage positive behaviours.  Currently peoples data is quite locked up in our systems – could we provide ways for people to understand the pattern of research they carried out with our tools?  Another area where we might find interesting lessons is around the use of social pressure.  With pressure on study space at peak times we might explore ways to encourage good citizenship.

Principle 5 – co create value with prosumers

This should be a great one for libraries as once you strip away the awful prosumers term you are talking about building relationships with engaged library users to create champions.  NICE Evidence champions have been an effective means to support peer to peer teaching and building expertise in the user base has the potential to greatly extend our reach.  Perhaps there is the scope to bring more people into our teams in loose ways?  Can we power up the PDNs or rope in the pharmacists?

Principle 6 – make innovative friends

We could all do with more friends.  It would be great to see a more systematic approach to using the good stuff in the Sally Hernando Awards.  We should also look at working our way into the Academy of Fab Stuff (I know some are already there) as this will put us in touch with people who are moving things forward and looking to improve.  Working through networks is the norm for NHS libraries in particular and I would argue that this is the base for hyper collaboration options.  It would be good to see us getting more interesting people involved with improving library interfaces.

All in all this was an interesting book.  The business orientation is a bit of a barrier but the ideas shine through.  Time to do more with less again!

 

 

 

Journal Clubbing – Principles and practice in impact assessment for academic libraries

A change of tack at the team Journal Club with a paper on impact assessment

Christine Urquhart, (2018) “Principles and practice in impact assessment for academic libraries”, Information and Learning Science, Vol. 119 Issue: 1/2, pp.121-134, https://doi.org/10.1108/ILS-06-2017-0053

It was a different paper in that it was a literature review so was rather more general than some of the articles we have been using.

We found the idea of reciprocal value propositions worth exploring.  What happens when these go wrong?  There is a danger in both sides being willing but not always able to deliver on what they might wish for.  Opportunities for using value co-creation could also be imagined.  The idea of student reviews on the value of particular reading list choices could potentially lead to some tricky conversations but would only be providing a formal recognition of discussions that already take place amongst the students.

In many areas the literature points to the importance of strategic alignment with our organisations wider goals.  This is not revolutionary but worth trying to do well.

Discussion on the time involved in qualitative data work along with more generally on gathering and managing feedback should help us in future to more carefully frame what we are trying to achieve.  GDPR should also drive care over data collection and retention. Just because data might be available does not mean it is practically or ethically desirable to use it.

I found the referenced paper Mengel, E. and Lewis, V. (2012), “Collaborative assessment”, Library Management, Vol. 33 Nos 6/7, pp. 357364[Link] on developing a set of measures for a balanced score card particularly interesting given the difficulty of this task and passed it to relevant colleagues.

Overall we found a lot to discuss in the paper but I am not sure it worked as well as some of the research papers we have used previously.  Too often we were left with too little information without going on to read the underlying papers.