This protocol covers the first part of a two-part project funded by the Health Libraries Group and the University Health and Medical Librarians Group. It details the proposed methodology for a systematic map of the literature relating to UK bibliographic databases in the fields of health and social care. The aim of this mapping exercise is to consider ways in which UK bibliographic databases are described, considered and discussed in the published and unpublished literature. In doing so, we hope to gain a clearer sense of the ways in which UK bibliographic databases are used and viewed by the research community. It also enables the identification of any gaps in the literature for further research and discussion. This topic is important because UK databases are generally underused by researchers in the UK context and some databases are at risk of closure. A lack of access to UK databases means that researchers may miss relevant UK evidence when identifying an evidence base.
The authors will present a narrative description of the literature relating to UK bibliographic databases in the fields of health and social care. They will use tables to present descriptive information about the literature (eg, frequency tables) and use cross-tabulations to demonstrate intersecting themes. Separately, guidance on how to use the resources (eg, areas of unique content, updating frequencies, unique truncation symbols) will be sought from stakeholders and reported alongside the report narrative as a guide to usage.
Producing a systematic map of the literature relating to UK databases in the fields of health and social care.
Analysis of the way in which UK databases are used in the fields of health and social care.
This protocol details the methods proposed to produce a systematic map of literature relating to health and social care databases in the UK.
Strengths and limitations of this study
This work will produce the first map of literature relating to UK databases in the fields of health and social care.