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Contributors have generously shared details of their experience in searching for information to support commissioning. These are not put forward as examples of best practice but rather as a means of sharing learning amongst librarians, enabling us all to improve knowledge and skills in this emerging area.

The handbook is organised so that librarians will find the following resources to help them in searching:

  • Tips on searching the web – covering tips on searching for specific types of information.
  • Examples of specific search strategies may include both searches of bibliographic databases and of the web, are shared via the appropriate section of the handbook, under the appropriate heading – each presented either as a separate linked document or a separate page. In addition, the examples of search strategies page brings these together, listed alphabetically by main topic heading and linking to each search.
  • HMIC thesaurus terms

Other useful tools:

PHCN Targeted web search allows you to narrow your search to a small number of web sites which are highly relevant to public health commissioning.

Specialised databases that may be accessible via other libraries in the local network
Librarians supporting the commissioning process may yearn for access to databases and e-journals easily accessible to colleagues in Higher Education.  It is worth investing time to find out what is available, in order to understand when specialised resources will be valuable to commissioners, and to explore any local arrangements to pay-as-you-go for searches. This list derives from information supplied by Linda Atkinson, Health Care Libraries, University of Oxford.

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