UKMi Quality and Risk Management Group
UKMi publishes the Essential Resource List (ERL). This is a list of resources recommended as being particularly useful for most MI services, especially those more likely to be purchased directly by MI centres rather than held in NHS libraries.
The list is split into 2 parts. The ‘Resources for Purchase’ list recommends Core resources that every MI Centre should hold (regardless of whether the Centre is local or regional), and Additional resources that should be held according to the nature of enquiries received. The ‘Resources with Free Access’ list is an approved list of resources which are freely available, including many web based sources.
Resources are assessed for inclusion on the ERL according to the Resource Assessment Tool. Details of a specific assessment are available on request.
A resource which is published by an authoritative source, such as a Royal College or a government body, is not required to go through the resource assessment tool.
An existing resource which has been updated, e.g. a new edition or available on a new platform, will not routinely be re-assessed.
Note that some resources are included on the essential resource list but predate the use of the assessment tool. The QRMG will not retrospectively assess a resource unless there has been significant change.
Some resources will have been assessed but are not deemed suitable for inclusion on the ERL; when considering using a non-recommended resource, check with the QRMG to see if the resource has been previously assessed.
Non-inclusion on the ERL does not necessarily indicate that the resource is not appropriate for use within MI. If you are considering using a resource that is not on the ERL, the following should be assessed:
- Evaluation: Has it been evaluated by a trusted person/body already? This may be UKMi, or your organisation’s library. Does the information appear to be accurate and trustworthy?
- Presentation: Is the information professionally presented? Although professional presentation does not indicate trustworthiness, lack of professionalism may indicate that the resource is not to be trusted.
- Author: who wrote or commissioned the information? An individual, national association, professional body, commercial entity? What is their authority?
- Bias: Does the information appear to be objective, or is it presented with a particular bias?
- Referencing: Is it referenced? Can you tell where the information has come from?
- Date: Is the information up to date?
- Money: Is there any involved, and if so, who gets it? Is the website trying to sell anything?
- Audience: Who is the target audience? Is it aimed at doctors (e.g. for use at point of care), pharmacists, nurses, or patients?
You may also wish to conduct your own evaluation using the Resource Assessment Tool.
In addition to the ERL, a document outlining the Limitations of Common Information Sources is also available. Guidance is also given regarding the general use of resources which may be available as Apps.
A document is provided which gives useful guidance on using and assessing the quality of information found on the Internet, including the use of Google Scholar. The Medicines Learning Portal [external website] also has a helpful section Internet and Medicines.
For a useful list of information sources and websites for on-call, which can be adapted for local use, refer to the On-call section in the Medicines Learning Portal.
Specific Guidance is also given regarding the use of Point of Care tools and Foreign Language Resources.