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The HSE’s National Library’s Evidence Team is made up of qualified librarians working in the HSE, who have a minimum of 5 years’ experience of advanced searching. During the COVID-19 emergency, librarians from other public sector organisations including the wider health sector have joined our team on a voluntary basis. All librarians on the team have expertise in searching and validating information. The team has access to a pool of volunteers with clinical background who act on an advisory capacity should the need arise.
Sources of Evidence and search and display protocol
Our evidence searches target major bibliographical databases such as Medline and Embase, other reputable sources of clinical research evidence such as the Oxford COVID-19 Evidence Service, guidelines from major national and international organisations such as WHO, ECDC, HPSC, etc., as well as clinical point of care tools such as UpToDate and BMJ Best Practice. Our search also includes consultation of other authoritative sources on the open Internet and social media in the interest of comprehensiveness and to keep pace with the rapidly changing evidence base.
Our search protocol is activated upon receipt of a request via the online request form, and includes background reading of point-of-care tools and other sources to build search vocabulary, terminology and synonyms in order to proceed to a detailed search of the aforementioned sources.