28.049| Volume 14, SUPPLEMENT 1, e105, March 2010

Providing guidance during the swine flu outbreak in 2009: An evaluation study of the National Resource for Infection Control (NRIC)

Open ArchivePublished:March 08, 2010DOI:
      Background: Over 40 000 professionals monthly access the evidence provided by the National Resource for Infection Control (NRIC, - a digital library for infection prevention and control, was launched in May 2005. The project funded by the Department of Health (UK) is endorsed by NeLI ( and its success has been in its unique ability to provide the best available evidence published within the last 5 years (where possible) on investigation, management, prevention, control and treatment of, healthcare associated infection, and infectious diseases. The user base is coming from the UK, US and many other non-English speaking countries. The key added value is the quality appraisal of posted documents conducted in collaboration with major professional societies.
      Methods: During the swine flu outbreak from April until August 2009, we conducted a wide evaluation of user searches and needs and access of key resources to better understand user concerns.
      We conducted a number of evaluation searches that will be presented on at this conference. Most importantly, page views for resources related to swine flu peaked in late August, as illustrated on Figure 1.
      Results: Further, important revelation was investigation of the swine flu searches along the timeline of the outbreak clearly demonstrating the raise and increase of the keyword “pandemic” (graph in red) after 11th June 2009 and the keyword “influenza” (graph in green) after 23rd July 2009 while the keyword “pandemic flu” (graph in blue) initially popular decreased. Figure 2 illustrates the popularity of the three most frequent keywords.
      Direct access to influenza resources on NRIC was also encouraged by the placement of a dedicated link on the Home Page (green line on Figure 2). Furhter timelines, traffic and information needs analysis revealed an increase in interest in evidence around pandemic influenza.
      Conclusion: Having learning these lessons we have updated the NRIC Home page in October 2009 and are in the process of collecting more results for the autumn second wave. A comparative study of this unique evaluation and user navigation behaviour, user demographics as well as searches from popular search engines will be presented at the conference.

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