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Friday, 14 July 2017

Write Week

Write Club "Boot Camp" in the Diamond
Writing "Boot Camp" in the Diamond

Today marks the end of "Write Week" here at the University of Sheffield, and ScHARR's IR team have been busy both as participants and facilitators.

ScHARR library have been busy providing motivational tweets and tips and members of the IR team joined in to share their own projects and advice:


Meanwhile, Andy Tattersall ran a day-long "boot camp" during Write Week - a more intensive form of the popular "write club" sessions held weekly in the library.  This time staff relocated to the Diamond and worked through a schedule of 10 "pomodoros" - 25 minute time slots designed to allow for a concentrated burst of productivity on a specific task, punctuated by 5 minute breaks for refreshment.

There are definite benefits to being out of the building, away from the distractions of the phone (or colleagues knocking on the office door) and having some protected time to do nothing but focus on writing.    Like Write Club, these retreats are popular and staff need to book a place in advance using Eventbrite.    Motivation came in the form of a visual display using the Forest app, showing saplings which grow over the course of the day as illustrations of our productivity.
Do you have any tips for productivity, or on making time for those important but non-urgent tasks that can easily be neglected when you're running a busy service?

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

ScHARR Information Resources Team - European Tour 2017!

This month has seen a plethora of conference activity from current (and former) Information Resources staff.

Andrew, Louise and Mark presenting in Dublin
Andrew Booth, Louise Preston & Mark Clowes

The theme of this year's EAHIL / ICML congress (in Dublin) was "Diversity In Practice: Integrating, Inspiring and Innovative" and it featured:


  • A continuing education workshop "Room for a Review?" delivered by Louise Preston, Andrew Booth and Mark Clowes
  • An explorative workshop on "Partners for Leadership Exchange?" co-presented by ScHARR's Anthea Sutton with Lotta Haglund (Swedish School of Sport & Health Sciences, Stockholm).
  •  An oral presentation by Mark Clowes "What's the prognosis for health librarianship?" reflecting on how his professional role has evolved from librarian to information specialist via a case study of a prognostic health technology assesment project on which he has been a co-author.
  • Poster presentations by Anthea ("Co-design and shared delivery: working with partner organisations to meet the training needs of the health library and knowledge workforce") and Louise ("Developing search strategies to search for evidence on equality and diversity")

The event, held in Dublin Castle, was attended by several hundred librarians and information professionals from across the world and was an opportunity to catch up with old friends and colleagues, as well as meeting new ones.

Ruth Wong presenting at HTAI (Rome)
The following week, Andrew, Anthea, Ruth and Mark appeared at the HTAI Annual Meeting in Rome.   As a multidisciplinary conference about health technology assessment, the event attracts a mixed audience including reviewers, economists and health practitioners as well as information specialists.

  • Anthea presented a "vignette presentation" reporting an empirical study on the efficient retrieval of trial protocols.
  • Ruth gave an oral presentation entitled "The Impact of Searching Fewer Databases in HTA Rapid Reviews".
  • Mark gave an oral presentation on using visualization software (VOS Viewer) to identify candidate markers in a systematic review of prognostic factors in rheumatoid arthritis.

Both conferences offered stimulating programmes of presentations and workshops; as well as an opportunity to network with colleagues and see a little of two great European cities.

So, as this blog recently passed something of a milestone (WE ARE 10!) we raise a glass to Andy Tattersall who founded it back in 2007, and to all our readers.  Slainte!

Mark Clowes

Louise Preston
Anthea Sutton