The major project for LKS ASE last year (2019) and this year (2020) is amber, tagged as the home of ambulance service research.   Working with Manchester University NHS Trust Library, LKS ASE has successfully achieved a number of milestones in the roll out of amber.



At the beginning of 2019 LKS ASE ran a consultation exercise with colleagues at HEE to assess the needs of  potential users and to inform the development of amber.  There is a summary of the consultation in the HLG Newsletter. You can also read some more of the background to amber’s  progress on the Knowledge for Healthcare blog. 

amber was commissioned fromAtmire in February 2019 and uses their OpenRepository platform based on DSpace.  LKS ASE is working with Manchester colleagues to populate the repository with records for research published by NHS Staff working in ambulance services in England from 2006** to date.

amber was launched at a number of events around the country including the amazing Emergency Services Show in Birmingham, the College of Paramedics Research Conference in Cardiff and the College of Paramedics Student Conference in Birmingham.  LKS ASE will continue to promote amber at conferences and exhibitions in 2020.  There is a separate marketing website for amber with the marketing materials and an explanatory video.  

amber is a work in progress.  To date it holds data from 2014 – 2019.  The expected completion date is May 2020.  By then it should contain an estimated 900 records with newly published  items being added each month.



To generate some interest in amber LKS ASE has been analysing the data created by the repository to see what if anything we can learn about the publications.  It may be a little arcane but if you have an interest in the mechanics of publication and metrics you can read the more about it on the LKS ASE blog, Library Update.

amber is already proving useful for our users.  amber has been mentioned in search requests, enquirers saying they have searched amber ....  It’s a tool that LKS ASE uses in addition to searching HDAS to identify specific ambulance / paramedic literature.  Colleagues are encouraged to use it, keeping in mind the limitations already mentioned above.  Most records have abstracts allowed through agreements with journal publishers.  Records can be downloaded in most common formats including CSV, .ris and bibtext.  

amber is integrated into the National Ambulance Research Steering Group [NARSG] website.  An important step towards answering the question for researchers about What has been published in paramedicine research?

If you have any questions or would like any of the publicity material about amber for your library please do get in touch or if you join the NHS-Repositories list if you haven’t already. 

**2006 is the year that ambulance services were reorganised into 13 regions from 31 separate services following the Bradley Report, Taking Healthcare to the Patient Transforming NHS Ambulance Services.

Matt Holland
LKS ASE Librarian