The aim of the evaluation project was to examine how specialist areas of the National electronic Library for Health should be developed as virtual communities of practice. The objectives included a review of the research evidence, to identify the factors that affect the successful operation of such communities. The review findings informed the appraisal framework used to assess whether the specialist areas (the Virtual Branch Libraries, in particular) of the National electronic Library for Health portal were evolving as evidence indicated they should. Appraisal findings indicated that most of the Virtual Branch Libraries had successfully evolved beyond the initial stages of community of practice development but that the more sophisticated stages of community of practice existence would require, for example, development of collaborative work tasks. The appraisal framework was successful in identifying some possible barriers to further development, as well as the opportunities for exploiting tacit knowledge within the NHS more cost-effectively than has been possible up till now.
|Publication status||Published - 2003|