Home > The National Documentation Centre on Drug Use: survey results.

Nelson, Mairea and Dunne, Mary and Galvin, Brian (2012) The National Documentation Centre on Drug Use: survey results. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 43, Autumn 2012, pp. 3-4.

PDF (Drugnet Ireland issue 43) - Published Version

As part of an ongoing evaluation of our website and library services, the staff of the National Documentation Centre on Drug Use (NDC) recently conducted an online survey of our users. We received 441 responses. Thank you to everyone who took part.  

Key findings
·         Over half (54%) of respondents visit our site at least once a month.
·         Over half (53%) of respondents currently studying are at postgraduate level.
·         The majority (73%) of respondents use the NDC for work (Figure 1).

In the course of the survey, respondents provided observations on various aspects of our resources and services. We grouped these comments into the following categories:

·         Satisfaction with service responsiveness of NDC staff (44 comments);
·         Satisfaction with website and resources (29 comments);
·         Literature searching (4 comments);
·         Marketing and promotion of the service (5 comments);
·         Suggested additions to the service (7 comments).
Satisfaction with service responsiveness
Forty-one per cent ofrespondents had contacted the NDC staff with a query and, of these, 97% were either satisfied or very satisfied with the response they received. All 44 comments about the responsiveness of NDC staff were favourable; 30 of them contained the word ‘helpful’.
Extremely helpful to me in my work & research. One of the better elements of service delivery within the overall addiction service.
Having used the services and also getting great support from your team through telephone support for the past two years I have found the service invaluable in my work and research. Thank you.
Satisfaction with website and resources
Eighty-five per cent of respondents found the website easy to use. All sources of information available from our homepage were reported as being useful or very useful by the majority of respondents. For example, drug data (treatment tables) (78%), evidence-based resources (85%) and the online directory of training courses (68%).
Similarly, all our key resource publications were rated as useful or very useful by the majority, including our own recently updated factsheets (84%), Drugnet Ireland (86%) and the annual national reports on the drug situation in Ireland (88%).
Comments indicated that respondents were generally satisfied with the NDC:
The NDC is a crucial resource for information and research on drug and alcohol related publications and debates.
I found this site invaluable for research studies, one of the best, and have recommended it too.  It is an excellent and valuable resource. Thank you for providing a source of quality information for all in Ireland and beyond.
Having the resource to use when so many others in Europe have been closed down is invaluable.
One respondent wanted more full texts of publications online:
It is an excellent resource, but some texts are unavailable online. It would be great if you made more texts available online.
Unfortunately, some publications, particularly journal articles and books, cannot be made available on our website due to copyright law. We do however offer a document delivery service where you can request the full text of a published article in hard copy.
Literature searching
Eighty-seven per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that, overall, the advanced search page was easy to use. However, comments confirm that some respondents have difficulty in finding what they want, or in sorting search results:
It can be confusing and unclear as to how to use the search engine and I don't always get what I need.
Can be difficult to access the relevant information.
The search results need to be better organised especially when you try to view all results. It can be extremely difficult to identify results when they are all packed together.
To address this, we plan to provide an online tutorial on how to use the advanced search option. This tutorial will also give advice on sorting search results – by year, by author, by title or by type of publication. The NDC staff are available by telephone or in person (by appointment) to guide you through any difficulties you have with searching our site.
 The need to access regional data was also expressed:
Would be beneficial if research was available or searchable based on regional areas. A lot of research is national, but if one is trying to get a local picture the current format does not allow to categorise research in a local regional format.
We have recently added a field in the advanced search page called ‘geographical area’ that allows searching by county or country. The treatment data can also be searched by county or region. 
Marketing and promotion of the service
Some respondents would like more regular updates and promotion of specific resources:
You need to promote the evidence based research section more as I don't think people use it enough.
More regular updates sent via email to inform users of new additions to website.
To keep up to date with alcohol and drug research and related issues, you can sign up for the NDC monthly electronic newsletter which compiles recent news items and new acquisitions, providing links where possible.  The newsletter also has a link to recent Dáil debates. To receive this valuable resource, click ‘NDC newsletter’ on the homepage and enter your email address.
Suggested additions to the service
A few respondents made suggestions about features they would like to see available from the NDC:
Tutorial on how to use site displayed prominently on front would be useful.
It is useful, much needed. Would like to see update figures for drugs etc. and beds available etc. 
We plan to produce online tutorials for the key resources on our website. We are also looking at ways to make drug-related data more readily available to our users. We will take on board all the suggestions and comments made by respondents so that we can continue to improve our resources. Thanks again to everyone who took part in our survey. The NDC website is at www.drugsandalcohol.ie
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 43, Autumn 2012
October 2012
Page Range
pp. 3-4
Health Research Board
Issue 43, Autumn 2012
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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