3 questions to… Marie-Odile Safon et Véronique Suhard, librarians at IRDES.

February 2020

1/ How does the Documentation centre work today? In which networks does it participate?

Since its creation in 1985, the Documentation centre has had a large collection of documents in health economics and related fields, as well as a database containing 75,000 bibliographical references, accessible only on site. The closure of the French "Banque de données en santé publique" (BDSP, Public Health Data Bank) at the end of 2018, of which IRDES had been an active member from the outset, compromised the mutualisation of certain functions (sharing of indexing between producers, querying a centralised database, etc.). However, the Documentation centre has remained in contact with all the producers in this network and exchanges continue: a collective has been set up to relaunch a French-speaking public health information network (RFISP, Réseau francophone d'information en santé publique). The "Banque de données en santé publique" remains accessible as an open archive on the INIST website (Institut de l'information scientifique et technique, French Institute of Scientific and Technical Information). Finally, the Documentation centre continues its collaboration with the SUDOC University network (ABES, Agence bibliographique de l'enseignement supérieur, French Higher Education Bibliographic Agency) and the Association des professionnels de l'information et de la documentation (ADBS, French Association of Information and Documentation Professionals).

2/ Who are your main users?

The primary users of the Documentation centre remain IRDES researchers, although the centre also responds to requests, particularly from institutions (Caisse nationale de l'assurance maladie (CNAM, French National Health Insurance Fund), Direction de la recherche, des études, de l'évaluation et des statistiques (DREES, Directorate for Research, Studies, Assessment and Statistics), Caisse nationale de solidarité pour l'autonomie (CNSA, French National Solidarity Fund for Autonomy), Haut Conseil pour l'avenir de l'assurance maladie (HCAAM, French High Council for the Future of Health Insurance), Inspection générale des affaires sociales (IGAS, French General Audit Office of Social Affairs), etc.). The Documentation centre carries out bibliographical research upstream of research projects, using international bases in health, social sciences and economics (Medline, Embase, Econlit...). These literature reviews also benefit the outside world, as they are then disseminated on the IRDES website (see below). The Documentation centre also provides a documentary watch on health news as well as a scientific watch on health systems and policies ("Health Services Research"). Finally, its services are solicited by users from a variety of backgrounds, such as health professionals, administration, students and information professionals… The Documentation centre, which is still open to the public by appointment, nowadays responds to requests that are mostly virtual.

3/ What are the latest documentary products that have been downloaded the most?

The work of monitoring and documentary research is promoted on the IRDES website in the form of various documents (monitoring products, summaries & thematic bibliographies) in order to be shared with the scientific community and actors in the health and medico-social sectors. The most frequently downloaded documents are the summaries that provide an overview of both historical and regulatory knowledge on various aspects of the French healthcare system: the 2019 Law relating to the Organization and Transformation of the Health System (Ma santé 2022), the 2016 Law on the Modernization of the Health System, Hospital reforms, Social security financing laws, etc., as well as thematic bibliographies that respond not only to current issues but also to research questions (see the IRDES research program): e-health, mental health in France and OECD countries, primary health care, ageing and health. The downloading of monitoring products has also increased considerably this year: Health and Social Protection News, Watch on Health Economics (bilingual). Finally, the documentary tools are also well consulted: the French-English glossary of health economics terms, a collection of IRDES publications, and the sources of information and methodology for documentary research in health.