How to write them Impact case studies

These resources have been developed to assist services in compiling impact case studies

We recommend that you:

  1. First look at the example impact case studies
  2. Next, look at the Case Study Quality Checklist
  3. Work through the case studies yourself using the checklist. For each case study determine whether you think it meets the three core criteria and the additional criteria identified on the checklist.
  4. View the presentation and compare our views to your findings.


If you are unable to access YouTube within your organisation, use the copy of the presentation Crafting a Good Impact Case Study and narrative

Contact [email protected] for the presentation in an accessible format.

The review team quality checklist

This is the checklist which impact case study review teams use when reviewing case study submissions.  Remember, the case study story has to make sense to someone outside your library organisation.  Any case study meeting the first three criteria is accepted for addition to the database.  Case studies deemed to meet the 4th and 5th criteria may be escalated to HEE Library Leads for awareness with impact vignettes created for use.

Contact [email protected] for the quality checklist in an accessible format.

Example Case Studies 

Great Case Study 

This is an example of a great LKS impact case study.  There is clarity about the challenge faced by the Trust, the role of the library and knowledge service in addressing this challenge, the intervention, and the outcome.  There is detail of funding saved as a result of the intervention, direct improvements for patients, and a quote provided by a named library champion who has benefited directly from the work.

This case study is likely to be accepted for addition to the database and will be escalated for the attention of HEE leads as well as being turned into an Impact Vignette.

Good Case Study

This is a basic example of an LKS impact case study.  There is basic, if minimal, information about the background challenge, how the library service helped, and the outcome.  Notice how the “story” is told less effectively than in the great case study with less engagement from the reader.  There is no detail of cost savings or time saving made nor is there a named champion.

This case study is likely to be accepted for addition to the database but will not be escalated due to the limited information provided.

Poor Case Study 1

This is a poor LKS impact case study.  There is coverage of the background and details of what the library did to help.  Crucially however there are not details of any outcomes and impact.  The library service found some information – so what? What was it used for? What were the outcomes?  We are provided with a named witness statement and a quote but notice the quote contains feedback on how welcoming the library staff are rather than anything about the impact they have had.

This case study would be sent back to the originating library with an invitation to add further detail if available and resubmit.

Poor Case Study 2

This is a poor LKS impact case study.  There is some basic information about the background and what was done to address the problem.  There is information about the outcomes and the impact resulting.  A named champion for the work is quoted together with details of the cost savings and patient safety improvements.  At first glance this looks ideal.  But what did the library do in this process?  The library and knowledge service is not mentioned anywhere in the story.

This case study would be sent back to the originating library with an invitation to add further detail if available and resubmit.

Page last reviewed: 15 June 2021