The Central Cancer Library (The Netherlands Cancer Institute) and the Department of
Information Science, University of Pretoria conducted a cross-country exploratory study
to evaluate the current awareness service (CAS) offered by the Library via PUBMED. The intention was to determine satisfaction with the service, the topics of interest, the reasons for using the service and potential problems, and to pave the way for ongoing research that is manageable for library and information (LIS) practitioners and that can eventually make a theoretical contribution. The intention was furthermore to promote the service to South African oncology nurses as a method of staying abreast in their field: they have access to the library website and can access monthly updates on the topic(s) of
their choice. Twenty eight oncology healthcare professionals (mostly oncology nurses)
participated: 6 from The Netherlands and 22 from South Africa. For participants from The Netherlands it seems as if professional interest and evidence-based nursing are the most important reasons for using the CAS, and for South African participants it seems to be the need to offer a good service to patients. The value of small-scale evaluation projects and cooperation between academia and praxis was shown, and the way paved
for continuation of the project.