Prof Alison Brettle

School of Health & Society

Photo of Prof Alison Brettle

Current positions



Alison joined the University of Salford in 1997 as a Research Fellow (Information) and was promoted to Chair in 2016. Alison completed a first degree in European Business and Languages and a Masters Degree in Information Studies. Her PhD explored the roles, effectiveness and impact of health information professionals in evidence based practice and was completed via the Published Works route in 2009. Alison has an extensive research record comprising over 150 research outputs including peer reviewed papers, books, book chapters, reports and invited conference papers and keynotes. Alison has been involved with research evaluating the impact and value of libraries, systematic and scoping reviews on a wide range of topics across health and social care and digital health projects which use social media provide information and support (Facemums; GMKIN). Current projects include evaluation of an app to provide information to patients with Multiple Sclerosis and a scoping review on frailty within chronic kidney disease. Her research has provided tools to measure the outcomes and impact of health library services and provided evidence to underpin NICE guidance, research strategies and competence frameworks of professional bodies and organisations. Projects providing information and support via social media in the areas of chronic kidney disease and pregnancy have improved the health and well-being of participants as well as providing a valued source of information and support.

Alison is one of the founding members of the international Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP) Movement. She is a member of the International Programme Committee for the Biennial Evidence Based Library and Information Practice Conference Movement and helped bring the conference to the UK in 2011 (University of Salford) and in 2019 (University of Strathclyde). She has undertaken a range of roles within the Open Access EBLIP Journal since its inception in 2006, including Editor-in-Chief and is currently on the editorial advisory board. She is Chair of the Library and Information Research Group (LIRG), one of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professional’s (CILIP) special interest groups. She is an academic advisor for Knowledge for Healthcare, contributing to their Value and Impact Group and Evaluation Framework. She is Honorary Chair at Southern Medical University, Guandong Province, China and has taught CPD workshops in Evidence Based Practice at Southern Medical University, China and Hasanuddin University Indonesia.

Within the University of Salford, Alison is Director of the Centre for Applied Health Research, School of Health and Society and was Director of Post Graduate Research, 2014-2019, a member of the School of Health and Society Research Leadership Team and a member of the Knowledge Health and Place Research Group. She is module lead for the Level 7 -Evidence Based Practice in Patient Care Module. Alison has 8 current PhD students, 21 PhD completions and 1 MPhil and has examined PhD theses internally and externally

Areas of Research

Digital Health, Evidence Based Practice, Health Information, Evaluation of Libraries, Evidence Based Library and Information Practice

Areas of Supervision

Digital health
Information needs
Evaluation of health information/health libraries


Level 7 Evidence Based Practice

Qualifications and Recognitions

  • PhD

    2009 - 2009