Story tagging: what can you search for?

Update from Care Opinion tech

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picture of James Munro

Now that any Care Opinion subscriber can add their own tags to a story, you might be wondering how this affects searching for stories.

For example, suppose you and your colleagues Anya and Bill are doing a project about ankle injuries. Like the wild things you are, you decide to tag relevant stories with "ankle injury". You tag some, Anya tags some, Bill tags some. And some were already tagged by each author as they told their story.

After a while you feel you have tagged a lot of stories, and decide to run a search for them all (perhaps as a prelude to creating a report or a visualisation). Which stories will you see in your search results?

The answer is, as always: "It depends." Specifically, it depends on how you tag, and how you search. Let's see why (it isn't too complicated).

How you tag

You, Anya and Bill all agreed to add the tag "ankle injury" to some stories. But it turns out you didn't talk about whether to add the tag as public, shared or private. 

To remind you, a public tag can be seen by everyone, a shared tag can be seen by anyone in your subscription, and a private tag is private: only the person who adds it can see it.

While you added all your tags as public (and why not?), Anya added hers as shared tags. And somehow Bill decided to add all his as private. Oh, Bill.

How you search

Given how you've all tagged the stories, what will you see if you search for "stories tagged with 'ankle injury'"?

Public view

First, let's see what happens if you are not logged in. Your search will retrieve all the stories with a public tag: that is, stories originally tagged by authors, plus the stories you tagged yourself (with a public tag). You won't see the stories Anya or Bill tagged.

Keep in mind that any other Care Opinion user will also see these stories. By adding "ankle injury" as a public tag, you've added to the set of stories everyone will see if they search for that tag.

Subscriber view

Now imagine you are logged in to your subscription. Search again, and this time you'll see the stories tagged by authors, tagged by you, and also the ones Anya tagged. 

Anya's stories come up in this search because her tag was shared, and you are both in the same subscription, so you can see it.

You still won't see the stories Bill tagged (unless you or Anya happened to tag them too) because he tagged his privately.

So who can find Bill's stories again? Only Bill - he tagged privately. Nobody else will see his tags. Adding a tag privately can be useful if you need to tag stories just for yourself. You can always change your tags to shared or public later on if you need to.

More to come

Along with my earlier post, that's most of what you need to know to use story tagging yourself.

You might wonder whether you can see all the tags you've previously used (or Anya or Bill have used) so you don't have to write them down. You can, and that's the subject of my next post. Stay tuned!

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran on

Hi James,

As you know, I was keen for this and I think it is a great feature that I will (and have) use and find it is very helpful. I was wondering, if when I am logged in, apart from searching for private tagged stories, can I see them anywhere? 

Thanks James,

Keep up the great work

Response from James Munro, Chief executive, Care Opinion on

Hi Eunice

Glad it is helpful! We have some more work to do to make it even more helpful (we have ideas!).

Yes, you can see the tags you have used. For now, the simplest way to do this is:

  1. Go to your members page
  2. Open the section for your own name
  3. On the right you'll see your top tags, and a link to see all the tags you have used
  4. Follow the link to the tags page, where you can see all the tags you have used, or the shared/public tags which other members of your subscription have used

Hoping that's what you needed - but if not let me know.

Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran on

Thank you James,

As always, very helpful. I will have a look.

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