Recently, Elsevier notified their QUOSA clients that they will be discontinuing the literature management tool in June 2023. This development has left QUOSA users with the task of researching alternate solutions, identifying those that best meet their information and research needs and transitioning to a new literature management tool over the course of the year.  With various use cases across a life science organization, there are several factors to consider when making this change.

  1. Maintaining Custom Workflows

If your organization has incorporated specific workflows for reviewing literature, you may want to replicate this in a new tool.  Workflows such as the weekly literature review for pharmacovigilance requires capturing the review process.  Does the system you’re considering allow you to create custom fields to capture the required information?  Can the import from PubMed or Embase be set up to automatically populate a library or is it a manual process?  Even if this task is outsourced, there are benefits to having the CRO do the review and access the literature in your own system.  If they need full text articles, they can be obtained through your company’s subscriptions or document delivery and stored in the central library for additional reuse consistent with available rights.

  1. Setting Up Key Information Alerts

Staying current on products, markets, and competitive developments is crucial in the life science industry.  Setting up alerts is an easy way to keep abreast of the latest information and trends.  Can the alerts from your key sources integrate into the literature management tool so that it’s easy to review and manage?

  1. Integrating with Preferred Databases

Integrating with literature databases such as PubMed, Embase and SciFinder is an important feature of a platform not only for content but for user preference.  Change management can be very challenging. While literature management tools may offer flashy search features, often times, people are more comfortable searching in the platform to which they’ve grown accustomed.  Enabling full text retrieval from the user’s current workflow can enhance their experience and encourage adoption of the new platform in a less disruptive way.

  1. Promoting Collaboration

Shared libraries in literature management tools allow for collaboration, but notifications also factor into the process.  When a colleague adds a document, comment, tag or annotation, will the others in the shared library receive a notification that there has been a change?  Visibility into what others are doing is key to efficiency as well as successful knowledge sharing.

  1. Simplifying Copyright Compliance

In QUOSA, the permitted uses of copyrighted content are visible to the user from the citation listing and the default can be set for that user’s typical use case scenario.  This takes the burden off the user to look it up.  While most users will only use literature for internal distribution, there are some groups that have other needs.  Medical Information groups need to know if they can send out an article to a health care provider when they get an unsolicited request.  Regulatory groups need to know if they can send an article as part of a filing with the FDA.  Does the system make it easy for users to view their rights? The more visible the copyright permissions are in the system, the easier it is for the user to be compliant.  Presenting permissions within the record keeps copyright top of mind and minimizes infringement risk to the organization.

  1. Streamlining Access to Content

While some organizations only provide access to a literature management tool to a small number of users, a better approach is an enterprise solution.  With needs for literature across functional areas, operating from a decentralized system is not cost effective, efficient, or compliant as users will continue to make purchases and store articles outside the system with no regard for copyright.   In comparison, a centralized enterprise system can better manage permitted access across the organization, eliminate siloes, promote collaboration and support copyright compliance.

By opening the system up to the organization, you’ll also get a holistic view of the literature your company is using, and the costs associated with it.  This information will allow for better decision making regarding subscribed content.

  1. Seamlessly Managing Citations

Medical Writing and Regulatory groups cite literature as well as internal content such as conference proceedings in manuscripts and filings. Can the literature management platform accommodate internal content so that all references are stored in one location with all the necessary metadata?  Will your organization use a built-in citation feature or an external product such as EndNote?  Things to consider are the citation styles available in the tool and user preference. All of the literature management tools integrate with EndNote, but that subscription is an additional cost.

  1. Scaling Your Solution as You Grow

Discovery-stage organizations may not require all of the functionality available in a literature management system but selecting one that allows for scalability as they grow is advantageous.  As mentioned, change management is difficult.  By implementing a system that your organization can grow with, you’ll eliminate the need for future transitions – at least for circumstances you can control!  Workflows, citation capabilities, and other features that may not be top of mind today may be of use to a commercial organization.


Transitioning from QUOSA to a comparable system doesn’t have to be difficult.  I can attest to the ease of the transition process with RightFind, having done it numerous times on behalf of HJDesmarais Consulting clients.   RightFind Enterprise provides the features necessary to support a life science organization through all stages of development with excellent customer support to assist along the way.

CCC takes a consultative approach with a mission to create solutions together. Learn more about CCC’s RightFind Suite and see how others are utlizing RightFind for their content management and compliance solutions:

How RightFind Enterprise Facilitates Content Access Across the World for a Global Leader in Hygiene, Health and Nutrition

How Mirati Therapeutics Launched RightFind Enterprise for Its At-Home Work Force

How Promoting Intellectual Property with RightFind Enterprise Fosters Innovation at Sun Chemical


Author: Heather Desmarais

Heather Desmarais is a knowledge and information management consultant, as well as the founder and principal of HJDesmarais Consulting LLC.
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