FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

ALISS New Development

ALISS Technical FAQs

The ALISS programme

The programme receives funding on a recurring basis from the Scottish Government Health Directorate and has also received additional funding for 2013/14 from the Scottish Government Digital Directorate. The Programme is delivered by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland.
A Local Information System for Scotland. In the early stages of the programme it was called Access to Local Information to Support Self Management. The name changed in 2013 to reflect the wider applicability of the work.
The primary objective of the programme is to make information about local sources of support more findable.
Approximately 40% of Scotland’s population lives with one or more long term condition. Research, and those with long term conditions and their carers, indicate that health and wellbeing is improved by having access to local sources of support. Our work with individuals with long term conditions, their carers and public sector staff has however indicated that information about local sources of support is hard to find, maintain and share – meaning that people often don’t benefit from what is available. The ALISS Programme and engine have been designed with those with long term conditions and their carers as well as health and social care professionals to address this issue – providing community development and data gathering support as well as technical tools to facilitate the collective maintenance and sharing of information.
The Programme Director reports to the ALISS Programme Board. There will be two new reference groups in 2014 – one technical and one general.
Everyone can get involved - whether you wish to share views, feedback, volunteer, join a reference group, disseminate in your own area, or integrate with us, please contact aliss@alliance-scotland.org.uk

How the technology works

ALISS is essentially two things: firstly an index of local sources of support, providing lists of links to resources; and secondly a tool to facilitate ownership, collaborative maintenance and sharing of information within communities.
The engine relies on being provided with details such as a description of the resource, web address (if one exists) and location. Full details (such as phone numbers, etc.) would normally be contained and maintained not in ALISS, but within the source system pointed to ( unless the information is not contained within any existing system in which case a full entry can be created within ALISS). This resource information can be indexed by ALISS in a number of ways: manual addition by users, bulk upload from spreadsheets provided to the ALISS team or direct technical integration / communication between ALISS and provider systems.
Once indexed within ALISS, this collated view of information about local sources of support can be shared in a number of ways:
  • search tools provided by ALISS – we can provide a customisable search page hosted by us or a search box for addition to any existing website.
  • integration with existing systems - we can provide a feed of our data to any existing online search
  • our listings are ranked in search engines such as google
This allows people to look for information within the context that they are used to, whether online, via the library, via a their local GP Practice etc.
In order to add information to ALISS, an account is needed. Accounts are provided by the ALISS team – please contact aliss@alliance-scotland.org.uk, telling us who you are, if you are part of an organisation, group, or network, and if you have information that you want to share with us. We will email you back within 5 working days.
You don’t need an account to access ALISS to search or browse information. However you will not be able to add or update information in ALISS in any way.
Go to http://www.aliss.org and click on the ‘login’ link (top right) On the log in screen, click on the 'Forgot your password?' link, and you'll be provided with an opportunity to provide your e-mail address. The ALISS team will send you a link to create a new password. You will also get a reminder of your user name in the email. If you cannot log in to ALISS or your saved preferences seem to have changed then please contact aliss@alliance-scotland.org.uk for assistance. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
  1. Log into your ALISS account at www.aliss.org (top right)
  2. Click on ‘Your account’
  3. Under account name see ‘edit account details’


  1. Log into your ALISS account at www.aliss.org (top right)
  2. Click on ‘Accounts’ tab and you will see a list of all ALISS account holders
  3. Click on any of the accounts and you will be taken to a list of their latest resource additions.
The local resources indexed in ALISS can be anything that aids health and wellbeing as defined by communities entering the data, for example a walking group, a clinical or third sector service, a community garden or the local café and knitting group. Equally it could be a poem, event, opportunity (e,g. volunteering), a relaxation CD etc. Resources are added to ALISS by account holders and as such the account holder is responsible for those resources. Accounts are provided by the ALISS team only.
ALISS account holders can add curations to resources they find in ALISS. A curation allows you to add tags and a note to resources, which helps to make the resource more findable.
A collection is a list of resources collated by an ALISS account holder. Your collection would contain resources you have added to ALISS yourself or added from another collection. Account Holders are responsible for the resources they have added to ALISS, and can update these resources at any time.
An example search is available on the ALISS website.
  1. Go to http://www.aliss.org/
  2. Type in address or location in the 'Where' search field
  3. And if you have a topic or subject in mind, type in text or keywords in the 'What' search field
  4. ALISS also has an 'auto-suggest' feature. As you type ALISS will suggest words from its index.
In order to add information to ALISS, a user must have an account. All resources within ALISS indicate who they were added by and you can control which resources you present via your search using trusted accounts. In addition there is a reporting mechanism that allows communities to report resources of concern.
If you are adding resources to the ALISS engine only add personal data that you have permission to share (this could be a name, contact details or any other personal identifiers) and if it is essential to finding the resource and not recorded already in a source system.
Tags are keywords that help describe a resource. They also help other people find your resources. Multiple tags can be assigned to a single resource. The more tags a resource has the more findable it will be under a variety of search terms. Account holders may assign tags to resources that they have created themselves or that others have created (the engine offers options of ones created earlier)
If you spot a resource that you believe is incorrect, misleading or offensive, you may report this by clicking on the ‘Report Resource’ button under the detail of the resource in question. If you are logged in to your ALISS account then reporting the resource removes the resource from view, and alerts both the resource owner and ALISS team. Resource owners are responsible for reviewing the resource and deciding on a course of action. The ALISS team will review all alerts within a five day period. If issues have not been resolved within this time period, the ALISS team will contact the resource owner . If you were logged in when you reported the resource, the resource will remain hidden from view until action is taken to re-instate it or remove it from ALISS. For those displaying ALISS search results via interfaces, there is an option to display only content of certain trusted accounts. If you don’t have an ALISS account or report a resource without being logged in, the resource will not be hidden from view, but alerts will be sent to both the resource owner and ALISS team. The ALISS team will review all alerts within a five day period. If issues have not been resolved within this time period, the ALISS team will contact the resource owner.