The Idox Information Service database: factual, accessible and essential

At a time when finding up-to-date and accurate information has never been more important, organisations and individuals in the public, private and third sectors need to know where the best resources are.

All members of the Idox Information Service have access to the Idox database, which contains thousands of reports and journal articles on public and social policy.

The subjects range from planning and infrastructure to housing, health, education and culture. Each entry provides full bibliographic details, as well as an abstract summarising the key information contained in the original item.

Keywords and subject headings are allocated to each record, making it more likely to appear when searching for relevant items. Often, the abstract is enough to provide a searcher with the information they need. But if the full document is required, this is available, either online or by download.

The database is a highly respected library of high quality information, and brings together a wealth of articles and reports that are not available in a single source elsewhere.

To provide a flavour of what the database contains, here’s just a selection of the hundreds of items that have been added since the beginning of 2018.

End rough sleeping: what works
Published by Crisis

This report explores effective ways of tackling rough sleeping, drawing on a review of international evidence. The authors discuss key findings, impacts and barriers in relation to nine key interventions: hostels and shelters; Housing First; Common Ground; social impact bonds; residential communities; ‘no second night out’; reconnection; personalised budgets; and street outreach services. The report also highlights opportunities to improve the evidence base.

Fostering (House of Commons Education Committee report)
Published by The Stationery Office

In 2017, the Commons Education Committee conducted an enquiry into the foster care of children in England. The resulting report focuses on valuing young people and foster carers. As well as looking at the support for young people, including placements, engagement and transition to adulthood, the report considers the working conditions of foster carers, including financial support, employment status and training. The report concludes that foster care provides an invaluable service to society, but notes that England’s foster care system is under pressure. The Committee makes several recommendations for government, including the establishment of a national college for foster carers.

Still planning for the wrong future?
Published in Town and Country Planning, Vol 86 No 12 Dec 2017

Inactivity is one of the main factors impacting on health, and this article considers how planning may be a cause of, and a solution to, inactivity. The article discusses the health consequences of mass motoring in urban areas and the need to develop healthy communities through planning. The author calls for planning to develop more walkable, cyclable and public transport-based places, and recommends that places should be designed to make active and public transport more convenient than driving in order to increase physical activity and improve health.

Preparing for Brexit
Published by the Greater London Authority (GLA)

Brexit is, of course, a significant issue, and is likely to affect many different areas of public policy, from trade and the economy to public spending and devolution. The Idox database is collecting a growing library of reports and articles covering this important topic. This GLA report, for example, considers different scenarios to model five possible outcomes for the UK and London of the UK leaving the European Union (EU) Customs Union and Single Market. The report draws on data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the macro-sectoral model, E3ME, and suggests that the more severe the type of Brexit, the greater the negative impact will be on London and the UK. It predicts that Brexit will not only reduce the size of the UK economy, but also put it on a slower long-term growth trajectory.

Work harder (or else)
Published in People Management, Mar 2018

Poor productivity is one of the most acute problems affecting the UK economy. This article suggests that the key to improving productivity lies with developing a happy, engaged and well-motivated workforce. And to reinforce the argument, the author provides evidence from a crystal glass products company in Cumbria. The article explains that since the company introduced a collective bonus for all employees based on turnover and margin improvement, turnover has almost doubled and gross margins have more than tripled.  The article attributes this success to the company’s staff working together to make small, continuous improvements.

Plastic not so fantastic
Published in Envirotec Mar/Apr 2018
Increasing concerns about the scale of plastic waste, particularly in the world’s oceans, has pushed this issue to the top of the political agenda. This article reviews government and industry responses to the problem, including the benefits and drawbacks of deposit return schemes.

These are just a few examples, but there are many more reports and articles in the Idox database. For most of these items, full text access is also available, either via website links or through our document supply service.

Access to the Idox database is just one of the services provided to members of the Idox Information Service. Other benefits of membership include our enquiries service, a weekly current awareness bulletin and fortnightly topic updates.

If you would like to know more about the benefits of Idox Information Service membership,  please get in touch with our customer development team today.


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Launch of individual subscription offer for RTPI members

WebThe Idox Information Service has been offering a professional information service for planners and other built environment professionals for forty years. We’re pleased to announce the launch of our new individual subscription offer, which allows professionals to benefit from our expertise.

Our skilled team of researchers keep planners up to date with the latest research, policy developments and information on planning and planning- related topics. This allows members to keep their working knowledge relevant and current, and supports CPD.

Now, the RTPI and Idox have come together to offer RTPI members an exclusive rate of £179 (plus VAT), a 30% saving off the cost of the normal rate for individuals.

This has been developed in response to demand from planners to access the service on an individual basis.

An invaluable resource for planners

Member feedback consistently tells us that our service is used as part of their training and development; it supports them in writing and responding to policy; in keeping abreast of wider policy areas which affect planning; and helps them continuously improve their own practice through reading case studies, evaluations and the latest research in the field.

Find out more in our guide.

Individual membership would give you access to:

  • Searchable database of planning research resources with over 200,000 records and with 10,000 new items added every year
  • Free access to member-only briefings on key planning topics
  • 50 current awareness bulletins per year
  • Twice-monthly topic updates – choose from over 32 topics including planning, regeneration, economic development, management, architecture and transport
  • Free user support to help you find and access the research you need
  • Book loans and copyright material are available on request, but subject to additional charges.

What our members say about the service:

“As a university lecturer I find the IDOX Information Service an efficient and easy way to access the latest literature on planning and planning-related topics” Barbara Illsley, Senior Lecturer (Town & Regional Planning), University of Dundee

“Idox provides an excellent service, always producing useful results very quickly” Jason Lowther, Director of Corporate Strategy, Birmingham City Council


If you are a RTPI Member and would like information on subscribing, you can get this by logging in to the RTPI website using your membership number and password.

If you would like more information on our individual memberships, but are not a RTPI Member, please contact us.