Health Sciences

Roy Vickers Hello. I’m Roy Vickers, the Academic Support Librarian for the School of Health Sciences.

If you need advice on finding information for your assignment or research, or don’t know where to start – please get in touch. I provide information literacy support and training for students and staff.

You can also download PowerPoint slides from my taught sessions using the links below.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Phone: 0161 295 2442


Get started with the Library Homepage

Skills for Learning gives you all the basics in designing good searches that get great results.


Subject-Specific Pages:

These pages will give you access to my PowerPoint slides from taught sessions.

Exercise & Physical Activity

Occupational Therapy  / Cancer Survivorship

Physiotherapy / Vocational Rehabilitation


Public Health

Podiatry / Prosthetics & Orthotics 

Radiography / Imaging

Sports Sciences 

Trauma & Orthopaedics / Surgical Practice


Clinical Podcasts: 

These podcasts carry a broad mix of lectures, interviews, conversations, opinions and commentary across many biomedical and allied health disciplines (including Biomechanics, Nutrition, Physiotherapy, Public Health, Psychiatry and Surgery). Some are associated with journals or publishers or professional associations. They deal with current issues in key disciplines, and have a good rage of archived material. All are free to download.


Clinical Trials (and other sources):

You can find help here with locating clinical trials & other sources.


Critical Appraisal of Health Research:

Before using, please check with your course tutor to ensure you choose an appropriate tool.

Do you want to know if you can trust the findings of an article you want to use? This online guide, Understanding Health Research, will help you determine its quality. 

There are many critical appraisal tools available that will help you decide whether to include or exclude certain publications, and to determine the quality of the evidence before you. They will also help you add structure and rigour to your own work.

CASP is commonly used in health sciences for assessing a range of study design types.

AGREE II was designed for appraising clinical guidelines. Its central six domains will also help you focus on the key criteria such as research aims, stakeholder roles, the evidence gathering process, and independence.

Critical appraisal of research is a vital skill in systematic reviewing. Learn more about the processes from these studies.


Database Search Help:

 Using specialist clinical terms and headings in your health searches can get you better focused results. 

Make more effective use of the TRIP database (including using the PICO framework) with these helpful video guides.


Grey Literature:

Grey Literature is research not controlled by commercial publishers, but instead comes through non-standard channels from professional organisations and researchers. It plays an important role in Health Sciences.

Public Health England have put together a comprehensive list of sources for grey literatureYou can also get an overview here.


Health Organisations:

The NHS:

NHS England host blogs from some of its prominent professionals and experts. They regularly comment on a wide range of  health issues. You can browse their blogs here.

Do you want to understand better the structure of the NHS? here is a handy guide.

Healthcare UK  – part of the Department of Health dedicated to promoting UK healthcare globally.

Public Health England 


Health Policy and Statistics:

European Health Information Gateway  (WHO): A  new tool that allows integrated access to health indicators, enabling dynamic comparisons and exploration. The data  can be reused and shared as graphics, datasets, and embedded in web pages and social media messages.

UK national statistics can be searched either by policy area for information about the NHS, or by department for statistics from the Department of Health,

See also, Welsh national statistics

Statistics for EU countries


Referencing support:

You can get stacks of help from Skills for Learning, but in addition, here are some slides on getting started with Mendeley.

Additionally, here is some guidance on using Mendeley from the North West Knowledge and Library Service in the NHS.


Research Support:

Here are my slides from my PhD support sessions:

Referencing, plagiarism and information ethics for researchers

Do you want to know more about how the Open Access Movement affects PhD candidates? Here is Tara Brabazon to tell you more.

Are you involved in the peer review process either as a reviewer or submitting researcher? Here is a useful guide to the peer review process and an accompanying video.


Systematic Reviewing:

Here is Prof. Alison Brettle (University of Salford) on systematic reviewing.

Reviews come in many types with different aims in mind. For detailed information on the types of questions reviews address and how to conduct them, look at the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination.

Do you need help with creating  a review or a meta-analysis? This resource from Temple University is useful.

Evidence-Based Healthcare published an excellent issue on systematic reviewing methods. Get free access here .

What are ‘search filters’? These are pieces of text you can copy and paste into your search strategy. They help you focus results by study design and  quickly exclude any unwanted results. They are tried and tested by information professionals and health sciences researchers. To learn more about searching by study design or focus, look at SIGN and the ISSG Search Filters Resource.



If you still need help, you can book a one to one support session via Advantage, or contact me directly by email. Some of my programme-specific workshops also run on the same booking system.

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