Health & Society

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 in the School of Health & Society.

I also have bookable 1-2-1 sessions available here, via Skills for Learning.

You can also access presentations from my taught sessions using the ‘Session Materials’ button to the right. Content is added to the page before the scheduled time of the session.

I look forward to hearing from you.


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.

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.
  • The McMaster critical appraisal tool is excellent for assessing the quality of quantitative studies
  • 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.

Using Databases

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

  • Here is a useful guide to understanding and using MeSH headings (Medical Subject Headings)
  • Here is how MeSH can be used and applied in Medline (OVID)
  • Here is a video guide on using subject headings in CINAHL.

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.

Health Education England have put together a comprehensive list of sources for grey literature. You can also get an overview here.

Health Organisations

Health Policy and Statistics

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 is a quick overview of PhD research in Health Sciences at the University of Salford

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 & Evidence Syntheses

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 .

The WHO Health Evidence Network Synthesis Report 50 sets out key approaches, methods and considerations for evidence synthesis useful to public health decision-makers. It proposes general principles, processes and a rationale that can be applied in making an informed decision as to what methodological approach and considerations are to be implemented to appropriately and adequately answer a health policy question.

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.