Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


Tips and tricks on how to use library resources and services

Request a literature search

Too busy & need someone to run a literature search for you?

As long as it is for Trust/clinical work and not for an educational course/study,
please click on the 'Request a literature search' button below and give us as much detail as you can.

Searching tips

For help with searching, have a look at our Searching Skills Resource Hub.

Here are some tips and ideas on how to help you search effectively:

  • Construct your search using the PICO framework:
    • Population/Patient - who do you want to find information about?
    • Intervention - what is the intervention, e.g. drugs?
    • Comparison - useful if comparing treatments e.g. ibuprofen vs paracetmol
    • Outcome - what would you like to measure/achieve?
  • Identify the key search concepts in your search questions.
  • Identify any relevant synonym terms for your concepts, e.g. alternative spellings (UK vs US), plurals etc.
  • Create a keyword search for each concept using your synonyms and Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT).
  • Some databases allow you to search using subject headings (pre-defined topics/thesaurus).
    Combining subject headings with your keyword searches makes your search more comprehensive.

For more help with searching, download the Literature Search Process: Guidance for NHS Researchers (PDF).

Use Chrome or Edge but not Internet Explorer

When using any links from our website pages ( or logging on to NHS Open Athens ( to access journals please ensure that Chrome or Edge is selected as your browser of choice.

Internet Explorer will no longer be supported and all publishers have accordingly deprecated access so links will no longer work correctly.publishers have accordingly deprecated access so links will no longer work correctly.