• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Finally, you can manage your Google Docs, uploads, and email attachments (plus Dropbox and Slack files) in one convenient place. Claim a free account, and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio (from the makers of PBworks) can automatically organize your content for you.


Step 2: Review the Literature

Page history last edited by h.spring@yorksj.ac.uk 6 years, 9 months ago

HEALER Research Toolkit 

Step 2: Review the Literature
It is essential that existing sources of evidence, especially systematic reviews, are considered carefully prior to undertaking research.  
Where do I start?
Plan your search strategy, discussing your ideas with your supervisor or mentor if necessary.  The following resources may be helpful in undertaking your literature review:


  • Aveyard H. (2014) Doing a literature review in health and social care: a practical guide.  3rd ed.  Berkshire: Open University Press.
  • Clapton J.  (2009)  Establishing the context for your research project. Library and Information Research, 33 (104, 37-44. Available from: http://www.lirgjournal.org.uk/lir/ojs/index.php/lir/article/view/154
  • Garrad J.  (2010)  Health sciences literature review made easy: the matrix method. 3rd ed.  Gaithersberg: Aspen.
  • Grant MJ, Booth A.  (2009)  A typology of reviews: an analysis of 14 review types and associated methodologies. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 26 (2), 91-108.   
  • Greenhalgh T.  (2006) How to read a paper: the basics of evidence based medicine.  Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Jesson, J., Matheson, L., Lacey, F. (2011). Doing your literature review: traditional and systematic techniques.  London: Sage
  • Machi L S, MeEvoy B T.  (2009)  The literature review: six steps to success.  California: Corwin Press.
  • Solutions for Public Health Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) for resources and checklists to help develop your critical appraisal skills 
  • Also look at the FOLIO courses available to librarians in this area (this web site has not been updated for some time, but it contains a large amount of very helpful, downloadable material)
If you are looking to do a systematic review the following resources may be helpful:

Other Useful Resources


The following journals are key sources for LIS research:



LIS Databases 





The following are clinical or health management databases but do include references to articles on knowledge management, library information services etc. 

  • Cochrane Library:  A collection of evidence-based medicine databases, including the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 
  • Embase: Major bibliographic database for biomedical sciences published in Europe
  • ERIC: International bibliographic database on educational research and practice.  Subjects covered include physical education, exercise, sport, nutrition and health 
  • PubMed: Searches MEDLINE and other life science journals for biomedical articles back to the 1950s.  Access is free for NHS staff and University staff   
  • NICE Evidence: Provides access to 8 bibliographical databases and over 800 full text journals - excellent for literature searching. You need an Athens username/password (NHS staff password registation) to gain access. The databases are:
    • Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED)
    • British Nursing Index (BNI): UK nursing database which covers British publications and other English language titles from over 220 related journals
    • CINAHL: Major bibliographic database for nursing and allied health.  This database also contains a substantial amount of health libraries literature.
    • EMBASE: Major bibliographic database for biomedical sciences published in Europe
    • Health Business Elite: Contains full text content from 480 journals, detailing all aspects of health care administration and other non-clinical aspects of health care institution management.
    • Health Management Information Consortium (HMIC): Compilation database from two sources - the Department of Health's Library and Information Services and King’s Fund Information and Library Service
    • MEDLINE: Major bibliographic database for biomedical sciences 
    • PsycINFO: Major bibliographic database for psychology from 1887 to date

Web Sites 

Comments (1)

Catherine Ebenezer said

at 11:48 am on Nov 9, 2010

PsycINFO is spelt this - not all caps
The CASP checklists are now at http://www.sph.nhs.uk/what-we-do/public-health-workforce/resources/critical-appraisals-skills-programme
FOLIO course materials are now at http://cpdfolio.pbworks.com/w/page/7127272/FrontPage (login required)
It might be worth mentioning that CINAHL includes a considerable amount of health libraries literature
Members of CILIP have access to ProQuest Library Science - worth adding to databases
Other links could be added: e.g. PubMed, RDDirect, Cochrane Library, Intute etc.

You don't have permission to comment on this page.