Library Resources for Researchers

Why work with librarians and knowledge specialists? 

If you’re looking for knowledge and evidence to support your research, you’ve come to the right place. 

Below is whole range of resources – all available free from your NHS knowledge and library services, for anyone working or studying in England.

Where do I start?

A free NHS OpenAthens account is your key to unlocking digital knowledge resources. If you’re a registered healthcare professional who provides NHS-commissioned care in England then you’re eligible. 

If you need help to register or renew your account watch our short video for help.

Finding information

NHS Knowledge and Library Hub 

Connecting you seamlessly to a range of high-quality knowledge and evidence resources all in one place, the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub is a single gateway to 1000s of journals, books, clinical decision support and databases like Medline. 

For more advanced searching and systematic review, use databases like MedlineEmbase and The Cochrane Library. Go to our Resources for advanced searching page for more information and links to training. 

If you’re new to literature searching, or need a refresher, why not try this e-learning course: How to search the literature effectively

If you do advanced searches across multiple databases you may want to use a reference management product to manage your search results and produce bibliographies. Contact your local NHS library to apply for a RefWorks account. 

Clinical decision support and evidence summaries

Clinical decision support tools can give you quick and easy access to the current best evidence on a topic as a starting point for your research. 

BMJ Best Practice is an award-winning online decision-support tool for use at the point of care. BMJ Best Practice draws on the latest evidence-based research to offer step-by-step guidance on diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention. 

Clinical Knowledge Summaries is geared towards primary care practitioners and provides accessible summaries of the current evidence base and practical guidance on over 370 topics. 

Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines is the essential evidence-based prescribing guidelines on the safe and effective prescribing of psychotropic agents. 

Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures includes over 350 evidence-based clinical procedures related to every aspect of care, from handwashing to cardiopulmonary resuscitation. 

E-books and journals

You have access to thousands of journals in all areas of health and care. It’s easy to access articles through the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub and databases for advanced searching. You can also install LibKey Nomad on your device for easy access to journal literature when you search the open web and platforms like Google Scholar. 

OUP handbooks and textbooks 

All staff and students in the NHS have access to a collection of Oxford Medicine e-books including: 

  • Oxford handbook of clinical and healthcare research 
  • Oxford handbook of key clinical evidence 
  • Oxford handbook of medical statistics 
  • Oxford handbook of medical ethics and law 


Kortext is an e-book platform that gives you access to hundreds of books for NHS staff and learners including collections on sustainability, wellbeing and resilience and equality and diversity. There are lots of books on the Kortext platform for researchers including: 

  • An introduction to qualitative research 
  • Research methodologies for beginners 
  • Nursing research: generating and assessing evidence for nursing practice 
  • Getting research published 
  • Medical statistics at a glance 

Watch this short film to learn more. 

Learning from ‘know how’

Some knowledge is not published but is individual or organisational ‘know how’. The NHS Knowledge Mobilisation Framework is designed to help you develop and use skills to mobilise knowledge effectively.

Health literacy

Did you know that 43% of adults aged 16-65 struggle with text-based health information and that increases to 61% if the information also includes numbers? What might this mean for your research project? If you want to know more, take this 30 minute e-learning course which includes simple tools that can help increase understanding. 

What else can I expect from my library?

Your local NHS knowledge and library service can help you to make the most of these resources. They will often offer additional services including carrying out evidence searches and helping you to keep up-to-date. Visit your library for space to study, work and connect with your peers and the evidence.

How do I find my library?

Go to HLISD to find your local knowledge and library service. 

You may also have access to other additional resources through your professional body or a university if you’re currently a student. 

To keep up to date why not follow us on Twitter @NHSKFH