Library online training resources

Although we're not currently offering face-to-face training, there are lots of online resources available to help with your research and study.

We've also put together a range of videos on our most popular resources and databases for you to watch at any time.

Many of these resources require an OpenAthens login - if you don't have one, have forgotten your details or have any questions about any of the resources, please email




Northern Care Alliance Library and Knowledge Service - YouTube channel
Videos we have created showing how to use some of our most popular resources.


Literature searching

NHS Health Education England - How to search the literature effectively
An online course which covers creating a strategy and how to put this strategy into HDAS (Healthcare Databases Advanced Search). (OpenAthens login required)

HDAS (Healthcare Databases Advanced Search)
You can use HDAS to search databases such as Medline, EMBASE and CINAHL. (OpenAthens login required)

Northern Care Alliance - HDAS guide
Guidance created by the Library and Knowledge Service on creating a search and carrying it out in HDAS. 

Guidance on using HDAS
A series of YouTube videos showing you how to use HDAS to create a literature search.

NICE Evidence
A freely available search engine for resources in health and social care.

University of Manchester - Planning ahead: making your search work
A short online lesson on how to plan and implement a search strategy.

A freely available medical search engine. Useful for basic or quick searches.

Google Scholar
The academic version of Google. Useful for quick searches, but it's not always clear how the information is ranked in terms of relevance/importance.

If you find an article we don't subscribe to, contact us at and we'll do our best to source it. You can request up to 10 articles at a time for free.


Literature reviews

Aveyard, H. (2018). Doing a literature review in health and social care: a practical guide. 4th ed. Maidenhead : Open University Press. (OpenAthens login required)
A book covering each step of the literature review process.

Kable et al. (2012). A structured approach to documenting a search strategy for publication: a 12 step guideline for authors. Nurse Education Today, 32(8), 878-886. (OpenAthens login required)
An article with examples on how to write up a literature review and search strategy.


Critical appraisal/statistics

CASP (Critical Appraisal Skills Programme)
A series of checklists you can use to judge the quality of a study.

Joanna Briggs Institute - Critical appraisal tools
In addition to checklists for judging studies, this resource includes definitions and explanations for each point on the appraisal checklist. 

Scottish Intercollegiate Guidance Network (SIGN) - Critical appraisal checklists and notes
Checklists for judging studies and accompanying explanatory notes.

University of Manchester - Critical appraisal for medical and health sciences
An online course on appraising medical literature.

Harris, M. and Taylor, G. (2020). Medical statistics made easy. 4th ed. Banbury: Scion Publishing. (OpenAthens login required)
One-page summaries of statistical analyses, including how important a concept is and how easy it is to understand.

Aviva, P. and Sabin, C. (2019). Medical statistics at a glance. 4th ed. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. (OpenAthens login required)
Covers study design, collecting and analysing data.


Systematic reviews

The Cochrane Library
A database of high-quality systematic reviews. These studies include search strategies, critical appraisal and statistical analysis.



If you're doing a course it's best to check your institution's referencing guidance - each college and university will have slightly different guidelines. We've gathered some local guidance below:

Edge Hill

Manchester Metropolitan University

University of Bolton

University of Manchester

University of Salford


Study skills

University of Manchester - My Learning Essentials
A series of free tutorials on all aspects of studying.

Students 4 Best Evidence
A student-run network focusing on evidence-based practice.