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CIPPET Study Support: 3. Literature searching

This guide will help you find resources, understand academic and reflective writing and help you prepare for your coursework and exams

When writing your coursework you should use a range of academic sources, including national guidelines, books and journal articles. These can be supplemented by materials found on websites.

You can find books and e-books held by the University Library using the Enterprise search box below. 

You can find the journals, and articles, held by the University Library use the Summon search box also below. Use these in combination with the journals you may be able to access through your employer using an NHS Athens logon.

You also have access to a range of databases to find relevant academic articles. Access key databases using the links below.

It is important that you use reputable and reliable websites.  The information at the bottom of this page on the left and the right provides guidance on how to identify reliable sources of information on the internet.

Finding books and e-books held by the Library using Enterprise

To find books on a topic search the Library catalogue Enterprise using the search box below, or via the Library homepage. The catalogue will show you both printed and e-books materials. 

When searching for books you will need to keep your search quite general, as you will usually just be searching book titles and not the contents eg if you were searching for books on eczema you could also try searching for dermatitis.

For information on borrowing books see the section on the Library resources page.

Finding journal articles held by the Library using Summon

There are a number of sources you can use to find journal articles.

Summon (use the search box below) - is an excellent starting point as this searches across all our online sources, so you should be able to access everything you find there.

There are a number of other sources you can use to find journal articles and other types of publication - see the Key databases box for links to these.

Key databases

These are the major resources for finding literature and information. 

Drug info
Journal articles and systematic reviews

NHS Athens resource

If you have an NHS Athens login you can make full use their Knowledge and Library Hub for literature searching and accessing resources. Even without the login you can search, but you won't be able to access the full resources via the Hub.

Tip about using your NHS and University logins together
To save having to constantly log in and out of your your two accounts try using a different web browser for each account (e.g. Chrome and Edge), or use incognito windows for your browser, so that it doesn't remember the last login you used. These methods mean you can be logged in with both accounts if you need to check for access to full-text resources.

Key websites

Most of these resources are freely available. Those only available to University members have red icons next to the name.

General sources


Diseases and conditions

Literature searching guidance

This series of three videos (available via the tabs in this box) cover:

  • Intro to literature searching including tips on getting started
  • Finding journal articles using Summon and Web of Science, and search techniques to use to create a comprehensive search
  • Searching PubMed- basic, advanced and MeSH searching tips

You will need to login using your University email address and password to view the videos.

We also have the following generic guide to literature searching and searching databases:

Literature search plan template and example

Use the following documents to help you plan your literature search to make it as comprehensive as possible. 

This video covers using Summon and Web of Science to find journal articles and the search techniques to use to create a comprehensive search

This video covers searching PubMed - basic, advanced and MeSH searching tips.

Support for literature searching from your Librarian

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Jackie Skinner
Book an appointment
Please contact me if you have a query about literature searching, accessing resources, referencing or using EndNote/Mendeley.

Use the buttons above to email me or make an appointment (in person or online).
Quick query in term-time? Come along to my weekly drop-in on Tuesdays 13:00-14:00 in Harry Nursten Room 2-64. I am also usually on the Study Advice and Academic Liaison Desk on the Ground Floor of the Library on Tuesdays 11:00-12:00.

Tips on evaluating websites


Before believing the information given on a web site, or quoting it in your essay or project, think about the following:


  • Who is responsible for the page/site?
  • Is it a reliable organisation (eg a well known university) or a subject expert?
  • Can you trust them?

Accuracy and reliability

  • Is the information correct?
  • Is the grammar and spelling correct?
  • Is it complete, or are they just giving one point of view?
  • Do they have their own agenda eg political organisations?
  • Is the information fact or opinion?


  • Can you tell how up-to-date it is?
  • Is it regularly updated?
  • You don't want to quote out-of-date information

Audience / relevance

  • Is the information of the right level to be quoted in your project? If it is aimed at the general public or school children it might not be!


  • Is the site well structured and easy to navigate?
  • Are the links from the page up-to-date and valid?
  • If it is well designed and maintained then you can feel more confident about the information it provides