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This guide will help you to find and use all the available useful sources to help you get just what you need fast!

Begin with Library Catalogue

When you get your first assignment, look for information on your topic in Library Catalogue – the Library’s search engine. Remember to log in first, so you can search all collections, place holds, add titles to an eShelf and renew your loans.

Go to:

What is Evidence Based Medicine?

Evidence Based Practice is the integration of clinical expertise, patient values and the best evidence into the decision making process for patient care.
Sackett, D.L., et al. (2000). Evidence-based medicine: How to practice and teach EBM (2nd ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.

For more information, see this online tutorial from Duke University on the basics of EBM.


How do you know if a study is 'evidence based'?

Determining if study results are valid means you need to know how to 'critically appraise' it.

Critical appraisal is the systematic evaluation of clinical research papers in order to establish:

  1. Does this study address a clearly focused question?
  2. Did the study use valid methods to address this question?
  3. Are the valid results of this study important?
  4. Are these valid, important results applicable to my patient or population?


If the answer to any of these questions is “no”, you can save yourself the trouble of reading the rest of it.

The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine has some useful tools to help you with critical appraisal skills


Pyramid of study types

This image graphically represents the hierarchy of evidence provided by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Graphic courtesy of: 

For NHMRC designation of levels of evidence go to: A guide to the development, implementation and evaluation of clinical practice guidelines 

This is just a selection of the thousands of ebooks available

Tools and resources

EBM search engines

TRIP Database
Trip is a tool for you to find high-quality clinical research evidence.

Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM)
Provides free support and resources to doctors, clinicians, teachers and others interested in learning more about EBM.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE)
DARE includes systematic reviews that evaluate the effects of health and social care interventions and the delivery and organisation of health and social care services. (1994-2015 - continued by NHS Signals)

NIHR (NHS) Signals 
NIHR Signals are timely summaries of the most important research that aim to cut through the noise and provide decision makers with the evidence they can use.

EBP/EBM tools

Glossary of EBP/EBM terms

EBM articles

Critical appraisal tools

Joanna Briggs Institute

Critical appraisal tool downloads to assist in assessing the trustworthiness, relevance and results of published papers.

CASP Appraisal checklists

Eight critical appraisal tools to assess the trustworthiness, relevance and results of Systematic Reviews, Randomised Controlled Trials, Cohort Studies, Case Control Studies, Economic Evaluations, Diagnostic Studies, Qualitative Studies and Clinical Prediction Rule.

Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine (CEBM)

Critical Appraisal worksheets for Systematic Reviews, Diagnostics, Prognosis, Randomised Controlled Trials, Qualitative Studies and IPD (Individual patient data).

Equator Network - Reporting guidelines for main study types

This international network seeks to improve the reliability and value of published health literature. Includes guidelines such as Randomised trials, observational studies case reports and more.


Health Databases

New EBP Items