Research methods

The Trust library services provide a number of services and resources to help staff involved in, or considering undertaking, research. We offer support with the following:

  • Planning your research proposal
  • Applying for funding
  • Managing your research project
  • Publicising your results

Planning your research proposal

Library staff can help you to identify and obtain existing relevant research and evidence by:

  • Teaching you how to plan and carry out a literature review.
  • Performing a detailed literature search for you. This will be conducted according to Lit_search_protocols_protocols_2019 Lit_search_protocols_Appendix_2019    which have been developed by South Central Healthcare librarians.
  • Maintaining a list of key websites relevant to research activities.
  • Helping you to access articles or books that you need for your research project. This includes requesting articles or books from other libraries if they are not already in the Trust library collection.

Applying for funding

Library staff can:

  • Advise you where to look for sources of funding such as grants, fellowships and scholarships. See also the Research design service
  • Provide books and other resources to guide you through the grant writing process.

Managing your research project

During your project, library staff can help you:

  • Keep up to date about developments in your area of expertise by providing regular updates of recently published research.
  • Organise your references using reference manager to make them easy to find again and to quickly organise for inclusion in publications.

Publicising your results

Library staff can help you by:

  • Providing books and journal articles to help you write up your results for publication or presentation at a conference.
  • Providing access to information about forthcoming conferences and grants to attend conferences.
  • Advising on sources for research support such as the Research Information Network  .
  • Providing advice about using various reference management tools, such as EndNote, Reference Manager and Mendeley, which allow you to organise your references quickly and easily into the format required.

Evidence-based health care and research links

  • Critical appraisal skills tools  This site has various check lists, developed by CASP uk, to guide you when appraising research articles.
  • Instructions for authors This provides the instructions to authors for over 6000 healthcare and life sciences journals.
  • Guide to Finding and Reading Research – This guide is published by the NIHR Mental Health Research Network (MHRN) ( to help mental health services users and their carers to access research into mental health. It explains how research is published as research papers, what the different sorts of papers are, how they are structured, how to identify a particular research paper and, finally, how to get hold of it.
  • Guides to referencing using Harvard and Vancouver styles – produced by the BMA library.
  • Citing electronic references A guide produced by the BMA library.
  • Neil’s toolbox  A site designed for students which includes a tool that turns bibliographic information into Harvard references for books, journal articles, websites, etc.
  • See also our Open Access page

To find out more, please contact a member of library staff.

Page last reviewed: 29 April, 2020