Step 2: Find the Information

In order to answer your question you need to identify the relevant resources and then develop the skills to use them effectively.


Select a resource - learn about the different types of information sources and where their use might be most appropriate

Develop your search skills - learn how to identify your keywords and combine them to search for information

Using a thesaurus - learn how using a thesaurus can help you to find articles via databases


For a summary of how to find the right information take a look at the sections below:

There is a vast range of healthcare information available. You need to be able to identify the most likely sources that will provide you with the information you need:

  • Newspapers - for the latest news and opinion
  • Journals  -  for up-to-date research and reviews
  • Databases - for research and reviews
  • Guidelines - for standards and recommended treatments
  • Government Reports - for policies and proposals
  • Professional Networks - for peer support and professional regulations and guidance
  • Books - for established information
  • Web Portals - for selected Internet sites

Check the NHS ResourcesNursing and Midwifery Databases (Keele) and Medical Databases (Keele) pages for resources and journals.

The Literature Searching page contains a wide range of searchable resources.

Check our Subject links for a variety of subject/condition-based Internet links.

You need to develop literature searching skills in order to find your information. This includes:

  • identifying keywords
  • using a thesaurus such as Cinahl subject headings, MeSH terms, Emtree etc
  • using wildcards and truncation characters
  • combining search terms using AND and OR and NOT

Evidence-based practice jigsaw

You can apply limits to your searching to help you to narrow the focus of your search. There are a number of different search limits that you can apply to help you to focus your search:

  • age - are you looking for information related to a specific age-range eg neonatal, paediatrics, middle-aged patients, elderly patients etc
  • gender - are you only interested in males or females
  • location - is your information need specific to a location, whether geographically such as UK-based or by type of environment such as community care or hospital-based
  • publication date - can you limit your search to a specific date range or are you looking for a historical perspective

You can attend one of our training courses or check out our literature search guides to get more help on finding information.