How to find the evidence

If you want to be able to find the best available evidence, it is worth investing some time learning how to get the best possible results from the key bibliographic databases.

Each database works in a slightly different way, but understanding some key principles can really help, and so this section will take you through these step-by-step.

But there are other places you can also go to for help if you want to develop your search skills.


One of the most effective ways to become an efficient searcher is to take advantage of the free online training available.

Help from the database publishers

Online training tutorials, guides and Help Pages from the database publishers can be a great source of help.  For example:

Help from librarians

Librarians and information specialists can help you to learn more about database searching, and some Libraries offer open-access database guides which anyone can use.  For example:

Help from YouTube

Free, open access videos, such as those on YouTube can often be incredibly useful when trying to develop a new skill, and database searching is no exception.  If you are discerning, you may be able to find some excellent videos to help you learn more about effective database searching.

Let’s take a look at a database search strategy, and the key principles that can help you to find the best available evidence.