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Health Sciences: Skills for Study

Presentation skills

Grey Literature

Grey literature is the term given to non-traditional publications (material not published by mainstream publishers). For example - leaflets, reports, conference proceedings, government documents, preprints, theses, clinical trials, blogs, tweets, etc.. 

The majority of grey literature is generally not peer-reviewed so it is very important to critically appraise any grey literature before using it unless you are using a web site like Evidence Search.

Listed below you will find a selection of sources you can use to search for grey literature. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and there may be other useful sources of information available.

Evidence Search Health and Social Care (NICE) provides access to selected and authoritative evidence in health, social care and public health

The British Library has a comprehensive collection of public available reports, conferences and theses covering all subject disciplines

HealthKnowledge is a public health learning platform

Open Grey is a multidisciplinary European database, covering science, technology, biomedical science, economics, social science and humanities 

The Campbell Collaboration is an international research network that produces systematic reviews of the effects of social interventions in crime & Justice, International Development, and Social Welfare 

The King's Fund  is an independent charity working to improve health and health care in England

Social Care Online is the UK's largest online database of information on al aspects of social work amd social care

UK Clinical Research network Study Portfolio is a repository for recording research taking place within the NHS in the UK.  

National Technical Information Service provides access to the results of both US and non-US government sponsored research

Help in Using Health Related Databases

Help in the form of PowerPoint presentations and worksheets is available here    

Need help finding the right material? Try one of these Tutorials

Copyright - How much can I copy? What can I copy?

Academic Writing Skills

Academic writing is based on the gathering of knowledge, the analysis of ideas, explanation and opinion.

The actual form varies with academic discipline and type of assignment, but is likely to contain critical reasoning, comparison and persuasion, with supporting examples, be written in semi-formal language and usually in the third person.

Below is the reference of a useful journal article on assignment writing skills and is worth reading, unfortunately we are unable to digitise the article but you will find the print copy of this journal on level 1 of the Hartley Library at per W. 

Clay G (2003) Assignment writing skills. Nursing Standard 17 (20):47-52

Go to the Academic Skills page for lots of other help/information on academic writing.

Examples of Academic Writing Levels 4-7

You may find these examples of academic writing from the University of Hertfordshire helpful, they illustrate expectations of good writing at levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 of study.

Help with your search strategy

Learn how to put together an effective search strategy, search reliable sources and achieve better results! Take a look at the links below ... 

Critical thinking - top tips and tools!

What is critical thinking? 

"Critical thinking is a mental process of reviewing clear, rational thoughts based on evidence to reach an answer or a conclusion."

Have you tried the Critical Thinking module, in the Skills4StudyCampus resource?


The Critical Thinking section on the Academic Skills LibGuide?

A useful journal article to read:

This is the reference to a good, clear journal article on critical analysis in academic studies. Unfortunately, we are unable to get the article digitised but you will find the print copy of this journal on level 1 of the Hartley Library at per W

Gopee N (2002) Demonstrating critical analysis in academic assignments. Nursing Standard 16 (35):45-52

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