Support for Researchers

If you are undertaking research or considering getting more involved in research, your library service is here to support you throughout the process. 

Developing Your Research Idea

At the early stages of your project a literature search can help you to scope out whether there are any existing studies linked to your research ideas, and underpin your initial proposals. Contact us to discuss options for an initial literature search to inform your project.

Key contacts when developing a research idea:
Leeds Teaching Hospitals: Research and Innovation - Information for Researchers
Leeds Community Healthcare: Research Team
Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust: Research and Development Team

Searching the Evidence

If your research project involves a literature review, we can help you throughout the process.

We can carry out literature searches for your research on your behalf. 

All NHS staff are eligible for an OpenAthens account, which gives you access to the key healthcare databases and a wide range of other online evidence resources, essential for searching the literature.

Book onto one of our information skills courses to improve your understanding of literature searching, critical appraisal or the resources available to you through NHS libraries. 

Arrange a one-to-one tutorial  with one of our experienced librarians to work on refining your search strategy and look at how to use healthcare databases to search the literature to inform your research.   

Accessing Journal Articles

We can help you to access full text of any articles that you need for your research. You will need an active NHS OpenAthens account to access online journals and databases, so ensure this is set up early in your research process. 

Check if you have access to an article by using the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub to search for it. If you have the DOI or PMID of an article, and want to check quickly if you can access it, use . You can also install the LibKey Nomad browser extension to give you one-click access to journal articles.

Where an article is not available in our subscriptions, these services will direct you to a form to  'Request this item'. When these forms are submitted, our library staff will endeavour to obtain the article from another NHS library, and send it directly to you as a PDF. If you have any queries about accessing articles or other resources, contact your library. 

Reference Management

Reference management software is extremely helpful for projects involving literature reviews, helping you to collect, organise, and cite material in your work, share your refewrences with others, and keep track of the literature that you have found and read.

We do not currently provide specific support for any reference management software. However, if you would like to find out more about the different options and how they work, this guide from the University of York is clear and comprehensive.

Free reference management software:

  • Zotero (free, charges to upgrade file storage)
  • Mendeley (free, charges to upgrade file storage)

Refworks accounts may be available for NHS researchers. Contact us to discuss this option.

Systematic Reviews

If your research project involves a systematic review, your library service may be able to support you with the search phase of this process. Please contact your library service to discuss this as early as possible, as searching for systematic reviews is a time and resource intensive process and will need to be planned carefully to fit into existing workloads. Find details of published reviews recently supported by LTHT Library and Knowledge Service at the bottom of the LTHT page

Our colleagues at Northern Care Alliance Library and Knowledge Service have produced a very useful set of Systematic Review FAQs which can help you to decide whether a systematic review is right for your research project, and allow you to begin planning the process.

These resources may also help you to understand more about the process of a systematic review and to find the tools that can help you:

 For more information on different types of review and determining what methodology is right for your project:

Statistical Analysis

Although staff may be able to access statistical software and support if they are affiliated with a university, Leeds NHS organisations do not provide institutional access to statistical analysis software. 

The free, open source statistics programme JASP may be a useful tool for supporting the analysis of data for research. Please note that the library cannot provide any additional support with this software.

Writing for Publication

Writing up your research findings in order to present at conferences or for publication in academic journals involves communicating complex findings clearly and concisely, adhering to specific journal requirements, and effectively highlighting the novelty and significance of your work.

Explore these resources to strengthen your publishing efforts and amplify the impact of your research.

Introductory Writing for Publication Guides for NHS Staff

  • Writing for publication Workforce, training and education, NHS England. FAQs on choosing where to submit, writing, review and post publication activity. 
  • Writing for publication: Top Tips.(PDF) Knowledge Management Team, Health Education England.  Presentation on key considerations when writing articles for publication. 
  • Writing for publication Knowledge and Library Service, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Our colleagues at Doncaster have collated an extensive list of resources to support staff with writing up their research activity. This includes recordings of a range of research workshops hosted at the Trust covering topics such as turning your dissertation into an article, using reference management software to make your writing easier, and an overview of the publication process for novice writers. 
  • Becoming the Editor's Pick: Key Strategies for Drafting Manuscripts for Publication(PDF). Elsevier Research Masterclass 2023, hosted at LTHT. Comprehensive set of slides from Dr Ximena Alvira, Clincial and Research Manager at Elsevier. Gives an insight into the decision making of journal editors, and tips to present your manuscript clearly. 

Producing Posters and Conference Abstracts

  • Making a Research Poster Knowledge and Library Service, Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Collated links to articles and videos on creating research posters.
  • How to Write a Conference Abstract Temple University Library. Guide from a US university, aimed at healthcare students, offering a clear overview of why and how to submit to conferences. Specifically covers how to write abstracts on QI projects and case reports. 
  • Writing an effective conference abstract British Journal of Cardiac Nursing. Guidance on developing a strategy for writing a competitive and highquality abstract to increase the likelihood of it being accepted at a targeted conference. Article is from a nursing journal but includes good general advice. 


Browse our range of books on writing for publication in the Leeds Libraries for Health catalogue. Visit or contact your library to arrange to borrow books.


Useful Websites

  • Information about clinical studies (including but not limited to clinical trials)
  • CONSORT Statement - Evidence-based, minimum set of recommendations for reporting randomized trials.
  • NIHR - Clinical Trials Toolkit - Practical advice to researchers in designing and conducting publicly funded clinical trials in the UK.
  • CASP checklists – Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) checklists to help you assess research in a systematic way.
  • National Institute for Health Research (NIHR)- Organisation providing details of funding, and research guidance.
  • PRISMA - PRISMA is an evidence-based minimum set of items for reporting in systematic reviews and meta-analyses

Books to support research skills

For further reading to support the development of your research skills, view a topic below to browse the books available on this subject in our libraries, or search for a specific title.

Or search for a specific title through our library catalogueIf we do not have the book that you would like to consult, we may be able to obtain it for you from another NHS library. Visit our document supply page to find out more


An OpenAthens account gives all NHS staff and learners access to a wide range of online resources. 

LTHT Publications

LCH Publications