Item request has been placed! ×
Item request cannot be made. ×
loading  Processing Request

Our free Knowledge Skills Training is available to all UHCW staff and students on placement. Whether you’re a beginner or expert library user, we have a range of sessions on offer to help you improve your knowledge and information skills. From getting to grips with literature searching, to critical appraisal and beyond, we’re here to help you make the best of the evidence to support you in practice. Our sessions are designed to focus on skills relating to Finding and Understanding the Evidence. This is based on the feedback we received from our 2020 Training Needs Survey, where UHCW staff identified literature searching and critical appraisal as the skills they would most like to see covered in the Library’s training programme.

We are happy to work with you and/or your team to deliver sessions that best meet your needs, by tailoring the content of our core sessions below to suit your current skills and/or confidence. Whether you prefer to meet in person, or online, we are keen to make sure you can access the training you need, when and where you need it.



Finding the Evidence

Getting Started with UHCW Library
If you’ve just started at UHCW, or haven’t used the Library in a while, this session is for you. We’ll show you how to find and access our books, journals and other e-resources and provide an overview of all of the services we offer.
Length: 30-60 mins
Suitable for: Anyone
Book this session by e-mailing: Beth Jackson (Knowledge Skills Librarian) via

Full Text: The Full Monty
Get the ‘bare facts’ and ‘naked truth’ about our full-text books and journals by booking a spot on this session with our Electronic Systems and Resources Librarian. This in-depth exploration of our resources examines tools including ClinicalKey and BrowZine to help you find the best available full-text evidence. If you have to do presentations, you’ll find the ClinicalKey Presentation Maker very useful.
Length: 60 mins
Suitable for: All levels – but this session does assume some basic search skills. For support with developing these skills and carrying out a literature search, see the sessions below for more information.
Book this session by e-mailing: Helga Perry (Electronic Systems and Resources Librarian) via 

Smart Searching: writing an effective search strategy
Perfect for the literature searching beginner, this session will help you to plan a robust literature search using PICO and highlights useful tips, tricks and resources to get you started with finding the best evidence.
Length: 60 mins
Suitable for: All levels
Book this session by e-mailing: Beth Jackson (Knowledge Skills Librarian) via

Literature Searching in Healthcare Databases
This session will show you how to carry out a literature search in databases including Medline, EMBASE and CINAHL. We’ll also show you how to refine your results and save your searches as alerts to keep you up-to-date in your field.
Length: 60-90 mins
Suitable for: This session requires basic search skills. Complete beginners should attend the ‘Smart Searching’ session above in advance.
Book this session by e-mailing: Beth Jackson (Knowledge Skills Librarian) via

“This is the first time this sort of training ’clicked’ for me.”
“Beth was able to tailor the training to my individual needs and experience and was excellent in explaining how the search structure worked.”
“Beth was knowledgeable, engaging and easy to listen to.
“Beth made it fun, informative and most importantly, it wasn’t boring!”
“The one-to-one help I have had from Beth and Helga to assist me in my MSc studies has been very helpful, relaxed and really well explained.”

Understanding the Evidence

Introduction to Critical Appraisal
If you are new to critical appraisal, this session will introduce you to its basic principles and the anatomy of a research paper. We’ll also examine different types of study design and explore the tools available to support you in analysing the validity and reliability of healthcare research.
Length: 60 mins
Suitable for: Anyone new to critical appraisal or in need of a refresher.
Book this session by e-mailing: Beth Jackson (Knowledge Skills Librarian) via

Critical Appraisal in Practice
Meet with a member of Library staff to critically appraise a research paper of your choice using the appropriate CASP checklist. If you don’t have a paper in mind, we’re happy to share examples of our own with you.
Length: 60-90 mins
Suitable for: All levels – although complete beginners may wish to attend the session above in advance.
Book this session by e-mailing: Beth Jackson (Knowledge Skills Librarian) via

“I have had fantastic support from Beth, particularly around literature searching and critical appraisal of articles.
“Beth was really patient, kind and knowledgeable. Thank you for the help.”
“Beth's help has been a complete game-changer for me.
“It was very informative and the staff member who delivered this session was amazing.”
“It was individualised, timely and presented really well at the right level for me.”

Download our training brochure


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I book a session?

You can book a one-to-one session by emailing the named contact for the sessions above, and we'll get back to you with our availability. Time slots are allocated on a first come, first served basis so during busy periods we can't guarantee those times will remain available for long. We'll always do our best to accomodate last-minute requests, but our support is very popular, particularly at peak times during the academic year (October - December and February - May). If you are not sure what session would be best for your needs please email to discuss.

If you'd like to book a session for your team, please email with your preferred dates/times. We'll get back to you with our availability, or liaise with the wider team to deliver support if we are unavailable. We do prefer to deliver group sessions online in the first instance, but if you have your own training/seminar room available, we'd be happy to bring our training to you. Advance notice is always welcome, but is particularly necessary if we need to book space for the session within the Clinical Sciences Building.

Q: How long are your sessions?

The course descriptions above give you a general idea of session length, but we usually book people in for around 90 minutes to allow enough time to discuss your needs and work through our training materials (and if you are lucky, a cup of tea!). We have previously run bite-sized 20 minute sessions for other colleagues and half-day courses too. Get in contact with us if this is something you would also be interested in!

Q: I don't want to book a one-to-one session, do you have any online group sessions I can attend instead?

We don't currently hold regular "drop-in" style online sessions as attendance is usually very low. This means we can prioritise one-to-one support, which is highly valued by our users. Nevertheless, we do hold open online sessions from time-to-time. Keep an eye on our social media, or the News and Training pages of the library website for dates and times, as and when they are announced.

Q: I need to carry out a literature search, but lack the skills / time to do it myself. Can you do it for me?

We are extremely lucky at UHCW to have the Clinical Evidence Based Information Service (CEBIS) within the Library. CEBIS can carry out literature searches to support your clinical decision making, service changes and practice improvements. However if your search is needed for academic purposes (e.g. for an academic assignment such as an essay, literature review or dissertation) they will not be able to do this on your behalf as this would constitute academic fraud. Instead, you'll be referred for training with our Knowledge Skills Librarian, who can work through your search with you and help you find the evidence you need.

Q: I can't attend a session, can I re-book?

Of course - we are always happy to rearrange bookings. We'd be grateful if you could provide as much notice as possible so that we can offer that slot to another user, although we do understand that last-minute changes might be necessary! Please do be aware that there may be a longer wait for another available slot during peak times.

Q: I don't see the training I need listed above. Do you provide any other support?

Our core sessions cover our most commonly requested training, but we can certainly support a range of other knowledge and information skills, including:

  • Finding information to help keep you up-to-date in your field
  • Bespoke training sessions on specific Library resources such as ClinicalKeyDynaMed or BMJ Best Practice
  • Writing submissions for BMJ Case Reports
  • Referencing / Reference Management Software
  • Using Google effectively
  • Using social media for continuing professional development

If you’d like to book training relating to the above topics, or have any questions about our training programme, please get in contact to discuss your requirements – we’d be happy to help and tailor our training to suit you or your team’s needs.