Access to research results

How to find research evidence

Research evidence is what is currently know about the effectiveness of a health or social care topic such as how well a treatment or service works.

Systematic reviews aim to bring together the results of all studies addressing a particular research question that have been carried out around the world. They provide a comprehensive and unbiased summary of the research.

You can find out about the research we fund in the NIHR Journals library.

The NIHR Dissemination Centre offers summaries of recent research, and reviews of evidence in key areas. The NIHR Discovery Portal also maintains a database which includes a range of journal abstracts from NIHR research.

The following websites are also helpful when looking for research evidence:

NICE Evidence Services is an open access and searchable information on evidence and best practice in a wide range of topics. It includes the UK Database of Uncertainties about the Effects of Treatments (UK DUETs) which publishes treatment uncertainties from patients, carers, clinicians, and from research recommendations, covering a wide variety of health problems. Some sections of this website require a log in.

Cochrane Summaries contain the main messages of Cochrane Reviews which are systematic reviews of primary research in health care and health policy. The Cochrane reviews consider a clearly designed question; for example: Do antibiotics reduce the symptoms of a sore throat?

NHS Choices has a ‘Behind the Headlines’ section on their website. It tells you the facts behind news headlines stories on research and a searchable A-Z section on health conditions and treatment.

Sense About Science runs programmes to promote general understanding of scientific evidence, such as use of statistics, the process of peer review and how to design a fair test to see whether medicines work.

Sense about Science’s campaigns involve wide collaboration across society to make a permanent difference across all areas of our work and to create an environment that supports open public discussion about scientific research.