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Health & Medical: Health & Medicine on the web

A collection of information resources and guidance for Health & Medical students

Featured website

Students 4 Best Evidence

A shield with a red cross and a magnifying glass. A scroll in front of it reads "Students 4 Best Evidence".

Students 4 Best Evidence is a network of students providing a range of really useful information on evidence-based health care. This includes explanations of some of the terminology associated with health and medical research alongside advice on searching for and evaluating evidence.

Evaluating online information

Which information should you trust?

It is vital for health professionals to be able to use high quality information, both for their own practice and to help service users understand health and illness. I developed a 5-point framework for thinking about this.  See the video below or a piece from the Nursing Times website: Nurses must consider which information to use and trust.

Health-related statistics

You can find statistics on all sorts of websites, but these are likely to be the most reliable sources.

A pie chart and a bar chart.

Using the web for health and medicine

The internet can be one of the most valuable tools in your quest for information during your time at university. However, with so much information out there, it can be very hard to find the best information, or to know that you've found it when you've got it!

Use the ideas on this page to start making smart use of online information to support your studies.

Grey literature

Much of the information found online is known as "grey literature" - information that is published outside of the traditional channels of books and journals. This includes conference papers, theses, research reports, government documents etc. Some useful sites for this can be found on this page, and you may also find the document below on sources of grey literature useful.

Sources of official information

Checkboxes being marked with a pink highlighter pen.These sites are often your best bets when starting a search for web-based information.

  • NICE Evidence Search: Searches NHS resources and many other high-quality information sources, such as NICE, the British Medical Association, the Resuscitation Council and most major health and medicine professional bodies.

  • Social Care Online: Search portal provided by the Social Care Institute of Excellence.

  • Department of Health and Social Care: The source for almost all of the overarching health and medical policy information for the UK.

  • UK Government Web Archive: This site can be used to identify material which is no longer housed on the current government website.

Professional bodies

Logos of various Royal Colleges.Most UK Health bodies such as the Colleges and Royal Colleges have a website. If you are a member, you can often access useful libraries of really useful documents online.

Some bodies also give their members access to exclusive journals not available anywhere else. Examples include British Paramedic Journal from College of Paramedics and Synergy News from Society of Radiography.

Clinical trials

A die with images of people instead of spots.These sites provide info about clinical trials:

Academic Repositories

Universities will have their own digital repository to store, provide access to and preserve work produced by their academics. These repositories can be a valuable source of information to you when you are writing a dissertation or postgraduate-level project. 

The three universities at the Medway site each have their own repository which you can explore:

Apps

A finger hovering over the logos of different apps.There are loads of apps available to help with studying. If you use an app for health-related information is is extremely important to make sure it comes from a reliable source such as NICE (eg Nice Guidance app) or the Resuscitation Council (iResus app).

If you are not sure where clinical information is coming from, it is wise not to rely on it!