On this page you will find instructions for requesting a literature search via the PHE Knowledge and Library Services enquiries portal, and other information about the literature searching services offered by KLS. Please note these services are for PHE staff only.
Please contact us to discuss your search if you are at the early stages and would like help planning and defining your search. You can use PHE Discovery to search a wide selection of databases (including our library catalogue), or PubMed. If you want one or two research papers, a specific report or resource or help undertaking your own searching, please contact us.
You will need to be registered on the PHE Knowledge and Library Services enquiries portal in order to request a literature search (please note, this is not the same as your Koha Library account). It is easy to register, just follow the instructions below.
Instructions for use
Important: Read these instructions first, then go to the ‘request a literature search’ link below.
- Click on request a literature search, below. From this page you will need to login to make enquiries, including literature search requests. Your username is firstname.surname. If this is your first time logging in, please contact email@example.com to register and obtain your password.
- Once you have logged in with your username and password, this will take you to our request system.
- You will see a list of different types of enquiry (described as Queues) – choose the most appropriate one for your enquiry. For example, if you wish to request a search, choose from Literature Searches, Systematic Reviews or Evidence Briefings.
- Fill in the online form provided, add any attachments necessary (e.g. a protocol, a list of search terms or references etc.) and click Submit.
What is a literature search?
A literature search is a detailed, comprehensive and systematic search of the literature (published and unpublished) from a variety of quality sources about specific topics or conditions.
The search yields a set of results on the topic in question – usually a list of journal articles and reports, each containing a summary (known as an abstract).
Reading the results enables you to get an overview of what is known about the topic. This is often referred to as the ‘evidence base’ and is an integral part of the methodology for any PHE project.
What literature searches do PHE KLS offer?
Knowledge and Library Services offer four types of output for your literature search results:
- a bibliography
- an annotated bibliography
- an evidence briefing
- a systematic review search and advice
2. Annotated bibliography
3. Evidence Briefing
4. Systematic review
A systematic review search and advice – the provision of a complex literature search to help in the production of a systematic (or other type of evidence) review, and guidance in the methodology and process of conducting a review. It is essential that a librarian is involved as a member of the review team as early as possible.
When will I get the search results?
This depends on:
- the type of search you have requested (see above);
- the demand for searches at the time of your request;
- and the urgency of your request.
Depending on the above factors, it may sometimes be necessary to negotiate an alternative deadline to our standard service levels as specified under each type of search above, although we try our best to work to your requirements.
Once you have the results, you may wish to request an article.
Do you conduct surveys on the results of literature searches?
KLS collect examples of the ways that our literature searches have been used by PHE staff; our aim is to determine the impact a KLS literature search might have on services, projects, policy, research, publications or population health.
A template is used by KLS and PHE staff to write up a case study. These are called Impact Stories.
If you have previously requested a literature search which has helped in the production of a publication or the implementation of a service/project, and would like to help KLS complete an Impact Story please contact Nicola Pearce-Smith, Senior Information Scientist.
For more information, please see our Impact Stories page.
Are there any limitations or restrictions with the literature searching service?
- We do not undertake searches for students or for educational purposes e.g. essays or assignments, but we have produced a guide to support people who are studying, and we can provide training if required.
- In circumstances where the deadline is deemed to be unattainable, or when KLS are experiencing very high demand for our literature searching service, we will contact you to negotiate a different date. However, we will try to avoid this where possible.