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Social Work Research Support

This guide is designed to assist in your research process. The guide contains research resources related to Research Design, Literature Review, Research Methods, Data Analysis and Ethics.


In general, grey literature publications are non-conventional, fugitive, and sometimes ephemeral publications. They may include, but are not limited to the following types of materials: reports (pre-prints, preliminary progress and advanced reports, technical reports, statistical reports, memoranda, state-of-the art reports, market research reports, etc.), theses, conference proceedings, technical specifications and standards, non-commercial translations, bibliographies, technical and commercial documentation, and official documents not published commercially (primarily government reports and documents) (Alberani, 1990).

UWC Research Repository


  1. Systematic Reviews
  2. Randomized Controlled Trials
  3. Cohort Studies
  4. Case Control Studies
  5. Case, Series, Case Reports
  6. Editorial, Export Opinion

 Frame your research question (PICO/ PECO)

2. Develop search strategy.

3. Develop protocol

4. Run search strategy in at least two databases.

5. Retrieve and de-duplicate citations

6. Develop system for screening titles/ abstracts and full text.

7. Screen titles or/ abstracts

8. Retrieve and screen full text.

Online Books Freely available

1. Finding what works in Health Care: standards for systematic reviews by Institute of Medicine

2. Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions by Julian Higgins and Sally Green

Evidence-Based health care

Evidence-Based medicine

Evidence-Based public health

Evidence-Based policy


Trip is a clinical search engine designed to allow users to quickly and easily find and use high-quality research evidence to support their practice and/or care.

Trip has been online since 1997 and in that time has developed into the internet’s premier source of evidence-based content. Our motto is ‘Find evidence fast’ and this is something we aim to deliver for every single search.

Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine

The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine develops, promotes and disseminates better evidence for healthcare.

A systematic review is a comprehensive literature search that tries to answer a well-defined question (often using the PICO model) & uses existing research as evidence. A protocol is used to determine what is & is not included in the search. Systematic reviews are often used as the foundation for a meta analysis (a statistical process that combines the findings from individual studies) & to re-evaluate clinical guidelines.

Here are some articles that discuss other types of reviews in more detail.

Use PICO as tool to analyze the parts of your question

People/ Patient/ Problem Intervention/ Exposure Comparison Outcomes
What are the important characteristics of the patients &/or problem? What you plan to do for the patient or problem? What, if anything, is the alternative to the intervention? What is the outcome that you would like to measure?
People who exercise warm up before exercise no warm up injury prevention

PICO is a good framework to help clarify your systematic review question.

Beyond PICO: the SPIDER tool for qualitative evidence synthesis.

1. Gather your team.

2. Develop your protocol.

3. Data collection, locate, screen, and collect studies

4. Abstract data and appraise the risk of bias in the individual studies.

5. Synthesize findings, interpret and assess the overall body of evidence.

6. Write a report

7. Update


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