Finding evidence

Community groups, charities and voluntary organisations are aware that their service benefits through being informed by good quality evidence.  However, getting hold of published scientific papers can be an expensive business.  There are some places to find the evidence and other useful tools free of charge.

Central Statistics Office: Statistics can be a powerful tool in any service.  The CSO site is searchable and has specific sections on health, social conditions and the population in general. 

Also look at the Department of Health’s research publications. and the Health Information & Quality Authority (HIQA) reports and publications.

Lenus: a very good place to start your search for health information.  This is the Irish national repository for health research, and although not everything on the site is free, what you find will have particular relevance to Ireland.

Cochrane Library: Ireland has a National Subscription to the Cochrane Library, so although it’s not “free” exactly, anyone in Ireland can get the full text of their reviews and other output.  Cochrane reviews are considered “Gold Standard” in terms of quality and trustworthiness, and they all feature a very useful summary in plain English.

JURN : JURN is a search engine like Google but limits its search to academic or scientific articles on a range of topics including medicine, law, nature.  

You can now find a wide range of courses available free online – from leadership and decision-making , basic first aid, starting a business and so on.  See a selection at the Future Learn site.  You can check to see who is providing the course, most are provided by Universities, including the Achieving Sustainable Development from Trinity College Dublin.



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