How to search 

  • Search using 1 word or several words
  • Use ‘OR’ where you want either term or concept in your results, for example elderly OR older
  • Don’t use ‘AND’ - terms are automatically combined so that documents containing all of your words are found.

Exact phrase search

Use inverted commas to search an exact phrase. For example, “Needle and syringe programmes” will only return documents containing that exact phrase.

Wildcard search *

To include a wider range of forms of a word, use the ‘wildcard’ symbol *

For example: searching on clinic* will return documents including the words clinician, clinical, clinic. 

Acronyms, alternative spellings and plurals

Acronyms are automatically searched. For example: if you type COPD the search engine will also automatically search for ‘chronic obstructive pulmonary disease’.

Alternative spellings are automatically searched. For example: ‘paediatric’ and ‘pediatric’.

Plurals are automatically searched. If you search for pregnancy, it will automatically find pregnancies as well. 

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Search results


The most relevant results appear at the top of search. Relevance takes into account:

  • How frequently the search terms appear
  • Where search terms appear in the documents
  • The type of documents, based on the relative hierarchy of evidence
  • The date of publication of the document.

Accreditation mark

NICE accreditation logo

An accreditation mark next to results is a recognised sign of high-quality processes used to produce guidance and advice.

Find out more about NICE accreditation

Search results and links

The search result title links to the original source material.

If you see “read summary”, it links to a summary page on NICE Evidence search which gives more detail about the document.

The search result also includes:

  • the name of the source
  • the document date
  • the information type.

Click the Add filter link to limit your results to that source or type of information.

Illustration of a NICE evidence search result

A search result in NICE Evidence search


The default setting sorts results by relevance. You can also choose to display them ordered by date – with the most recent at the top – by clicking on the date link in the top right hand corner of your results page.

Illustration of a search result sorted by relevance

An edivence search result sorted by relevance

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Refining search results

Illustration of the filter options you can use

Filter options in NICE evidence search


Use the filters on the left-hand side of the search results to refine your search.

Filter by:

  • evidence type
  • areas of interest
  • source
  • date
  • accredited.

The options available under evidence type are automatically displayed. Click on the other filter categories to open those lists of available options. Click one of the options to apply the filter to your search results.


Select multiple filters

You can select more than one option within a filter – just tick the boxes for as many as you want to apply.

You can also apply any number of different filter values. For example:

  • select ‘quality indicators’ and ‘guidance’ from evidence type
  • select ‘NICE’ and ‘SIGN’ from sources.

This gives you quality indicators and guidance search results from either NICE or SIGN.

You can also apply any number of different filter values. For Illustration:

  • select ‘quality indicators’ and ‘guidance’ from evidence type
  • select ‘NICE’ and ‘SIGN’ from sources.

This gives you quality indicators and guidance search results from either NICE or SIGN.

Illustration of multiple selected filters in NICE evidence search

Filter options in NICE evidence search

Illustration of the outcome from selecting a top-level evidence type

Filter options in NICE evidence search

Selecting a top-level term within the evidence type hierarchy will select all the terms that come below it. Selecting the top term 'practice based information' will automatically select both 'audit and inspection reports' and 'case studies'.

Note: when you select filter values, future searches continue to use those filters.

Remove filters

Unselect them individually or use the ‘clear filter’ button.

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Share your results

You can share a specific search by copying the website address (URL) and sending it by email to the people who you want to share the search with. They can then click on the URL in their email (or paste it into their browser). This will run the search for them, and they will see the page of search results.

Download your results

You can download your results as a RIS file (to use with reference management software) or CSV file to view them in a spreadsheet.

Click the View options for downloading these results link at the top of the search results page. You will be taken to the bottom of the page, with a button to Show result download options. Once you click this button, a tickbox appears next to each of your search results.

You can either export your whole page of results, or use the tickboxes to select the ones you want. You can download a maximum of 250 results from any single page – you will need to change the “results per page” number at the bottom of the page to do this.

Download options in NICE evidence search

Can’t find what you need?

Use the Journals and Databases page to access a set of journals and bibliographic databases purchased by NICE on behalf of the NHS. 

You can also contact your local healthcare library service for help and advice.