Frequently Asked Questions

On this page, you'll find answers to our most frequently asked questions. If the answer isn’t here, please contact us.


NICE Evidence Search

My Evidence

Commissioned Content

Journals and Databases



What are NICE Evidence Services?

NICE Evidence Services are a suite of services that provide internet access to high quality authoritative evidence and best practice. The services cover health, social care and public health evidence. Evidence Services aim to help professionals make better and quicker evidence based decisions. NICE Evidence Services consists of 6 resources:

  • Evidence Search
  • Healthcare Database Advanced Search (HDAS)
  • Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS)
  • BNF microsite
  • Bulletins, Alerts and Evidence Awareness service

Who are NICE Evidence Services for?

NICE Evidence Services are for everyone in health and social care who makes decisions about treatments, interventions or the use of resources. While NICE Evidence Services are designed primarily for professionals and practitioners, patients and the wider public are also able to search most of the content. 

How can I contribute to NICE Evidence Services?

We welcome all feedback about NICE Evidence Services – please contact us with any suggestions on how the site could be improved, or sources of information which should be included. We are also always looking for people to be involved in our user research programme – again, contact us if you are interested.

How do I subscribe to the Eyes on Evidence bulletin?

You can subscribe to Eyes on Evidence on our Eyes on Evidence sign-up page.

What is an Evidence Update?

NICE produces Evidence Updates to provide a straightforward and succinct overview of significant new research and evidence published since the literature search was last conducted for the accredited guidance it updates. Evidence Updates are published regularly, often annually.

What is the NICE Accreditation Programme?

Find out about about the NICE Accreditation Programme.

Can you search for information for me?

No. If you need help searching, please see our help pages. If you are a member of the NHS, your local health library will also be able to assist you.

Can you provide health advice?

No. If you need health advice you should contact your own GP or phone NHS 111on 111. Note: NHS 111 is not currently available in Cornwall, the Scilly Isles, or in the Bedfordshire and Luton area. If you live in these areas you should contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647.

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NICE Evidence Search

What sites do you search?

The sites searched by NICE Evidence Search are on our sources list. Further information on how sources are chosen is available on our content page.

How is information made available on NICE Evidence Search?

Information is made available either through a direct feed of data from the content provider to NICE, or by trawling relevant content on the source website.

Who decides which sources of information are included?

The NICE Evidence Sources team assesses all identified or suggested sources of information and their recommendations are considered by the NICE Publication Executive.

Does NICE pay an organisation for information included on its site?

NICE does not pay an organisation for their information, and will not cover a content provider's cost in ensuring their content is in an appropriate format for inclusion. We may, however, complete a formal procurement process to access some resources which are only available via subscription, licensing or purchase.

How do I use NICE Evidence Search?

Advice on searching NICE Evidence Search is available on our Help page.

Why is new content not appearing in my search results?

New content must be ‘ingested’ into the search engine. Currently, this process takes place on a weekly basis so it may take a few days before a new guideline or Evidence Update appears in the search results.

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My Evidence

How do I create a My Evidence account?

You can create a My Evidence account by clicking either of the links My Evidence or Sign in at the top of  NICE Evidence Search. This will take you to a page where you can sign in, or you can create an account by clicking the link Create account. This will take you to a form where you'll need to fill in details such as your name, email address and a password. Alternatively, you can sign in or create an account using your Google account, by clicking on the button labelled Sign in with Google.

I am trying to register - why won’t you accept my password?

Make sure your password is a minimum of 6 characters long, contains at least one letter and at least one character that is not a letter.

How do I save searches or results, or add alerts?

Advice on saving searches and results, and adding alerts is available on our Help page.

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Commissioned Content

What content do you commission?

NICE commissions the British National Formulary and the British National Formulary for Children for worldwide use, and the Cochrane Library for UK use.

What is the British National Formulary and British National Formulary for Children?

The British National Formulary (BNF) is published every 6 months by BMJ Publishing Group Ltd and RPS Publishing jointly (in March and September). The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) purchases a quantity which it distributes to NHS doctors, pharmacists and non-medical prescribers (both independent and supplementary prescribers) in England.

The BNF for Children (BNFC) is published annually in July (in conjunction with Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Publications Ltd) and is also purchased by NICE. It is distributed largely on the same basis as the BNF.

How do I order British National Formularies and British National Formularies for Children?

Information on how to obtain extra copies, or update distribution details for future editions is contained in the document Central purchase of the British National Formularies by NICE.

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Journals and Databases

What's on the Journals and Databases page?

The Journals and Databases page provides links to resources which have been purchased by NICE and the NHS in England at national, regional, or local levels (my Athens account). It includes healthcare databases, online journals and e-books, which can be accessed with an OpenAthens account. If you don’t login, you will be able to access a number of free resources. You will also find information on this page on the NICE Print and Electronic Framework Agreement and a specific information page for Library and Knowledge Service staff.

What content is purchased nationally?

National content is purchased by the strategic health authorities on behalf of the NHS in England, and includes:

  • Six bibliographic databases (Medline, Embase, PsycInfo, HMIC, AMED and BNI)
  • Two bibliographic databases with full text (Cinahl and Health Business Elite)
  • A range of books from MyiLibrary
  • Full text e-journals from the BMJ collection and the AMA Archives

NICE also purchases a number of resources on behalf of health and social care audiences, these include:

  • The Lancet
  • Clinical Knowledge Summaries (CKS)
  • Cochrane
  • BNF
  • BNFc

What content is purchased locally?

To find out what content has been purchased locally or regionally, please contact your local health library.

What journals am I entitled to access?

To see which journals you're entitled to access, login to your OpenAthens account and go to Journals.

Why can't I access one of the journals?

If the journal is part of either the national or free collection, please contact us. If not, please contact your local health library.

I’ve found an article in the healthcare databases – why can’t I access the full text?

You cannot access the full text because it is not available to you. The databases provide citation and abstract information about published articles and where full text is purchased or is freely available you will be able to link directly to the article you will need to contact your local health library to find out how to access what you need.


What is OpenAthens?

OpenAthens is an access management system, provided by Eduserv, available to health and social care staff. Find out more.

NICE Electronic and Print Content Framework Agreement

What is the NICE Electronic and Print Content Framework Agreement?

The NICE Framework Agreement is available to the NHS and partner organisations to purchase medical and healthcare content related print and electronic journals and books, as well as databases and Point of Care Resources.

Purchasers can access and view details of the products and services, purchasing and pricing models available through the Framework, as well as purchasing guidance, from the NICE Electronic and Print Content Framework Agreement signpost of the Journals and Databases page.

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