Links to tools for understanding evidence

Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) – making sense of evidence

A really useful checklist for determining how good a systematic review is.

Randomise Me

A fun, do-it-yourself way to learn about randomised trials and randomisation, from Ben Goldacre, the author of Bad Science.

Bad Science

Ben Goldacre’s site is an interesting, plain-language way of learning how to spot good (and bad) evidence.


Review Manager (RevMan) is the software used for preparing and maintaining Cochrane systematic reviews and meta-analyses. You can use RevMan to do your own review.

Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions

The Cochrane Handbook is the official document that describes in detail the process of preparing and maintaining Cochrane systematic reviews on the effects of interventions.


The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has an excellent article on ‘What is a good systematic review?’


The US Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) hosts the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) – a searchable online database of mental health and substance abuse interventions. NREPP rates interventions according to their ‘Readiness for Dissemination’.

New Medical Research Council guidance

Aimed at policy-makers, practitioners and academic audiences, the new MRC guidance provides evidence-based, robust and accessible guidance on the theory and practice of conducting process evaluations of complex interventions. By doing this, the guidance can support researchers and non-researchers alike in using process evaluation to develop and apply high-quality evidence relating to how and why an intervention may (or may not) work.


3ie hosted a colloquium on the use of systematic reviews in international development. They provide summaries from the colloquium on topics such as how useful systematic reviews can be for development practitioners and some of the challenges faced when translating results from systematic reviews into developing-world contexts.