What is The Knowledge Network?

The Knowledge Network provides access to a digital library of electronic resources (e-journals, articles and e-books), research databases and evidence summaries and other services provided by NHS Education for Scotland to ensure equity of access to research and evidence for all staff in health and social care.  In addition you can search the print collections of NHS Scotland libraries.

To access the resources from outwith NHS premises you need to register for an NHS Scotland OpenAthens username.

Local NHSS librarians and the Knowledge Services Team at NES are happy to provide any support or training required. Online guides available on the Help and Training pages.

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Current Functionality

Point of care evidence summaries

Evidence summaries are designed to support decision making and help ensure care is based on the best evidence available. They are a good place to start as they are easy to navigate and search. Evidence summaries use rigorous, well-defined methodologies to summarise information that has been integrated and critically appraised from multiple primary research articles and existing international guidelines. They are considered very high-quality sources of information. Select the service that best meets your needs.


OpenAthens is an authentication system. Register for an OpenAthens username and password to access the collections of subscription resources (including our e-journals and e-books).

Community websites

The Knowledge Network's community websites help to facilitate communication and collaboration within communities of practice. They can be used to communicate aims and objectives of a community of practice, share documents, host discussions, and publish the latest news.

Library search

Use the Library Search to find books, journals and articles available to health and social care staff in Scotland. This includes NHSScotland's national collection of electronic resources (e-journals, articles and e-books) provided by NHS Education for Scotland, along with local NHS library collections (primarily print books).

Who can register?

All NHS Scotland employees and contractors, and social services partners in all sectors. Other eligible users include:

  • The Scottish Government
  • Local Authority staff in addition to social services working in partnership with health services (e.g., through community health partnerships)
  • Healthcare staff in the prison service, nursing and care homes, hospices, armed forces and emergency services
  • Members of Scottish Royal Colleges
  • Voluntary organisations working in partnership with health and social services
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate students who undergo placements or training with the NHS and social services
  • Those providing education and training to NHS and social services staff and students
  • Researchers working in partnership with the NHS
  • Retired NHS staff
  • Library staff in Higher and Further Education in Scotland
  • Public libraries and other community information centres where supporting the needs of eligible library users.

Roadmap 2018/2019

In the next six months we plan to

  • Improve the registration form to help trainees and students register.
  • Explore single sign on for Turas and The Knowledge Network to make it easier for users to record reading in their portfolios and learning records.
  • Removal of the Classic Library Search to enable users to benefit from all the features available on the new Library Search.
  • Investigate options to host The Knowledge Network within the Turas Platform and the benefits that would bring to users.
  • Negotiate new agreements with subscription providers for journals, books, databases and evidence summaries from April 2019.