SSKS Library

Social Services Knowledge Scotland (SSKS) is a website and digital library for people working in Social Services in Scotland. It was developed by NHS Education for Scotland (NES) in partnership with the Care Inspectorate, Iriss and the SSSC. It provides access to online journals and books bought by NES for the benefit of all health and social care staff in Scotland.

SSKS Library

Use the SSKS Library to discover books, journals and articles in health and social care. An NHS Scotland OpenAthens username and password is required to access these resources. This is freely available to anyone working in Social Services in Scotland. New users can register here.


Bibliographic databases are collections of published literature. They generally provide abstracts of journal articles but can also include information about books, reports and conference proceedings. The databases most frequently used in Social Services are listed at this page. An NHS Scotland OpenAthens username and password is required to access these resources.

Evidence-informed Practice

Evidence summaries provide readers with summarised research findings from published evidence and experience for easier application to practice. Sources include statistics, briefings, legislation and case studies.
SSKS provides links to the key organisations responsible for producing these summaries. It can be useful to check here before searching for journals and books in the SSKS Library, as someone might already have done the work for you.

Library services

Many NHS Scotland Library Services will be happy to help you to access books or research.

Having an NHS Scotland OpenAthens username and password also provides access to the Health Management Library for library services not directly available through SSKS. For example, you can request an article or book if it is not available online, and borrow print titles from other NHS Scotland libraries.

Literature Searches

If you need help to conduct a literature search you can ask your local NHS Scotland librarians or submit an enquiry at the Iriss Evidence Search and Summary Service.

Research Skills

At the Research Skills section of this website you can access guides, tutorials and training opportunities to help you use the SSKS Library effectively and to improve your skills in finding, evaluating and using information related to your practice.

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