Evidence Search and Summary Service

The Evidence Search and Summary Service (ESSS) will help you find and use evidence from research, practice and experience to inform practice, service improvement and continuous learning.

This free service is led by our Information Specialists, Andreea Bocioaga and Robert Sanders who will be happy to help you with your enquiry.

ESSS is available to anyone working in social services in any sector in Scotland, with a few exceptions: NHS employees and students who have their own library services.

How can we help you?


In dialogue with you we will produce an Outline on the issue you want to know more about. We will search for relevant evidence from a wide range of sources including academic and practice-based publications, and produce a resource tailored to your needs. We can summarise or review the main themes to give you an idea of the different perspectives, approaches or methods, provide a list of key resources, or produce a more in-depth review. 

We cover any topic related to social services, for example:  

  • Arts and creativity
  • Children and young people
  • Communities and community development
  • Criminal justice
  • Digital inclusion/skills
  • Disabilities (physical and learning)
  • Equality and diversity
  • Families, children and young people
  • Financial wellbeing (including benefits and employment)
  • Housing and environment
  • Integration and cross-sectoral working
  • Management and organisational development
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Older people
  • Research methods and evaluation
  • Workforce development, education and training

This is not an exhaustive list, and if there’s anything outside our remit that you would like help with, we can recommend an alternative service. 

We make our resources publicly available under a Creative Commons license and anyone is welcome to use them. We publish the outputs of all our enquiries as Outlines.

One to one support 

If you need guidance or support with finding, accessing, or using evidence, academic research, or practitioner knowledge to inform your practice or service development, we can provide one to one support, in person at our office in Glasgow, online or by phone.

To help you make the best use of the evidence we produce, we provide follow-up tailored support with you and your organisation. This can include knowledge exchange events and facilitated discussions with your team about using the evidence. We also draw on Iriss’s wide range of resources and tools (i.e. co-production, outcomes & co and many others).

Make an enquiry

For an Outline or one to one support, please use the form on this page or alternatively, you can email us at esss@iriss.org.uk or phone us on 0141 559 5057. We’re also on twitter at @irissESSS.


To find out more about ESSS and the work we do, you can read our blog.

Recent Outlines