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Welcome to Public Health eLearning Toolkit (PHeLT)!

PHeLT brings together specially selected, quality approved resources to help you improve your skills in critical appraisal, understanding copyright, and ethical use of information. PHeLT also includes a self-test element that allows you to identify particular areas to focus on when improving your skills.

About PHeLT

Navigating PHeLT


How to guide 
Learn to search effectively for reports, policies, position statements and other documents produced by governments, charities and NGOs

Start here: Quiz

Find out which elearning toolkit will be the most useful to you by taking our quiz. 
Some questions have no correct answer and are there to get you to think about your skills. If you're struggling with a question click 'Answer insight'. Correct answers and feedback are available at the end of the quiz. 
You can also check the answers to questions explained.
eLearning quiz - Your Details
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Introduction to critical appraisal

Critical appraisal is an important skill for anyone working in public health. 

Critical appraisal refers to the evaluation and assessment of new research, to determine the quality and validity of that research. Critical appraisal skills are a cornerstone of the concept of evidence based health.

This toolkit guides you to a range of resources that will help you in carrying out your own appraisals on a wide variety of health research. The toolkit includes guidance to support you in appraising both peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed research.

This toolkit differs to other elearning toolkits because it collects information on the appraisal of grey literature (See what is grey literature?). Grey literature includes non-commercially published material such as government documents and reports produced by charities and NGOs. Every report is different, so appraising these documents on set criteria is challenging. However the checklists provided here give you pointers on what to look for. Taking the time to check and appraise grey literature is vital because it is an important source of public health evidence.

Appraising clinical publications

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Introduction to copyright

Copyright is a law that exists to protect the creators of original works of all kinds, and to encourage creativity by ensuring the rights of creators.

Copyright gives the creator of an original work control over how it is used, including rights over: 

  • Copying – including print and electronic copies 
  • Adapting 
  • Distributing 
  • Communicating to the public by electronic 
  • transmission 
  • Rental or lending

This section of the toolkit will help you to understand what copyright applies to and for how long, and how copyright law works with respect to re-using other people's content.

Understanding copyright

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Introduction to plagiarism

Plagiarism can be defined as taking another person's work or ideas and passing them off as your own.

Plagiarism failing to cite (reference) other people's work fully when using it - either when quoting directly from text, or when paraphrasing and summarising in your own words.

This section of the toolkit will raise your awareness of the different types of plagiarism and teach you how not to plagiarise through correct and accurate referencing.

Avoiding plagiarism

Referencing skills