Research Knowledge Base

RKB icon - a figure holding a pair of binoculars to their face

Our Research Knowledge Base (RKB) is a free online database that contains information about adult social care.

It’s updated regularly and includes research documents, good practice guidance, journal articles, evaluations and evidence reviews from across adult social care.

The RKB has links to over 1,800 research reports and other related documents from the last 10 years.

It’s been designed to help you find relevant information quickly and easily. You can search by subject, publisher, year and geographical area.

How to access the Research Knowledge Base (RKB) 

New user? You will need to register with us. Choose a username and password and make sure you tick 'research including the Research Knowledge Base' in the areas of interest part of the form. 

Already logged in? Click here

Already registered? Please login here.  

If you have any feedback, would like to recommend publications for inclusion or to report problems please email us

Simply type in the keywords you are searching for in the search box. 

Refine your search by publisher, date or area if you are looking for something specific, otherwise it will search all of the documents held in the RKB.

The results are shown in order of relevance.

Areas of work include:

  • standards, safety and quality including regulation
  • careers in care including recruiting staff, recruitment agencies, working patterns, attitudes and values
  • finding and keeping workers including turnover, working conditions, pay and culture
  • individuals who employ their own care and support, budgets and personalisation
  • care workers skills including end of life care, dignity, diversity
  • social work including smarter working, modernising care, attitudes, values and the role of the social worker.

The geographic scope is primarily England, but documents from beyond this have been included if deemed applicable to the English adult social care sector.

We're committed to regularly updating the RKB. If you have suggestions for content please contact us.

Please note: Copyright restrictions mean we’re unable to hold third party documents on the RKB. Instead we provide the best URL address available to help you locate documents. We check links regularly, but if you experience any problems please let us know.

Our search strategy is varied. We make use of daily news feeds and alerting services, updates from publishers and our own general searches.

We also regularly scan the websites of these organisations:

  • British Journal of Social Work
  • Carers UK
  • Department of Health
  • Health and Social Care in the Community
  • Institute for Public Policy Research
  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation
  • Personal Social Services Research Unit (University of Manchester, University of Kent and LSE)
  • Social Care Institute of Excellence.