Chapter outline Research is a very practical activity. However, you could be excused for think ' ing that research exists only as a great deal of written material, much of it both long and complex. This chapter aims to clarify the purpose of the professional and research literature and how it fits in with the ethos of professional practice.

This chapter will argue that , although the healthcare disciplines do have a clear practice orientation, the professional and research literature is necessary for them to develop and to progress. This chapter will look at the differences between the professional and the research literature, how to find the literature and how to make sense of it.