Help and support

Drop in and see a Medicine Librarian
Thursdays 15.00-17.00
Central Library, Librarians' office

New books

Print books | E-books

Your librarian

Stethoscope and books Charing Cross - Rebecca Jones
Chelsea and Wesminster - Emma Shaw
Hammersmith - Vacancy
Royal Brompton and South Kensington - Folu Ojutalayo
St Mary's - Jackie Cousins

Your librarian can help with:

  • Searching and finding information
  • Evaluating the information you find
  • Using and connecting to e-journals, e-books and databases
  • Referencing and reference management software
  • Using the Library and our services
  • Open access publishing


To access all College resources when off-campus please sign in to Library Search first, see Logging in to online resources.


Bibliographic databases

PubMed (freely available)
Free search engine primarily giving access to the MEDLINE database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics.

Access via Ovid (College resource)
Covers the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine and the preclinical sciences. To access this database choose “Epub Ahead of Print, In-Process & Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE(R) Daily and Ovid MEDLINE(R) 1946 to Present.”

Access via Ovid (College resource)
Covers a wide variety of biomedical subject, and literature related to the pharmacological effects of drugs and chemicals. Includes journals from Europe and Asia not found in other biomedical databases.

Global Health
Access via Ovid (College resource)
Covers all aspects of public health at both international and community level, as well material from other biomedical and life science fields. Provides selected full-text content of journals, reports and conferences from hard-to-find sources. Please be aware access is restricted to 5 simultaneous users.

Access via Ovid (College resource)
Abstracts centred on psychology and the behavioural & social sciences with references to journal articles, books, book chapters, technical reports and dissertations.

Maternity and Infant Care
Access via Ovid (College resource)
Maternity and Infant Care is aimed at professionals involved in the care of women and infants. It contains over 120,000 references to journal articles from over 550 international English language journals, books, and grey literature relating to pregnancy, labour, birth, postnatal care, and neonatal care and the first year of an infant’s life.

HMIC Health Management Information Consortium)
Access via Ovid (College resource) 
A database based on the libraries of the King's Fund and the Department of Health. The records are on subjects relating to health and social care management information: service development and NHS organisation and administration, health service policy, medical equipment and supplies, and other related areas. Searching single databases will enable you to use the full search functionality which is lost when cross-searching two or more Ovid databases. Therefore we recommend you choose the HMIC option from the pop-up box to search just this database.

CINAHL (College resource)
CINAHL is the most comprehensive database for information relating to nursing and allied health disciplines including medical/laboratory technology, dental hygiene, athletic training and speech-language pathology. It includes articles from nearly 3000 journals, health care books and conference proceedings.

Scopus (College resource)
Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature: scientific journals, books and conference proceedings. It searches nearly 22,000 titles covering science, technology, medicine, social sciences and arts and humanities.

Web of Science (College resource)
Provides a single route of access to:

  • Web of Science Core Collection - for articles, abstracts, editorials, letters, reviews and cited references, and conference proceedings
  • Current Contents Connect - current awareness resource, providing detailed table of contents to more than 8,000 research journals, over 2,000 books and over 7,000 evaluated websites

ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global (College resource)
ProQuest Dissertations & Theses is the world's most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses from around the world with 3.8 million works, It contains a significant amount of new international dissertations and theses from 88 countries both in citations and in full text and so is a useful resource for grey literature.

Citation searching

Scopus (College resource)
Abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature, allows users to analyse and visualize research. Covers science, technology, medicine, social sciences and arts & humanities (50 million records; 21,000 titles).

Journal Citation Reports (College resource)
Citation data on journals; includes science, technology and social sciences (over 7,500 titles). Find most frequently cited, highest impact and, largest journals in a field.

Evidence-based healthcare

UpToDate (College resource)
Evidence-based, physician-authored clinical decision support resource to aid point-of-care decisions. Authors include physicians, editors and peer reviewers who synthesize the most recent medical information into evidence-based recommendations that are proven to improve patient care and quality.

The Cochrane Library (free within the UK, access via College username and password from overseas)
A regularly updated collection of evidence-based medicine databases and information on the effects of interventions in healthcare. Published on a quarterly basis, it is designed to provide information and evidence to support decisions taken in health care and to inform those receiving care.

TRIP database (freely available)
Database of evidence based medicine resources available on the internet. Includes; primary research articles from peer-reviewed journals, clinical guidelines, medical images, e-textbooks and patient information leaflets. Useful for Allied Health Professionals.

NICE Evidence Services (including Evidence Search) (freely available)
A suite of services that provide internet access to high quality authoritative evidence and best practice. Covers health, social care and public health evidence.  Evidence Services aim to help professionals make better and quicker evidence based decisions.

QualityWatch website
A free-to-access hub for data and analysis relating to health and social care services. The website holds a number of in-depth research reports, as well as 300 charts and tables containing data on how health and social care services in England are performing, including emergency care, cancer care, primary care and mental health care. It also compares the quality of healthcare across 15 OECD countries. Qualitywatch is an independent research programme from the Health Foundation and the Nuffield Trust.

Medical images

Acland's video atlas of human anatomy (College resource)
The Atlas uses simple language and high quality images to present a series of three dimensional, rotating anatomical videos, and is unique in using real human specimens. Each section is presented in simple, everyday language by Dr Robert Acland, professor emeritus in the Department of Anatomical Sciences at the University of Louisville School of Medicine. Coverage includes the upper extremity, lower extremity, trunk, head and neck and the internal organs.  As well as videos you can test your knowledge with exam questions, share clips and save them to your favourites. PDF transcripts are also available. Off-site access requires a College username and password.

Anatomy TV (College resource)
The world's most detailed 3D model of human anatomy online. Models can be rotated and layers of anatomy added or removed. Includes all titles plus test management system, test bank and study guides.

Instant Anatomy (College resource)
Provides diagrams, video podcasts, mp3 podcasts and other various formats covering all areas of the human body.

Wellcome Images (freely available)
The Wellcome Images collection contains images from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and biomedical science. All images are available on demand in digital form.

Critical appraisal


Checklists to aid users in critically appraising articles and other sources of medical information have been created by a variety of organisations. The checklists are usually tailored to specific types of article or studies such as Randomised Controlled Trials, Systematic reviews or Qualitative studies. They can be downloaded from the following links:

Critical Appraisal Skills Programme (CASP) (Freely available)

Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) (Freely available)

BestBETS (Freely available)

Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT) (Freely available)
Specifically for randomized controlled trials.

Appraisal of Guidelines Research and Evaluation (AGREE) (Freely available)
Specifically for clinical practice guidelines.

Understanding Health Research (Freely available)
This website will guide you through a series of simple questions to help you to easily review and interpret a published health research paper.


CATmaker (Freely available)
CATmaker is downloadable software that is designed to aid critical appraisal. Users can create Critically Appraised Topics (CATs) for diagnosis, prognosis and aetiology/harm studies as well as systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials. CATmaker calculates useful clinical measures, such as relative risk reduction and number needed to treat, from information entered by the user and helps formulate clinical ‘bottom lines’.

Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (Freely available)
The Centre for Evidence Based Medicine (CEBM) website hosts various calculating tools for interpreting the clinical and statistical significance of data reported in clinical research, such as confidence intervals and hazard ratios.


Crombie, I. K. (1996) The pocket guide to critical appraisal: a handbook for health care professionals. London, BMJ.

Gosall, N. & Gosall, G. (2009) The doctors guide to critical appraisal. 2nd Edition, Knutsford, PasTest.

Greenhalgh, T. (2010) How to read a paper: the basics of evidence-based medicine. 4th edition, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell.

Harris, M. & Taylor, G. (2008) Medical statistics made easy. 2nd edition, Bloxham, Scion.

Marchevsky, D. (2000) Critical appraisal of medical literature. New York, Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers.

Miles, M.B. (1994) Qualitative data analysis: an expanded sourcebook. 2nd edition, London, SAGE.

Strauss, S.E. (2011) Evidence-based medicine: how to practice and teach it. 4th edition, Edinburgh, Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.


Atkins, D. et al (2004) Grading quality of evidence and strength of recommendations. BMJ, 328 (7454), 1490-71

Egger, M. et al (1997) Meta-analysis: principles and procedures. BMJ, 315 (7121), 1533-1537

Jackson, R. et al (2006) The GATE frame: critical appraisal with pictures. Evidence-based nursing, 9 (3), 68-71

Juni, P. et al (2001) Assessing the quality of controlled clinical trials. BMJ, 323 (7303), 42-46.

Kuper, A. et al (2008) Critically appraising qualitative research. BMJ, 337 (7671), a1035.

Welk, DS. (2007). How to read, interpret and understand evidence-based literature statistics. Nurse Educator, 32(1), 16-20.

Literature searching

Resources and guidance for undertaking literature searches for Medicine systematic reviews.

Systematic review standards

PRISMA (Freely available)
The PRISMA Statement was developed by an international group with the aim of transparent reporting of systematic reviews and meta-analyses. The PRISMA Statement consists of a checklist and a flow diagram. The latter is useful for recording the flow of information through the different phases of a systematic review.

Systematic review software

RevMan (Freely available)
Review Manager (RevMan) is the official software of the Cochrane Collaboration, and authors submitting systematic reviews for publication in the Cochrane Library must use RevMan to prepare their manuscript. RevMan’s licence allows it to be used free of charge for preparing Cochrane Reviews; as well as for other purely academic uses. For a user guide to RevMan visit the Cochrane Documentation Index. Imperial College London postgraduate students and staff who require statistical advice can request it from the Statistical Advisory Service.

Systematic review databases

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) College resource)
CDSR is one of the constituent databases of the Cochrane Library. It contains Cochrane Reviews which are peer-reviewed systematic reviews that have been prepared and supervised by a Cochrane Review Group according to the principles laid out in the Cochrane Handbook of Systematic Reviews of Interventions.

Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE) (College resource)
DARE is one of the constituent databases of the Cochrane Library but is produced by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. DARE complements the CDSR by quality-assessing and summarizing reviews that have not yet been carried out by the Cochrane collaboration.

International Prospective Register of Systematic reviews (PROSPERO) (Freely available)
PROSPERO is produced by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. The register is useful for highlighting prospective systematic reviews and enables comparison of reported review findings with the original protocol.

Trials resources

Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) (Freely available)
ANZCTR is funded by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council and the New Zealand Health Research Council. It is an online register of clinical trials being undertaken in Australia, New Zealand and elsewhere. (Freely available)
A US National Institutes of Health resource for locating government and privately supported clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and conditions, both in the United States and worldwide.

Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) (College resource)
CENTRAL is one of the constituent databases of the Cochrane Library. It contains information on controlled trials drawn from a variety of sources.

EU Clinical Trials Register (Freely available)
This register provides the public with information held in the EU clinical trial database, EudraCT, which is used by national medicine regulatory authorities to support supervision of clinical trials and was established as a confidential database.

ISRCTN Registry (Freely available)
The ISRCTN register contains clinical trials from around the world that have been assigned a unique number so that they are easier to track.

Open Trials
An open, online database of information about the world’s clinical research trials. Directed by Dr. Ben Goldacre, this website is currently in beta. It aims to list all clinical trials and link to associated documents such as registry entries, protocols and structured data on methods and results.

World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform Search Portal (ICTRP) (Freely available)
The WHO ICTRP Search Portal provides access to a central database containing the trial registration data sets from a number of registries around the world.

Grey literature resources

Some conference papers and proceedings are available via databases such as Scopus, CINAHL, Embase and Medline; see the ‘Bibliographic Databases’ section.

OpenGrey (Freely available)
Run by System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe, it contains bibliographical references of grey literature produced in Europe. Records are in English; include bibliographic data and English abstract (from 1997).

NHS Digital (Freely available) Provider of high-quality information, data and IT systems for health and social care. Catalogue contains the official statistical publications Health & Social Care Information Centre produces about health and care in England. It also contains results from surveys, audits, reports and other statistics.

Other useful resources

InterTASC (Freely available)
Search Filter resource hosted by the Centre for Reviews and Dissemination. Search filters are tried and tested search terms or strategies used to identify a topic or aspect, and are intended for repeated use. On the site search filters are identified, assessed and grouped by study design or focus.

Literature in the Health Sciences in Latin America and the Caribbean (LILACS) (Freely available)
LILACS is an online bibliographic database in medicine and health sciences, maintained by the Latin American and Caribbean Centre on Health Sciences Information, also known as BIREME.

Sense about science (Freely available)
Series written by a charity that aims to equip people to make sense of science and evidence; includes an overview of systematic reviews.

World Health Organization Global Health Library (Freely available)
The WHO Global Health Library brings together various regional indexes, such as LILACS; and global indexes, such as MEDLINE, that cover information on health.

Online guides

Higgins JPT, Green S (eds.) (2011) Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions Version 5.1.0 [updated March 2011]. The Cochrane Collaboration. Available from: [Accessed 23rd May 2016].

University of York, NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (2009). Systematic reviews: CRD’s guidance for undertaking reviews in health care. York, CRD. Available from: [Accessed 23rd May 2016].


Boland, A., Cherry, M.G. & Dickson R. (eds.) (2014) Doing a systematic review: a student's guide. London, SAGE Publication Ltd.

De Brun, C. (2013) Searching skills toolkit: finding the evidence. 2nd ed. [Online] Wiley, Hoboken

Gough, D., Oliver, S. & Thomas, J. (2012) An introduction to systematic reviews. London, SAGE Publication Ltd.

Khan, K.S. (2011) Systematic reviews to support evidence-based medicine: how to review and apply findings of healthcare research. 2nd ed. London, Hodder Arnold.


For further assistance please contact your medicine librarian.