In 2023 we continue to offer a variety of library skills training sessions for you! We have a range of sessions suitable for your level of expertise or year of study – whether you are a student, academic, or NHS staff.
Below you can find out more about the different training sessions we offer and dates for these sessions. To book, please visit LibCal and register for the session you would like to attend. These sessions are either held in-person or online, via Microsoft Teams.
Please remember, we also continue to run the On-call Librarian service in the Library, Monday to Friday 10am-2pm. We can help you with getting started with finding information for your assignment, doing in-depth literature searching projects and referencing enquiries.
In this session we will introduce you to the St George’s standard of Harvard referencing, based on Cite Them Right. We will also introduce you to the reference management software RefWorks. We will show you how to set up an account, add references, manage them and how to use RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM), a Microsoft Word Add-in. The sessions are suitable for St George’s students and staff.
Literature searching for your dissertation, review or research project
We know databases like Medline (aka PubMed) and CINAHL can be intimidating, but with a little help and guidance we are sure you will get to grips with them in no time. If you have a longer research project, like a dissertation, or you just want to impress in your assignments, this session is for you. You will learn how to effectively run a literature search in a database relevant to your subject. The sessions are suitable for St George’s students and staff.
Finding top-quality evidence is a priority for health care practitioners. This session will introduce the high-quality resources available to you, as well as provide training in how to use them effectively to support evidence-based clinical practice or decision-making.
Skills to appraise and evaluate research literature are key to being able to judge whether it is trustworthy, relevant and of value and if and how we might apply research findings in practice. Developing these skills can seem daunting but during this course we will attempt to demystify this process and introduce the concepts of critical appraisal.
Training sessions on offer to NHS and SGUL staff or Postgraduate students
Systematic reviews: finding and managing the evidence
This course will focus on in-depth literature searching for systematic reviewers and how to manage your results. It will provide you with an overview of the systematic review process, the know-how of creating effective search strategies, systematic searching of the literature, managing your results and documenting the search process.
World Digital Preservation Day, organised by Digital Preservation Coalition, is an international event to highlight the importance of digital preservation. This blogpost has been written by St George’s Archivist Juulia Ahvensalmi, Research Data Support Manager Michelle Harricharan, and Records Manager Kirsten Hylan. You can engage with the day and find out more about our work on the Museum and Archives Twitter account using the hashtags #WDPD2022 and #SGULWDPD2022. If you are interested in learning more about digital preservation at St George’s, or would like to get involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
World Digital Preservation Day 2022: Data for All, for Good, Forever
‘Data for All, For Good, Forever’ is the theme of this year’s World Digital Preservation Day, demonstrating how digital preservation allows ‘digits to flourish’. What an apt theme for a university that has been transforming health and medical care since 1733! Whether it is developing the earlier practices of variolation into vaccination (introduced by Edward Jenner in 1798) that eventually eradicated smallpox or transforming health practice though our pioneering work in infection and immunity, population health and molecular and clinical research, for St George’s data has always been for good, for all and, with proper care, forever. This post will consider how by preserving records and data regardless of format that are held in the archives and currently being developed by our staff, we are not only ensuring we maintain our history, but that St George’s continues to contribute to ground-breaking medical research by allowing digits to flourish.
Postmortem Examinations and Case Books
St George’s, University of London (SGUL), is a specialist health and medical sciences university in South-West London. The Archivist, Research Data Support Manager, and Records Manager work together to advocate for digital preservation, winning funds for a digital preservation system, and identifying areas that hold records that require a long-term storage solution. As a medical school we have created many unique datasets that contribute to scientific knowledge and the teaching of medicine.
The Postmortem Examinations and Case Books were created by St George’s, University of London and St George’s Hospital between 1841 – 1946. The records contain case notes including medical histories and pathological findings, and detail social and cultural changes, medical advances, and historical events, including epidemics and the development of anaesthesia and antiseptics. The postmortem books were an integral teaching tool for students of surgery and anatomy at St George’s. Through a project funded by Wellcome, the casebooks were conserved, digitised and catalogued in 2018 – 2021. They now have a life beyond teaching; they are a genealogical, sociological, and historical resource freely accessible online, enabling researchers to broaden their and our knowledge of diseases and treatments that act as building blocks for current and future researchers’ work.
The Cambridge Cohort of Open Spina Bifida
Our research data repository holds several valuable research datasets. One such dataset is The Cambridge Cohort of Open Spina Bifida which comprises of 9 reviews of 117 individuals born between 1963 – 1971 with open spina bifida. Spina bifida occurs when a baby’s spine and spinal cord does not develop properly in the womb, causing a gap in the spine (NHS, 2020). Most babies born with spina bifida can have surgery to close the opening in the spine, however, their nervous system will have already been damaged which can lead to a range of health problems. Some may also have learning disabilities.
The Cambridge Cohort of Open Spina Bifida is a unique spina bifida data resource that provides detailed data on the health and quality of life of individuals born with spina bifida. The resource is rare in that it includes a detailed neurological examination at birth, and follows up on participants throughout their lives, with 99% follow-up to the mean age of 50 years. The earlier reviews were conducted at home and school at the mean ages of 4 and 9 years and included clinical examination. Later reviews were based mainly on questionnaires (completed by patients and/or carers) and clinical records. The Office for National Statistics provided information on deaths to August 2017.
The data provide a full, comprehensive picture of the lives of people who received surgery for open spina bifida within 24 hours of birth until either they died (which a third did before the age of 5) or the end of the study in 2017. With a 99% follow-up, it represents a remarkable achievement in research and contribution to an area where not much had previously been known. For each of the participants, and their carers, participation in the research was a means of sharing their experience for good, for all those living with spina bifida – present and future, with the hope of improving understanding and treatment of their disease.
For the researchers, the study was an ongoing endeavour of love, started by a clinician, researcher and mother who passed the work on to her daughter on her retirement. Her daughter painstakingly continued her mother’s work, treasuring the study and the research as much as her mother before her. The dataset was passed to St George’s to share and preserve for the future – for all, for good, forever.
A podcast with Prof Pippa Oakeshott, where she discusses her 2019 paper based on this data ‘Walking and living independently with spina bifida: a 50‐year prospective cohort study’, can be viewed on the Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology YouTube account.
Exploration of Disease Past and Present
What do these two resources, one containing information dating back to 1841, the other published in 2021, have in common? Both are maintained in a digital format, both add to our knowledge of a specific subject, and both have purposes that will evolve over time.
However, the everchanging technical landscape means that digital records essential for medical research are at risk. The importance of our digital records means there is a need for digital preservation to ensure these records remain accessible in order to protect our knowledge and investment, and ensure that future generations of researchers have the opportunity to access the knowledge contained within.
The historical records also provide a link between the past and present, and show the medical advances made over time. In 1865, a seven-month-old baby called Harriet (or Elizabeth) Garton was admitted to St George’s Hospital with a congenital meningocele, a type of spina bifida in which a sac of fluid protrudes through a gap in the spine. The only treatment available at the time was injection with iodine; it was not until 1895 that the first successful surgical operation was described. Although the iodine initially appeared to decrease the size of the tumour, little Harriet developed bronchiolitis and died five days after her third admission to the hospital: the doctor treating her blamed the disease on the ‘inclement’ weather when the child’s mother brought her to the hospital. Although the treatment was ultimately unsuccessful, the trial was seen as significant enough to discuss at length in an article published in 1866.
Capturing and preserving our digital data allows us to place formal research datasets like the Cambridge Cohort of Open Spina Bifida alongside our understanding and treatment of the disease in 1865. It allows us to compare perceptions and innovative treatments over time. In 1865 surgery for spina bifida was not possible; now, it is part of standard care, with some surgeries even happening while babies are still in the womb. Our post-mortem examinations and casebooks include a number of cases of spina bifida and meningocele in infants aged between 3 days and 1 year, demonstrating how quickly babies’ health deteriorated without surgery in the past. Opportunities for future research includes exploring the genetic basis of neural tube defects like spina bifida and the use of stem cell technology as potential therapies.
Data for All, for Good, Forever
By actively managing our records and data and applying preservation tools and activities we can maintain the record and data’s ongoing viability. Key to achieving our goals is St George’s information management professionals including the Archivist, Research Data Support Manager, and Records Manager advocating for, and working with the owners of records and data to identify and actively manage their outputs.
The steps we take now to protect our digital records will ensure their longevity and the ability for researchers of the future to continue to access the knowledge held within. St George’s, University of London’s mission is to pursue excellence in academic medicine, healthcare and science, informed by a global outlook by creating and sharing knowledge. By identifying records for digital preservation, we ensure their availability for good, forever, and that the data contained within is available to all.
This week is International Open Access week, an annual event about raising awareness and taking action on open access. This year’s theme is “Open for Climate Justice”, considering how open access and open research can help in tackling the climate crisis.
Sharing knowledge is a human right, and tackling the climate crisis requires the rapid exchange of knowledge across geographic, economic, and disciplinary boundaries.
What is climate justice, and where does open access fit in?
As Earth Overshoot Day gets earlier each year, it’s clear that the climate crisis is a global emergency which needs global action to tackle it. Open access can help ensure that work on climate change isn’t locked away behind paywalls where it can only be accessed by people working at institutions that can afford expensive journal subscriptions.
The term “climate justice” acknowledges that the effects of climate change are not being felt equally and that the impact is hitting marginalised populations harder – exactly the people who are also less likely to be able to access academic work and research on climate change. Opening up access to this work can be beneficial both directly and indirectly, because as well as making the work itself more accessible, it can enable people working on these issues to find others working in the same field, as well as raising the profile of their own research, helping to create opportunities for global collaboration.
What does open access look like in our corner of the world?
Here at SGUL we enable open access through our repository, SORA, where SGUL academic staff with a profile in our CRIS can have their full text manuscripts made available for articles that would otherwise only be available with a subscription to the published journal article (as well as those that are published open access).
We also maintain a Research Data Repository that can host a wide variety of outputs as well as data, making them freely available where possible whilst also allowing for access controls where appropriate (eg for sensitive medical data).
There are however questions round the equitability of these Read and Publish deals and whether they are shifting the inaccessibility burden from readers to researchers: instead of readers being unable to access published research due to the cost barrier, are marginalised researchers being shut out of the publishing process due to the cost of open access fees? Are these deals just concentrating all the money for open access on the same publishers that were already making the most money from subscriptions?
The open access landscape is shifting rapidly as questions around fairness and access lead to new publication models, which lead to new questions and new discussions on how to move towards a world where everyone is able to participate in the academic community without barriers due to cost.
Initiatives such as PLOS Community Action Publishing aims to ‘make selective publishing more equitable’ and has capped margins so the more institutions who join, the lower costs become. Not for profit journal publishing as undertaken by the Microbiology Society, uses income generated to reinvest in their community. Both these publishers’ journals are covered by SGUL publishing agreements.
Many charitable funders and institutions are increasingly advocating that authors include a rights retention statement in their manuscripts on submission to subscription journals, to ensure the accepted manuscript can be made openly available even if the published version is not.
As well as traditional journal publishing, other OA publishing models such as preprinting may not require OA fees at all – for instance there are no open access fees for publishing on medRxiv or bioRxiv. ASAPBio, a not for profit scientist community, has produced FAQs on public preprint feedback, including How can preprint review contribute to equity?.
Diamond open access publishing (in which journals and platforms do not charge fees to either authors or readers) is being advanced as another initiative, as this recent conference demonstrates.
Find out more
Want to join the conversation but don’t know your AAM from your RRS? Curious about Creative Commons licences? Take a look at our new Open Access Glossary – and drop us a line if you run across something we don’t have a definition for yet!
Any questions? Get in touch with us:
email@example.com (for questions about the CRIS and making your research publications available via SORA)
firstname.lastname@example.org (for questions about publishing open access)
email@example.com (for questions about research data and other types of research output)
We look forward to hearing from you.
Michelle Harricharan, Research Data Support Manager
Jenni Hughes, Research Publications Assistant
Carly Lightfoot, Library Research Services Manager
Welcome to St George’s to all our new students and welcome back to everyone who is returning to their studies with us. After the flurry of Freshers Week and the first weeks of classes, now is a good time to start familiarising yourself with the library’s resources and the services we offer.
We have created a range of guides, called Libguides, to help you find out more and get to grips with your subject, library or research related skills. You can find all of them on the Libguides homepage.
Each guide includes information on which resources we recommend for your subject, including revision and e-learning resources, and databases, if you are doing complex literature searches. Subject guides also include information on how to reference correctly and who to contact to get further help. A little tip: it’s generally a good idea to email firstname.lastname@example.org for help with finding information or referencing.
On Canvas you can find a range of self-directed library research-based tutorials that you can take at your own pace when you are ready. They each include some videos, explanations and short quizzes so you can test your knowledge as you go along.
If you need to use Harvard referencing in your assignments, you will find our Referencing Essentials tutorial helpful. It covers the basics of referencing, explains what in-text citations and references consist of and guides you through the reference layout of the most commonly used resources.
Once you have completed the tutorial, why don’t you take our referencing quiz to see how well you can apply Harvard referencing? A little tip: you might find our Cite Them Right video helpful to answer the questions.
If you have any questions about finding, managing or referencing information, there is an expert ‘on-call’ librarian available every weekday between 10am-2pm you can talk to in person. All you need to do is let us know at the library helpdesk and we’ll take it from there.
Every subject at St George’s has a specialist librarians, so you are sure to get the support you need for your studies. You can find out who your librarians are on your subject’s libguide.
You can also email us at email@example.com if you’d like any help with research, systematic literature searches, finding information in Hunter, referencing or RefWorks. For more in-depth enquiries we can make an appointment with you, either online or in person, depending on availability.
Reading for pleasure collection
Regular breaks from studying and revision are important, which is where our collection of fiction, poetry and popular non-fiction comes in. Not all our books are medical and healthcare-related textbooks. We have a range of books you might expect to find in a public library!
The Library also supports the Big Read, an exciting shared reading project. We have all the shortlisted books from previous years, going back to the project’s origins at Kingston University, and of course all the winners, in the library available for you to borrow. You can find the Big Read books listed here.
Last but not least, you might be looking for help with academic skills, such as essay writing, revision skills or note taking. You can find information on these topics and many more on the Study+ page on Canvas.
You can also get one-to-one support by booking an appointment with the Academic Success Team. You need to book via the Study+ page on Canvas. Appointments can be in person or online.
We hope you find these resources will support you in your assignments, dissertations and learning. Don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
Black History Month Badge-Making -Pop-Up Creation Station
Date: Wednesday 19 October
Location: Outside the Library (Hunter Wing, Level 1)
Come and celebrate Black History Month 2022 at our creative badge-making station. Create Black History Month badges using sample artwork or your own designs! Student ambassadors and staff will be there to guide you. No need to book, just turn up – all equipment and material will be supplied.
Black History Month Book Display
Come and browse and borrow from our collection of black-authored fiction and non-fiction titles- many of the titles highlighted in our display are listed in our new collections discovery service.
The Archives and Special Collections at SGUL are part of the Race Equality Action and Engagement Group (REAEG), and are examining the historical legacies of slavery and colonialism at St George’s as part of the institution-wide equality and diversity initiatives. The on-going research into the historical subscribers, funders and donors of St George’s is part of the project to reveal these links. For more information about the hundreds of donors, see the Archives catalogue.
Frederick James Halliday was one of these donors. This blog post has been written by Information Assistant Arianna Koffler-Sluijter.
Frederick James Halliday attended the East India College, a school designed to train administrators for the East India Company, before joining the Bengal civil service in 1824. He also attended Fort William College, an academy of ‘oriental studies’ which was aimed at training administrators in various languages in Calcutta. He worked his way up the civil service by starting as an assistant working for the Supreme Court in 1825, before becoming a secretary to the Board of Revenue by 1836 and then Home Secretary for the Government of India in 1849. He travelled back to England to provide information to Parliament between 1852 and 1853. After his return, in 1854, he was appointed the first Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal by the East India Company.
The East India Company was the vessel for British imperialism in India from the early 18th century to the mid-19th century. The company began by trading in spices from the East Indies from the 17th century. After defeating Portugal in India in 1612, who had the previous monopoly, the EIC traded in cotton, silk, indigo, saltpetre and spices from South India. It started trading and using slaves from the 1620s, and this lasted until the 1770s. The EIC started to control Bengal in 1757 and became the base for British expansion. The Regulating Act 1773 and William Pitt the Younger Act 1784 gave Parliament commercial and political control of India so from 1834 the EIC was the body that managed India as a British colony. After the major rebellion of 1857, rule of India was transferred to the Crown through the Company until it shut down in 1873. British rule lasted until India gained its independence in 1947.
Before Halliday’s appointment, Bengal had previously been overseen by a Governor-General but the post of Lieutenant-Governor was created by the Marquess of Dalhousie when the East India Company’s charter was renewed as it was noted that Bengal needed a different administrative approach. From 1833, the Governor-General of India was also the Governor-General of Bengal, and due to territorial acquisitions, the Governor-General was often away from the region, and thus this change in the structure of the role was hoped to improve the situation. Through his appointment, he resided in Belvedere House, which had formerly housed Warren Hastings, the first Governor of the Presidency of Fort William (Bengal) and the first Governor-General of Bengal. Belvedere is a 30-acre estate where the National Library of India is now housed.
As Lieutenant-Governor, he was responsible for the building of numerous roads and the construction of the East Indian Railway, which enabled better communication for the East India Company. The Railway route was planned to run from Calcutta to Rajmahal in 1849, which would later be extended to Delhi via Mirzapur and so the Railway Company acquired much land for this. British shareholders made immense profits from railways across India, whilst the works were paid for exclusively by Indian taxes. The railways were primarily used to move natural resources (coal, iron ore, cotton, etc.) so that they may be shipped back to Britain. The first passenger train ran from Bombay to Thane in 1853. The vast number of employees of the railways were European. Due to legislation in 1912, it was unviable for Indian trains to be manufactured or even designed, so between 1854 and 1947, India imported 14,700 trains from England, Canada, America and Germany. Due to this combination of factors, the railways, including the East Indian Railway company, did little to benefit Indian people and actively harmed their economy.
He also introduced the Calcutta Municipal Act, which included increased pay for the police, and increased supervision of the justice system. This was to help supress the disturbance of active resistance to British rule by creating a military police force as well as adding more officials to the justice system to help with its efficiency. The justice system of the British Raj was far from fair and equal, as, for example, thousands of murders of Indian people by English settlers went unpunished, with only three successful prosecutions. To a large extent, Bengal was not involved in the Indian Rebellion of 1857, which saw a mass revolt and mutiny against British sovereignty in India, but Halliday provided advice to Lord Canning, the Governor-General of India, to reduce civil unrest. Alongside these administrative reforms, Halliday sought social change and enforced anti-sati legislation; sati being the ritual burning of a widow. He was also involved in the Widow Remarriage Act, and improving educational opportunities through the establishment of a director of public instruction and the University of Calcutta.
Halliday left the position of lieutenant-governor in 1859, and was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in 1860. From 1868 to 1886, he was a member of the Council of India, a group of 15 members who advised the Secretary of State for India in London.
Halliday donated £3 and 3 shillings to St George’s in 1882, which is roughly £300 in today’s currency. He died in 1901.
While summer has very definitely arrived in the last few weeks, we wanted to remind our users that the library and library staff are still here throughout this period to help with any study and information needs you have – whether in person or remotely.
For those staying close to St George’s, the library will be open every day over the summer – from 8am to 11pm Monday to Friday and 9am to 9pm at weekends. (24/7 opening will return on 3rd October.) And as always, library staff will be onsite to help between 8am and 6pm every weekday.
But no matter where you’re spending the summer, our online resources and other services can help you stay on top of your studies when you need to. Read our post below for a few suggestions.
1. Find e-books in Hunter
Forgot to borrow a book from the library before leaving St George’s for the summer? Don’t panic! With over 5000 e-books now in our collection, it’s increasingly likely that you’ll be able to find something relevant in Hunter that you can access from anywhere.
To find and access e-books in Hunter:
Choose Books and more in the dropdown menu before searching.
Select Online resources from the options on the left to narrow your search results to e-books only.
All our e-books have a Full text available link – click here to see access options.
You’ll need your St George’s username and password to access online resources, including e-books. To reset a forgotten or expired password, see below.
Reset your St George’s password…
…using this link. Please note, you’ll need to have registered an alternate email address to use the link. If you haven’t done this previously, email email@example.com to set one up.
If you’ve registered an alternate address but still can’t reset your password, email ITAV@sgul.ac.uk.
2. Discover online learning tools
Your St George’s login also gives you access to our growing collection of online learning tools, many of which use video, quizzes and other features to keep your learning interactive. Below we’ve highlighted one of our newer resources, but you can view a full list here.
JoVE Science Education helps you recap topics in basic and advanced biology, chemistry, clinical skills and more through an extensive collection of video lessons. Click here to sign in with your St George’s username and password.
Also included in our subscription is access to JoVE Core, a collection of video textbooks that use animation to teach molecular and cell biology, statistics and more; and JoVE Lab Manuals in biology and chemistry.
3. Study at other university libraries
After a long break, the SCONUL Access Scheme has returned, allowing St George’s students reference access to over 150 university libraries across the UK and Ireland. (Postgraduate students may also get limited borrowing rights at some libraries.)
To start using the scheme, visit the SCONUL Access website where you can register your details and check whether the library you’d like to visit is participating. Within a few days, and provided your library account is in good standing, we’ll send you a confirmation email. Take this email, along with your St George’s ID, to your chosen library to apply for access.
All our e-book products from OUP – Oxford Medicine, Oxford Scholarship and Oxford Clinical Psychology – have been migrated to a single platform called Oxford Academic. This means that all our electronic textbooks that begin Oxford Handbook of… or Oxford Textbook of… can now be navigated and viewed using this single platform, rather than multiple products that all look slightly different. This platform also includes a range of titles that we have purchased from other publishers, plus some of our journals.
While we encourage you to continue to use your reading lists to link to e-books that your tutors highlight, or search Hunter to find the e-books that we subscribe to, once you get to Oxford Academic there is a lot you can do. Find out more from our e-books guide, or ask your liaison librarian.
It may be the summer holidays but that does not mean we are going to stop offering a variety of library skills training sessions for you! We have a range of sessions suitable no matter your level of expertise – whether you are a student, academic, or NHS staff we have something for you. However, if you require something a bit more in-depth or you have any burning questions, just email us: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a full up-to-date list of our training sessions, and to register, visit our SGUL Library LibCal. The links below will also direct you to the booking form in addition to providing full details on the session.
Training sessions for NHS staff
Introduction to UpToDate (with Wolters Kluwer Health)
Systematic Reviews: finding and managing the evidence
This in-person course, based onsite in the Library Training Room, will focus on in-depth literature searching for systematic reviewers and how to manage your results. It will provide you with an overview of the systematic review process, the know-how of creating effective search strategies, systematic searching of the literature, managing your results and documenting the search process. Wednesday 17 August 2022, 10:00-12:00 (in-person) Tuesday 20 September 2022, 11:00-13:00 (online)