Information Skills Training: April to June

In the upcoming months we will again be offering a variety of library skills training sessions. There are different sessions suitable for your level of expertise or year of study, for students, academics and NHS staff.

Below you can find out more about the different training sessions we offer and the dates for these sessions. To book, please visit LibCal and register for the session you would like to attend. These sessions are all held online, via Microsoft Teams.

Don’t forget, we also continue to run our Library Research online drop-ins, Monday to Friday 12-1pm. At our drop-ins we can help you with getting started with finding information for your assignment, doing in-depth literature searching projects and referencing enquiries.

Visit our website to find out more or email liaison@sgul.ac.uk.

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Training sessions on offer

My Learning Essentials: Hunter & Harvard

Wednesday 26th May, 1-2pm
Tuesday 22nd June, 1-2pm

This session is suitable for SGUL or FHSCE undergraduate or postgraduate students who have specific referencing or literature searching enquiries relating to their assignments.  You will be able to discuss your query with the librarian, and receive guidance on how to effectively use Hunter to find academic books and articles and how to use CiteThemRight to ensure your referencing complies with SGUL’s specific Harvard Referencing Style.

Book here.

Literature searching for your dissertation

Tuesday 18th May, 11.00-12.30pm
Tuesday 15th June, 11-12.30pm

We know databases, like Medline (aka PubMed) and CINAHL, can be daunting, but with a little help and guidance, we are short 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 and FHSCE staff and students.

Sign up here.

RefWorks

Thursday 13 May 1-2pm
Wednesday 16 June 12-1pm

In this session, we will introduce you to the reference management software RefWorks. We will show you up to set up an account, add references, manage them and how to use RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM), a Microsoft Word Add-in.

Book here.

Training sessions for NHS staff

NHS Library induction

Thursday 20th May, 12.30-1pm
Tuesday 15th June, 11-11.30am

Library induction for NHS staff, introducing you to the range of services and resources on offer to those working for St George’s Hospital, Queen Mary’s Hospital and other community-based sites.

Sign up here.

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Finding the Evidence

Thursday 29th April, 1-2.30pm


Monday 10th May, 12-1.30pm
Wednesday 26th May, 12.30-2pm


Friday 11th June, 11-12.30
Monday 21st June, 1-2.30pm

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.

The session will cover: The range of evidence-based healthcare resources available, including: NICE Evidence, the Cochrane Library and BMJ Best Practice.

How to use the NHS databases effectively and identify the most appropriate database for your need. This includes how to create and plan a search strategy using subject headings and keywords and how to combine searches and apply limits to focus your results; how to access full-text articles where available or locate articles through St George’s journals page; and how to save your searches and set up alerts.

You can book your slot here.

Systematic Reviews: finding and managing the evidence

Wednesday 28th April, 1-3pm

Tuesday 25th May, 11am-1pm

Thursday 24th June, 11am-1pm

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.

You can book this session here.

At the end of this session you will be able to:

  • plan robust search strategies for literature searches in support of systematic reviews
  • carry out systematic, advanced searches on the Ovid platform
  • save searches strategies and create alerts
  • plan how you will manage your search results and report on your search methodology.

If you have any questions about these training sessions, don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing liaison@sgul.ac.uk.

Tips and tricks for longer research projects

The focus of this blogpost is literature searching, specifically for longer research projects such as dissertations, and it is aimed at St George’s students.

Your expert Liaison Librarians are able to support you with every step of the way so don’t hesitate to get in touch by emailing liaison@sgul.ac.uk. We are able to advise on how to plan and carry out a complex literature search in a variety of databases. We can also recommend which databases are most suitable for your topic.

You can email us for an individual appointment or come to one of our online drop-ins. Monday to Friday between 12-1pm you can chat to a Liaison Librarian directly. Click on the relevant link on the day you want to drop by.

Here we provide tips and tricks, no matter which stage of the process you are currently at.

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If you are…

…just getting started

Do a scoping search in Hunter. Even if you already use Hunter to locate books and journal articles in our collection, our Hunter video might teach you another thing or two about how to really make the most of its search functions.

If you aren’t familiar with the planning stage of literature searching or you usually skip this bit to get stuck in straight away, now is a good time to change that. When it comes to dissertations and research projects, you need to be much more systematic in your work, including when you formulate your research question. Have a look at our Canvas unit on this topic. It gives you more information and by the end, you will have a research question ready to start searching with.

If you are worried about how to structure your dissertation or academic writing, you can make an appointment with the Academic Success Centre team. Their details are found on the Study+ section in Canvas. We also have a number of books in our collection which can help with academic writing, including how to approach a literature review, dissertation or research paper. They are listed on our Writing for Assessment Wakelet.

If you need specific software to do your research, such as SPSS, have a look at what is available to you through St George’s University and request it here.

And finally, a little tip on how to get started. If you know of a paper which covers the area you are interested in already, have a look at which articles they reference and perhaps you find some relevant papers in their reference list for your project. While this is not a systematic method, it can help you get started and add to your search strategy (e.g. which alternative terms to use).

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…ready for an in-depth literature search

If you are a little overwhelmed by the prospect of doing a complex search in multiple databases (and who can blame you), you need to start by familiarising yourself with how to build a complex search, what alternative terms are and how to include them and how to use advanced search strategies. We have a libguide that takes you through the whole literature searching process. For those of you who are working on a systematic literature review, have a look at our relevant libguide, which highlights what you need to consider to turn your literature review into a systematic literature review. Watch the following videos to find out more about identifying keywords and alternative terms.

We have introductory videos on Ovid (Medline), Ebsco (Cinahl) and Internurse to get you started. Once you have familiarised yourself with the basics, watch our detailed video tutorial on how to search in Ovid/Medline using advanced search techniques.

Have a look at our Databases A-Z list to see which databases are available to you. Your subject guide will tell you which databases are most relevant to your course.

Don’t forget – you can also ask a Liaison Librarian for help by emailing us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk or coming to one of our daily online drop-ins. We can recommend which databases are most suitable for your topic.

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…finishing up and sorting out your references

To cite correctly at St George’s, most of you need to use Harvard Cite Them Right. While we have a number of physical copies of this in the library, you will probably be using the Cite Them Right website (login required). In case you need a refresher on how to navigate Cite Them Right, we also have a detailed walkthrough video on our YouTube channel and in our Referencing Essentials unit in Canvas.

We strongly recommend you don’t use reference generators such as Cite This for Me as we find that generally the references produced by such tools are wrong. You end up spending longer correcting and double-checking your references than you would have done writing them from scratch. If you find the resource in Hunter, you will notice a “citation” option for each record. This has been formatted to match the requirements of Harvard Cite Them Right but it is not always correct. Make sure you compare it to Cite Them Right and correct it if necessary.

For a longer project, we encourage you to use reference management software as it helps you to deduplicate your search results, manage your references and create in-text citations and references. At St George’s, we support RefWorks, which is a web-based software. You need your St George’s login to access it and create an account. To get started, have a look at our RefWorks libguide. Additionally, our detailed video tutorial covers everything from how to get started to how to create references and in-text citations from within Microsoft Word.

We can also help you with your references, so if you are unsure about anything please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk or come to our drop-ins.

Introducing: RefWorks video series

Getting all your citations and bibliography right can be a daunting prospect – especially if is for a longer research project, an article or your dissertation. In moments like that, it can be helpful to make use of reference management software, which eliminates some of the stress and hassle of referencing correctly.

At St George’s, we support RefWorks, a web-based application which supports you in collecting, storing and managing your references. As part of RefWorks, you can also make use of RefWorks Citation Manager (RCM) which is a Microsoft Word Add-in. With RCM you can create citations and bibliographies within your documents.

While RefWorks is a really useful tool for students and staff at St George’s, it requires learning how to use it before tempting to get started on your references. This is where our new RefWorks video series comes in handy.

RefWorks video series

We have created 9 short videos that guide you through the process of using RefWorks. You can find the entire series on our YouTube channel and on Canvas, as part of our RefWorks unit. If you want to get a quick overview, check out this video.

RefWorks can be a big help in getting your references done quickly, but you will find that there are mistakes in your references. You are responsible for making sure that when you submit your assignment all your citations and your bibliography are correct, so do double-check each reference in line with Cite Them Right, the correct version of Harvard to use at St George’s.

If you are new to referencing, work your way through our referencing unit on Canvas before you start using RefWorks.

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Further help

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by emailing liaison@sgul.ac.uk with any questions about RefWorks that you might have. While RefWorks is generally straight-forward to use, at times users experiences issues for example with creating an account. We can help with you with that.

If you prefer getting a proper training session on RefWorks, please visit our website to sign up for a session that suits you. Our RefWorks training is part of a number of generic training sessions, including literature searching for your dissertation.

We also have a Libguide on RefWorks and reference management, which gives you a quick overview of what you need to know to sign up and add references to RefWorks. Our Libguide also includes helpful screenshots if you get stuck and information on Legacy RefWorks.

‘Digits: For Good’: Vaccinating Harrods and Selfridges, or, (Digital) preservation of COVID-19 and influenza records

Digital Preservation Day 2020 celebrates the positive impact of digital preservation. The theme ‘Digits: For Good’ focuses this year on the creation and preservation of research and development data used in finding a vaccine for COVID-19. In this post we’ll look into the work we’ve been doing to preserve these records, and also what the archives can tell us of past pandemics. This blogpost has been written by St George’s Archivist Juulia Ahvensalmi, Records Manager Kirsten Hylan and Research Data Support Manager Michelle Harricharan. You can engage with the day and find out more about our work on Twitter at @CollectionsSgul and @sgullibrary and using the hashtags #WDPD2020 and #SGULWDPD2020.

Our COVID-19 story 

At St George’s, University of London (SGUL), a specialist health and medical sciences university in South-West London, the Archivist, Research Data Support Manager, and Records Manager have joined forces to advocate for digital preservation.   

When it comes to meeting the challenge of preserving our digital materials, we have found that by bringing together staff members from different areas of the University we can utilise different skills and internal networks to achieve our goals.   

As part of the work we are undertaking around digital preservation, the team aims to collect all Covid-19 related material produced by SGUL. This includes a variety of documents in a variety of formats, produced by different parts of the university, including 

  • Communications, such as emails, web pages, FAQs, video recordings and social media. These provide evidence of our response to the crisis and our management of it – something that will be both interesting and important to keep for the future. Communications sent out to students, staff, alumni as well as those externally available will tell the story of how St George’s reacted to the pandemic 
  • Governance records, including minutes of meetings. These provide evidence of the conversations and decision-making about the responses and management of the pandemic 
  • Research, including recording the range of Covid-19 research St George’s researchers have been involved in throughout the pandemic as well as our researchers’ incredible work in the national and international media. Research data from these studies are also important to collect and preserve for the long term.

To date we are curating and preserving the items that we aware of, and we have started conversations with departments such as External Relations, Communications and Marketing to identify material we may have missed.   

We are conscious of the need to collect the full complement of Covid-19 material as ultimately this material will be an important part of our Archive in years to come and support future research.   

Looking back 

The majority of the material related to COVID-19 is digital, but that is not the case for most of the material held in the archives (although in the future that is of course likely to change!). The one pandemic most often compared to COVID-19 is the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic, known most commonly (and misleadingly) as the ‘Spanish’ flu, or ‘the Grippe’. Estimates of the number of deaths caused by it vary anywhere from 17 to 100 million people worldwide

In order to understand more about the current pandemic, and our responses to it, and to learn from our past mistakes, we need to look into the past. How did St George’s, then, respond to this pandemic? Well – the answer is that we don’t really know. The minutes of the Medical School (later SGUL) committee and council make no reference to the pandemic. St George’s Hospital and Medical School Gazette, journal produced by St George’s staff and students between 1892 and 1974, notes in February 1919 that the out-patient department and many wards at the hospital had to be closed as so many nurses were off sick, but the medical school records don’t reveal much more (although St George’s Hospital records, which are held at the London Metropolitan Archives, may hold more information). 

A photo of a paragraph in the St George’s Hospital and Medical School Gazette, Feb 1919. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.
St George’s Hospital and Medical School Gazette, Feb 1919. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.

What we do have is historical post mortem examination records, which we are currently cataloguing and making available online. These records provide an incredible source for studying death and disease in 19th and early 20th century London. They chart, among other things, the 1854 cholera epidemic, show how prevalent tuberculosis was, and contain numerous fascinating and illuminating cases, such as that of the pastry chef murderer in 1908. 

Photo of book cover: Post mortem and case book 1846, PM/1846. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.
Post mortem and case book 1846, PM/1846. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.

When we started cataloguing the volumes for 1918 and 1919, we were expecting to find plenty of examples of influenza, and were surprised when, well, there just weren’t that many.  

There were, of course, some cases, and many that sound troubling, such as the case of Ada Bell, a soldier’s wife aged 32, who died at St George’s 31 Oct 1918. Her illness was initially diagnosed as pneumonia, but she was brought to the hospital delirious, coughing and suffering from diarrhoea, deafness and shortness of breath. Her cause of death was deemed to be typhoid fever and influenzal bronchopneumonia. 

Scan of Post mortem case of Ada Bell, [Wife of] Soldier, 32, PM/1918/240. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.
Post mortem case of Ada Bell, [Wife of] Soldier, 32, PM/1918/240. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.

As the symptoms were varied, cases were sometimes misdiagnosed as dengue, cholera or typhoid, for instance. Of the overall deaths in those two years at St George’s, influenza cases account for 5.5% of all the cases: the yellow line in the graph below shows cases where influenza was reported to be the cause of death (or, to be more specific, cases in which influenza is mentioned in the post mortem report). We don’t, however, have the admissions registers for the hospitals, so we cannot tell the number of cases overall, only the number of deaths. 

There is a relatively large number of ‘unknown’ causes of death during these years as well (shown in turquoise in the graph below) – these are cases for which the records enter no cause of death and no details on the medical case, and they may or may not include some further influenza cases. The graph also shows other respiratory tract diseases (in green) and digestive system diseases (in purple).  

Graph showing deaths at St George's hospital 1918-1919. Showing overall deaths, influenza, other respiratory tract diseases, digestive system diseases and unknown causes deaths.
Deaths at St George’s Hospital 1918-1919. Source: Post mortem examinations and casebooks, PM, Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.

The 1889 influenza 

Influenza was of course not confined to these years only. Every so often influenza cases would flare up, and the previous time this happened on a large scale in 1889-90. With our propensity for blaming single countries for viruses, this pandemic is sometimes referred to as Russian flu and, according to some theories, it may have played a part in immunising those who had it against the 1918 flu, which appeared to disproportionately strike the younger population. 

There were attempts at finding medicines to cure the disease, and there was a minor scandal when the name of the teacher of materia medica (the study of drugs to treat diseases) at St George’s was found printed on an advertisement for an influenza cure: despite denying his involvement, he had to resign. The advertisement does not actually tell us what the medication consisted of, but we can only assume it did not work. 

‘Woodland affaire’, 1890. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.

Influenza also continued to be a concern even after the 1918-1919 pandemic had abated, and in the 1926 St George’s decided to get involved in researching vaccines for influenza. There was a public funding campaign for the project, and in February 1927, St George’s published a letter in The Times

‘following on the traditions established here by Jenner and Hunter in their historical work, we are […] engaged in special research with the object of ascertaining what causes influenza, how it can be controlled, how it can be prevented from spreading and, finally, whether a really effective treatment can be found for it’. 

Scan of article in newspaper about influenza epidemic, research at St George's Hospital. ‘Influenza epidemic: Research at St George’s Hospital’. The Times, 15 Feb 1927.
‘Influenza epidemic: Research at St George’s Hospital’. The Times, 15 Feb 1927.

The arguments found in the plea for funding sound familiar: the ‘heavy burden which this scourge places on the community by the dislocation of business and loss of working power’. Because the project was widely publicised, the public was eager to take part, and we have some wonderful letters from people writing in and suggesting their own cures and theories of the causes of influenza: we will be tweeting these, so look out for them on our Twitter feed! 

Records relating to influenza research. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.

The money for the research was found, and the subject of the vaccinations was chosen to be the staff of Harrods and Selfridges on Oxford Street, as well as the staff at Quin & Axtens and Bon Marché in Brixton, department stores which had recently been acquired by Selfridges. Altogether 345 people were vaccinated.  

Photo of table 1, ‘Report on anti-catarrh inoculations (catarrh of respiratory mucous membranes)’, 1928. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.
Table 1, ‘Report on anti-catarrh inoculations (catarrh of respiratory mucous membranes)’, 1928. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.

The various reports, meetings minutes and correspondence held in the archives tell us how the research subject was decided on, issues to do with the research, space and equipment (including the building of a spiral staircase in the laboratory – obviously an essential architectural refinement) and, most importantly, how the research was conducted and what the results were. 

The report of the findings in 1928 shows the research was conducted using attenuated vaccine ‘obtained from pathological fluids or secretions or from a mucous surface of persons who exhibited clinical evidence of disease’, with the assumption that the disease was called by a bacterium called Pfeiffer’s bacillus, or Haemophilus influenzae (also known as h-flu). It was not until a few years later, in 1933, that it was definitely established that influenza was actually viral, and not bacterial.  

And the results? Well, it appears that 1927 was a disappointing year when it comes to influenza, at least from the researchers’ point of view. The vaccination campaign was, however, declared a success, and there were plans to repeat it the following winter (although if that did happen, the records have not survived). 

Photo of response to ‘Report on the work carried out in the Research Laboratory’, 11 Jul 1928. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.
Response to ‘Report on the work carried out in the Research Laboratory’, 11 Jul 1928. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.

The preserved documents reveal an on-going preoccupation with and interest in influenza, even though (given what we are currently going through) there does not appear to be much sense of urgency, certainly not at the time of the 1918 influenza. 

Although the research was not successful in finding a vaccine that worked, it was an important step on the way: you won’t know what works until you try it. Our knowledge is cumulative, and dead-ends are part of research – not everything can work out, but it all adds up. The first influenza vaccine was developed in the 1940s, and (soon, hopefully) we will see a COVID-19 vaccine. 

Looking forward

What does this all have to do with digital preservation, then? Compared to the 1918 and 1889 flu pandemics the records we are creating today are largely digital. The technology supporting these records change rapidly and may one day become obsolete. If this happens, we could lose access to valuable records, including our covid-19 records. St George’s has recognised this and is actively engaged in looking after our digital information for the long term. We’ve recently purchased a digital preservation system, Preservica, to help us to preserve our digital records. We are working to develop methods and processes that will allow us to preserve the records that are currently being created, and to do so in a meaningful way that will work for colleagues across the organisation. 

Rather than thinking of digital and physical something entirely separate, we should consider them as part of a continuum, as it were. Preserving digital material can be challenging, and we can’t always replicate the processes used for paper with digital material, but the gaps in the past records show the need to preserve evidence of the current pandemic, not only for historical interest but to provide evidence of what happened and how we dealt with it. 

If you are interested in learning more about digital preservation at St George’s, or would like to get involved, please contact archives@sgul.ac.uk.

Presenting: (new) Pubmed interface

PubMed users will have noticed a new version of Pubmed, which will become the default after 18 May 2020.

How to access the new Pubmed

Customised versions of PubMed make it easier to access the full-text of articles where they are available.

NHS users should use the following link, to access content available through OpenAthens: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?otool=igbsgnhslib

Staff and students of St George’s, University of London should use the following link to access content available through your university login: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?otool=igbsgulllib

What’s new?

Changes to the site have primarily been made in order to offer an updated and more responsive PubMed, that provides the same experience and tools for users across all types of devices, from laptops to tablets and phones. Find out more about the transition from old to new here.

Some of the key changes to how results are presented include:

  • A new and improved best match, which is now the default sorting
  • A new summary view for results, which includes snippets from the abstract of each article

A new user guide and FAQs are available on the PubMed home page, or can be accessed directly here, and any questions, comments or other feedback can be shared using the Feedback button at the bottom of the new site. For those wishing to keep up to date with enhancements and changes to PubMed as they happen, follow the New and Noteworthy page.

There is lots of online training available for Pubmed. Their tutorials and on-demand course for the new interface are particularly useful.

How to find articles in Pubmed

Best search practices in the new PubMed remain the same as the legacy system:

  • To find articles by topic, enter your keywords or phrases into the search box and let PubMed’s term mapping do the work for you. Remember to be specific, don’t use quotation marks, search tags, or boolean operators, and avoid truncation (*)
  • To find articles by citation, enter the citation elements you have (author, title words, journal, volume, year, etc.) and let the citation sensor find the article for you
  • To find articles by author, search the author’s last name and initial(s)
  • To find articles by journal, use the complete journal title, ISSN or title abbreviation

During these uncertain times, we continue to provide support to all at St George’s. Whether you are NHS staff, a student or a researcher, don’t hesitate to get in touch and we will be able to advise. Email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk.

Holiday Library Update

In less unusual times, we know that many of our students would be heading away from SGUL right now to enjoy a few weeks’ holiday; and while it’s easy lately for the days and weeks to blend into one, we hope that everyone does get a chance to take some time off over the coming weeks (even if our entertainment options these days are a little different than in the past).

That said, we know that many of you will also be working to stay on top of your studies. With that in mind, here are three quick reminders of some of the ways your library can help.

1. Access online resources with your SGUL password

Hunter allows you to search a huge collection of online journal articles that you can access with your SGUL login. For tips on finding articles in Hunter, check the Hunter FAQs.

Or browse a list of learning resources – including HSTalks for lecture videos, Cite them Right for referencing help, our most popular online resource BMJ Best Practice, and many more – that can also be accessed with your SGUL login.

Help with offsite access

Our quick video shows you the easiest way to log in to journals and other online resources when you’re offsite. There’s also a PDF helpsheet to guide you through the process.

If you’re having problems logging in to any of our journals or online resources, let us know at journals@sgul.ac.uk. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Resetting your SGUL password

You can reset your SGUL password here, as long as you’ve registered an alternate email address; if you haven’t done this yet, contact the Student Life Centre to set one up.

If you have problems resetting you password, email ITAV@sgul.ac.uk.

2. Explore e-books

There are now over 3000 e-books available in Hunter – so whatever your topic, it’s quite likely there’s an e-book that can help. To find out, search in Hunter for Books and more; then select Online Resources in the filter at the left to see which titles you can access straight away using your SGUL login.

See our short video on finding and accessing e-books in Hunter.

Use the Online Resources filter to see e-books only

Temporary access to extra e-books

A number of publishers are making their e-book collections freely available during the Covid-19 health crisis – so you may be able to view e-books now that you wouldn’t usually be able to access.

From Monday 13th April you’ll be able to access all of these through Hunter while free access lasts. For now, you can log in to publishers’ websites to see what’s available and start reading. Try:

For a full list of these offers – as well as a growing collection of free resources on Covid-19 – check the new list in our Databases A-Z. We’re updating this list as new resources become available.

Borrowed books?

We’ve suspended holds for now, so you won’t be asked to return any books you’ve borrowed until further notice. Books will continue to renew automatically.

3. Get 1-2-1 help from a librarian

Working from home set up, lapatop and flowers on kitchen table.
Working from home

The library team may now be working from kitchens, bedrooms, sitting-rooms and a few other places besides – but we’re as committed as always to getting you the information, research and referencing help you need.

We continue to provide 1:1 support for everyone at St George’s. To make an appointment, please email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk. In these unusual circumstances, we use Microsoft Teams to guide you through the databases and answer any questions you might have.

We are focusing our efforts on developing online material on Canvas and helping you make the most of our e-resources. For any queries or help needed email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk. We are happy to help!

Introducing: Lunchtime Learning workshops

Do you find literature searching laborious? Does Harvard Referencing ruin your day? The library can help.

In response to recent student feedback, the library is offering a new series of workshops to support you with your academic work.  These sessions are over lunchtime so you can fit them into your busy schedule and they will give you a head start for your assignments.

My Learning Essentials: Hunter & Harvard Drop-In

Tuesday 25 February 1-2pm

Monday 23 March 1-2pm

Do you have a burning question about referencing or finding academic sources through Hunter? These drop-ins give you the opportunity to speak to a librarian and find a solution. There’s no need to book, just turn up on the day!

Top down shot of people sitting around a table working on their laptops and other devices.

Literature searching

We know databases, like Medline (aka PubMed) and CINAHL, can be daunting, but we’ll let you into a little secret: Librarians LOVE them! So, not only will you learn how to effectively run a literature search on a relevant database, you’ll also make a librarian’s day!

There are two versions of these Lunchtime Learning sessions. One specifically for medical students and one for other St George’s University (SGUL) and Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education (FHSCE) students…

Literature searching for your Audit, QI project or Research (medical students)

Wednesday 1 April 11am-12:30pm

Suitable for Medical students, T Year and above, who are undertaking a literature review as part of an audit, QI project or research for publication.

Here is the booking form for this session.

Literature searching for your dissertation, review or research project (SGUL/FHSCE students)

Tuesday 11 February 2-3:30pm

Wednesday 4 March 11am-12:30pm

Suitable for all SGUL and FHSCE students, e.g. biomedical, paramedic, midwifery, pharmacology

Here is the booking form for this session.

Picture of colourful folders on a shelf.

RefWorks

Monday 17 February 10:30-11:30am

Wednesday 11 March 2-3pm

Students BEWARE! Free, online Citation Tools can be inaccurate and unreliable. Learn how to manage and store your references using RefWorks – the only Citation Tool supported by the library. 

RefWorks is available with your SGUL username and password. Come along to find out how to import references to RefWorks from various databases. You’ll also get a chance to use Write N Cite to create in-text citations and generate bibliographies in Word.

Suitable for any students undertaking extensive pieces of academic writing such as dissertations, theses etc.

Here is the booking form for this session.

Coronavirus (Covid-19) Resources

Bottles in research lab at St George's, University of London

Last updated: 08/04/2020

**This blog post is now closed due to the growing number of these resources. All of the resources listed here, and many more, are now organized within two filtered lists on the Library’s Databases A-Z. See below for details.**

Online Teaching and Learning Resources – contains quick links to the Library’s existing offsite resources for students, as well as new educational materials made available by publishers for a limited period during the Covid-19 crisis.

Coronavirus (Covid-19)a full list of research, clinical and educational Covid-19 resources, including preset Covid-19 search strings from PubMed.

Focused links to Covid-19 clinical and clinical education resources for NHS staff will also be found on our NHS LibGuides in due course.

In response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, some publishers have opened up access to articles and tools to support healthcare professionals and the public.

Here’s a quick round up of links to keep you up to date with this global medical emergency. Most of the content listed on this page is free to access.

American Medical Association: JAMA Network COVID-19 information collection

BMJ: Coronavirus special issue & BMJ Best Practice’s Coronavirus topic

Cambridge University Press has made 80 relevant book chapters and journal articles freely available on Cambridge Core during the Covid-19 crisis.

Clarivate Analytics: Comprehensive overview of different types of Coronavirus, including the current outbreak: Diseases Briefing – Coronaviruses.

The Cochrane Library has established a special collection on Coronavirus (COVID-19): evidence relevant to critical care. See also its companion special collection on  COVID-19: infection and control https://www.cochranelibrary.com/collections/doi/SC000040/full

Dimensions has collated a regularly updated export of publications, data sets and clinical trials relevant to COVID-19 accessible here.

DUKE University Press: Navigating Pandemic syllabus. Information on how we navigate the spread of communicable diseases. Listed e-books freely available until 1 June 2020 and journal articles until 1 October 2020.

DynaMed: Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

Elsevier: Novel coronavirus information center

Emerald: free access to research on Covid-19 and related topics, including expert briefings, journal articles and book chapters (until the end of 2020)

EPPI Centre: a living, up to date, systematic map of the evidence on COVID-19

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control: dashboard featuring updated data on the pandemic, alongside reports, risk assessments and other publications.

Google scholar: search string Created by Wichor M. Bramer, Biomedical information specialist, Erasmus MC

Lancet: Coronavirus hub

MAG: articles on Covid-19 available for free on MA Healthcare.

Microbiology Society: List of articles freely available.

NEJM: 2019 Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Links to the first article published on the virus and other resources.

The New England Journal of Medicine: Collection of articles and other resources on the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

NICE have put together rapid guidelines and evidence reviews around COVID-19.

Ovid and Uptodate: Coronavirus resources and tools Includes access to Uptodate’s coronavirus topic and expert searches that can be run on the Ovid Medline search platform and Journals@Ovid (Normal OpenAthens or Institutional logins required for expert searches).

Ovid have also provided temporary access to GIDEON (Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Online Network) which covers all infectious diseases in every country. It is updated daily with information on the latest outbreaks, helping with diagnosing diseases and identifying organisms.

To access it, login to Ovid (with your NHS OpenAthens account or university login), and you should see the link to GIDEON on the top tool bar.

Oxford Centre for Evidence Based Medicine: The CEBM has committed its skills and expertise in evidence synthesis and dissemination to the effort against the current COVID-19 pandemic. This page will be updated regularly.

Oxford University Press: content from OUP journals and online resources on COVID-19, other coronaviruses, and related topics

Public Health England Coronavirus Information: https://phelibrary.koha-ptfs.co.uk/coronavirusinformation/.

Royal College of Physicians: Links to specialty specific guidance on COVID-19

The Royal Society: Sharing research data and findings relevant to the novel Coronavirus outbreak.

SCIE (Social Care Institute for Excellence): Covid-19 advice for social care

Springer/Nature: Novel coronavirus (Covid-19)

St George’s, University of London on FutureLearn: Free online courses on how to manage Covid-19 in General Practice and how to understand and manage Covid-19 critical care.

UpToDate: COVID-19 topic from UpToDate

WHO: Novel coronavirus 2019 nCoV  and their database on global research on Covid-19 (please note this database may contain publications which are not freely available)

Wiley: Coronavirus research from Wiley

Finally, Keith Nockles, an academic librarian from the University of Leicester, is regularly updating a coronavirus blog featuring many of the above links as well as sections on news, epidemiology & genetics and information for patients.

Now on Canvas: Referencing essentials quiz

New to academic study and confused about referencing? You are not alone! It is understandable to feel overwhelmed by how to reference correctly, especially if you are not used to the referencing system used at SGUL.


As we know that referencing can be a little dull and feel overly complicated, we have put together a quiz, which covers the basics and gives you some practice using Cite Them Right. The quiz is available on the Library module on Canvas. You can find it by navigating to “Quizzes” (part of the menu on the left-hand side). You can also access the quiz here.

It is intended for beginners. The first few questions cover some of the basics of why and how we reference. The rest allow you to learn how to do in-text citations and references correctly. The quiz is also suitable for intermediates, so any second-year or third-year students who feel like they could do with a refresher should also give it a go.

Referencing at SGUL

Here at St George’s we use a version of Harvard, a common referencing style, based on the guidance in a book called Cite Them Right by Pears and Shields (2019). The book is currently in its 11th edition and there is a useful accompanying website too. As there are many different versions of Harvard, you can ensure you are referencing correctly by only following the guidance in Cite Them Right or resources produced by St George’s Library.

Cite Them Right

This website is available to you through SGUL and allows you to see at a glance how to reference books, journal articles and websites. The publisher even has included an example of a NICE guideline. If you are not using a University PC or the Wifi, you have to login with your SGUL login details. You can find Cite Them Right through Hunter and most Libguides include a link to the website too. For those of you who prefer to use a physical copy, we have Cite Them Right (2019) as a book available for you to borrow in the Library.

Help available

If you are still feeling unsure about how to reference correctly, please email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk. The Research Enquiries Desk, located in the Library next to the silent study areas, is staffed every weekday 11 am to 2 pm with Librarians who can help you with your referencing dilemmas. For those of you who are interested in using reference management software, we have a RefWorks libguide and we will be running training sessions on RefWorks in the new year. Check out our training pages for dates.


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Introducing…New RefWorks!

You might be about to embark on a research project, perhaps a dissertation, a case study or longer assignment which requires you to collect, store, manage and use a large amount of references. Or you might be a second-year student realising that as you are progressing through your degree you are expected to use more references. If you are, there is no need to panic as there are some handy tools available to help you manage all this information.


Proquest RefWorks logo

There are many different types of reference management software, each with its own special features. In practice, whichever tool you use, it can substantially increase the speed and efficiency with which you manage your references.

Here at SGUL, we support RefWorks, which is perfectly suited to those preparing longer pieces of academic writing. This term we have moved away from using Legacy RefWorks to (new) Refworks!  RefWorks is freely available to all SGUL students and staff. We also provide training to people who want to learn how to use RefWorks effectively and efficiently. There is a lot of online support available too, like our recently updated Libguide.

What is RefWorks?

RefWorks is one of the most popular reference management applications and it allows users to:

  • collect references – no need to type details in manually
  • store references
  • organise references
  • link to full text, web pages and documents
  • cite your references and create bibliographies in different styles

How does it work?

Unlike other reference management tools, RefWorks is a web-based software, so no need to download anything!

Go to http://refworks.proquest.com and click on “Use login from my institution”. Then, under Shibboleth find or search for “St George’s, University of London”. All you need is your SGUL username and password to log in.

Use login from my institution

The first time you do this you have to fill in some information about yourself and then you’re all set to start collecting references.

There are multiple ways to populate your RefWorks account with reference data. Depending on the search tool or database(s) you are using, there are different ways to add references:

  • Direct export from a database
  • Downloading and importing a text file from a database
  • Drag and drop PDFs into RefWorks
  • Adding references manually
  • Use the ‘Save to RefWorks’ browser extension

For more information on how each of these options work, have a look at our RefWorks Libguide.

Be sure to always check if the information that was added is correct and complete! As you start adding more references, you will want to organise them so that they stay manageable. You can for example assign references to different folders and subfolders. You can also deduplicate them, if you are in the habit of adding big batches of references in one go.

Top tips

  • Quality check your references by looking at citation view, that way you can see what details are missing. Make sure to select Harvard – SGUL & FHSCE and save this as the default setting to ensure that you are using the right citation style. It is a good idea to double-check your reference in citation view immediately after adding it, so you can compare it to the original document without having to retrieve it.
Citation View
  • Refworks can generate an in-text citation in the correct style for you and it can create a bibliography too. Just click on the “Create Bibliography” icon at the top of the page. Follow the guidance on the screen and copy/paste what you need, done!
  • Much easier and more effective is using Write-N-Cite which is a small separate programme you can download which connects your Refworks account to Word. An equivalent is available for Word on Mac devices as well. On SGUL computers, this programme is built into Word so no need to download anything!

Legacy RefWorks vs (New) RefWorks

The new RefWorks is intuitive to use and has better functionality than Legacy RefWorks. However, if you have used RefWorks before, you will have created a Legacy RefWorks account. If you are interested in migrating your references from the old to the new version, please be aware that it is currently not possible to edit documents in new RefWorks if they have previously been used in Legacy RefWorks.

We recommend that you continue to use your Legacy account until you have finished the projects you are currently working on. More information on migrating from Legacy RefWorks can be found here.

Referencing styles at St George’s

Screen capture of Cite Them Right website

We have also updated our guidelines around using the Harvard referencing style, which is the referencing style used across St George’s, in line with the recent new edition of Cite Them Right (2019). Although the new edition doesn’t contain big changes, it includes a lot more examples, including of a NICE guideline and a systematic review published on the Cochrane Library. For more information, have a look at our user help sheet for Harvard.

If your lecturer requires you to use the Vancouver style, you can have a look at this help sheet. Vancouver at SGUL is based on Citing medicine: The NLM style guide for authors, editors, and publishers (2007) by Patrias.

Further help

Make sure to have a look at our Libguide on RefWorks and Reference Management and check out RefWorks’ own YouTube tutorials.

Many of you will receive RefWorks training as part of your degree, but if you want to get ahead or missed out on training, get in touch by emailing liaison@sgul.ac.uk to book a session with us in which we cover the basics of using RefWorks.


For general research and referencing questions, be sure to make use of the Research Enquiries Desk (RED) located in the Library and staffed every weekday from 11 am to 2 pm.