#MorbidAdvent: What Did We Learn?

Opening Up the Body’ is a Wellcome-funded project to conserve the Post Mortem Examinations and Case Books of St George’s Hospital, 1841-1946. Our Archive team have been cataloguing and digitising records dating from 1841-1921. This post was written by Project Archivist Alexandra Foulds, with contributions from Project Archivist Natasha Shillingford and Archivist Juulia Ahvensalmi.

St George’s University of London Museum and Archives Instagram post on smallpox as part of #MorbidAdvent
St George’s University of London Museum and Archives Instagram post on smallpox as part of #MorbidAdvent

In December 2020 we decided to do an advent calendar on social media in which we would use every day to highlight a disease or condition that could be found in our post mortem casebooks. Calling it #MorbidAdvent, throughout the month we covered:

When we started, we assumed that these were conditions that had been relegated to history but the morbid nature of all these diseases was brought into stark relief with the realisation that none of the diseases apart from smallpox (thanks to the efforts of Edward Jenner) have actually been eradicated.

Vaccinations are, of course, of particular interest and relevance at the moment, and there are vaccines for many of the diseases we examined, including tuberculosis, rabies, influenza, whooping cough, tetanus, diphtheria, measles and smallpox. Others, such as malaria or leprosy can be treated with various medications.

Despite this, many of the diseases remain common outside of the Western world. 10 million people were diagnosed with tuberculosis in 2019, predominantly in South-East Asia, Africa, and the Western Pacific, resulting in 1.5 million deaths. There were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria in 2019, the majority of them in sub-Saharan Africa: children are particularly vulnerable to the disease. Diphtheria, despite mass immunisations in the UK in the 1940s, is still common in Africa, India and Indonesia, with a 5-10% death rate affecting mainly children. Measles, which has an alarmingly high R number of 12 to 18, similarly caused over 140,000 deaths in 2018, mostly in children under 5 years old. Cholera outbreaks remain common in Africa, South America and Asia. In 2008-2009 an outbreak in Zimbabwe killed 4200 people and in 2010-2011 another in Haiti caused 6631 deaths. In all of these places, a lack of access to health care, poor water quality and poor sanitation allow for contagious diseases to take hold and spread.

As these diseases have not been eradicated they frequently resurface in the United Kingdom. There are still around 12 new cases of leprosy diagnosed each year in the UK and the World Health Organisation states that in 2018 there were 208, with 619 new cases of leprosy diagnosed worldwide. This is approximately one every two minutes. In 2019 the notification rate for TB in the UK was 8.4 per 100,000 of the population. Even smallpox has the potential to return, as it did in 1978, as it is retained in laboratories.

It is not only contagious diseases that can have resurgences. Rickets, for example, which is caused by a vitamin D deficiency, despite mostly disappearing in the UK in the 1950s with mass programs of cod liver oil for children, has recently experienced a comeback that has been attributed to children spending more time indoors and the use of sun creams whenever they are outside.

Photo of the post mortem record of Ethel Almond who had rickets and then contracted tubercular meningitis (PM/1888/314). Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.

The post mortem record of Ethel Almond who had rickets and then contracted tubercular meningitis (PM/1888/314). Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London

Patients at St George’s Hospital

Visualisation of the causes of death found in the post mortem casebooks of St George’s Hospital 1841-1887 created using Flourish. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.
Visualisation of the causes of death found in the post mortem casebooks of St George’s Hospital 1841-1887 created using Flourish. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.

When we started the advent calendar we knew that the period covered by our post mortem casebooks (1841-1946) was punctuated by numerous outbreaks, epidemics and global pandemics of various contagious diseases. The most notable of these that affected the UK included:

Cholera: 1831-1832, 1838-1839, 1848-1849, 1853-1854, 1866-1867

Influenza: 1830-1831, 1833, 1836-1837, 1847-1848, 1857-1858, 1889-1890 (Russian/Asiatic Flu), 1918-1920 (Spanish Flu)

Smallpox: Large epidemics in 1837-1838 and 1870-1874 (after the Franco-Prussian War). 1901-1902 was the last outbreak in London. (England was declared rid of smallpox in 1939).

Scarlet fever: 1892-1893. Particularly common at the beginning and ends of the nineteenth century.

Diphtheria: 1850-1860

While trying to find cases of these diseases in the post mortem casebooks, however, we were struck by the fact that there were far fewer cases than we had expected, even in years when there were epidemics. This was despite many contagious diseases being more easily caught by people with malnourishment, a condition from which it is likely that many of the patients at St George’s would have suffered. St George’s Hospital’s nineteenth-century position at Hyde Park Corner meant that many of its patients came from Westminster and Pimlico, both of which were very impoverished, working-class areas of London at this time. Wealthier patients in nearby St James’s, Belgravia and Mayfair would have been more likely to have been treated by visiting physicians (some of whom would have also worked at St George’s) in their own homes. Hospitals had been created in the UK in the eighteenth century to serve the ‘deserving’ working class poor and were considered, at least until the late nineteenth century, to be dirty and sources of contagion, so people tended to stay away if they could. The extremely poor who were unable to support themselves, considered to be ‘undeserving’, would have been treated in workhouse hospitals.

Fever hospitals

Trying to account for this low number of contagious diseases in our post mortem casebooks led us to find out about fever hospitals, or hospitals set up in the nineteenth century specifically to treat contagious diseases. Prior to this only a small amount of hospitals were willing to take contagious patients. A smallpox hospital had been created in Windmill Street off Tottenham Court Road in 1746, and patients with other contagious diseases could be sent to one of the Royal Hospitals or to Guy’s Hospital. As part of the nineteenth-century public health movement, 12 fever hospitals were created in London, starting with the Institution for the Care and Prevention of Contagious Fevers (later called the London Fever Hospital) at Grays Inn Lane in 1801. While the majority of these were on land, between 1883 and the end of the nineteenth century three of them were converted ships (the wooden warships the Atlas and the Endymion, and the iron paddle steamer Castalia), which were moored on the River Thames and used to treat smallpox patients. Patients who needed to be treated in a hospital were sent to one of these fever hospitals after being referred by a doctor, and were only treated in hospitals such as St George’s if their condition was not apparent when they were admitted. Once their condition was diagnosed, we can see from the medical notes in our post mortem casebooks that they were moved to separate wards. One of the fever hospitals, however, the Grove Fever Hospital which opened in 1899, was sited where St George’s Hospital is now in Tooting. Two of the ward blocks survive to this day.

Photograph of Grove Fever Hospital. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.
Photograph of Grove Fever Hospital. Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.

Highlights of the advent calendar

A few of the conditions covered in the advent calendar proved to be particularly interesting and unusual, such as glanders, leprosy, and malaria.

Glanders

Glanders is an unusual disease in the Morbid Advent Calendar as it is a zoonotic disease. In other words, Glanders primarily occurs in horses, mules and donkeys but can be transmitted to humans by direct contact with an infected animal’s body fluid and tissues, and can enter the body through skin abrasions. The majority of patient’s in the post mortem volumes who contracted Glanders, were stablemen, horse keepers and grooms.

Despite the fact that the last confirmed case in Great Britain was in 1928, it still remains a very real threat, particularly as a biological weapon during war and has long been a threat to armies. It is believed that Glanders may have affected the horses of Marshall Tallard’s cavalry prior to the Battle of Blenheim in 1704 which helped the Duke of Marlborough to win the battle. It is also believed that during World War I, Russian horses on the Eastern Front were deliberately infected with Glanders by German agents. More recently, the Soviet Union allegedly used the germ that causes Glanders during the Soviet-Afghan War.

Unlike many of the diseases featured in the calendar, there is currently no vaccine for Glanders. The lack of a vaccine, the fact that the disease is not widely known and is therefore difficult to diagnose, the ability for the germs to be released into the air, water or food supply, and the germ’s resistance to common antibiotics makes the bacteria a significant bioterrorism threat.

Leprosy

Photo of manuscript showing a leper. Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Manuscript showing a leper. Wellcome Collection. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

The earliest possible account of a disease which is believed to be leprosy appears in an Egyptian papyrus document written around 1500 BC. The first account of the disease in Europe occurs in the records of Ancient Greece after the army of Alexander the Great returned from India.

Leprosy had entered England by the 4th century AD and was a common feature of life by 1050. However, it seemed unusual to find a case of leprosy in London in 1884, particularly as the last case of indigenous leprosy in the United Kingdom was diagnosed in 1798.

Further research uncovered that it wasn’t until 1873 that Dr Gerhard Henrik Armauer from Norway identified the germ that causes leprosy and proved that it was not a hereditary disease or a punishment by God, but an infection caused by bacteria. It is now curable with a multidrug therapy which was developed in the early 1980s.

Malaria

The post mortem record of John Lee who is described as having ‘lived in an aguish district near Eastbourne’ (PM/1891/87). Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.
The post mortem record of John Lee who is described as having ‘lived in an aguish district near Eastbourne’ (PM/1891/87). Archives and Special Collections, St George’s, University of London.

From ‘mal’aria’, or bad air, malaria was so named as it was thought to be caused by miasma. The connection between mosquitoes and malaria was not established until the 1890s; Patrick Manson, the first lecturer in tropical diseases at St George’s Hospital Medical School and the founder of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, was instrumental in developing the so-called mosquito-malaria theory.

Far from being confined to hot, faraway countries (though the postmortems show that the majority of the cases were contracted by soldiers, seamen and colonial officers in India, the West Indies, China or the United States), the postmortem books reveal cases in places like Deptford, Hampshire and Eastbourne: it turns out that malaria was, in fact, a significant cause of death in Britain. In these cases, the diagnosis is often given as ‘ague’ or ‘marsh fever’. Decrease of marsh wetlands and increase in cattle as well as improvements in housing, drainage and ventilation (factors which affect also many other causes of death during this period) and water chlorination led to malaria gradually disappearing as an endemic disease in Britain (the last cases occurred in Stockwell in 1953).

Quinine, derived from the bark of cinchona tree, has been used to treat malaria since the 1600s, and the origins of gin & tonic is often said to be as an anti-malarial drug, though this is not strictly true. Quinine is still used to treat malaria, although there are now various other medications too.

What did we take away?

Finding out more about these diseases put the current Covid-19 pandemic in a new light. While it is easy to think of our current situation as exceptional, what our advent calendar made clear was that it is something that humans have experienced many times before and continue to endure in many parts of the world. While it might be easy to find this thought quite bleak, it helped us to feel more positive. Like all outbreaks of contagious disease, this too shall pass, and as our history and our experience over the last year shows, we have the ability to band together to make great medical advancements when we have the drive to do so. Current technology has enabled us to experience this pandemic in a global way that has never been seen before and hopefully this unity will continue as we try to vaccinate the world’s population. Perhaps this will carry forward and enable us tackle other diseases together, giving new impetus to strategies such as the World Health Organisation’s plan to cut new cases of TB by 90% and reduce deaths by 95% by 2035.


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Welcome to St George’s Library!

Welcome to St George’s to all our new undergraduates and postgraduates and a warm welcome back to all of our returning students. After your summer adventures, we hope you have a great start to the new academic year! This time of year can feel quite hectic and there is a lot of information for you to absorb, so here are some things to keep in mind while you settle in to University life.

Your Library Induction

The Library now has a home on Canvas, St George’s Virtual Learning Environment. All new students will have been given access to the Library module, but if it’s missing from your Dashboard our previous blog post will show you how to self-enrol.

You can find the Library module here. There are separate resources, created by your specialist Liaison Librarians, for St George’s students (IMBE) and St George’s/Kingston students (FHSCE). When you click on the appropriate banner you will find an “induction” section, which pulls together all the important information you need as a new student and takes you to your induction quiz.

The quiz is a playful and interactive way of engaging with the Library and getting to know the resources and services we have. It has been put together to show you, as new healthcare students, how important it is to access and use up-to-date information as you are on your way to becoming qualified professionals. It only takes about 15 minutes and you need to complete it before Monday 14th October, after which you’ll be automatically entered into our prize draw! This year we have got great prizes from businesses in Tooting and beyond…

Library Tours

If you attended your induction week welcome lecture, you’ll have had a virtual tour of the Library via our new welcome video. We had a great time creating this video for you over the summer, shot in the library with REAL Librarians.

If you’d like to meet us face-to-face for a brief overview of the services we offer, we’ve also organised a series of short Library tours.

The next set of tours will be running on:

  • 30th September 12 pm and 1 pm
  • 1st October 12 pm and 1 pm
  • 2nd October 2 pm, 3 pm and 4 pm
  • 3rd October 12 pm, 1 pm
  • 4th October 12 pm, 1 pm

Ask at the help desk for more information! The Library tours are a great chance for you to become familiar with the space, get more information on using the Library and ask any questions you might have.

What you can expect from us

The Library supports you throughout your studies, both in person and online. The Library and computer rooms are open 24/7, all you need is your student ID.

The help desk is staffed every weekday 8 am to 6 pm and this is where you can get help with passwords, your Library account, finding books on shelves and pick up your reserved books. The Research Enquiries Desk (RED) is staffed Monday to Friday from 11 am to 2 pm with Librarians who offer support if you have research questions, need help searching databases or with referencing.

Your Liaison Librarians also offer tailored, embedded teaching and training sessions throughout your degree, and run a programme of bookable Information Skills sessions throughout the year. If you’ve got a question for your Librarian, or would like to book an appointment, you can contact them by emailing liaison@sgul.ac.uk.

We know you can’t always be in the Library, so if you need support while you’re away from St George’s, check out our series of LibGuides. Here you’ll find subject-specific guides for your course (e.g. Medicine, Midwifery, Biomedical Science, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy). These all follow a similar format and give you an overview of which textbooks, journals and databases are most relevant to your course. They also guide you through evaluating information and referencing correctly.

As well as these subject guides, the Liaison team have also developed support for specific resources (e.g. RefWorks) and for using the Library. Library Essentials will be especially useful for getting to grips with our services and Library StART can help you with finding appropriate resources for your academic writing.

Throughout your studies, you also have access to the complete Microsoft Office Package and to tailored training on Office 365 (email ITTraining@sgul.ac.uk for more information). Additionally, the Library functions as a base for the Academic Success Centre, where you can get help with academic writing, effective revision and note taking. They offer 1-to-1 support and lots of online resources, available via the Study+ module on Canvas. The Careers service is also based in the Library, have a look at their online resources and to book an appointment with them.

What we expect from you

To keep the Library as pleasant a space as possible, for all users, we expect you to follow the Library’s rules and regulations. Full details of our expectations can be found on Library Essentials, but key points to remember include:

  • Always having your student ID card on you
  • Not eating in the Library
  • Taking phone calls outside the Library entrance
  • Respecting the function of the different study spaces, such as the silent study area.

We’re also trying to improve the availability of study spaces and discourage users from “desk-hogging”. A new Study Break Pass scheme launches on the 1st October: find out more information about it here.

As you can see, we have got lots on offer for you and we are here to help should you have any questions or need extra support. Have a fantastic year at St George’s!


Remember the complete your induction by doing the online quiz and with a bit of luck, you will win one of our amazing prizes! Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, for a bonus entry into the prize draw and for regular updates!

St George’s Library Prize Draw!

Every year St George’s Library welcomes our new undergraduates and postgraduates with a Library induction: this year we’re changing things up… we’re moving our Library Inductions online!

As well as meeting your Liaison Librarians at your welcome lectures, all new starters will be enrolled onto the SGUL Library module in Canvas, your VLE at St George’s. Here you’ll be able to access course-specific information about Library resources, teaching and learning materials and most importantly for now, your Online Library Induction. You can also find a link to it here (SGUL Login required).

As keen new St George’s students, we hope you’ll be interested in exploring the Library module regardless, but appreciate that an incentive or two might entice you! Therefore, any student who completes their online induction will be automatically entered into a very generous prize draw…

Local businesses have come out in force to show their support for St George’s, so you could be in with a chance of winning the following:

Prize list:

To enter the draw, make sure you complete your online Library induction before Monday 14th October 2019.

Entries received after this date will not be eligible for prizes.

You can also get a bonus entry if you follow us on social media:

@sgullibrary on Instagram
@sgullibrary on Twitter
SGUL Library on Facebook

The Library uses social media to give you the latest information about Library services, as well as drawing your attention to relevant news items and articles relevant to the medical and health field.


Terms and Conditions: St George’s Library Prize Draw

  1. The competition will run from Tuesday 27th August 2019 until Monday 14th October 2019.
  2. The prize draw is open to St George’s, University of London and Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education (Kingston University and St George’s, University of London partnership) students only.
  3. Entry to the prize draw is restricted to one entry per student, per channel. Multiple entries from any participant will be disqualified.
  4. Winners will be chosen at random from all valid entries once the competition has closed on Monday 14th October 2019.
  5. Winners will be contacted via their SGUL email address, or via the social media channel they used to enter the draw. Please be sure to check your emails / direct messages.
  6. The prize can only be collected in person from St George’s Library on production of a valid St George’s University ID card.
  7. Prizes must be collected within one week of notification.
  8. Prizes are not exchangeable, nor are they redeemable for cash or other prizes.
  9. The Judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to.
  10. Photos of the prize winners will be taken to be used in publicity on Library social media channels.
  11. One prize draw will take place, unless the prizes are not collected by the deadline, in which case uncollected prizes will be redrawn (once only).
  12. Prize list is subject to change, depending on availability.

*Approximate value. Vouchers are for 2 x burgers, 2 x sides and 2 x drinks per voucher.

Information Skills Training Sessions April – June 2019

Info Skills Sessions Apr - June 2019 -blog banner(1)

Dates for our April – June 2019 Information Skill Training Sessions are below. Please see our Information Skills Training page for full details. Contact liaison@sgul.ac.uk to book a session.

Getting Results: Finding healthcare literature for your learning and research

This session is for SGUL/FHSCE students and staff who are carrying out more in-depth research, such as for a literature review, dissertation, research project etc.

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Tuesday 16th April 10:00 -11:30

Thursday 2nd May 13:00 -14:30

Wednesday 15th May 9:30 -11:00

Wednesday 12th June 14:00 -15:30

Systematic reviews – Finding and managing the evidence

Systematic literature searching for systematic reviews, research projects or service developments.

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Sessions available on request.
Please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk

Introduction to critical appraisal

Introduction to the concepts of critical appraisal and evaluating healthcare literature.

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Sessions available on request.
Please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk

Citation metrics – an overview

An overview of traditional and alternative metrics, with the opportunity for hands on exploration of a range of metrics.

Recommended for: Researchers or SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Thursday 6th Jun 12:00 – 13:00

Finding the evidence

Introduction to healthcare resources and training in how use them effectively to support evidence-based clinical practice or decision-making.

Recommended for: NHS staff

Friday 19th April 12:00 – 13:30

Tuesday 14th May 11:00 -12:30

Wednesday 26th June 13:00 – 14:30

Library Inductions for NHS Staff

Recommended for: NHS staff

Wednesday 3rd April 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 1st May 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 5th June 10:00 – 11:00

Keeping up-to-date

Introduction to a range of services that will help you keep up to date with current literature.

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk to book your bespoke session

Getting Started with Twitter

A session for those new to Twitter, offering a hands-on practical workshop exploring this growing social media platform, with particular focus on how Twitter can be used in a professional context.

Recommended: For anyone wanting to get familiar with Twitter

Tuesday 18th June 10:00-11:30

Refworks

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students
Sessions available on request.
Please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk

 

Personalised training

If you cannot make any of the times, we are happy to arrange sessions for either individual or larger groups depending on your needs. To organise a bespoke session please email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk

Information Skills Training Sessions January – March 2019

Info Skills Sessions Jan - Mar 2019 -blog banner

Dates for our January – March 2019 Information Skill Training Sessions are below. Please see our Information Skills Training page for full details. Contact liaison@sgul.ac.uk to book a session.

Getting Results: Finding healthcare literature for your learning and research

This session is for SGUL/FHSCE students and staff who are carrying out more in-depth research, such as for a literature review, dissertation, research project etc.

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Wednesday 6th Feb 11:00 -12:30

Wednesday 20th Feb 10:30 – 12:00

Thursday 7th March 11:00 -12:30

Monday 25th March 14:00 -15:30

Systematic reviews – Finding and managing the evidence

Systematic literature searching for systematic reviews, research projects or service developments.

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Wednesday 23rd Jan 13:00-16:00

Wednesday 27th Feb 10:00-13:00

Wednesday 27th Mar 13:00-16:00

Introduction to critical appraisal

Introduction to the concepts of critical appraisal and evaluating healthcare literature.

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Wednesday 30th Jan 15:00-16:30

Wednesday 20th Mar 10:30-12:00

Citation metrics – an overview

An overview of traditional and alternative metrics, with the opportunity for hands on exploration of a range of metrics.

Recommended for: Researchers or SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Monday 21st Jan 12:00 – 13:00

Finding the evidence

Introduction to healthcare resources and training in how use them effectively to support evidence-based clinical practice or decision-making.

Recommended for: NHS staff

Monday 21st Jan 14:00 – 16:00

Wednesday 13th Feb 15:00-17:00

Thursday 21st Mar 14:00 – 16:00

Library Inductions for NHS Staff

Recommended for: NHS staff

Wednesday 2nd Jan 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 6th Feb 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 6th Mar 10:00 – 11:00

Keeping up-to-date

Introduction to a range of services that will help you keep up to date with current literature.

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Friday 22nd March 14:00 – 15:30

Getting Started with Twitter

A session for those new to Twitter, offering a hands-on practical workshop exploring this growing social media platform, with particular focus on how Twitter can be used in a professional context.

Recommended: For anyone wanting to get familiar with Twitter

Tuesday 26th Feb 13:00 -14:30

Thursday 21st Mar 10:00 – 11:30

The following course is available on request, please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk for details

Refworks

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Personalised training

If you cannot make any of the times, we are happy to arrange sessions for either individual or larger groups depending on your needs. To organise a bespoke session please email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk

Information Skills Training Sessions October – December 2018

Info Skills Sessions Oct- Dec 2018 - plasma

Dates for our October – December 2018 Information Skill Training Sessions are below. Please see our information skills training page for full details. Contact liaison@sgul.ac.uk to book a session.

Systematic reviews – Finding and managing the evidence

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Tuesday 16th October 13:00 – 16:00

Wednesday 28th November 10:00 – 13:00

Thursday 20th December 13:00 – 16:00

Introduction to critical appraisal

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Wednesday 31st October 14:00 – 15:30

Tuesday 11th December 10.30 – 12.00

Citation metrics – an overview

Recommended for: Researchers or SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Tuesday 22nd November 12:00 – 13:00

Finding the evidence

Recommended for: NHS staff

Wednesday 24th October 10:00 – 12:00

Wednesday 21st November 11:00 – 13:00

Thursday 13th December 14:00 – 16:00

Library Inductions for NHS Staff

Recommended for: NHS staff

Wednesday 3rd Oct 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 7th Nov 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 5th Dec 10:00 – 11:00

Keeping up-to-date

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Thursday 29th November 15:00 – 17:00

 

The following courses are available on request, please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk for details

Getting Started with Twitter

Recommended: For anyone wanting to get familiar with Twitter

RefWorks

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Searching databases using EbscoHost

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Searching databases using OvidSP

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Personalised training

If you cannot make any of the times, we are happy to arrange sessions for either individual or larger groups depending on your needs. To organise a bespoke session please email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk

Information Skills Training Sessions July – September 2018

Info Skills Sessions July- september 2018 -blog banner

Dates for our July – September 2018 Information Skill Training Sessions are below. Please see our information skills training page for full details. Contact liaison@sgul.ac.uk to book a session.

Library Inductions for NHS Staff

Recommended for: NHS staff

Wednesday 4th July 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 1st Aug 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 5th Sept 10:00 – 11:00

Finding the evidence

Recommended for: NHS staff

Friday 13th July 13:00 – 15:00

Weds 22nd August 11:00 – 13:00

Thurs 13th September 11:00 – 13:00

Systematic reviews – Finding and managing the evidence

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Thursday 26th July 13:00 – 16:00

Tuesday 21st August 13:00 -16:00

Introduction to critical appraisal

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Tuesday 17th July 14:00-15:30

Citation metrics – an overview

Recommended for: Researchers or SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Monday 16th July 12:00 – 13:00

The following courses are available on request, please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk for details

Getting Started with Twitter

Recommended: For anyone wanting to get familiar with Twitter

RefWorks

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Keeping up-to-date

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers#

Searching databases using EbscoHost

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Searching databases using OvidSP

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Personalised training

If you cannot make any of the times, we are happy to arrange sessions for either individual or larger groups depending on your needs. To organise a bespoke session please email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk

Information Skills Training Sessions April – June 2018

1

Dates for our April – June 2018 Information Skill Training Sessions are below. Please see our information skills training page for full details and range of sessions available. Contact liaison@sgul.ac.uk to book a session.

Library Inductions for NHS Staff

Recommended for: NHS staff

Wednesday 4th April 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 2nd May 10:00 – 11:00

Wednesday 6th June 10:00 – 11:00

Finding the evidence

Recommended for: NHS staff

Friday 20th April 10:00 – 12:00

Wednesday 23rd May 10:00 – 12:00

Thursday 14th June 13:00 – 15:00

Searching databases using EbscoHost

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Tuesday 24th April 11:00-12:30

Thursday 24th May 11:00-12:30

Wednesday 20th June 13:00-14:30

Searching databases using OvidSP

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Monday 9th April 11:00 – 12:30

Tuesday 8th May 14:00 – 15:30

Monday 11th June 11:00 – 12:30

Systematic reviews – Finding and managing the evidence

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Thursday 12th April 10:00 – 13:00

Tuesday 22nd May 13.00 – 16.00

Thursday 21st June 10.00 – 13.00

 

Keeping up-to-date

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

Monday 16th April 14:00 – 15:30

Citation metrics – an overview

Recommended for: Researchers or SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Tuesday 12th June 12:00 -13:00

Getting Started with Twitter

Recommended: For anyone wanting to get familiar with Twitter

Monday 16th April 11:00 – 12:30

Tuesday 19th June 10:00 – 11:30

 

The following courses are available on request, please email liaison@sgul.ac.uk for details

Introduction to critical appraisal

Recommended for: NHS staff & researchers

RefWorks

Recommended for: SGUL/FHSCE staff and students

Personalised training

If you cannot make any of the times, we are happy to arrange sessions for either individual or larger groups depending on your needs. To organise a bespoke session please email us at liaison@sgul.ac.uk

New Year Review

The Library in Numbers: 2017

With 2018 underway, we’ve taken the opportunity to reflect on the past year. Here we present a roundup of activity from the past 12 months in our New Year Review infographic. Throughout 2017 we supported NHS, SGUL and FHSCE researchers, staff and students, developed our collections and introduced exciting changes to the Library:

New Year Review

On the 4th of September the Library opened its doors for 24/7 opening hours, meaning that users could use the space whenever they needed to. In October we launched St George’s Data Repository – a digital archive where users can store, share and discover research output produced at St George’s. Just weeks before the New Year we upgraded Hunter and the library management system. This brings with it many new features, including automatic renewals.

Throughout the year the Library has been very busy. We recorded 524,522 visits in 2017 – that’s over 1437 visits on average per day! We purchased 2,388 books and e-books to add to the Library collection and you, the user, borrowed books 117,231 times.

We were also on hand to support you. As well as our host of information skills training workshops, we saw 831 new students in September for inductions and helped 542 attendees at IT training sessions.

We were also engaged with supporting NHS and University researchers. SORA, St George’s Open Access repository, has 2210 freely available full-text items and 1,823 average monthly downloads were recorded. Our librarians conducted 113 Cares searches to support research and evidence based practice. You, our users, were also busy. You downloaded 615,538 e-journal articles last year – that’s an average of over 50,000 articles every month!

Happy New Year from the team at St George’s Library.

Open in order to…

The theme of this year’s International Open Access Week, which runs from 23rd-29th October, is “Open in order to…”. This year the focus is on thinking about possibilities are opened up by making research outputs open access.

Win a £30 Amazon voucher: follow the library’s Twitter account @sgullibrary to enter our competition on this year’s OA week theme “Open in order to…” – tell us why you think ‘Open’ is good. (For terms and conditions, and how to enter, see the end of this post.)

Open in Order to Open Access banner for 2017

Here are some reasons why research is made “open in order to…”

…improve public health

Breakthroughs in medical science are frequently in the news, but the research publications underpinning the headlines are often locked away behind a publisher’s paywall. For example, the research article referred to in this recent article from the BBC  is currently only available to subscribers to the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, and many publications cited in the recent award of the Nobel Prizes for Chemistry and Physics are not publicly accessible. By contrast, a recent study by SGUL researchers on meningitis in children was published in an open access journal, meaning that the full article can be read by anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time.

Open access research allows anyone who is interested to read and evaluate the research for themselves. This might include:

  • Medical professionals wanting to improve patient care;
  • Members of the public wanting to learn more about a condition they have;
  • Journalists wanting to report more accurately on the story;
  • Policy makers;
  • Researchers whose institutions don’t subscribe to the journal the research is published in, or who are operating outside an institution.

Opening up research helps improve public health by increasing access to academic research.

 

…raise the visibility of my research

Studies1 have consistently shown a citation advantage for open access publications over closed access ones. Depositing your work in a repository increases the avenues by which your research can be discovered, as well as helping readers to follow your research from paper to paper more easily by collecting them all together.

 

…enable global participation in research

Making research open enables all researchers to access it and removes the financial barrier for those working in less well funded institutions, as well as independent researchers working outside institutions. Making your data and publications accessible for free and licensing it under terms which allow for reuse means that other researchers can pick up on and build on your research, benefitting the global research community as a whole.

 

…find new collaborators

Making your work open helps researchers on related topics find it and identify possibilities for collaboration. Open access can also promote cross-disciplinary working by making it easier for researchers to access work outside their own discipline.

1 The Open Access Citation Advantage Service, SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) Accessed 19 October 2017

 

How to enter:

Follow @sgullibrary on Twitter and complete the phrase “Open in order to…” using the hashtag #openinorderto and @sgullibrary’s Twitter handle.

Terms and Conditions:

  1. The competition will run from Monday 23 October 2017 until Sunday 29 October 2017.
  2. The prize draw is open to anyone with a valid SGUL ID.
  3. Winners will be chosen from all valid entries once the competition has closed on Sunday 29 October 2017.
  4. Winners will be contacted via Twitter. Be sure to check your account.
  5. The prize can only be collected in person from St George’s Library on production of a valid ID card.
  6. Prizes must be collected within two weeks of notification.
  7. The Judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered in to.
  8. Photos of the prize winners will be taken to be used in publicity on Library media channels.
  9. One prize winner will be selected, unless the prize is not collected by the deadline, in which case the uncollected prize will be reselected (once only).
  10. Your tweets may be reused by St George’s Library for future promotional or informational purposes.
  11. Entries must contain the hashtag #openinorderto and must tag the library’s Twitter account @sgullibrary.

 


To find out more about open access, contact openaccess@sgul.ac.uk or visit the Library open access webpages.


If you are interested receiving updates from the Library on all things open access, open data and scholarly research communications, you can subscribe to the Library Blog using the Follow button or click here for further posts from us.