Changes to the Advanced Search in Ovid

We are making changes to the default search settings in our Ovid databases, due to user feedback. This will affect searches carried out in Ovid Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO, Maternity & Infant Care and Global Health databases.

When entering search terms in the advanced search field in Ovid, you’ll have previously been prompted to search the database index for Subject Headings. We’ve now turned this feature off, so that Ovid will search for your terms as keyword(s) by default.

The new, simplified interface will offer more flexibility. By allowing you to simultaneously search across multiple fields, you will retrieve more results.  You will also be able to transfer your search from one Ovid database to another more easily.

The new settings also mean that you will no longer need to know the correct Subject Heading before starting your search.  You will, of course, still be able to use subject headings – just make sure the ‘Map Term to Subject Heading’ box is ticked before you click the Search button. Remember, a robust search strategy will usually use a mixture of keyword and subject heading searches.

Screenshot of Ovid’s Medline interface with the Map Term to Subject Heading box unticked

We’re also changing the way your results are displayed, by automatically showing you the article abstract as you scroll through your results. This will allow you to see at a glance whether the results will be of use to you.

We hope these changes will help users navigate the Ovid search tool more effectively. If you’d like to feedback on these changes, or would like to arrange training on using Ovid, please email us at

*Resolved* Problems with offsite access to Ovid

The Ovid offsite access issues have now been resolved.

We are currently having problems with offsite access to Ovid via Shibboleth, this impacts access to databases that are on the Ovid platform (Embase, Medline, PyscInfo, Maternity and Infant Care). The issue has been logged with Ovid, and we hope that it will be resolved soon.

You can search Medline using the Ebscohost search platform instead, a link is available on our Databases page. You can also access journals and articles that St George’s Library subscribes to through Hunter.

Information Skills Training Sessions

This year we are offering a revised set of information skills training sessions to help support SGUL staff and students.

Come along to one of our free sessions to brush up on your information finding or evaluating skills, or book onto one of our new sessions to find out more about how to use:

Citation metrics to your advantage
Social media to raise your research profile

Selected dates are below, please see our information skills workshop page for full information.

Please contact to book

Searching databases using Ebscohost
Thursday 15th Jan 12-1pm
Thursday 12th Feb 12-1pm

Searching databases using OvidSP
Tuesday 9th Feb 12-1pm

Monday 26th January 12-1pm
Thursday 19th February 12-1pm
Tuesday 3rd March 12-1pm

Introduction to Critical Appraisal
Thursday 22nd January 3.30-5pm
Wednesday 18th March 10.30-12pm

Keeping Up to Date
Wednesday 11th February 3.30-5pm
Wednesday 25th March 3-4.30pm

Citation Metrics – an overview
Thursday 22nd January 12-1pm

Social Media for Researchers
Monday 2nd February 12-1pm
Please note date/time change to Wed 25th February 11.30 – 12.30 pm

Update to Ovid SP: 19th January

We have been advised that work to enhance the OvidSP platform will be undertaken on Thursday 19th January. However, there is no foreseen disruption to service at this time, so you should be able to continue to work as usual. The changes will take effect when you next login after the update has taken place.

Features of the new release will include the ability to export citations to Excel, and a number of changes to the user interface:

  • An enlarged Ovid Resource Box
  • Simpler way to change Ovid Resource selections
  • Access to Print/Email/Export/Add to My Projects quick-click buttons at the bottom of the search results screen
  • New Advanced Search entry tips to promptly search by Keyword, Author, Title and Journal
  • More prominent navigation within Journals A-Z

Resources accessed on the OvidSP platform at SGUL include: Medline, Embase, PschINFO, Maternity and Infant Care, and HMIC

Six Oxford Handbooks now available online

The following e-books are now available through Books@Ovid:

  • Oxford Handbook of Clinical Diagnosis
  • Oxford Handbook of Clinical Surgery
  • Oxford Handbook of Clinical Examination and Practical Skills
  • Oxford Handbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
  • Oxford Handbook of Clinical Specialties
  • Oxford Handbook of Psychiatry

Click here for access, or search the Library Catalogue

Please note that access to these e-books requires an SGUL login

Improved OvidSP search platform – goes live 2nd August at 3pm

OvidSP is a search platform, subscribed to by the University, which can be used to search major health databases such as Medline, Embase and PsycInfo.

OvidSP will switch over to the new interface on 2nd August at 3pm. Please note that the new version will retain all of your saved settings and customizations in your personal account.

Resource selection

To select or change the database you are searching (such as Medline or Embase) click on Ovid Resources to view the databases available to you through OvidSP.

Tip: Only select one database at a time.  It is possible to select multiple databases, but you will lose important features such as “map to subject heading” and those features unique to a database.

Reviewing results

“Sort by” now in the left-hand column.  New “Filter by” options are also available.

Printing, emailing and exporting your results

Managing your results is now much simpler. Instead of the Results Manager box, there are now just three buttons just above your search results for printing, emailing and exporting your results.

Features available with your personal account: My Workspace

A personal account in OvidSP allows you to save your searches (so you can re-run them later), set up alerts, annotate citations with comments and create collections of articles.  My Projects not only allows you to save article citation and abstract details but also text “snippets” and images from the full-text.

More information

See the Searching Healthcare Databases using OvidSP training guide on the Library Website for details on how to search and use the interface.

You can see the changes made by viewing this side-by-side comparison of the new and old interface (PDF 4.78MB).

Recent enhancements to OvidSP search platform for Health databases

On Tuesday 31st March, Ovid made several enhancements to its OvidSP search interface, including:

  • when emailing search results or exporting references to a reference management application, you can now include links to the article by checking “Include link to each record” in Results Manager, Results Format. This will make it quicker to retrieve the full text article, where available
  • Autoalerts now include an option to run quarterly
  • in Search Results, a link to the pdf for full text is provided, where available. This saves having to navigate to the article via the Full text link

A list of all the enhancements can be viewed here: