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

NHS OpenAthens users- Act now to avoid loss of saved searches on MEDLINE and PSYCINFO (Deadline 30th March)

If you have used your NHS OpenAthens account to conduct and save searches on MEDLINE or PSYCINFO using either the NICE Evidence Healthcare Database Advanced Search (HDAS) or the Ovid SP platform you will need to take action before the end of March.

Changes will shortly be made to the suppliers of these databases following a national reprocurement. The Healthcare Database Advanced Search (HDAS) interface functionality will remain largely unchanged but there will be a significant impact on saved searches.

Any saved searches on MEDLINE or PSYCINFO made on the HDAS (Healthcare Databases Advanced Search) platform or the OvidSP platform will stop working on 30th March. To avoid loss of your searches they need to be saved externally and re-run when the databases are fully operational.

Further information and instructions on how to transfer your searches is available [PDF].

As a consequence of the change of suppliers MEDLINE and PSCYINFO will no longer be available on OvidSP via OpenAthens. HDAS will likely be the best alternative interface offering integration with EMBASE. Medline will be available via the HDAS, Proquest or EBSCO interfaces.

If you experience any problems or have any further questions, please contact