Searching Aids for Medline (Ovid)

November 12, 2010

Here are some timesavers (boolean operators) which you can use in the above database. Some of you asked me about these in one of our sessions so here you are:

Search individual fields by typing in the search box. Remember to remove the tick in the box from Map Term to Subject Heading.


.ti  searches title only
.ab searches abstract
.tw searches title and abstract

Author Searching

author searches author surname and first inital ‘a’
author$.au searcher surname with any initial

Use adj and a number to search to for words adjacent to each other or within 3, 4 or 5 words of one another.


breast.ti adj4 neoplasm.ti

will search for references where the term neoplasm occurs within 4 words of the term  breast in the title.

Happy searching.


Planning Your Search

June 2, 2010

Apologies to anyone who has used the “Search Mapping” technique in the Planning Your Search Tutorial recently. My lovely animations had disappeared! There are now some shiny new ones up, so anyone who’s getting stuck on where to start with searching have a look.

You can find the tutorial on Information Skills: Step One in the DLS Toolkit.

Grey Literature

March 26, 2009

Grey Literature is in the most basic sense a document which has been produced but not been offically published. For instance, an NHS trust policy for internal use or government, academics and pharmaceutical document not offically published.

If you are searching for Grey Literature you are by its nature looking for documents which aren’t necessarily easy to find!

Try some of these resources, but also try to think…are there any communities online who would share practices or in house guidelines?

Index to Theses
Check out this page for Index to Theses guide and  off campus access.

British Library Catalogue


DH-DATA, Kings Fund Databases

King’s Fund Library Catalogue

Do you have any other suggestions on places to look for Grey Literature? Comment below if you do….

Requesting Articles

March 16, 2009

I hope that most of you know that you can request articles from us, which you have been unable to source via our electronic journals subscriptions.

To do this, you need to go to this requesting website.

The main thing to remember, if you have requested items in this way, is that- we still need a copyright declaration for each item you request.

When you make a request using the website above, each submission will produce a page for you to print out so you can physically sign it and send it in.

You can read more about how to request articles from us on the page at the top of the blog ‘requesting articles and books’

So please please don’t forget to send them in. Or you can fax them or scan and send by email to:
+29 20 74 3651

Remember, we can not supply your requests without them, so pop em in the post or fax them through or scan and email them to us.

In the not too distant future we will be moving to electronic  signatures and of course I will keep you posted when those changes take place.

Best wishes

Mari Ann

Tictocs help you keep up to date

December 17, 2008

Keeping up-to-date with the scholarly literature just became much easier, thanks to a new service called ticTOCs – Journal Tables of Contents Service.
ticTOCs is a new scholarly journal tables of contents (TOCs) service. It’s free, its easy to use, and it provides access to the most recent tables of contents of over 11,000 scholarly journals from more than 400 publishers. It helps scholars, researchers, academics and anyone else keep up-to-date with what’s being published in the most recent issues of journals on almost any subject.
Using ticTOCs, you can find journals of interest by title, subject or publisher, view the latest TOC, link through to the full text of over 250,000 articles (where institutional or personal subscriptions, or Open Access, allow), and save selected journals to MyTOCs so that you can view future TOCs (free registration is required if you want to permanently save your MyTOCs). ticTOCs also makes it easy to export selected TOC RSS feeds to popular feedreaders such as Google Reader and Bloglines, and in addition you can import article citations into RefWorks (where institutional or personal subscriptions allow).
You select TOCs by ticking those of interest – thousands of TOCs, within a tick or two (hence the name ticTOCs).

For the full press release, please see:

Or for current information about tic tocs:

Cited references

December 13, 2008

If you are interested in tracking a reference (say a seminal work or an article of your own perhaps) you can use the cited references tab in these databases.

Web of Knowledge

You can also use a citation tracker if you want alerts (emails) sent to you everytime a reference you are interested in gets cited. Make sure you sign up for a personal account- and then you can choose the settings you require.

This should help you keep one step ahead!

If you need any more information on how to set these up- let us know.


October 8, 2008

Hi Everyone,

I’ve just had an update from the ejournals team and I wanted to update everyone on the best way of accessing ejournals from off campus at the moment.

It is by using the ejournals list at 

It completely bypasses any need to hunt around for an Athens or Shibboleth login box on the journal site, so it is the easiest method for users to successfully get to full-text.

Going by Voyager (or direct to the publisher’s website) or library holdings in medline does not do this. We are working on getting the links loaded into Voyager and other sites, but that will take at least a couple of months. Until this is done, clicking on an ejournal link from Voyager will still work, but you will have to hunt around for the Athens or Shibboleth login boxes on the publishers sites, which are often hard to locate and lead to users failing to get access to full-text. 

So, I recommend you should go to ejournals via the list at for best results right now for off campus access. 


Mari Ann