Thursday, 20 March 2008

Off campus connections to electronic journals

Did you know that all of the journals listed on the University of Sheffield's eLibrary are available from any internet connection in the world? Connecting off-campus is not always as straightforward as connecting from a University pc and as many of you are away on placement, or going home for Easter, I thought it timely to give you some connection advice. Here is what to do in 8 easy (!) steps:

Step 1: Connect to

Step 2: Login to MUSE

Step 3: Click on the Library tab

Step 4: Select eJournals (under eResources)

Step 5: Select a-z list

Step 6: Find the required title and check the years covered by our subscription. An open ended range indicates that we are still subscribing.

Step7: Click on the required title. The article may open immediately here. If not carry on to step 8.

Step 8: (Where most people fail but it really is easy – once you know how). Connections differ according to the supplier. Often they require you to click on 'login' followed by 'Athens login' or perhaps you will see 'Athens login' immediately. Do not at this stage enter any passwords. All the connections work via MUSE and by simply clicking on 'Athens login' access should be facilitated.

As I said the connection routes vary depending on the supplier and detailed connection instructions for all the suppliers we work with can be found at: If you don’t get access please, please, please contact the Library:

We can advise you of the route in. Do not enter your credit card number as some of the screens suggest. The University Library is paying huge sums of money to the publishing companies for institutional access to these journals and you therefore don't need to pay again. Buy some Easter eggs or something instead ;-) Remember too that if a journal is not part of our holdings we can still get the article for you from the British Library. Medical students get a free allowance (5 per yr) to do this. Ask at the Library Counter for more info.

Happy Easter Med Students. I'm away for a couple of weeks now. Blogging will resume at the beginning of April.

As long as my musculoskeletal system remains intact during my skiing holiday that is :-)


Monday, 17 March 2008

Ten of the best: 2 Endnote

The medical librarian's top 10 information resources continues with Endnote

Ten of the best: 2 Endnote

Have you ever written a paper and found that formatting the bibliography has taken almost as long as writing the text? Perhaps you could benefit from using reference management software such as Endnote which does all the fiddly formatting for you. Endnote is a piece of software which allows you to manage your references and generate and format a bibliography using different styles, eg Vancouver,  Harvard or a style compatible with a medical journal. It allows the import of references from databases such as Medline which can then be used on a cite while you write basis within Word.

Connecting on campus

  • Select start

  • Applications (you may need to select the load applications menu)

  • Academic

  • Social sciences

  • Endnote

Using Endnote from home

You may purchase the Endnote software from CiCS but unfortunately we are not able to get a license to allow off-campus access via MUSE.

Learning to use Endnote

I am, apparently, the University Library's Endnote Oracle! I've no idea how I have got myself such a position but if you would like tuition in its use I'm the person to contact. Interested? Let me know. If there is sufficient demand I will run a course.


Thursday, 13 March 2008

Easter loans and opening hours

Easter loans

We are now in the Easter vacation loan period. Remember to renew your books before you leave for the holiday, but don't forget others may have reserved them. You can check this in 'My Account' on Star (
For further information about Easter loan periods see our web page at:

Library opening hours over Easter

The Health Sciences Library at RHH closes at 17.00 on Thurs 20 March and reopens at 09.00 on Tuesday 25 March. More information about library opening hours is at:


Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Library and information skills clinic

A reminder that we are running a drop-in clinic tomorrow lunchtime (Thurs 6 March, 13.00-14.00) in the Library NHS IT Room at RHH.

So if:

Medline is making you muddled

Athens is 'aving you addled

Ovid is only outwitting you


eJournals are always elusive

Come along and we will help.


Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Ten of the best: 1 The Cochrane Library

One of the things that I am hoping to use this blog for is to promote some of the information resources that I think provide the best evidence for students, staff and researchers in the Med School.

So, I thought I'd tell you what my top 10 resources are, including some old favourites and also a few obscure gems. Take a look and post your comments in terms of ease of use, quality of information and whether you have a preferred alternative to find the same information. I'm kicking off with the Cochrane Library because, if you haven't used this before, it's time you did ...

The Cochrane Library

What is it?

The Cochrane Library contains a number of databases, the primary one being the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. These reviews are produced by Cochrane Groups which bring together the world's healthcare experts to systematically search for and appraise every clinical trial on a given topic. Those that meet the stringent appraisal criteria will then be synthesised together to produce one document of best evidence. Cochrane reviews are widely seen as the gold standard in evidence for healthcare due to their rigorous research methods. The Cochrane Library also gives access to DARE (Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects), a resource which aims to index all other well conducted systematic reviews. Finally, a word of warning about systematic reviews. Not all have been well researched and all too often I will see a simple review being published under the guise of  a systematic review.  So, if it's not from Cochrane or DARE, make sure you appraise it well...

Connecting to Cochrane: gives access from any network connection in the UK. No password is required.


Simple, advanced and MeSH searches are all available but because the number of individual documents is much smaller than in a database such as Medline, retrieval is fairly straightforward.

That's all for now,