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Twelve information gifts for members: getting the most from library resources

07 Dec 2018

The Library and Archives Team

Christmas 1As we start putting the Library blog to bed before a new informative, entertaining and, we hope inspiring, year dawns, we thought we’d review of some of the information we’ve shared with you this year. Whilst they are aren’t wrapped, don’t require a signature and can’t be re-gifted to your friends and family, we’d still like to think of them as information stocking fillers, ready for you to break out when you need them and if all of this is already old news to you (great!), check out the last one especially, which is a brand new exciting resource set to land in our portfolio of e-resources by Spring 2019.

Acland’s Video Atlas of Human Anatomy

Christmas 2: AclandsThe video atlas was created by Dr Robert Acland and is described appreciatively by those who’ve used it as an invaluable learning tool, where a meticulous approach is brought to the excellent dissections of applied operative anatomy. Members responding to our recent online library services survey described it as “incredibly useful as part of MRCS preparation”. Learn more about this valuable resource in our blog post.

Scroll to the end of this post and find out how Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows will tell you more about Robert Acland and his extraordinary life as a pioneer of plastic and reconstructive microsurgery.

Explore our ebook collection

Christmas 3: phone and booksWe’ve just added a feature to our catalogue that highlights the latest ebook arrivals so you will always have the most up to date editions of lots of core texts from our ebook provider, ClinicalKey. Find out how to make the most of our ebook collection.

Are you using ClinicalKey?

Christmas 4: ClinicalKeyWe bang on regularly about this resource, but it is after all our most used platform and is absolutely chock full of useful articles, ebooks, videos, images and other resources. See what we’ve been raving about if you haven’t already…

Images for Academic Presentations: using ClinicalKey

Christmas 5: CK imageEver thought how useful your own image and video collection of saved content would be for presentations – but thought it would be too long-winded to learn how to use it effectively? Wrong! ClinicalKey’s image collection is reliably simple, relevant and well organised. Remove the worry of dull and uninspiring text-heavy presentations by exploring here.

Specialty-specific Updates directly to your inbox

Christmas 6: UpdateStaying up to date with the latest research is extremely difficult. Our Current Awareness Updates aim to help by finding the most relevant new research, guidance, policy and information about new technology, putting it together in an easily accessible format, and sending it directly to you. We also include new ebooks and other helpful RCS resources and all our content is double-checked for relevance by our extremely helpful panels of Specialist Advisors. Watch out for our Special Editions coming in December!

Reading for CPD: how our reflective CPD form can help

Do you need help to conduct your own ‘reflective learning’? It may be a requirement that you produce evidence of such work, so in answer to this we have developed a CPD reflective learning form that we include in our Updates.

Searching the literature

A well-structured literature search is the most effective and efficient way to locate reliable evidence. So, whether you want to conduct your own research, or you would like some help finding the right information, our team of highly trained Information Specialists are here to support you. To get started, you can go straight to our database page and browse our straightforward ‘how to’ produced by Information Whisperer Kirsty Morrison. On the other hand, we know you are busy people, so if you would prefer to leave your search in our capable hands, feel free to fill in the form on our webpage and we will do our very best to find you the information you need. Look out for improvements to the service in 2019!

Dissecting the literature: the importance of critical appraisal

Critical appraisal helps to reduce the burden of information overload, allowing you to focus on articles that are relevant to the research question, and that can reliably support or refute its claims with high-quality evidence, or identify high-level research relevant to your practice. We give you some tips on dissecting the literature.

Try ClinicalKey patient information templates

Christmas 7: computerClinicalKey is, among other things, a useful clinical search engine. It boasts a wide range of resources across various specialties and the different stages of the patient journey: from assessment and diagnosis, through treatment and managing complications, to discharge information and patient education. Read more here to find out if it would it help you and your patients.

The Enquiry Point and Middle Temple

Christmas 8: Middle Temple LibraryWhilst our reading room is closed during the redevelopment, we do have a dedicated enquiry point in the Nuffield Lounge onsite in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, and we’ve arranged an alternative, close by, that can answer your quiet study needs for the period of closure. This comes in the beautiful, historic package of the Middle Temple Library. Contact us at to visit Middle Temple Library and find out more about the changes to library services here.

Borrowing books and the postal loan service

Christmas 9: centenaryIt might seem as if the Library and Archives collections are scattered to the four winds or, more accurately, the British Library in Boston Spa, Yorkshire, the National Archives and the London Metropolitan Archives (LMA) in Clerkenwell. But items from these collections may be available for viewing at LMA. For some Library items we may even be able to arrange a postal loan – if you don’t ask you won’t know, try us at or see our webpages.

The Archives are currently held at LMA: please see the archives webpages for more information and email any enquiries to:

A future gift – in time for Spring 2019, Visible Body is on the way

The surgical profession relies on 3D visuals and online content for continuing professional development. Virtual models and 3D animations provide a solution to the demand during your education, and beyond, for more ways to support online courses. With all this in mind, please stay in touch with the Library throughout the year and by spring we will be adding a very high quality and significant feather to our bow – in the form of Visible Body.

And, as a bonus information gift…

Christmas 10: crestPlarr’s Lives of the Fellows, which documents and celebrates the lives of RCS Fellows, is now part of our discovery portal, Surgicat+ (the combined catalogue for the RCS library, museums and archives collections). Search for ‘Robert Acland’ to read more about the creator of Acland’s Video Atlas of Anatomy, and many other inspiring surgeons who were Fellows of this college.

Online services survey outcomes

Thank you for your helpful feedback, all of which we have collected and read with interest. We want you to get the best out of all the resources, services and learning materials. We shall be using your comments to find ways to improve your experience and developing updated help tools. More on this in the New Year.

The Library and Archives Team

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