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

16 Dec 2022

Corinne Hogan

As the festive season reaches full swing and a New Year dawns we thought we’d have a review of some of the information we’ve brought to your attention throughout the year. While these highlights are year-round for members, we thought we’d remind you of long-standing tools and more recent additions to our Library offering, ready for you to take advantage of when you need them. And if all of this is already old news to you (Great!), check out our member blog in 2023 for new ways to get the best from your online resources and library services.

1. Acland’s Video Atlas of Human Anatomy

The 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 have described it as ‘incredibly useful as part of MRCS preparation’. Learn more about this valuable resource in our blog post.

Acland's Video Atlas of Human Anatomy: main menu

2. Explore our ebook collections

On top of the brilliant full text ebook collection we provide to you via Clincalkey we now also provide members with two additional ebook collections: Health Library Orthopaedic Surgery and Health Library Surgery. The collections provide over 40 text books in each collection along with more than 600 videos, 450 cases and, in the case of the surgical collection, 3,000 questions to tackle to help enrich your learning. For more information see the LWW Ebook Fact Sheet (PDF).

Phone and books

3. Are you using ClinicalKey?

We enthuse about this resource on the regular, it is, after all, our most used platform and is absolutely chock full of useful articles, ebooks, videos, images and other resources. Your most used journals in the last year on the platform are here:

Most used titles in the last 12 months (Dec 2021 to Nov 2022)

See what we’ve been shouting about if you haven’t already…

Try ClinicalKey patient information templates

ClinicalKey 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 to find out if it would it help you and your patients.

Patient Education: 10 Things You Can Do to Manage Your COVID-19 Symptoms at Home

Images for Academic Presentations: Using ClinicalKey

Ever 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 is reliably simple, relevant and well organised. Remove the worry of dull and uninspiring text-heavy presentations by exploring here.

Saved image collection in ClinicalKey

4. Other clinical databases

As a member you also have access to further useful clinical databases as follows:


Trip (which stands for 'turning research into practice') has been online since 1997 and in that time has developed into a high quality source of evidence-based content. Their guiding principle is to help the user ‘Find evidence fast’.

As well as research evidence the platform allows clinicians to search across other content types including images, videos, patient information leaflets, educational courses and news.

Embase, MEDLINE and HMIC

Ovid's database platform allows searching across MEDLINE, Embase and HMIC, with direct links to RCS England Library subscriptions where available.


PubMed® comprises more than 34 million citations for biomedical literature. Use this button to display links to RCS England Library subscriptions where available.

5. “CPD without effort”: Recent research directly to your inbox

The Specialty Updates are concise email summaries of the latest evidence, designed to support surgeons in their use of evidence, guidelines and new technology in practice. Created by the Evidence Support Team and supported by a panel of Specialist Advisors, the Specialty Updates send recent research in your area directly to you every two months. Get involved by subscribing, submitting your own research, reading our previous Updates or even consider becoming a Specialist Advisor for your Speciality in 2023.

Emergency General Surgery Update

6. Get support with searching the literature

Did you know the Evidence Support Team offers a literature searching service, where one of our expert Information Specialists can support your research or conduct a search on your behalf? Our literature searches can support you in anything from publications to presentations to project development – if you need to gather the literature, we can support you. Get in touch with us at to see how we can support your search, or see if we can conduct a search on your behalf by filling in one of our online search request forms.

7. Sharpen your information skills

Do you know that the Library has a world of electronic books, journals, databases and other resources available online but not sure where to start? The Evidence Support Team can help. Our Information Specialists offer tailored one-to-one training to help you get the most out of your online library. Whether you want a quick tour of online resources, a tutorial in how to effectively find evidence, or in-depth instruction on how to use key medical databases such as MEDLINE or Embase, the Evidence Support Team is here to support you. Get in touch with us at to book an online training session.

8. 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.

9. New e-journals

The Library has recently expanded its ejournal and ebook holdings. Here’s a rundown of specific information on each resource, with login instructions, to get you started on using these high impact factor journals and popular books straight away.

The new resources comprise four ejournals (Dental Update, Neurosurgery, The Journal of Urology and Clinical Orthopaedics & Related Research) We hope you’ll try the new additions and will find them useful. You can provide feedback on how you are using them and what impact they may be able to offer in your practice, by emailing us directly at

10. Visible Body

Members and Fellows continue to want access to outstanding visual reference materials. Teaching staff want these materials to be accurate, comprehensive, engaging, versatile, and easy to use. Recent studies found data on the growing demand for visual reference materials in anatomy and physiology courses. The results of numerous studies suggest that 3D models of anatomical structures facilitate students' understanding of spatial relationships in the human body. One important and high quality tool for this is Visible Body.

Visible Body in use on a tablet

The profession relies on 3D visuals and online content for their 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.

Members need to be set up to use the smart phone app with a code, so if you haven’t done so and need this before the Christmas break, do get in contact ( before the 22nd December. The Library reopens on the 3rd January.

11. Online Services Survey Outcomes

Thank you for your helpful feedback, all of which we have collected and read with interest. As we want you to get the best out of all the resources, services and learning materials available, we will be using your comments to find ways to improve your experience and develop updated ways for you to access help - more on this in the New Year. Some comments from our latest survey which highlight the benefits of using the resources were:

Aclands anatomy atlas. Helped with exams, understanding anatomy in theatre and therefore improved my practice.

I used Acland human anatomy for my part B MRCS and it helped me ace the exam. Furthermore, guidelines and updates on medical world help me improve the quality of work I do.

Acland anatomy helped me pass MRCS first time.

Anatomy videos helped with MRCS revision and with anatomy demonstration for medical students.

The acland online anatomy atlas was very useful for when I was studying for the MRCS exam.

Use of visible anatomy on my iPad when teaching juniors, as well as revision prior to cases.

Updated evidence on management of appendicitis via clinicalkey.

Able to incorporate findings of literature search into summary on a particular procedure which was presented to department.

12. Sconul Access programme

Using other libraries. Looking for somewhere to study but can’t visit the Library in Lincoln’s Inn Fields during our regular opening hours (Monday-Thursday 10-5)?

We have expanded the options for members to use other libraries so that location and opening hours are no longer a barrier to getting useful study space, and sometimes borrowing rights and services too! (Consult each library: they will have their own user rules for SCONUL users). The Library participates in the SCONUL Access scheme under Band A. The scheme allows RCS England members and staff to access a network of 177 other participating libraries throughout the UK and Ireland. You can apply for access by following a few simple steps on the SCONUL website; once registered you can visit any of the libraries. Sign up and check out the participating libraries in your area.

All in all, we hope this article provides you with some useful access points for things you might not have tried before or at all. We’re always here to help you explore the options and get the best from the Library side of your membership, so please do contact us if any of this raises questions – we’re here to help you. Contact us at, or for specific issues with accessing our online resources

Corinne Hogan, Assistant Librarian

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