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Medical Professionals NHS Library Guide

This guide is for Medical Professionals working for St George's University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Current Awareness

Keeping up to date with new research is a must for all healthcare professionals. There are many different ways in which you can choose to receive the latest news and articles, this guide will help you to get started.

Current Awareness

In addition to carrying out literature searches for you, we can also set up an alert so that you receive regular emails with details of the latest articles in your area of interest.  Both clinical and non-clinical queries are accepted; simply complete the online form to request one.

Or set up topic search alerts in databases such as PubMed, Medline, Embase or Cinahl hosted via OvidSP, Ebsco or NICE Evidence Services. Once you have carried out your search, you can save your search as an autoalert. Once set up, each time a new article is added to your database of choice, that matches your strategy, you will be updated either via email or RSS.

The video below explains how to create your own topic alerts using HDAS.

Setting up journal alerts through NICE Journals A-Z

Selecting a journal

The journals listed in the NICE Journals A-Z are available through an NHS OpenAthens account, which makes this a good starting point for easily accessible articles.

You can search for a specific journal, or use more general key words to find all journals on a topic. Sign in with your OpenAthens account to see a full set of results.

When viewing a list of available journals, the provider name is linked to a homepage for the title.

Sometimes there may be more than one provider for a journal; in such cases, use any of the options which provide ongoing full-text coverage.

Some of the journals listed may not provide current or ongoing access to full-text, in which case, use the JournalTOC alerts discussed separately below.


Creating an alert

Depending on the provider of a journal, the precise steps required to create an alert may differ.

For any journals provided by ProQuest, the homepage should appear as below:



Select 'Create alert', which will open a separate window prompting you to enter your email address. You may also wish to change the subject of the email to something more meaningful, and choose how long before the alert expires. You will receive an email asking you to confirm your alert.


For Ovid journals, the homepage should appear as below:



The process is much the same: select 'eTOC', which will open a new window. Enter your email address and click on subscribe.

Some other providers require you to create an account in order to set up journals alerts, but the process is simlar to that outlined above.


Setting up a journal alert through JournalTOCs

Use this service for any journals that are not available through OpenAthens.

Visit: and follow the 'Sign In' link at the top right of th epage. From the next page, follow the link to Sign Up; this will trigger a confirmation email.

Selecting a journal and creating an alert

Enter the name of a specific journal or a general search term, in the search box on the left.

From the list of results, click on the checkbox to the left of a journal in order to follow it, and click on the 'Email Alerts' checkbox to create an alert:



You can select multiple journals and create alerts for each

As the journals listed in JournalTOCs go beyond what is available in full-text through OpenAthens, you may need to request articles of interest from the St George's, University of London collections. This can be done using the online form.

Contact with any questions.


A selection of sources for the latest news and opinion.

Really Simple Syndication (RSS) Feeds allow you to see when websites have added new journal articles or content. RSS feeds are a great way of saving time when accessing the latest information from a range of different sites, as they automatically check all the sites for new content. They are also sometimes known as news feeds.

You can tell if a website has an RSS feed by looking for the RSS icon

To collect and read news feeds you will need to use a news reader program or app such as Netvibes or Feedly.

Health E-News

Current Awareness Service for Health

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