The Cruciform Library – A History

By Abir Mukherjee, on 20 August 2014

10456007_588684317918029_1872421033737400833_n As an aside from our usual blog posts on E-Resources and iSkills, and during the relocation of the Cruciform Library back to the Cruciform Hub, this post is taken from the Cruciform Library team’s post on Facebook by Yu-ju Lin and Clare Pryke, looking back  at the History of the Cruciform Library:-

The Cruciform Building was designed in 1896 by the architect Sir Alfred Waterhouse for University College Hospital. The building was completed in 1906. Its distinctive X shape was designed to provide maximum light and air to the wards. UCH occupied the Cruciform Building until 1993.

The UCL Clinical Sciences Library moved to the Cruciform Building in 1999 and then changed its name to the Cruciform Library. Its location in the basement was previously occupied by different hospital departments including radiotherapy, pharmacy and sterile fluids.

Images: UCH Dispensary in 1948 [ Source : UCL Library Services | Special Collections]; the Cruciform Library before the refurbishment in 2013; the Cruciform Library during recent renovations 2013-2014. ( Please contact the Cruciform Library by email : lib-crucienq@ucl.ac.uk, if you have further information on the UCL archive photograph – UCH Dispensary )


E-resource of the month – NICE Guidance

By Abir Mukherjee, on 29 July 2014

Picture1This month’s e-resource of the month, with many students still being on their holidays, is a look at the NICE Guidance App as some of our readers make the transition from UCL medical students to working F1 doctors at UCLH. Although many clinical biomedical readers will have downloaded this app already, it is worth reminding users to download it directly from the NICE website – it does require an up-to-date OpenAthens login.

Downloading the app is free for Android, iPhone smartphones or tablets & iPads, enabling offline access to all of NICE’s guidance products, organised by clinical or public health topic.




  • Over 760 items (7000+ chapters) of NICE guidance.
  • Guidance is arranged topically by conditions and diseases, and public health topics
  • Rapidly search all NICE Guidance
  • Select full guidance documents or selections of individual chapters from guidance documents, bookmark individual sections of guidance chapters for use as offline reference on your smartphone / tablet device.

Finch pilot aims to give NHS staff access to high quality research information

By Abir Mukherjee, on 23 July 2014

Today’s blog post looks back at an ongoing pilot study, organised through JISC and scientific publishing groups, that aims to promote access for healthcare professionals to the latest biomedical and medical research, based on the recommendations of the Finch Report.

The year-long pilot enables NHS Staff in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland “free trial access to some of the most respected medical and scientific journals so they can read for themselves the latest trials and research.”  The trial hopes to promote awareness of evidence-based healthcare and give healthcare professionals the opportunity to weigh up the latest developments in the study of disease.

Journal titles are available via JISC Collections.

Further information is available through the JISC website  and via NICE Evidence.

E-Resource of the Month – PsycInfo

By Abir Mukherjee, on 17 June 2014


imagesPSy Readers may be familiar with Ovid SP Medline or NICE Evidence as interfaces for their biomedical searches, and this month’s blog post looks at PsycINFO – one of the bibliographic databases that can be searched from Ovid or independently. As with the other e-resources described, the database can be accessed on site or remotely by UCL Students and Staff via the Library Homepage and Explore by choosing ”Find Databases” at the top of the page, then selecting PsycInfo from the alphabetical list.


What is it?

PsycINFO (going back to 1806) has records about journal articles, book chapters, books and dissertations in the field of psychology and the psychological aspects of related disciplines, such as medicine, psychiatry, nursing, sociology, education, pharmacology, physiology, linguistics, anthropology, business, and law. It may be particularly relevant for those UCL biomedical students or staff whose research has a public health; epidemiology or sociology aspect to it.


Key features

psych2The default is set to advanced search with ‘Keyword search’ and ‘Map Term to Subject Heading’ pre-selected. Users can build their search strategy using a PICO (Patient / Intervention/ Comparison / Outcome) or concept approach combining keywords and subject headings. Users can select Expand by the Search History to build their search line by line. Advanced filters to refine searches by publication date / type of resource / language / etc are also available.


How do I access it?

As with the other e-resources described, the database can be accessed on site or remotely by UCL Students and Staff via the Library Homepage and Explore by choosing “Find Databases” at the top of the page, then selecting PsycInfo from the alphabetical list. UCL ISD Login and password required when accessing remotely. PsycInfor can aslo be selected from Medline or NICE Evidence searches (Athens username required for NICE Evidence)

  •  For tailored help with literature searches for journal articles using biomedical databases at the Cruciform Library, please contact lib-crucienq@ucl.ac.uk or see the appropriate subject librarian at other UCL Library sites.

E-Resource of the month – UpToDate

By Abir Mukherjee, on 23 May 2014

u2d555Although, readers may recall previous posts on Point of Care online decision tools from last year, this months E-Resource of the Month for May is ‘UpToDate’ to reflect that many of our users spend most of their working week either studying or working in hospital.

As with the other e-resources described, the database can be accessed on site or remotely by UCL Students and Staff via the Library Homepage and Explore by choosing ”Find Databases” at the top of the page.

What is it?

UpToDate is an online resource with synthesized reviews covering 9,500 topics in 20 specialties aiming to provide clinicians with access to recent evidence-based medical information and practical recommendations at the point of care. UCL biomedical students may find this a timely introduction to a resource that provides topic overviews as well as focussed Summary and Recommendations features for different conditions. 

Key features


Practice Changing UpDates specific new recommendations and updates anticipated to potentially change usual clinical practice.

Patient Education — 1,500 articles that clinicians can review with patients in the exam room, print out as handouts, or send via email, drawn on the same evidence-based information.

Graphics Search - search tens of thousands of pictures, charts, movies, illustrations and more – all without ever leaving UpToDate.

Medical Calculators

Drugs & Drug Interactions   (Lexicomp®)

How do I access it?

Via the UCL Library webpages and Explore either through UCL desktops or remotely (UCL computer ID and password required when prompted if accessing remotely). From the Library homepage, “Finding databases” can be selected from the tabs at the top. UpToDate can be then be found alphabetically or by choosing it from the “Biomedicine and Health” options from the drop-down list.

Knowledge Awareness Week 2014 (#kaw2014)

By Abir Mukherjee, on 20 May 2014

Knowledge Awareness Week

As readers are probably aware, this week is Knowledge Awareness Week (#kaw2104) at the Cruciform Library and there are drop-in sessions everyday at 1pm providing a very brief introduction to just some of the wide range of biomedical e-resources available via UCL Library Services for students and staff researchers.

As with other e-resources mentioned previously, most of these resources are available on the walk-in Explore machines as well as remotely for UCL students/staff via the library web-pages and ISD Login when prompted. The medical apps discussed in the coming session on Friday are available free to download but Athens registration may be required to download content in some cases, as well as for logging in to Anatomy TV.

Here are some brief external links for those who may not be able to make it to these sessions:-

PubMed Video Guides 

 Ovid Online training (Medline)

Web of Science video guides

Scopus video guide

BMJ Best Practice


Clinical Key

Anatomy TV

NICE smartphone and tablet apps



50 Shades of Grey Literature

By Abir Mukherjee, on 13 May 2014

Reading-pile-300x300Grey literature has been defined as: ‘That which is produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats, but which is not controlled by commercial publishers.’

 Grey literature for inclusion in biomedical systematic reviews can consist of:

• Technical or research reports from government agencies

• Reports from scientific research groups

• Working papers from research groups or committees

• Doctoral dissertations

• Some conference proceedings and official publications

• Correspondence from journal authors  

 Biomedical databases such as Medline; CINAHL; Embase may include various types of grey literature along with publisher-controlled literature. Limiting search results by “publication type” can refine database search results for only grey literature.

 Why is grey literature important?

 Grey literature can be important as resources such as dissertations; conference proceedings or research reports may explore emerging research niches where little evidence or literature already exists or the latest developments in a particular field yet to find its way into the journal literature.


  1. Fourth International Conference on Grey Literature: New Frontiers in Grey Literature. GreyNet, Grey Literature Network Service, Washington DC, USA, 4-5 October 1999.

Knowledge Awareness Week 2014

By Abir Mukherjee, on 12 May 2014

photo68Next week is Knowledge Awareness and Learning at Work Week (19 May to 23 May 2014) and there will be a series of drop-in lunch time events demonstrating some of the biomedical e-resources available via UCL library Services.

The 5 days of drop-in 15 minute  lunchtime sessions  will be held at 13:00 each day: please come directly to the Cruciform Enquiry Desk .

Mon 19 May   Medline / Pubmed
Tue 20 May  Web of Science / Scopus
Wed 21 May   UpToDate / Clinical Key / BMJ Best Practice
Thur 22 May Anatomy TV
Fri 23 May 5 Apps for medical students


For more details of events during Knowledge Awareness Week or help with any of the biomedical e-Resources, please email lib-crucienq@ucl.ac.uk.

8 steps for writing a biomedical systematic review

By Abir Mukherjee, on 9 May 2014

Although readers may be familiar with the concept of systematic reviews and the ‘PICO’ evidence based approach to finding literature by dividing the research topic into Patient / Intervention / Comparison and Outcome concepts, this blog post very briefly at 8 basic steps in constructing a comprehensive systematic review:

  1. Formulate a review question
  2. Define inclusion and exclusion criteria (Participants or Patient Group/ Interventions and comparisons / Outcomes / Study designs and methodological quality
  3. Locate studies and develop search strategy using the following:-
  • Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CCTR)
  • Electronic databases + trials (e.g. PubMed & Medline / CINAHL/ EMBASE/ PsycInfo/ AMED/ Web of Science / Scopus )
  • Reference lists /key journals /Personal communication with experts in the field and Grey literature

   4.   Select studies 

   5.  Assess study quality

   6.  Extract data and consider bias

   7.  Analyse and present results

   8.  Interpret results,consider limitations and implications for future research




Systematic Reviews in Healthcare, Egger et al. 2nd edition

Additional resources:-

UCL Cruciform wiki:                                                              http://www.ucl.ac.uk/cruciwik

Printable UCL Library Guides:                     http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/prints.shtml

Researcher support @ UCL:                        http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/research-support

May Bank Holiday opening hours at the Cruciform Library

By Abir Mukherjee, on 28 April 2014

A quick reminder of our opening hours at the Cruciform Library over the upcoming May Bank Holidays weekends:


Reading Rooms

Self Service

Issue Desk

Saturday 3 May

Close at 21:00

Close at 21:00

11:00 – 17:45

Sunday 4 May

11:00 – 21:00
(holders of UCL Library Cards only)

11:15 – 20:45


Monday 5 May



 11:00 – 17:45


Saturday 24 May

Close at 21:00

Close at 21:00

11:00 – 17:45

Sunday 25 May

11:00 – 21:00
(holders of UCL Library Cards only)

11:15 – 20:45


Monday 26 May



 11:00 – 17:45


Further details can be found at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/crucilib.shtml and readers are advised to check any updates to opening hours on the UCL Library homepage:  http://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/ .