Monday, 28 May 2012

How (and why) LSHTM Research Online works and why we need you!

LSHTM Research Online automatically imports records for all current LSHTM staff research which is published. We harvest these from PubMed, Web of Science and the Schools existing Publications Database run by Andy Reid. If an article is from an open access journal or you have paid for it to be open access we should have automatically pulled in the publisher’s full text PDF of the article.
Where we and the School vitally needs your input is filling the gaps where your articles are not available as free full text because you have published in a traditional-model academic journal. Although we cannot use the publisher’s PDF in these cases, we can make much of your research freely available without breaking copyright.

What we need you to do is:
  •    check your records by going to ‘Browse LSHTM author’ and finding your name
  •   review where there is no article attached to a record
  •   the 'author manuscript' or 'pre-print file' of these articles: this is the peer-reviewed word document, accepted by the publisher, but without any of the publisher's typesetting and copy-editing

We will then upload them to your records, always with a full reference and link to the final publisher’s version. 

Open access policies differ for each publisher, and sometimes each journal. That is why we ask you to contact our team who are experienced in navigating open access publisher policies and will check all rights on your behalf and advise you as to what we can make freely available.
We recently had a public launch for the site where staff involved in trialling updating their full text explained their experiences and the reasons they felt it important to become actively involved. Aside from assuring people about the knowledge and support repository staff can offer Diana Elbourne, Professor of Healthcare Evaluation, declared “If I can do it - anyone can!”

Diana Elbourne speaking at the launch

So you know it’s easy, and you will receive a lot of help, but why take the time to find these files and send them to us?
Speaking at the launch, Peter Piot, our Director, said: “Our work will have a greater impact on policy because people in all organisations including government, charities and development agencies now have easy access to the research we are doing at the School." By participating you are not only increasing access to knowledge for your colleagues in low income countries or smaller institutions; you are contributing to a culture of transparency for taxpayer funded research which showcases the product of public funding.

You are also instantly increasing your own online research profile by exposing records to major search engines like Google. Importantly LSHTM Research Online links will bring visitors back to records often containing free full text - that everyone can access and therefore cite - rather than a pay-to-access gateway to your work. We can also provide you with feeds for other websites where you want your research to be visible, again often with links back to freely available content. If you wish you can monitor activity around your work by reviewing download statistics from LSHTM Research Online.

Want to improve your profile on LSHTM Research Online? Have questions for us? Email

Monday, 21 May 2012

What we’ve been up to: repository improvements

Since launching the website in January, we’ve been working hard to make the site as easily accessible and useful as possible to School staff and external visitors looking to use our research.
We have worked on making the search function as intuitive as possible and adding help notes where we can. Every effort has been made to mirror what you all will be used to using every day in any other research database. LSHTM ResearchOnline is however a slightly different creature in that it is a permanent record, and full text archive where possible, of only our School’s research output. It therefore attempts to echo School structures and reflect groups and interests within the institution.

One way we are attempting to reflect the nature of the School on the website is to build relationships with our Research Centres. We have worked with the Malaria Centre and Centre for Global Mental Health to tag publications within our database as belonging to the centres. This means their articles can be found by specifically searching for the centre as well as providing them with a personalised page in the website on which people can browse all their publications. This can then be used as a feed of latest research or full historical record to external websites: the advantage being that many of the articles on this feed contain links directly to freely available full text articles.
We can also provide monthly statistics to centres and departments on visitor activity and downloads of their articles. Individuals can see statistics for their own articles by clicking ‘View statistics’ at the bottom of a record.

The website is also a free to access outward facing resource through which we want to draw in academics, researchers and health practitioners from around the globe. Hopefully people will begin to notice that their papers on the site are indexed by Google and searching references of staff articles on Google should return links to records and full text articles on LSHTM Research Online. We recently created a video to guide through navigation and basic and advanced search functions so everyone can get the best from the website.

In order to keep developing the website to its full potential we need your feedback; so as you use the site please take the time to email your thoughts or any problems you encounter to

Friday, 11 May 2012

Summer Projects: Find The Full Text

I hope you found last week’s post on effective literature searching useful. This week, I want to talk about what happens when you’ve perfected your search strategy and identified those relevant references. Read on to find out how to find the full text, whether or not the item is available from LSHTM Library.

1. If the full text is available from LSHTM, most databases allow you to identity this easily using the SFX@LSHTM button. If we have an electronic subscription to the title, clicking the SFX link should direct you to the paper. If SFX shows that the item is not held at LSHTM, then you can often access what you need from a Library nearby.

2. Senate House Library is our closest neighbour and has very strong collections relating to the social sciences. Unlike most libraries, SHL will provide you with a log-in to access their e-resources remotely. This includes their subscription to JSTOR. To join SHL, please come to LSHTM Library Enquiries Desk and ask for an application form.

3. If SHL doesn’t have what you need, you might want to venture slightly further afield. You can use a federated catalogue to search for your item across many different libraries at once, both in London and elsewhere in the UK.

4. All you need to visit other libraries belonging to University of London colleges is your LSHTM ID badge. You can also apply to join the SCONUL Access Scheme by collecting a form from LSHTM Library. This will give you access to many of the other academic libraries in the UK. Please check with the individual institution before you visit to confirm access arrangements; some libraries are restricting visitor access during the undergraduate exam period.

5. Other libraries usually cannot offer you access to their electronic resources due to restrictions imposed by publishers. Make sure the item you need is held in print, or that they have e-resource terminals for visitors, before you travel.

6. The alternative to visiting other libraries is to ask LSHTM to obtain the material you need. Our interloans & document delivery services can provide pdfs of articles and chapters by email, or loan books and journal issues. If you are leaving London to work on your project we can even send you copies of articles and chapters LSHTM only holds in print. All requests cost £2.00 per item supplied. You can find everything you need to know about these services on our webpages.

If you ever have trouble tracking down an elusive reference, or need help with another aspect of your literature search, please contact We’ll be very happy to help you.

Next week I’ll be posting some resources specifically for students undertaking a literature review for their summer project. Until then, happy searching!

Image: Bibliography by Alexandre Duret-Lutz. Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Library opening hours on Thursday 17 May

On Thursday 17 May the Library will be open from 8.30am until 10.30am, will close between 10.30am and 12pm, and will open again from 12pm until 11pm.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Local and Community History Month: the move to Bloomsbury, 1919

Hospital for Tropical Diseases and London School of Tropical Medicine at 23 Gordon Street, 1921. Image credit: LSHTM Library & Archives, ref: LSHTM Buildings/04/06/08.

As May is Local and Community History Month we have chosen to focus the regular Archives blog post on the School’s longstanding connection to the Bloomsbury area and particularly the initial move of the School to Bloomsbury in 1919.

At the end of 1918, Sir Havelock Charles, Dean of the London School of Tropical Medicine (as the School was then called), made the decision that the School would move from the London Docks into central London. The School had largely outgrown its premises and there was concern that as a result of the end of the First World War there would be an increase in patients returning to Britain suffering from tropical diseases. There was also a general desire to be closer to, and enhance the Schools standing with, the University of London.

At the same time the decision was made to move into central London, the former premises of Endsleigh Palace Hotel, 23 Gordon Street in the Endsleigh Gardens area of Bloomsbury became available for occupation. The building had been used as an army hospital during the First World War and so was suitably equipped to house both the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the School. It also had the added benefit of being located close to the proposed new site of the University of London and the Wellcome Institute. Plans for the move of the School and Hospital to the site were approved and the building was adapted accordingly.

The move began late in 1919, the School occupied the four lower floors which included a lecture room, departmental offices, library, museum and refectory. The Hospital occupied the four upper floors which included public and private wards and a surgical block.

The new building was officially opened on 11 November 1920 by HRH The Duke of York. The Hospital was at first fully occupied by pensioners of the First World War and funds from charities including the Royal Red Cross Society and Mesopotamian Comforts Fund were donated to aid the provision of care for ex-servicemen. The first case to be admitted was one of bilharziasis in an ex-serviceman from Egypt, but many soon followed with malaria, amoebic and bacillary dysentery, liver abscess, kala azar, trypanosomiasis and other tropical diseases.

The School however was not to remain at Endsleigh Gardens for long. In 1929, following the reorganisation of the School as the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a generous grant of $2m from the Rockefeller Foundation the School moved to its current location in purpose built premises in Keppel Street. 23 Gordon Street is still standing and is now part of University College London, there is a blue plaque on the wall to commemorate its history. The School has occupied other buildings in the Bloomsbury area over the years including sites in Bedford Square and Tavistock Place.

If you are interested in finding out more about the history of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine visit our historical timeline or visit the Archives website. A selection of images of the School’s past and present buildings can be found on our image library, PhotoLibrary.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Library Mobile App

You can now use the Library catalogue on your mobile phone.  The new App allows you to search the catalogue, renew your loans, place reservations and check your Library account.  The App is called BookMyne is available to download for free on both Apple and Android devices.  The App also offers the ability to search for other Libraries near your location and search their catalogues too.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Top ten tips for literature search success

Last week the Library ran a series of lunchtime workshops on literature searching for the summer project. Below you can find some of the tips we discussed to make finding the information you need as painless as possible.

1. Always follow the five steps to an effective literature search. Searching in a structured way will give much better results than just throwing terms into PubMed.

2. Use existing literature to help plan your strategy. Has someone published a review on a similar topic? Authors often include their search strategy as an appendix. Do you already have some relevant papers? Use the terminology used by the authors to inform your list of search terms.

3. Don’t just rely on Google Scholar and PubMed; these are unlikely to find all of the information on your topic. The Library spends a great deal of money on specialist search resources which are accessed via our webpages. Our short guide will help you choose those most suited to your research.

4. Learn about the short cuts that can make your search more efficient. Truncation, proximity and wildcards improve your strategy with minimal effort.

5. Don’t forget to search using subject headings as well as keywords in those databases that allow it. This will increase the sensitivity of your search and decrease the chance that you’ll miss important papers.

6. Keep your search terms in a Word document. This will save you time when you move your search across different databases; you can just cut and paste them in. It can also provide a record of what you've done which is useful when writing up your methodology.

7. Save your searches as you go. Most databases will allow you to create an account for this purpose. This provides a useful record of your searches and will also allow you to re-run your search to keep it up to date.

8. Be prepared to refine your strategy several times before you settle on a final protocol. Often the first set of results that you retrieve are not what you expect! This guide has some advice on how to resolve some common search issues.

9. Make use of a reference manager. These products are invaluable when it comes to recording, organising and citing your search results. EndNote is available on the LSHTM network, or you may prefer to use a freely available alternative such as Zotero or Mendeley. Guides to all three of these resources are available from the IT intranet pages.

10. Ask a librarian. MSc students are very welcome to contact to arrange an appointment for one-to-one support and advice.

Look out for next week's post on finding the full text, whether or not the title is held at LSHTM.

Image: Kosovar Journal of Turkish by Quinn Dombrowski. Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence.

Library Open Bank Holiday Monday 7th May

The Library will be open on Bank Holiday Monday 7th May from 11am until 8pm to assist students studying in the lead up to exams. The Library will be operating a Sunday-type service - no professional librarians will be on duty to deal with complex enquiries. The School and the Library will be closed to visitors.