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Knowledge and Library Services

Anita Wong is qualified NHS librarian assigned to NCL Training Hub. She is Available to help with your all your knowledge and information needs. This can be anything from helping set up your NHS OpenAthens account to searching medical databases for high quality evidence to support.  The library services and the resources available to NHS staff are detailed below.

For further information on NCL Knowledge and Library Services, please email

Sign up to Open Athens

What is NHS OpenAthens?

An NHS OpenAthens account is available to all NHS and affiliated staff and gives you access to all the electronic resources that the NHS and NCL subscribes to. You will be given a username and password which allows to access e-journals, e-books, databases and much more, from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection wherever you are.

Registering for an OpenAthens is free and easy. Just follow this link and enter your details, choosing ‘GPs, practice staff and ICB staff in North Central London’ as your organisation. If you use an NHS email address, access should be immediate and you’ll receive an email with your login details. If you don’t have an NHS email address, please use your work email address. Your account will be then authenticated by our Knowledge Specialists.

If you already have an OpenAthens account but need your password reset or a reminder of your login details, just email and one of the knowledge specialists will help.

NHS OpenAthens Resources

BMJ Best Practice

BMJ Best Practice is the point-of-care clinical decision-making tool provided to you by Health Education England. It offers a step-by-step approach to help manage patient diagnosis, prognosis, treatment and prevention

NHS Knowledge and Library Hub 

The NHS Knowledge and Library Hub connects NHS staff and learners to high quality knowledge and evidence resources in one place and includes: 


The NHS provide access to a number of databases from three different suppliers (EBSCO, Ovid, and Proquest). Each database has a different focused coverage of indexed journals and are more appropriate for certain professional areas, the details of which are below.

Getting the best search results from a database is easier if you have been trained to use all of the different features such as limits and filters – our knowledge specialists are on hand to give tailored 1-2-1 support and training if you need it. Just email them at to arrange a session.

The easiest way to access all of the databases is via the NHS Knowledge and Library Hub - the databases are listed at the bottom of the first page under ‘In-depth searching’ and you’ll need to sign in with your OpenAthens account using the yellow bar at the top.

AMED – Allied and Complementary Medicine Database

Subject areas: complementary medicine, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, palliative care and rehabilitation

BNI – British Nursing Index

Subject areas: nursing and midwifery

CINAHL – Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature

Subject areas: nursing, speech and language therapy, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, nutrition and dietetics


Subject areas: pharmacy and toxicology, general medicine, medical technology and biochemistry


Subject areas: nursing (administration, management and education), occupational health, physical therapies, nutrition and dietetics.


Subject areas: health service policy, management and administration, with an emphasis on the NHS (searches Department of Health Library and Information Services and the King’s Fund database)


Subject areas: general medicine, biosciences, pharmacy, dentistry and nursing


Subject areas: psychology, psychiatry, mental health

Social Policy and Practice

Subject areas: public health, equality and diversity, workforce development, social work and social care, climate change and the environment, law.


Subject areas: general medicine focussing on high quality, evidence-based sources


The NHS subscribes to hundreds of ebooks available from a number of different platforms which are available for all NHS staff and accessible via your OpenAthens ID.


A collection of more than 250 e-books covering a range of subject areas including primary care and general practice, psychiatry, nursing, key clinical topics, health management, as well as mentoring and coaching titles. Kortext also has these special collections, just click on the links to browse and access the titles.

A collection of 145 e-books including Oxford Textbooks, Oxford Handbooks in Nursing, Oxford Medical Handbooks and ‘Emergencies In’ series. A full list of all tiles can be found here.


Two major publications are available from Wiley: the Maudsley Prescribing Guidelines in Psychiatry and the Royal Marsden Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures.

Black History Month Reading List

In recognition of Black History Month 2023, NCL's Knowledge and Library Services team assembled a book list aimed at increasing awareness amongst primary care staff about black culture. View the resource via the button below.



The NHS subscribe to far too many journals to list here, but you can use the online browsing platform BrowZine to see what is available.

In addition, North Central London also subscribe to the Mark Allen Group MAH Complete journal collection which covers a huge range of health professions including allied health, nursing, midwifery, and pharmacy. Example titles include Journal of Community Nursing, Journal of Prescribing Practice, Journal of Health Visiting, British Journal of Midwifery and the British Journal of Healthcare Assistants.

LibKey Nomad

A browser extension, which enables links to full-text articles when you are searching open web content, e.g. publishers websites, Google Scholar or PubMed.

LibKey Nomad consults our journal holdings data and open access alternatives to determine the best place to source the article from.

How to access LibKey Nomad

You can install LibKey Nomad on your personal device, following the instructions below:

·      Download LibKey Nomad onto your own device here

·      Once downloaded, simply search and select, GPs, practice staff and ICB staff in North Central London.

Then all you need to do is look out for the green flame when searching for articles and login to your NHS Open Athens  account.

Request a Literature Search

Our knowledge specialists are happy to perform literature searches on your behalf. You can use this service to find answers to unusual or complex clinical and administrative questions, or establish an evidence base for a potential change in your practice. We cannot perform a literature search for you that will form part of assessed academic work, but we would be happy to offer advice and 1-2-1 training.

Several databases will be searched to provide good quality evidence-based information to support research, guideline and care pathway development, audit or policy. The results of a search will be a list of bibliographic references that will be emailed to you. Please allow at least 5 working days for the return of your results.

Literature Search Form


Whilst care has been taken in the selection of the materials included in this evidence search, the knowledge specialists are not responsible for the content, accuracy or comprehensiveness of the research information. You must not use the results of this search for commercial purposes. Any usage or reproduction of the search output should acknowledge the knowledge specialist that produced.

Request an Article

Although a great number of journals are available to you for free, you may need to access something which the NHS does not subscribe to. If an article that you need is not available, then the knowledge specialists can try to get it from another library for you. This is a free and unlimited service to all NCL staff.

Please note that due to copyright restrictions we are unable to process more than two article requests from a single journal issue.

Article Request Form

Training and CPD

The knowledge specialists are happy to meet with you to discuss any training needs you have. This may be teaching you or team how to effectively search a database or setting up a Journal Club with your peers to critically appraise research.

Training sessions they have offered include:

  • ‘Introduction to Knowledge Specialists Services’

  • ‘BMJ Best Practice: An Expert’s Guide,’

  • ‘Finding Journal Articles’

  • ‘Learning with E-books’

  • ‘Critical Appraisal: Hierarchies of Evidence and Study Designs’

  • ‘Critical Appraisal: Statistics Refresher’

Upcoming training sessions can be found in the monthly Current Awareness Bulletins or the NCL Training Hub events page.

Reflective Reading Club for NMC Revalidation

The Reflective Reading Club is a 90-minute participatory learning session for nurses and nurse practitioners to get together in a small group to discuss and reflect upon an academic article. The NCL Knowledge Specialists use the Searching Reviewing Linking Action model to guide discussions on how the article relates to your practice.

To register your interest, email You will then receive a Teams invite, a journal article to read and a small checklist of things to consider. Make sure you read the article before joining the session.

The reading you do before the club will get you 1.5 hours of CPD for individual learning. Combined with the 1.5 online group discussion - participatory learning - you will receive 3 hours total CPD towards your revalidation.

Any notes you make can be submitted into your portfolio and you will receive a Certificate of Attendance.