From help with finding evidence for clinical or patient cases to assisting with publications and research, our information specialist can tailor-make searches on biomedical databases and other sources in any medical or healthcare subject to help support your clinical practice and research. Examples of databases we can search are Medline, Embase, Allied & Complementary Medicine (AMED), the Cochrane Library and the King’s Fund Library Database.

We’re not able to conduct a literature search on your behalf if it’s required for defined educational activities such as an assignment or dissertation for a certificate or degree, but we can assist and guide you with undertaking your own literature searches. Please contact us at library@rsm.ac.uk for further details.

Levels of literature search

As a RSM member, we offer two levels of literature search service depending on your needs:

  • Quick search
  • Comprehensive & complex search

Quick search - Free

A free service for members to get you started with your research topic. Simple focussed search questions producing key relevant references to articles.

Good for finding the most up-to-date information on a specific topic, a recent overview of a condition or medical treatment for patient care, and papers to support a presentation or writing an article/book chapter that does not require an exhaustive literature review.

Examples of a typical request might include

  • Preclinical and clinical data on new drug X
  • Episodic dyscontrol syndrome
  • Papers written by a specific author
  • Most recent systematic reviews on migraine treatments

We’ll typically carry out a search on Medline and/or Embase depending on the search question and email you a search strategy and list of relevant references with abstracts (where available) as a Word document within 1-5 working days (dependant on service capacity).

How to make a request?

Please contact the Library team at library@rsm.ac.uk or call 020 7290 2940 requesting a Quick Search and with details of your search question.

Comprehensive & complex search - £75 (flat fee)

A priced search for members of the medical databases for search questions that have a much wider scope or are complex in nature, requiring a more sensitive search that retrieves many references needing extensive manual scanning for relevancy. This also includes searches to support systematic reviews or development of clinical guidelines where there is a requirement to design in-depth search strategies to gather all references on a given research question within the parameters of specified databases searched.

Good for finding papers for scoping a research project, answering complex patient queries, clinical content for a medico-legal report or appearing as an expert witness in court, writing a systematic review on the effectiveness of a healthcare intervention, supporting the development of a clinical guideline, and for non-clinical topics (for example, medical education; ethics; health service management, delivery and developments)

Examples of a typical request might include

  • Can antibiotics mask the symptoms of chest infection in patients with respiratory aspiration?
  • Governance in private sector healthcare organisations
  • Can Achilles tendinitis arise following an acute injury on a single occasion?
  • Surgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia specifically neurosurgical procedures (clinical guideline)
  • All studies comparing foetal ultrasound and foetal MRI in cases with agenesis of the corpus callosum (systematic review)

We typically search Medline, Embase and the Cochrane Library depending on the search question with results delivered within 10 working days (dependant on service capacity).

We’ll email you a search strategy and list of relevant references with abstracts (where available) as a Word document or RIS file, where there is a requirement to manually sift references for relevancy. For searches supporting a systematic review or clinical guideline, all references with abstracts (where available) are supplied without sifting (other than using automatic duplicate removal between Medline and Embase) so that members can view the full range of references retrieved on their research topic and make their own decisions about what to include in their review.

How to make a request?

Please contact the Library team at library@rsm.ac.uk or call 020 7290 2940 requesting a Comprehensive & Complex Search and with details of your search question.

Library - statue close up

E-monthly updates

Adding an e-monthly update to your literature search allows you to set up a search profile on the latest material added to medical databases, tailor-made to your requirements, and get the search results emailed to you every month as a list of references with abstracts (where available).

RSM members can set this up themselves for free. For help doing so, please contact us at library@rsm.ac.uk