BMJ Best Practice – troubleshooting

Best Practice - CopySome users are seeing the error message ‘Request Entity Too Large’ when trying to access BMJ Best Practice via OpenAthens.

BMJ Customer Services have recommended clearing the cache or opening a private browsing window as follows:

Open a private browsing window:

Internet Explorer

  • Open the Tools menu
  • Select Safety
  • Select  InPrivate Browsing


  • Open the main menu
  • Select New Private Window

Clear the cache:

Internet Explorer

  • Press CTRL + Shift + Delete
  • Clear the temporary Internet files and website files
  • Clear the Cookies and website data


  • Press F12 on your keyboard
  • Select the ‘Storage’ tab
  • For each storage in the left-hand pane, clear/delete

We would also recommend that you create a personal account for BMJ Best Practice as this gives an alternative option for logging in:

  • Login to BMJ Best Practice via OpenAthens
  • In the box headed ‘Accessing via your institution’ click on Register

Contact us for further guidance.



Retraction Watch database

Retraction watch







Article retractions are an important part of correcting and straightening up of the scientific record.

The Retraction Watch has been following retractions for some time now and has recently launched The Retraction Watch Database which currently contains more than 18000 of them. In case you ever need to check up an author, journal, publisher …..

Along with their partners at Science Magazine, they have developed a package of stories and inforgraphics where you’ll learn about trends and other tidbits such as which countries have the highest retraction rates.

And if you find a retraction that’s not yet in their database, Retraction Watch encourages peoople to let them know by submitting it here.

Knowvember: utilising knowledge to enrich health care

Knowledge mobilisation techniques help people learn before, during and after everything they do so that good practice can be replicated and pitfalls are avoided.


After Action Reviews are one well-known method used in many healthcare organisations.

However, there are more ways to share best practice and the ‘know-how’ of staff for organisational learning.

Helpful postcards from Knowledge for Healthcare highlight these activities, including how long they should take, from 15 minutes to half-a-day to ‘Anytime, Anywhere!’

Even more info on the individual techniques is available as a module on e-Learning for Healthcare (No login required)

You may want to consider carrying out a structured review of how your team, department or organisation makes use of knowledge as an asset. Utilising external evidence and organisational knowledge is a self-assessment tool produced by Knowedge for Healthcare and HEE.  Completing the tool together with a Library & Knowledge Services Manager will enable you to:

  • assess what is working well and what more could be done
  • spot practical initiatives on which librarians and knowledge specialists can lead to help you meet your objectives
  • set priorities for better mobilising evidence and organisational knowledge

Although the self-assessment tool takes only 45 minutes to complete, the benefits can be long-lasting:

“Completing the Board tool has completely changed the way we will work and our use of knowledge” Ben Mearns, Chief of Medicine, Medical Division, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust.

Contact Ben Skinner, the Head of Library & Knowledge Services if you would like to know more.

A great set of resources for knowledge management in ‘Knowvember’!

Knowledge is power this Knowvember


Knowledge management has been identified as a priority development area for health libraries by the HEE Knowledge for Healthcare development framework.


Every member of the team at Brighton & Sussex Library & Knowledge Service uses their expertise and experience to ensure health staff, trainees and students have the knowledge, skills, tools and resources they need to do their job.

Throughout the month, we’re sharing our knowledge tips, highlighting key resources and outlining practical case studies to show you just what we mean.

Watch this space!

Top Tips: an introduction to searching with HDAS

This is a first in a series of posts looking at one of the most widely and frequently used search tools in the NHS in England: Healthcare Databases Advanced Search, or HDAS as it is commonly called.


HDAS is a single search interface for a collection of nine core databases provided in partnership by HEE and NICE.

The databases cover a huge range of medical and health research and published papers: from biomedicine, nursing, allied health care, psychology and psychiatry, complementary and alternative medicine, to some social services areas and hospital management and administration.

Citations on HDAS also include links to full text of articles your library subscribes to.

The databases included are:

MEDLINE (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online, or MEDLARS Online) is likely the most important medical database. Produced by the US National Library of Medicine it contains citations from biomedical and life science journals and covers medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, allied health specialties and veterinary medicine. Database records are indexed using the Medical Subject Headings thesaurus (MeSH).

EMBASE (The Excerpta Medica dataBASE) is a major biomedical and pharmacological database. Including MEDLINE, it contains pharmacology, pharmaceutical science, clinical research, veterinary science and allied health citations. It is more European focused and one of its strong points is an extensive coverage of conference proceedings and reports. Elsevier’s Life Science thesaurus Emtree is used to index Embase .

PsycINFO is a database of abstracts of international literature in psychology and related disciplines. It includes citations from a range of disciplines such as psychiatry, education, business, medicine, nursing, pharmacology, law, linguistics and social work. All records are indexed using the Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms.

CINAHL (Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature) is the go-to database for nursing, allied health professionals, biomedicine and health care. It uses the CINAHL Headings list (based on MeSH) for indexing.

BNI (British Nursing Index) is a bibliographic database covering all aspects of practice, education, and research for nurses, midwives, and health providers with a British focus. The ProQuest Thesaurus is used for indexing.

AMED (Allied and Complementary Medicine Database) is produced by the Health Care Information Service of the British Library. It covers complementary medicine, palliative care and several professions allied to medicine. AMED Thesaurus (based on MeSH) is used for indexing.

HMIC (Health Management Information Consortium database) contains information for health care administrators and managers, covering health management and services, social care, service development, and NHS organisation and administration. It combines bibliographic data from two health and social care management organisations, the Department of Health and the King’s Fund.

HBE (Health Business Elite) provides information on all aspects of health care administration and other non-clinical aspects of health care institution management including hospital management, hospital administration, marketing, human resources, computer technology, facilities management and insurance.

PubMed contains citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. It covers the fields of biomedicine and health, covering portions of the life sciences, behavioural sciences, chemical sciences and bioengineering. PubMed is a free resource that is developed and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), at the US National Library of Medicine. PubMed automatically links searches to MeSH terms and subheadings.

HDAS saved searches

In HDAS you can search these databases individually, in combination with each other or across all at once. When logged in with your OpenAthens credentials you can create, store, edit and export search strategies, view, save and export search results, and set up regular updates/alerts for search strategies. Where available, search results provide a link to the full text online publications.

The next post of this series will look into the HDAS interface features.

Plan S and Open Access

For our final Open Access blog post, Lisa McLaren reveals Plan S and its impact on higher education and research.

So, in yesterday’s blog post, I talked about changes to the Research Excellence Framework and how many authors got round the challenges of open access publishing by paying author processing charges to still get in the top journals. However, as I pointed out, this often means paying twice for the same content.

BSMS photo 4 jpeg

In September this year, “Plan S” was unveiled to great fanfare. It is a combined effort from 11 national councils, including UKRI, which stipulates that all of the work produced from their grants must be made open access immediately. These councils control £7.6 billion in funding between them, so this is not an insignificant amount of research.

As the plan stands, by 2020, authors will not be permitted to publish in 85% of current journals, including Nature, with strict sanctions for non-compliance. The plan also does not allow hybrid journals, which publish some studies as open access after a fee is paid and keeps the rest of the content behind a paywall. This was originally seen as a transition for the publishers, however it has not encouraged the spread of open access in the way it was hoped. It would also impose caps on author fees.

All published work would be labelled with a licence that allows download, translation and potentially re-use and/or remix, which would truly open up scientific publishing. The plan is yet to be adopted by the European Commission, but as it was authored by an EC employee, this will likely happen at some point. Likewise, some of the larger European nations have yet to commit, such as Germany, so it is likely that the plan will change somewhat from its original incarnation as other countries negotiate their way onboard.

BSMS photo 3 jpeg

Regardless, Plan S is the most significant change to open access in higher education and research and no matter how it looks in 2020, open access will move a step closer.

Going green: Open Access and Brighton & Sussex Medical School

Today’s Open Access blog on “Green Open Access” comes from Lisa McLaren, the Brighton & Sussex Medical School Librarian.

Working at the Medical School, open access takes on a whole new meaning. It’s not simply about saving money on subscriptions or being able to track down a paper for someone, but is one of the ways the school receives funding.  In 2016, the Research Excellence Framework (REF) changed the face of academic publishing

BSMS photo 2 jpegThe now defunct Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) produced a policy, in conjunction with the four major research councils, that said all work that was expected to be submitted for REF2021 must be available in an open access format, in either an institutional repository or a subject repository. They went one step further in 2018 and stated that it must be deposited within three months of acceptance or publication in a journal.

Initially, this led to a flurry of authors publishing in hybrid journals and paying an author processing charge, in order to secure journals of a certain prestige, but gradually green open access is becoming more popular. Paying for a library subscription, as well as author charges, is essentially paying twice for the same content. At BSMS, we promote green open access where possible, although we administer a small fund to help authors to go gold, when it is absolutely necessary. This means working closely with the library staff at the University of Sussex to ensure all BSMS publications are picked up in a timely fashion and added to the Sussex Research Online platform:

SRO has become a huge showcase for University research, with over 45,000 records housed there. Last year Sussex also added a new product to their portfolio, called Figshare. This takes open access at Sussex one step further, as it also houses research data in a variety of formats, allowing them to become an open science provider. Figshare is still in its infancy at Sussex, but usage grows daily and in 2019, BSMS undergraduate students will have their Individual Research Projects housed within it, bringing a new audience to this work.

BSMS photo 1 jpeg

So, advances in open access keeps us pretty busy at BSMS, as we try to move with the times and adapt to change. However, in September this year, we got another announcement that threatens to blow the lid off scholarly publishing.

What is Plan S? Tune in tomorrow to find out more!