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NHS: Journals

A general guide to Library Services for NHS staff via King's College London

Journal key links

There are three ways to access journals, that should allow you to get hold of nearly any journal article you need.  OpenAthens from anywhere. King's journals via Library PCs. Free Inter-library loan for anything else. See below for more details.

Video demonstrations (10 minutes in total) are also available in the Finding Evidence module on the KHP Learning Hub, free to all King's Health Partners staff (registration required). Look for the 'How do I access the full text of an article?' section.

Accessing e-journals

NHS staff can access a huge range of e-journal titles.  Library Services have worked to make many titles available via NHS OpenAthens to maximise the number that are available at any time and from any computer.  In addition to these you can access most of the e-journals subscribed to by King's College London when using any computer in the Library.


Access to e-journals on campus is usually IP authenticated, so access to full text articles is immediate.

Accessing e-journals off-campus usually requires you to log in (via NHS OpenAthens) to access full text. 

There can be some variation in how publishers and information providers refer to the logging on process. Generally the first login box you will meet will not be the OpenAthens one. Some example links to look for include:

  • Institutional Login
  • Log in via your institution
  • Log in with Athens
  • OpenAthens
  • Log in via UK Access Management Federation
  • Login via UK Federation

See the OpenAthens tab for details of how to register.

Confused? Have a look at the 'Journal key links' box on this page.

In some cases you may find an Open Access version of an article you are looking for on the web.  Unpaywall has a handy browser plug in to check for legally available copies.

Can I access a journal using the Library catalogue?

If you are on campus you can follow links to journals from the Library catalogue:

  • Select the ‘journal titles words’ option from the dropdown menu
  • Type in the name of the journal
  • Select 'submit' (or press return)

[Tip: You'll need to search for the journal title and not the article title]

Both print journals and ejournals will appear in your search results if we have access to them. You might see:

  • A ‘Holdings location’ link  - this means that the journal can be found on our shelves. You can click on the link to find out which library to visit and the extent of our holdings.
  • An 'SFX@Kings’ link - this means that the journal can be accessed online NB you must have a King's College London username and password (k number) to access these unless you are on a Library computer. When you click on this link you’ll normally see a list of the services via which you can access the journal online and the years that are covered. Select the one you want using the ‘Full text is available online' link to access the journal’s homepage and then search for, or navigate to, the article you are interested in.

Searching by subject

If you are searching for a topic or subject rather than a specific article you might like to search the literature using the NHS tailored system. There are databases that cover all of the professions working in the NHS.

Databases available include Medline, Embase, CINAHL, the British Nursing Index and HMIC (for health management topics).

See the databases tab for more information

If King’s doesn’t provide access, are there any other options?

In some cases the journal article you want to read will not be available using NHS OpenAthens or in the university collections. You can use Interlending and document delivery service to request a copy of journal articles. In many cases it is possible to provide the copy of the article electronically via email and the service is free for NHS staff registered with King's Libraries & Collections.



Links in Google Scholar

Google Scholar can be a handy tool to check references and find related articles.  It can also frequently be a source of the full versions of journal articles.

To help you find articles you have access to we have added our journal listings to Google Scholar.

You need to be logged in with your Google account. Click on the Menu button and select Settings.  You can then access the Library Links menu.  Search for your Trust name (or the university if you want to include those links too).