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Subject guides: Otorhinolaryngology


Otolaryngology is ‘that branch of medicine concerned with medical and surgical treatment of the head and neck, including the ears, nose and throat.’ A medical speciality, it is also known as Otorhinolaryngology (ORL) or Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) medicine.

The principle collections for Otorhinolaryngology are at the UCL Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries, housed at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital (RNTNEH) with the UCL Ear Institute. The UCL Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries are a co-operative venture between UCL Library Services, the NHS and Action on Hearing Loss.

Relevant printed materials can also be found throughout all of the biomedical and life sciences collections at UCL Library Services.

The printed collections in UCL Library Services are described below. There is also information about databases, ejournals and web resources.

For new students, our "Getting Started" guide introduces UCL Library Services. WISE for Life and Medical Sciences is the comprehensive guide to finding and using information from UCL Library Services.

Whether you're a new student or an experienced researcher, WISE can help you to discover the most valuable information for your topic, and help you make the best use of it.

Get WISE for Life and Medical Sciences to:

* Understand which online resources are best for your subject
* Learn how to search for biomedical and life sciences information effectively
* Understand how to assess the quality of information
* Learn how to cite references correctly
* Learn how to manage your references using Reference Manager
* Understand how to avoid plagiarism

To access WISE for Life and Medical Sciences you will need your UCL userid.

Further training, advice and support is available from the UCL Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries on how to use the online search tools and information resources available to locate, retrieve and appraise evidence to support hearing research and clinical practice in audiology. Contact us if you would like to receive training in order to make the most of the library resources available at UCL.

Printed collections

Book Collections:

The library catalogue (Explore) details books held by UCL Library Services. Advice and help with using Explore, including video guides, can be found on the Explore help pages, or ask a member of library staff for assistance. Explore contains holdings information for all UCL libraries; resources located at the UCL Ear Institute Library are marked LARYNGOLOGY and it is possible to filter Explore records to retrieve just those.

The UCL Ear Institute Library uses the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classification scheme for arranging books on he shelves; a typical classmark looks like this:


This is the classmark for ‘Ear, nose and throat and head and neck surgery’ by Dhillon and East, where:

  • LARYNGOLOGY is the book collection.
  • WV 100 is the classification (all books at WV 100 are ENT textbooks).
  • DHI is the first three letters of the author’s surname.

ENT books will always be found at the classmark WV under the NLM classification, which is used by most British medical libraries. Books dealing with the head and neck as part of the muscloskeletal system will be shelved at WE 700 – 708.

The following is a simple guide to subject locations at the UCL Ear Institute Library:

WE 700 – Skull base

WE 705 – Facial plastic surgery

WI 250 – Dysphagia

WN 180 – Radiology

WV 100 – ENT textbooks

WV 168 – ENT surgery

WV 200 – Otology

WV 300 – Rhinology

WV 500 – Laryngology / Voice

Periodicals collections:

ENT periodicals are shelved at the UCL Ear Institute Library. All journals (except Advances in Otolaryngology, Otorhinolaryngologic Clinics and Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics) are reference only.

Audiology journals are shelved in the Action on Hearing Loss Library, on the floor above the UCL Ear Institute Library at the RNTNEH. Speech therapy and phonetics journals can be found at the UCL Language & Speech Sciences Library at Chandler House, and at the Action on Hearing Loss Library.


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Electronic collections

UCL Library Services provides a range of electronic content and searching tools for library members. Stay up to date with new resources added to the electonic library by reading the Electronic Resources Blog, and the UCL Ear Institute and Action on Hearing Loss Libraries Blog.


Explore is the UCL Library Services search tool for finding journals, books, full-text articles and archive material. Explore can be used for searching for items on a reading list, or for conducting a simple search for information for a project or essay. Using Explore facilitates access to any full-text we subscribe to.

Explore provides links to tools for finding individual ejournals and databases. Using this route will allow access to all the electronic resources to which you are entitled as a UCL member. If you are on-site you will not need to log in to resources. If you are off-site, you will be prompted for your UCL userid and password automatically.

If you reach an electronic resource to which UCL subscribes, by another route, you can follow the instructions in the section "Logging in on a resource's homepage".

See our guide "Getting the most from Explore" for more information about the Explore service and how to best make use of it.


For conducting a detailed review of the evidence for any biomedical topic then it is essential to use databases. Bibliographic databases index articles published in journals that have been accepted for inclusion within the database. As they index journals from a range of publishers they don't include the full-text of articles within the database, but do give citation details and abstracts where available.

There are a number of databases that index biomedical literature available, and any search for audiological literature should include an appropriate combination, the most relevant being:

MEDLINE – is a database of over 20 million references to articles published in approximately 5,600 current biomedical journals.
EMBASE – is a biomedical database which has over 25 million indexed records from thousands of peer-reviewed journals.
CINAHL – is an index of nursing and allied health journals which includes millions of records dating back to 1981.
BIOSIS Previews – is a bibliographic database that indexes the worldwide literature of research in biological and biomedical sciences.
Web of Knowledge – a service that includes the ISI Citation indexes, three databases with a broader mulitdisciplinary coverage of Arts and Humanities, Science, and Social Sciences. It also includes a conference proceedings database and the Citations Report database – home of journal impact factors.
SCOPUS - is an abstracting and citation database of peer-reviewed literature in the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences and Arts & Humanities.
The Cochrane Library - is a collection of six databases that contain different types of high-quality, independent evidence to inform healthcare decision-making.

UCL access - Our a-z list of databases at UCL can be used to access any of the above databases. If you are using a computer away from UCL, then you will be prompted for your UCL userid and password automatically in order to access them.. Links to the full-text of papers in UCL e-journals via the SFX button are available within the databases.

NHS access - Desktop access to MEDLINE, EMBASE and CINAHL for UCLH staff is delivered through NICE Evidence Search. An OpenAthens password is required to access the NHS Evidence Search Service. It is important that UCLH staff specifiy that they belong to the Trust when registering for the OpenAthens password, as a number of information resources are purchased locally for the Trust. NHS staff transferring to UCLH who have already registered for an OpenAthens password should update their organisation to UCLH through My Account for access to the full range of resources available. RNTNEH [UCLH]staff can access all of the above databases by visiting the libraries at the RNTNE Hospital and using the Explore Access Points.

We provide database searching support for NHS staff undertaking research to find evidence to support patient care, guideline and audit development. Contact us to request a literature search, or to arrange for training on accessing and using databases.


UCL access - Use Explore to search for ebook titles, or browse the lists of ebooks available.

NHS access - Use NICE Evidence Search to search for ebook titles. An OpenAthens password is required to access ebooks through the NHS Evidence Search Service.

UCL Discovery:

UCL Discovery showcases UCL's research publications, giving access to journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, digital web resources, theses and much more, from all UCL disciplines. Where copyright permissions allow, a full copy of each research publication is directly available from UCL Discovery, including those from the UCL Ear Institute.

Exam papers:

Previous copies of exam papers, where they are available, can be found in the Electronic Exam Papers Service.

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Other libraries


Please see the Audiology and Deaf Studies subject guides for details of resources for hearing and deafness.

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Contact details

If you have any problems in using the Library, come to the Enquiry Desk, or ask for the subject librarian for Otorhinolaryngology:

Alex Stagg
E-mail rnidlib@ucl.ac.uk
Telephone: 020 3456 5145

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Last modified 23 December 2008

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