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Subject guides: Audiology


Audiology is ‘the study of hearing disorders and the rehabilitation of people with hearing impairments’.

The principle collections for audiology is at the Action on Hearing Loss Library, housed at the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital (RNTNEH) with the UCL Ear Institute. The Action on Hearing Loss Library is 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

The principal collection for audiology is in the Action on Hearing Library at the Royal National Throat Nose & Ear Hospital. There may also be relevant material in the Science Library, the Institute of Child Health Library, or in the Human Communication Sciences Library. See separate pages for maps and opening hours.

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 Action on Hearing Loss Library are marked RNID and it is possible to filter Explore records to retrieve just those.

The Action on Hearing Loss Library has its own classification scheme for arranging books on the shelves; a typical classmark looks like this:


This is the classmark for ‘Hearing aids’ by Harvey Dillon, where:

  • RNID is the book collection.
  • QFS AQ is the classification.

Audiology and hearing science books will always be found at the classmarks P and Q under the Action on Hearing Loss Library classification.

The following is a simple guide to subject locations at the Action on Hearing Loss Library:

D – Acoustics

P – Audiology

Q – Hearing Science

SGT – Psychoacoustics / Psychology of hearing

UTB – Signed languages

Y – Deaf history and culture

Materials relating to audiology can be found at a wide range of classmarks in other libraries, as the subject incorporates medicine, biology, physics, psychology and social sciences. The main classmarks to note are WV 270 in the NLM classification used by most UK medical libraries, and 617.8 in the Dewey classification used at the UCL Language and Speech Sciences Library.


Periodicals are shelved separately from the books in the journals room at the Action on Hearing Loss Library.

All Action on Hearing Loss periodicals are reference only.


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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 audiological 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.

As audiology is a multidisciplinary subject, it is not possible to recommend a single database for research. Any search for audiological literature should include an appropriate combination of databases, 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 whcih 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.
  • AMED - is a database produced by the Health Care Information Service of the British Library. It covers a selection of journals in three separate subject areas: professions allied to medicine, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, rehabilitation, speech and language therapy, and podiatry; complementary medicine; and palliative care.
  • 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.
  • PsycINFO – is an abstracting database that provides systematic coverage of the psychological literature from the 1800s to the present.
  • LLBA - abstracts and indexes the international literature in linguistics and related disciplines in the language sciences.
  • ERIC & British Education Index – provide access to educational literature and resources.
  • 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, CINAHL and AMED 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.


Electronic access to the full-text of several thousand journal titles is available via UCL Library Services for UCL staff and students. The electronic titles available include:

  • American Journal of Audiology
  • Audiology and Neuro-Otology
  • Cochlear Implants International
  • Ear and Hearing
  • Hearing, Balance and Communication
  • Hearing Research
  • International Journal of Audiology
  • JARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology
  • Journal of the American Academy of Audiology
  • Journal of Speech, Hearing and Language Research
  • Language, Hearing and Speech Services in Schools
  • Otology and Neurotology

UCL Access - Access the above titles through the UCL ejournal a-z title index, or by looking them up in Explore. 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 the full-text content.

NHS access - RNTNEH [UCLH] staff can access all of the above journals by visiting the libraries at the RNTNE Hospital and using the Explore Access Points. Desktop access to e-journal titles available to UCLH staff is delivered through NICE Evidence Search. An OpenAthens password is required to access the NHS Evidence Search Service. Not all of the journals listed above are available to UCLH staff on the desktop, contact us for more information.


At present very few audiology books are available electronically. However there are titles on biomedicine, mathematics, physics and statistics available.

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 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


Audiology Improvement - NHS Improvement is a national improvement programme working with clinical networks and NHS organisations to transform, deliver and sustain improvements across the entire pathway of care. Audiology Improvement is a core part of this project. The site contains details of projects and pilots to develop audiology services in England, examples of successful practice, a resources links page, and news and events listings. The site also has links to:

  • e-Audiology - part of the e-Learning for Healthcare project, a-Audiology is an online training and professional development resource. It contains four online modules with several 20 minute interactive sessions in each, aimed at supporting assistant and associate audiologists, audiologists, GPs, GP practice staff, other healthcare professionals and volunteers. Sample sessions are available to try, registration is needed to access the full service.
  • Audiology Quality Enhancement Tool (QET) - an assessment tool for audiology departments to measure service quality and share best practice

NICE Evidence Search - the NHS web-portal for access to authoritative evidence for health. Resources can be browsed by topic, content includes annual updates of evidence, guidelines and protocols, research, and patient information. Topics most relevant to audiology include:

The service can be personalised by creating a My Evidence account.


Please see the Otorhinolaryngology and Deaf Studies subject guides for details of resources for ENT medicine 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 Audiology:

Alex Stagg
E-mail rnidlib@ucl.ac.uk
Telephone: 020 3456 5253

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Last modified 23 December 2008

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