Library Services



Abstracting and Indexing Databases (A&I Dbs)

A&I Dbs are collections of references to journal articles, reviews, book chapters, conference abstracts and patents.  Every record will have the bibliographic information (journal name, year etc) of the item of literature it refers to.  Most records will have index terms that describe the item and an abstract that summarises it.

To gain access to the full text of the item, ensure you have logged onto the database using your UCL userID and password.

Four major Abstracting and Indexing Databases for Pharmacy are listed below.  To gain access to these and other relevant databases, please visit the Pharmacy directory on our Databases page.

EMBASE: contains > 30 million records from > 8,500 journals covering pharmacology, toxicology, clinical medicine, microbiology, biochemistry and health.  It is especially strong in pharmaceutical sciences.
MEDLINE®: contains tens of millions of records from > 6,500 journals.  It covers biomedicine and health.  MEDLINE® is updated daily.  Versions are available from OVID, Web of Science and via PubMed.

IPA: International Pharmaceutical Abstracts covers clinical pharmacy.  Access is provided by OVID.  UCL’s licence allows up to three people to use it concurrently: if you are denied access, try again later.

Web of Science Core Collection: contains tens of millions of items from > 20,000 journals covering > 250 scientific and scholarly disciplines.  Web of Science Core Collection is available on the Web of Science Platform (formerly known as Web of Knowledge) which also hosts MEDLINE®, BIOSIS and Current Contents.

Core Reference Material

UCL subscribes to ten key reference books electronically from Medicines Complete including the British National Formulary (BNF).  Medicines Complete is listed in the Pharmacy directory.  Individual titles can be also be found in Explore.

UCL’s licence with Medicines Complete allows Pharmacy students and researchers to download the BNF app to their own devices.

UCL subscribes to the British Pharmacopoeia online as well as in print.  Search Explore using the command ‘British Pharmacopoeia 2019’ or use the link in the Pharmacy directory.

NICE Evidence Search provides access to authoritative clinical guidelines, health technology assessments, evidence summaries and health promotion information for the public.


The Pharmacy collection is housed in its own Library, on the first floor of the School of Pharmacy on Brunswick Square.  The collection is comprised of core teaching and learning textbooks, specialist titles, reference books, theses and special collections.

The best way to discover books is to use Explore.  If the title you want is available as an e-book, the catalogue entry will have a green View Online link.  The green Available link will reveal physical stock.  The Pharmacy collection is organised on the shelf by the Universal Decimal Classification (UDC) system.  A shelfmark is comprised of numbers, punctuation marks and letters, which is read as a sequence of characters not as values.  Ask Library staff for help locating items on the shelves.

The recent editions of core textbooks are mostly available to borrow for an initial 7-day period.  The initial loan period for all other books is the standard 8 weeks.  You may renew your loans without limit until either [i] a reservation is placed on a book or [ii] the charges on your library account exceed £20.  Theses may not be borrowed.


Search A&I Dbs using keywords for articles.

If you are searching for a known journal article, search Explore using the title of the Journal (for example Pharmaceutical Journal) and the Journal Titles filter option.  Use the bibliographic detail to browse for the article.

The Library has a small collection of journal titles in print.  These may be used in the Library only.

Laptops for Loan

The Pharmacy Library has a bank of 48 self-issue laptops plus a supplementary stock of laptops available to borrow from the Issue desk.

Devices and Gadgets

The following items are available to borrow at the Library Issue Desk:

  • iPads
  • Mobile Phone chargers
  • Headphones
  • Calculators
  • iMac chargers and adapters
  • USB adapters and cables
  • Anatomical Models

General Resources

Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS)

The Library is available to members of the RPS including students.  Non-members may make a pre-arranged appointment to visit only.

British Library

The British Library is an excellent resource for all UCL staff and students.  Please view their web pages before visiting to check requirements for applying.

Wellcome Library

A splendid Library specialising in the history of medicine and health.  Anyone can join.  Please view their web pages before visiting to check requirements for applying.

The Pharmacy team offer consultations and training events on A&I Dbs and reference management. 

Please contact us if you would any information or assistance with any of the following:

  • Open Access and the UCL Discovery platform
  • Research Data Management Plans
  • Literature Searching
  • Reference Management
  • Interlibrary Loans
  • Bibliometric Analysis
  • Copyright
  • Maintaining Current Awareness