Library services

Literature searches

We offer a literature searching service for members of the College, where one of our expert librarians will perform a search on your behalf. This service is designed to help answer clinical questions related to patient care, keep you up to date on a topic or help you with any research you may be carrying out.

Depending on the query, one or more databases of academic journal articles will be searched to provide good quality information to support you in evidence-based practice. The results of a search will be a list of bibliographic references which will be emailed to you.

Some examples include:

If you are interested in requesting a search please email the Library. You should include:

  • the key terminology related to your query
  • how far back you are interested in seeing results from
  • whether you are interested in seeing results from outside the UK.

Please allow at least five working days for the return of your results.

Members are also very welcome to undertake their own literature searches using the resources provided by the library, including Medline, PsycINFO, Embase and our own Library Catalogue. If you would like to brush up your literature searching skills there is an e-learning module available to members. Alternatively, library staff would be happy to help if you get in contact.

For most databases, you need to login to the host provider (EBSCO or Ovid) using your OpenAthens account. If you don't have an account yet, please email the Library to register for access.

Inter-library loans

Due to the staffing pressures created by COVID-19 we can no longer offer the same level of inter-library loan services. For the moment requests will be limited to five requests per person per week. We also may not be able to provide more obscure articles that cannot be found within our immediate inter-library loan networks.

Articles from outside our collection can be obtained through various inter-library arrangements. A small administrative charge is made for this service and we request that a copyright declaration form be signed in advance for each document requested.

Payment can be made in advance, or we will send you an invoice. Payment can be made by cheque or credit card. Cheques should be made payable to The Royal College of Psychiatrists and returned to the Library and Information Services department.

Charges are as follows:

Service Charge 
Article request from another library  From £10.00 per article  
Book request from another library  From £15.00  
Literature search carried out by staff  Free  

Information for patients and non-members

Non-members may visit the library by prior arrangement with the Librarian and photocopy pages from items held in the College journal or book collection.

If you have more general questions about the College or care that you have received from a psychiatrist please see our FAQs.

Read more to receive further information regarding a career in psychiatry