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Clinical Students on Attachments and Electives: Clinical Students on Attachments and Electives

Subjects: Medicine

Purpose of this guide

This guide is intended for students studying Clinical medicine at the University of Oxford on attachments and electives, although students from any field may find it useful.

Use this guide to find out about books/online resources for Clinical Medicine, including ebooks, ejournals, bibliographic databases which are accessible while you are on attachments and electives.


As clinical students you’ll spend a proportion of your time in clinical settings away from Oxford. This page collects together information on resources and services for students on attachments and electives.

Checklist - Before You Go

The following check list will help you to remember the things you need to do before you go on your placement:

  • Make sure you know your University of Oxford Single Sign-On username and password.  You’ll need this to access many web-based services at Oxford (e.g. WebLearn, Nexus webmail, online journals) through Oxford's Web Single Sign-On service.  Single Sign-On means that after your initial login, you can use associated services without having to re-enter your username and password. For more information see
  • Return/renew all existing items on loan.  You can do this by signing into SOLO at If you’ll be on attachment or elective for more than 2 weeks and have books from the Cairns Library or Knowledge Centre, then come and talk to us BEFORE you go to see if we can renew your books to cover the duration of your time away from Oxford.  If your book is due back while you’re away you will not be able to renew it if it’s been requested by someone else.
  • You may also find it useful to set up the Virtual Private Network (VPN) service and Eduroam provided by IT Services if you’ll be taking your own laptop/tablet/smartphone/etc. with you and will need to connect to the University network from another institution, from home or wirelessly. See

NHS Online Library Resources

You’ll find that your University Single Sign-On gives you access to considerably more online journals, e-books, etc., than are available from the NHS. However, you may find that your DGH library provides access via NHS Athens to some resources that are not available to you via the University.

While you are on placement you can register a for local Trust NHS Athens Account. This is different to the national student NHS Athens username and password you may have already been issued with in Oxford. It is much quicker to register for an NHS Athens account from an NHS computer either on a hospital site or in a GP practice. If you are using a non-NHS computer or email address, your registration could be delayed for up to 15 days.

You can use your NHS Athens username and password to access an online collection of electronic resources provided by the NHS via NHS Evidence Health Information Resources. Contact your local DGH hospital librarian for any help with registering for a local Trust NHS Athens username and password.

Sources accessed via NHS Athens include selected full text journals and the following databases:

  • AMED
  • BNI
  • Health Business Elite
  • HMIC
  • PsycINFO

Local NHS Libraries


NHS attachments will often be supported by a physical library service. For specific information about the library at the hospital you are located at, please click on the tabs above. 

Please note that, if you borrow any books or other items from your local DGH library while on attachment, it is your responsibility to ensure their safe return before you leave.

We work closely with our NHS library colleagues as part of the regional NHS network of NHS libraries and have tried to make sure that this information is as accurate as possible. However, please let us know if any of this information is out of date.

Electronic Resources

You will have access to the full range of University of Oxford electronic resources while you are on placement. You can access services remotely by using your Single Sign-On username and password or via the University’s VPN service. This includes online access to many of your textbooks (we suggest you use SOLO to search for them).

Key resources available from anywhere:

·        SOLO -

·        NEXUS -

·        WEBLEARN

·        NHS Evidence -

·        Oxford University Ejournals list -

·       Oxlip+ -

.        Oxford Medicine Online -