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NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Library Network. THIRST: OVID SP. A quick guide to the new interface for OVID databases Click the forward arrow to continue. Introduction. In February 2008 the new interface to the OVID databases will be launched.

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Thirst ovid sp

NHS Greater Glasgow and ClydeLibrary Network


A quick guide to the new interface for OVID databases

Click the forward arrow to continue


In February 2008 the new interface to the OVID databases will be launched.

From then on you will be able to search the databases as you always have (with a slightly different look) but you will also have some additional functionality.


This tutorial will take you through the new look interface and point out the new search functions as well as how to continue using the same search techniques you have used in the past.

The ovid sp interface
The OVID SP Interface

OVID SP uses tabs to separate the different ways you can search the database. You can use one method or many different methods for a search.

The first tab is for basic search – this is a natural language feature – type in your search question, the database itself will extract the main concepts of your search, and combine the terms appropriately.

The ovid sp interface1
The OVID SP Interface

The find citation tab allows you to search for a specific article within the database, e.g. to check an incomplete reference.

The ovid sp interface2
The OVID SP Interface

Search Tools allows you to search just for subject headings, or use more advanced search features such as the Permuted Index (used to locate all appropriate subject headings for a concept).

A subject heading describes the content of an article, regardless of the terms used all articles on the same topic will be indexed in the database under the same subject heading.

The ovid sp interface3
The OVID SP Interface

Search Fields is very similar to the previous version of OVID – here you can search within any of the fields an article has been indexed by, such as CAS Registry Number.

CAS Registry Numbers are unique identifiers for chemical substances, and allow you to search for a chemical regardless of what names it may have.

More information is available at

The ovid sp interface4
The OVID SP Interface

If you have used OVID before the final ‘Ovid Syntax’ tab will be the one that is most familiar to you, here you can do a combination of subject heading and key word search in the same way as you did in the previous version of OVID.

Using the OVID Syntax tab is the most flexible and detailed method of searching, giving the best results.

New features
New Features


Search Terms

Result! Scored as a perfect match

Broaden or Narrow the search.

Basic Search is a ‘natural language search’; a way of doing a ‘quick and dirty’ search, and may not locate all relevant articles.

As you can see from the example above, I typed in a search question, the database pulled out the relevant search terms, and provided results, which can then be further refined.

Basic Search is a way of doing a ‘quick and dirty’ search. If the search you are doing requires a thorough search strategy please continue using keyword and subject heading searching (OVID Syntax tab)

Another new feature
Another New Feature

Once saved this means that you can take the feed code (the URL or web address) generated by the database and add it to an RSS Reader.

If you want to try this out but it all sounds a bit daunting, contact your librarian who will be happy to help.

A new addition to the SDI (Selective Dissemination of Information) Feature of OVID: RSS – Now don’t ask us what RSS really means as there are many different definitions, however we like ‘Really Simple Syndication’ because that’s what it is.

Please don’t be put off by terms such as SDI and RSS as what they do is quite simple. Once you have done a search you can be kept up to date with anything new that is published that matches your search. Login to your personal OVID account and the RSS button will appear beneath your search, click it give it a name and save it.

The ovid sp interface5
The OVID SP Interface

If you would like to try out the new OVID SP interface for yourself before it goes live in February 2008 you can. Logon to OVID as normal, and at the top of the database list there is a link to OVID SP, click it and have a go.