Thursday, May 3, 2018

Guest Post: Why get involved in the RCSIsmj - Student Medical Journal? with Suzanne Murphy

Vol 11 is now available in RCSI Library
RCSIsmj (Student Medical Journal) is in its 11th year as a totally student run peer-reviewed publication giving students a unique taste of research publishing, editing and promotion. Editor-In-Chief Suzanne Murphy, an RCSI Medical Student gives her take on what is involved in being part of the editorial team and why you should consider getting involved!

When I first applied for the SMJ, I was really interested in a writing position. I had experience blogging and editing various student publications and I felt like it would be a good opportunity to write something for publication.

When I read about the different roles within the SMJ (which you can do here), I thought I would love the role of senior editor but never expected to get it! I decided to apply for Senior Editor, senior staff writer and staff writer. I thought I had a decent chance of getting a staff writer post and anything beyond that would be a bonus.  

The second round of the application process involved editing a writing sample and an informal meeting with the Mohit and Jenna, the Director and Editor-In-Chief at the time. To my delight I was offered the position of Senior Editor and I gladly accepted....though the panic did set in!

I worried I wouldn’t be able for the job. I worried about how I’d balance the extra work with my studies. It turns out I had nothing to worry about. Both Jenna and Mo were so supportive of me, as were all the SMJ staff. The role is a learning curve and everyone understood that.

The senior positions within SMJ work on a rolling basis with senior staff passing on the roles to their junior counterparts. This allows time for training so that by the end of my year as Senior Editor, I was more that prepared for the role of Editor-In-Chief.  Even in the less formalised positions there is plenty of training and support given.  Seeing how SMJ staff support each other in their roles is one of the things that makes me proud to be involved with the publication.

RCSIsmj Vol:11 2017/2018
How can students get involved?
Becoming a staff member for the journal offers students from all years, in all courses, with all levels of experience, the opportunity to meet one another as they work together to prepare and promote the journal.  The SMJ is often the first opportunity many students get to have their work published and all involved take great pride in the high standard of the articles published. 

The SMJ is committed to all aspects of health research. Its regular journal clubs allow students to engage with RCSI staff, learn about current research and find out more about the different disciplines within medicine.  The journal clubs are relaxed, casual events where students also have the chance to meet the SMJ staff and learn about how they can get involved with the journal. I would definitely recommend students get involved in the journal clubs, even if they are not on the staff of the SMJ.

Dean Hannah MCGEE with RCSI SMJ's current executive committee

My advice for anyone considering getting involved in the SMJ: 

1.     Apply for the post(s) you want the most- Students are welcome to apply for multiple posts, but don’t discount a post because you think you don’t have the experience for it. Nearly all of our posts involve some degree of training and we are all here to help new staff.
2.      You don’t have to be a medical student to apply- We welcome applications from students in all courses!
3.      Take time to have a look at the journal (available online or in the library) before you apply- Ideally you would already be familiar with the journal if you’re considering joining the team, but, if not, grab a copy or have a read online.
4.      If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in contact with us! You can email any questions or queries about the available posts to .

The deadline for applications for the staff has passed for this year 2018/2019 but students interested should get in touch about the journal club or blogging for the SMJ...and of course think about what staff role you might like to apply for next year. Keep in touch with all of the news SMJ website or via our Facebook page.

Suzanne Murphy 

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Diabetes Resources at RCSI Library

On Friday 19th January RCSI will be hosting the Sixth Annual 3U Partnership International Diabetes Conference which brings together leading experts from around the world to discuss some of the major challenges in the treatment and management of diabetes. You can view the programme and register here.

RCSI Library has a wide range of resources on Diabetes; here we will give a quick overview of these. As usual if you have any questions or want to know more about any of these resources please email us at and we will be happy to help.

The Library subscribes to a number of the top ranked diabetes journals, including Diabetes and Diabetes Care. Access these through the e-journal portal at

We also have a range of books on the subject, in both electronic and print format; search the library catalogue at


Searching the Clinical Key database for ‘diabetes mellitus’ will give you access to a wide range of resources; including an overview of the condition, books, journal articles, images and more. You can access Clinical Key through the RCSI Library database page at

Other RCSI Library resources on diabetes include a wide range of theses accessible through our Institutional Repository at (this is freely available to the general public) and evidence based summaries on the subject through the Clinical summary tools DynaMed Plus and UpToDate which you can access at

The conference is open to everyone with an interest in understanding the pathophysiology of diabetes. Follow @RCSI_Irl  for updates on Twitter.

Colm O'Connor

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

RCSI Library and Open Access

October 23rd to 29th was Open Access Week. Open Access (OA) and data management are areas growing in priority for research funding agencies and in higher education. International Open Access Week is a global campaign, now in its 10th year,  to raise awareness about these fields and how they can improve research impact and knowledge sharing. So what is Open Access and how does it benefit researchers, institutions and the public? 

RCSI Library got involved with a number of talks and drop in sessions highlighting the importance of OpenAccess for research. On Tuesday Associate Librarian Andrew Simpson gave a talk on Open Access and Research Data. He discussed the expectation of funders in terms of open data and how to create a data management plan.

The perils of bad data management were also highlighted; Andrew played a short video produced by Karen Hanson, Alisa Surkis and Karen Yacobucci. Of NYU Health Sciences Library – it’s well worth a watch!

On Wednesday, GrĂ¡inne McCabe, Scholarly Communications and Research Support Officer, hosted a drop in session at the library Expo Stage where she answered questions from researchers on the RCSI repository –such as how can one use it to enhance your research profile and how to submit publications for Open Access. 

Tip: Remember to keep pre-prints & post-prints of articles as publisher permissions for what version can go Open Access can vary. 

RCSI Library was also  tweeting and Facebooking interesting Open Access tidbits throughout the week; follow us @RCSILibrary on Twitter  and like us @rcsilibrary on Facebook!

Colm O'Connor

Friday, October 20, 2017

Green Week 2017 at RCSI

This week was Green Week and the RCSI EnviroSoc have been busy spreading awareness across the college and beyond!  From a beach clean up to their vegan food fair and raising funds for the Dominica relief fund it's been a really successful week.

EnviroSoc have put together a number of videos which explore topics from Veganism to Climate change.Take a look at the videos below and Go Green!

Student tips on being green

Climate change part 1

Climate change part 2


Dominica relief fund

Clean coasts

Effects of global warming on health

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Library Bitesize: Lunchtime Drop-In Skills Sessions

We are in a brand new Library building and know that students have a lot of information to get to grips with at the start of term. 

Our new Library Bitesize drop-in sessions aim to help you get the most out of the Library and support your acade
mic studies. You don’t need to book a session, just drop into the Expo Stage or the Computer Room (different sessions are in different places) and ask questions, get support and hear tips!

Check out our programme below…more sessions coming soon!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Calling all Students! Share your Mercer Memories

 To mark the closure of the Mercer Library space before our brand new library opens on 3rd July 2017, we want students to share their memories of their time in the Mercer. Whether you are still onsite doing exams (nearly there!) or anywhere in the world, we have a way for you to get involved...and prizes for the best entries.

If you are still working away in the library and need a distraction, snap a picture of your favourite study spot. You can post it to our Facebook page with a comment as to why you love it! Or if you are not on Facebook you can email your pic and note to

If you are lucky enough to have finished your exams and are not near the library, you can share photos or a memory about your time in the Mercer Library on our digital online Memory Board. If you would like to be included in the pot for prizes you can sign it, but if not, you can mention your year or class e.g. IC2 or 2nd Pharm

Contribute to the #MercerMemories digital Memory Board
All of your pics and memories will be added to the RCSI Archives which hold collections and materials from College, staff and students about their time in RCSI. You never know, you might recognise your #MercerMemory at your 40th Alumni Reunion!  

Don't forget you can get more information or ask any questions at the Library Service Desk!                               

As we prepare to move to 26 York Street we look forward to creating many new memories at the Library's new home...opening Monday 3rd July 2017!


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Resource spotlight:

RCSI Library has subscribed to a new database - This legal database will be of particular interest to our Healthcare Ethics and Law students but will also be of use to many other students across a range of disciplines.

(Click for larger image) provides instant access to a large collection of case law dating back to 1971, including over 20,000 full-text case reports from Ireland's leading law reporting services. also provides access to legislation in consolidated, annotated and digested form making it easy to keep up to date with legislative changes. Another feature of the database is the ability to search, browse and download Irish court rules. allows you to read digests of cases and provides links to full-text versions. also provides full text access to a number of journals, including the  Medico-legal journal of Ireland. The aim and scope of this journal is to inform professionals of current legal and ethical issues related to patient care and also provides an academic and scientific forum for practitioners and academics to debate medico-legal issues of importance to individuals and society as a whole.

You can access through the databases page of the RCSI Library website at

Colm O'Connor