News focus: priceless discoveries

CSP information and research officer Linda Griffiths explains that the CSP library is so much more than just books

News focus: priceless discoveries

The CSP library is of course a great resource of printed and bound matter – books in fact. But the CSP library service is also much more than that. It is also a portal into a vast storehouse of treasure – information and advice that has proved invaluable to generations of physiotherapists. CSP library staff are knowledgeable and helpful and are on hand to guide members to the information they need. 

As a CSP member you have access to the library whether you are a student, working in the NHS or a third sector organisation, running your own business, or undertaking research. As a member, you also have access to the ‘CSP Discovery – Evidence and Knowledge search’. Here you can run literature searches and keep up to date with new publications in your areas of interest. 

CSP Discovery – Evidence and Knowledge search’ or ‘Discovery’ for short, is a fast, single search interface to a fantastic range of physiotherapy relevant resources. Discovery pulls together the content of a range of health-related databases. It allows you access to journals and e-journals, subscribed or open access providing a high percentage of full text materials. 

Current subscribed journals are all full text where possible, together with masses of open access e-journals all of which are relevant to physiotherapy. Add to this the journals included in Discovery and you have an enormous resource of evidence to support your practice, studies or research. 

There are e-books and theses to read or download. We have a physical collection, mainly books and theses. The records are in Discovery with a link back to the catalogue; there you can reserve them to borrow. I can hear you say ‘but I don’t have the time to go to London’. Fear not, regardless of where you are in the UK, from the Orkneys, the Channel Isles, or anywhere in between, we offer postal loans. If you are in London, you are welcome to come and use the library to study or simply to collect or return your loans, although it is helpful if you make an appointment to ensure staff are available.

We also include ‘grey literature’, that is report type publications, such as white or green papers from all four UK governments, and publications from research bodies or the NHS amongst others, and all the records have a link to the original source.

If the full text article is not available you can request copies of papers using the Request a copy – charges may apply option. Add your details to the form within Discovery and we will try to find a copy. The maximum cost is £12 including VAT depending on where we can get a copy. We will tell you the charge and if you agree to it, we will try to obtain a copy and email it to you. If we are unable to find a copy you will be reimbursed.

If you want to share what you have found use ‘Permalinks’ to bring colleagues straight to the article you have found, or set up a current awareness search and share that.

If, when you are using Discovery, you need to leave your search and want to come back later, you can set up a personal account within Discovery. Here you can save searches and your results, set up current awareness searches and then receive an email of new publications added to Discovery that meet your criteria.

I hope this short explanation of the full potential of the CSP library service has been useful. If you have used Discovery we would like to hear from you. Tell us what you think, how successful your searches were, and any ways you think we could improve and enhance the service after all – knowledge is power.

Tough asks

The CSP library service has been asked many things. Here are some of the more unusual requests:

  • Do you have anything on the disorders caused by playing the bagpipes, and what are the treatments?
  • Who holds the copyright of a particular outcome measure?
  • Was (distinguished physician) Sir Muir Gray on CSP Council?
  • How do I publish my thesis in Physiotherapy?
  • Do you have the 1979 pay scales in the NHS?
  • Can you find a guideline from 1993 based on an incomplete reference in another document?
  • Do you have the address of the pre-World War Two physio school Field and Morris?

    Need some help?

    We have created step by step information skills guides to help you make the most of these resources here

    All you have to do is log in and then go to the library services section. You have access to the evidence anytime, anywhere and on any device.


    • Linda Griffiths is CSP information and research officer

    Further information

    Contact us here by; email :;  telephone: 0207 306 6666 website:

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