Pamela Herring, MLIS, D-AHIP
Electronic Resources Librarian
Harriet F. Ginsburg Health Sciences Library
University of Central Florida College of Medicine
This article is an update of a review published in the February 2015 issue of Doody’s Collection Development Monthly. You can find the original review here .
The LWW Health Library is an online portal of medical, pharmacy, and other health sciences programs textbooks and multimedia created for faculty, students, and residents. Customers can purchase whole collections or smaller segments of some collections to fit an institution’s curriculum. There are now 33 collections available, with a total of over 670 titles, which includes those written in Spanish. The following collections have been added since 2015: Advanced Practice Nursing, Made Incredibly Easy!, Exercise Science, ACSM’s Certification Suite, PA Board Prep, PA Core Education, PA Rotations/Specialties, Board Review Series, OB/GYN, Oncology, Emergency Medicine, Cardiology, Critical Care, Internal Medicine Neurology, Pathology, Pediatrics, and Psychiatry. The addition of these collections expands the potential user base and adds to the original core audience.
The books in these collections are all highly rated core textbooks by Lippincott. The LWW Health Library automatically adds new editions as they are published, with previous editions staying available on the platform for another year and often longer. Keeping the older editions makes it easier for faculty to transition from one edition to the next if they are using an LWW textbook in their course.
The video and audio content comes from the textbooks and is accessible while reading the book, searching the site, or in the Video & Audio section of the site. The audio and video files cannot be downloaded or embedded, but the links to their web pages are durable URLs, and users can link directly to the content.
The LWW Health Library also has a great collection of images. Users can search across the book collections and filter to images or other multimedia. Faculty can download the images as a PowerPoint slide, which includes a citation. Users can also view the original image without this information.
Features / Functionality
Many new features are available to users that create free personal accounts. Users can print content, save content to a PDF, have off-campus access for 90 days without logging in through a library, create personalized quizzes, and bookmark favorite books, chapters, figures, and tables.
Another new feature is the Journal Club. The Journal Club is organized by modules and based on techniques from the book Studying a Study & Testing a Test: Reading Evidence-Based Health Research, 7th Edition, Riegelman, Nelson (Wolters Kluwer, 2020). Each module focuses on an article and includes a link to the full text of the article. The modules walk users through the article’s critical points visually and concisely, with a quiz at the end. Facilitators can use this resource to start a journal club or teach students how to assess a journal article.
Users can also explore other Wolters Kluwer products, such as Bates’ Visual Guide, Acland’s Video Atlas of Anatomy, and 5 Minute Consult, by clicking the subtle advertisement images at the bottom of the LWW Health Library homepage. These links are convenient if the institution subscribes to multiple Wolters Kluwer products.
Accessing the product and the business model for the LWW Health Library has not changed beyond the company offering more content for purchase. Institutional access is available via IP authentication or URL referral. If users register for a free personal account and log into the site, it allows them access outside their institution’s IP range or proxy service for up to 90 days. This type of access is refreshed when users log in through the institution’s IP or proxy service. An institutional subscription still provides unlimited user access and no restrictions on concurrency. Each package has annual increases, but Wolters Kluwer works with its customers and annual increase caps are available upon negotiation. Individual subscriptions are still not available.
Wolters Kluwer consistently updates its products. The database design is always responsive and easily adapted to computers, tablets, or smartphones. The LWW Health Library has changed significantly since 2015, adding value to the subscription and expanding the content to a broader audience. Wolters Kluwer listens to user feedback and makes updates based on it. A subscription is worth pursuing if your institution has a medical, pharmacy, or other health sciences program.