This category contains 18 posts

Getting to Know OvidSP

Ever wonder how to use MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) in OvidSP MEDLINE to retrieve highly relevant journal articles? Read our short how-to article to get started!


Should You Do Your Own Literature Searching? Part I: The Pros & Cons of Doing Your Own Literature Searching

In chatting with a physician friend the other day, I asked her how the clinical research she was conducting was going. While she said her overall research and grant writing was going well, she felt that she was probably not searching the medical literature “all that well.” She acknowledged that she should probably ask her institution’s librarians for assistance but was reluctant to do so because of time constraints and because she thought that she should be doing her own searching. I suggested, why not conduct her own search as a first cut and then ask the university librarians to complete a more comprehensive search to see if there were any papers she had missed. “I can do that?” she asked. Sure!

Later, this interchange made me think further about why anyone might be hesitant in asking librarians to conduct literature searches. I started thinking about the benefits to being self-sufficient in searching or having a librarian do the search. I came to the conclusion that it need not be an either/or decision. There are benefits to each, here’s what I came up with:

Benefits of conducting your own literature search:

  • Expertise: As a clinician, you’re the expert on your topic and can alter the search in real time in order to hone in on the information that specifically meets your needs.
  • Fast: Conducting your own literature search to answer clinical questions can be quicker and the results (or lack thereof) are immediate. Keep in mind that anything more than a cursory search will probably take much longer than anticipated.
  • Effort: In some ways it also takes less effort because there is no need to explain what you are looking for or wait for someone else.
  • Breadcrumbs: You are free to follow tangential aspects of the topic depending on what your searches find or fail to find.

Benefits to having a librarian search a topic for you:

  • Familiarity: We search Medline and other resources on an almost daily basis and are familiar with their structure and controlled vocabulary (i.e., Medical Subject Headings) or lack thereof.
  • Narrow or Broaden: Familiarity with the resources allows us to be able to quickly filter, refine and limit search topics according to your criteria or broaden searches when nothing comes up on a topic.
  • Unbiased: A search done by a librarian can provide more of an unbiased set of results because clinicians’ practice preferences are not a factor in selecting or deselecting articles.
  • Comprehensiveness: We know how different resources overlap and where they are unique and use this knowledge to conduct a more comprehensive search. And, yes, sometimes Google is on our checklist of resources!
  • Time: We don’t mind spending the time because it’s what we do.

Utilizing Medline (or other resources) as effectively as you can, to return the most relevant and/or most comprehensive results, is the other important piece of the search process. I suspect this was the part that my friend was expressing was challenging for her, not because it is difficult, but because it takes time to become familiar with the resources, their idiosyncrasies and how to best use them.

So, the next time you wonder whether or not your search is comprehensive enough or has found the most relevant articles, consider asking a librarian to conduct the same search to see if anything new comes to light.

Stay tuned for Part II on tips for getting the most from requesting a search from the library!

Checking Out ACLS/BLS/NRP/PALS Manuals

Just a reminder that AHA course manuals can be checked out from the Health Sciences Library. Find your employee category below for special instructions:

Huntington Hospital Employees (Nurses, Allied Health & Staff) & Volunteers:

Step 1: Register for class online by following the instructions on the Workforce Development Life Ed Courses Sharepoint page. You must be registered for the class first before checking out textbooks.

  • Textbooks are only for Huntington Hospital employees and volunteers taking classes at Huntington Hospital.
  • Textbooks can only be checked out a maximum of 2 weeks prior to the class date.

Step 2: Fill out a Library Card Application online (or in print in the library). You only need to do this the first time you borrow an item from the library.

Step 3: Come to the library during library open hours (Monday – Friday 8 am to 4 pm) and pick up the textbook.

Step 4: Bring textbook to class and return in class to volunteer picking up or return to library.

Contracted Physicians, Huntington Medical Foundation (HMF) Employees & Travel Nurses:

HMF employees & contracted physicians can attend the Huntington’s classes and borrow textbooks.

Step 1: Register for the class directly with Life Ed. Call (626) 286-1169 to register.

Step 2: Fill out the Library Card Application (at the library or before you come)

Step 3: To borrow a textbook from the library, come to the library during staffed hours Mon-Fri, 8 am to 4 pm:

Step 4: Important Reminder: Physicians, HMF and Travel Nurses must bring a deposit check with you, made payable to the Huntington Hospital ($25 – BLS textbook ; $50 – ACLS textbook ; $50 – PALS). When the textbook is returned to the library, the deposit check will be returned to you.

Huntington Ambulatory Service Center (HASC) Employees:

HASC employees are permitted to attend the Huntington’s classes and borrow textbooks. If a textbook is not returned, the manager will be contacted.


Planning on Doing a Little Research Over the Holidays? Set-Up Off-site Access to Library Resources

The Library will be closed and library staff will be unavailable during the Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years’ holidays but that doesn’t mean you can’t access the library and its resources. As always, the physical library will be accessible to clinical staff via their badges on a 24/7 basis. For anytime, anywhere access you can request usernames & passwords to many of the library’s resources, read on to find out how!

Physicians: If you are a Huntington Hospital affiliated physician you are able to access the library’s resources from your Citrix/Cerner or CONNECT log in. See our Physicians Off-Site Access page to learn how. If you would prefer to have username/password access to a resource, please submit a Request Off-Site Access form or contact the library directly during business hours.

Hospital Staff: All other hospital staff, please fill out our Request Off-Site Access form to be set up with access to selected library resources. Please allow 1 business day for account set up.

For more information on the library’s resources download our  Directory of Electronic Resources brochure or visit the website:

Think Twice About Using Google Scholar

A recent blog post on Scholarly Open Access titled “Google Scholar is Filled with Junk Science”, highlights why clinicians should think twice about using Google Scholar to conduct topic searches. Beall’s key points include:


  • Google Scholar indexes predatory, pseudo-science open access journals along with peer-reviewed, authoritative journals. Consequently, your search results include junk science which then have to be evaluated and weeded out.
  • Google Scholar does not use controlled vocabularies. This makes finding a comprehensive body of research on your topic or refining to a specific population or aspect of a disease/condition difficult at best and all but impossible at worst.
  • Google Scholar does not screen for quality but aims to be as comprehensive as possible. For some difficult to find topics this can be a plus, however, for most clinical topics, searching a database that vets which journal titles will be included based on predetermined selection criteria is the most efficient way to find high quality information.


  • Google Scholar does work well for known-item searches when you want to quickly locate an article for which you know the title or author.


  • When conducting clinical research, use Google Scholar in addition to rather than as a replacement for Medline or other authoritative, subject specific databases.
  • Use Google Scholar to quickly find known articles. Tip: If the publisher site requires paying for the article, contact your organization’s library to see if they license the journal or can get the article for you through DOCLINE or other inter-library loan networks.

In short, as Beall’s puts it, “For those seeking the top scholarly literature on a given subject, the best resource is a focused, high-quality, curated database licensed by a library.”

Need Help Finding a Good Journal for Your Next Paper? Try These Resources

Jeffrey Beall gives overviews of three resources that can assist in finding good journals to publish in at his blog Scholarly Open Access.

When you are done reading that, hop on over to the library’s website and check out the Clinical Research, Writing & Publication guide for:

    • suggested journals,
    • style guides,
    • poster presentation pointers,
    • case report writing how-tos

… and more tools to help you get published!

Clinical Support Services Part 1: Document Delivery

In April, the library asked for the physicians’ participation in evaluating alternatives to MDConsult as the publisher, Elsevier, has discontinued the platform. While the library continues to pursue the right solution for the information needs of clinicians, it is good to know about some of the library services beyond our online eBooks and eJournals. Here is part 1 of a refresher on two of the library’s clinician support services freely available to every physician, nurse, allied health and employee at the hospital:

Document Delivery/Inter-Library Loan

The Health Sciences Library belongs to the National Network of Medical Librariesin order to borrow items not owned by the library. Because it is not feasible for libraries to collect everything, they have developed online systems to borrow items and articles from each other. Under Section 108 of the Copyright Act, libraries are allowed to copy and send copyrighted materials as long as the aggregated quantity of copied materials do not substitute for a subscription or purchased work. Articles and books can be ordered from the library in several ways:

  • By searching an Ovid database and clicking on the link to ‘Document Delivery’
  • By filling out the ‘Order an Article or Book’ form on the library’s website
  • By phoning, emailing or faxing your request to the library (see contact information at the end)

Fast Fact: In 2013, the library completed 2081 document delivery requests for medical/hospital staff. Additionally, over 17,000 full text journal articles are accessed by medical/hospital staff via the library’s electronic journal subscriptions. 2013DocDelStats

(click image to enlarge)

AccessMedicine’s New Platform Now Provides Off-Site & Mobile Access

AccessMedicine has a new look and features, now providing:

• Mobile Device Access
• Download Images to PowerPoint
• Off-Site Access Using Your My Access Account

The library’s subscription includes full text access to 8 medical reference books:

Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine
CMDT: Current Medical Diagnosis & Treatment
Hall’s Principles of Critical Care
Hurst’s The Heart
Goodman & Gilman’s The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics
Williams’ Obstetrics
Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine
Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery

Note: You may be able to search the content of other books on AccessMedicine’s platform but full text access is only available for these 8 titles.

To set up your off-site* and/or mobile login:

1. From a hospital computer, navigate to:
2. Click on [Huntington Memorial Hosp Program] at the top and select the option to “Login or Create a Free Personal Account” and follow the on screen registration instructions.

*Physicians can access library resources from off-site via Citrix or Connect without having to create separate logins. For mobile access, create a personal account login.

Contact the library for more information or to have an account set up for you x5161.

Thank You for Using Us! Over 26,000 Articles/Books Supplied to Hospital Staff in 2012

In 2012, the health sciences library supplied Huntington Hospital physicians, nurses and employees with almost 19,000 journal articles and over 7000 accesses to print and online books. The library uses innovative linking technology to provide seamless access to electronic journal and electronic book subscriptions. Resources such as OvidSP, MDConsult, PubMed and UpToDate all link to the library’s full text journal subscriptions when available, saving clinicians time when they need to access information quickly. The library also provides A to Z and subject lists of electronic resources from the library’s website and online catalog.

Additionally, the library’s Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan service provides access to journal articles and the ability to borrow books that are not in our own collections. If the library does not have an article or book in its collection, it goes through a national network of libraries called DOCLINE to request the article or book from another library.

†This figure only includes statistics for journals the library is able to track usage. It does not include those journal articles, such as PubMed Central and other open access articles and archives, that we provide access to but cannot track usage.

‡ 2011 figures do not include Redbook online usage. Figures do not include statistics for those electronic books the library provides access to but cannot track usage (NCBI, DOAB, Pain Mangement, AORN Perioperative Standards, etc.)

Off-Site Access FAQs

Q: Can I get off-site access to the library’s resources?

A: Yes. Physicians can login via Citrix/Meditech or CONNECT for offsite access to all the library’s resources, see our Physicians Off-Site Access page to learn how. All other hospital staff have off-site access privileges to selected resources (OvidSP, MDConsult, Natural Standard and Gale Databases). To request off-site access to one or all of these resources use our Off-Site Access Request Form.

Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan FAQs:

Q: Who can use the Document Delivery/ILL services?

A: Any affiliated Huntington Hospital physician, nurse or employee in good standing is eligible to use Document Delivery/ILL.

Q: How much does it cost to use the Document Delivery/ILL services?

A:  For Huntington Hospital affiliated physicians, nurses and employees there is no cost to you to have the library order a journal article or book from another library. The library sometimes incurs copyright and service fees from other libraries but this cost is not passed on to our clients.

Q: What types of materials can be ordered via Document Delivery?

A: Almost any type of material (journal article, book or book chapter, audio visual) can be ordered, however, whether or not the library will be able to obtain your requested material depends on it being available from a lending library. Materials that cannot be requested from Document Delivery/ILL include electronic books, whole journal issues and electronic video/audio files.

Q: How can I order an article via Document Delivery?

A: There are three ways to order an article or book:

  1. Use the Document Delivery link from within an OvidSP database
  2. Email the library
  3. Fill out the Order an Article or Book form on the main page of the library’s website

JAMA Journals Now Freely Available

JAMA network journals can now be accessed by anyone from anywhere! All JAMA network journal content published during the past 12 months is now freely available via the JAMA Network Reader ( The JAMA Network Reader can be downloaded to a desktop computer, iOS or Android device (free registration is required.)

What’s more, selected content is freely available on the JAMA website (, for issues older than 12 months. Free content includes all Original Research, Research Letters and Review articles. Sections still requiring a subscription to read include: Editorials, Invited Commentary, Editor’s Note, Editor’s Correspondence and Commentary.

JN Reader features include:

  • An Offline Library (save whole issues to your device/desktop for offline reading)
  • Bookmark individual articles for later reference
  • Email the link for an article to yourself or a colleague
  • Increase/decrease text size for ease of reading
  • Article Features button displays a list of figures, tables and/or supplemental content for each article

The JAMA Network journals include the following titles:

The library will continue its print and online subscription only for JAMA. For more information or questions, contact the library at: x5161 or text us at 626-344-0542.