Information resources for internal medicine faculty
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Evans Whitaker, MD, MLIS Norris Medical Library University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 90089-9130 (323) 442-1128 [email protected] Information Resources for Internal Medicine Faculty Introduction We are here to help…

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Evans Whitaker, MD, MLIS

Norris Medical Library

University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA 90089-9130

(323) 442-1128

[email protected]

Information Resources for Internal Medicine Faculty

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We are here to help…

  • Please feel free to contact me (or any of the librarians at Norris Medical Library) with any information questions you have!

  • Contact information

    • Business Cards

    • Norris Website ( )

      • Library information

        • Staff Directory

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Outline for today

  • Norris Medical Library – Access

    and Overview of Resources (5 minutes)

  • MEDLINE (30 minutes)

  • Miscellany and Questions (the remainder)

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Norris Medical Library—Access and Overview of Resources

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Norris Medical Library (

  • Proxy server (don’t use VPN) ( )

  • Log in with USC email information

    • User name (email address up to @)

    • Password

  • Bookmark Norris Library homepage

    • Start information hunting here as you will have full text access to everything USC purchases

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Clinician’s “Portal”

  • “Everything” you need in one place

  • If there are other things you want in this location … let me know

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  • If you can’t get to something you want …

    • Let us know and we will fix it for you

    • (We have one person at the library devoted to fixing links to publisher’s websites)

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Multiple versions of this database

Same content but different look

Ovid = PubMed

(= PubGet)

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MEDLINE and PubMed

Articles are added to PubMed by publishers

Clarifying confusing nomenclature

…then moved to MEDLINE as they are indexed (have MeSH terms added) by NLM

PubMed (database)

> 19.5million

What is MeSH?

MEDLINE (database)

> 17.8 Million

PubMed (search engine) is the tool used to search in PubMed and MEDLINE

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Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

  • Most important single concept of today!!

  • A “dictionary” in which you look up the best words to use in MEDLINE searches

  • Using MeSH in searches increases the number of relevant articles found by 40-60%

  • Limitations:

    • New concepts, procedures, drugs may not have a MeSH term

      • Use a Keyword (= any search term you choose that is not a MeSH term)

    • Takes time for new articles to be “indexed” for MEDLINE

      • Can miss the newest articles

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Two Databases …

  • PubMed can be considered as two databases in one

    • PubMed/MEDLINE – A database of information about journal articles

    • MeSH – A dictionary of terms to use in MEDLINE

  • The most effective searching is

    • Finding the term in MeSH

    • Search with that term in MEDLINE

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  • Three ways to access MEDLINE at USC:

    • PubMed (USC’s version, [email protected] includes links to USC holdings)

      • Freely available

      • Now teaching Keck students this version of MEDLINE

    • OvidSP (includes links to USC holdings)

      • USC pays Ovid for access

      • Residents and students may not have access after USC

    • (see Clinician Portal for information)

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Create a MyNCBI Account

  • Allows you to save you work and get back to it!

    • Save your searches

      • PubMed send you new articles about the topic as they come out

    • Save good articles in Collections

  • Let’s do it

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Let’s try a search…

  • Does selenium supplementation prevent prostate cancer?

  • Concepts:

    • Prostate Cancer

    • Selenium Supplements

  • We want articles with both concepts

    • Would you combine the concepts with AND or OR?

    • AND

  • See one … watch a search in PubMed

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You have a list of results…

  • Things you can do now:

    • Look at full-text copy of articles

      • Print

      • Save

      • Email

    • Add to Clipboard

    • Save to Collections

    • Save your search

      • Have new articles about your topic sent to you

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Your turn…Suggested searches

  • Prevention of DVT in total knee replacement?

  • Is oxygen inhalation therapy or triptans more effective in treating acute cluster headache?

  • In juvenile myoclonic epilepsy, would you best treat with valproate or would you choose another anticonvulsant medication?

  • Is Guillain-Barre syndrome best treated with plasma exchange or intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy?

  • Are steroids useful as part of treatment of septic shock

  • Are steroids useful as part of treatment of bacterial meningitis?

  • Do SSRIs increase risk of GI bleeding?

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MEDLINE Rules of Thumb

  • Use MeSH if available

  • 3 or fewer MeSH terms are (usually) enough

  • Focus the disease or condition

  • Subheadings

    • 3 or fewer subheadings per MeSH

    • Don’t use unless they match perfectly

  • Explode

    • Leave MeSH terms exploded

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Keeping Up … Time Savers

  • Electronic table of contents (e.g., JAMA)


  • Saved work in MEDLINE:

    • MyNCBI and/or

    • Ovid Personal Account

  • UpToDate - ”What’s New”

  • Faculty of 1000 – Medicine

  • Journal Watch

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Alternatives to UpToDate

  • Norris homepage

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Google Scholar…it has a role

  • If you strike out in MEDLINE…

  • Searches full text of article

    • Very sensitive – finds the needle

    • Not specific – gives you the haystack too

  • GoogleScholar – set Advanced Preferences for USC full text

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Thank you!

  • Please feel free to contact me (or any of the librarians at Norris Library) with any information questions you have!

  • Norris Website (