February 3, 2011

Eskind Biomedical Library Resources

“Just Google it.”

It’s a common refrain, and a technique we at the Eskind Biomedical Library sometimes use as one method for finding the best and most relevant information.

It’s easy enough – just enter some keywords and a relevant journal article will appear in the results. Click on the result, and frequently you can immediately read the full text.

Want to read the latest issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association? Just enter JAMA in your Google search bar, and jump right into the full issue. Whether in “plain” Google or journal article-oriented Google Scholar, getting the full text of the right journals and papers can seem to easily happen through some kind of Google magic.

What you are not likely to see is the behind-the-scenes work at the Eskind Biomedical Library that makes these apparently seamless connections happen. What makes that full issue of JAMA available “through Google,” even though we know JAMA is not a free journal?

It’s the library.

Quite simply, important resources like JAMA are easily available to on-campus Vanderbilt users through Google because the library pays for access and works to make this access seem simple. The Eskind Biomedical Library staff invests time and expertise:

• Negotiating complex subscription contracts and ensuring that crucial resources are purchased,

• Advocating for appropriate-sized budgets to provide important resources that inform education, clinical care and research in the Vanderbilt community, and

• Providing technical support so computers on campus are recognized by JAMA and other journals, and on-campus users need not log in or take extra steps when they find that perfect article through Google.

The library also troubleshoots technical problems to ensure continuous access to evidence-based resources, and supports the technology required to connect library users to full-text resources through easy interfaces such as Google and mobile devices.

This is also true for access through Google Scholar – if you have ever found and read a journal article through this search tool, it’s likely because the library provides a subscription.

Using Scholar Preferences, you may also choose Vanderbilt as your library to see findit@vu links to library holdings and full text (off-campus users will need to log in with a VUnet ID and password). This service exists because libraries have worked with Google to ensure that the resources they provide to students, faculty, clinicians, and researchers are available through a “simple” Google Scholar search.

At the Eskind Biomedical Library, we encourage you to use Google or Google Scholar when that is the right tool for your information need.

We also provide a wealth of other resources, and are available to provide training on getting the most out of those resources, including PubMed, CINAHL, citation management tools, drug information resources, consumer health sites and databases and tools for pharmacogenetics and other genetics-related biosciences.

So the next time you “just Google it,” remember that the full text you are accessing likely originates from the Eskind Biomedical Library’s subscription-based digital collection.