Hidden gems on the bookshelves

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 63, No. 5, June 2021, Page 218 College Library

Libraries are normally quiet, and they have been even more so during the pandemic. The physical College Library is closed and staff are working mainly from home. However, the Library has had a virtual aspect even from its beginnings in 1906—BC physicians could access librarian support and books through the mail. Now, e-books have made the book collection all the more accessible. In the past year, 70% of new books purchased are in electronic form. Why not 100%? Several reasons: most people prefer reading physical books[1] and have deeper reading experiences, especially with longer tracts of narrative,[2] and electronic books are not always reasonably priced: e-books can be the same price as the physical item but are sometimes even 10 times more expensive. Generally, librarians weigh the anticipated use as educational or in-depth research material (physical book) versus use as a reference tool (e-book), and select the format accordingly.

Regardless of format, books often hold chapters that are gems, not necessarily heralded by a book’s title. Here’s a selection from recent acquisitions:

  • “Hypoglycemia in the Toddler and Child,” chapter in: Sperling Pediatric Endocrinology. 2021, e-book.
  • “Thyroid Imbalance and Subfertility,” chapter in: Subfertility: Recent Advances in Management and Prevention. 2021, e-book.
  • “Nutritional Support in Esophageal Cancer,” chapter in: Esophageal Cancer: Prevention, Diagnosis and Therapy. 2020, e-book.
  • “Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders,” chapter in: Neuropalliative Care: A Guide to Improving the Lives of Patients and Families Affected by Neurologic Disease. 2019, e-book.
  • “Culturally Appropriate Care,” chapter in: Adolescent Nutrition: Assuring the Needs of Emerging Adults. 2020, e-book.
  • “Oppression and Mental Health,” chapter in: Oppression: A Social Determinant of Health. 2012, physical book.

The College Library’s online catalogue (https://szasz.cpsbc.ca) lists almost 1000 electronic and 3000 physical books. Simply use a CPSBC login to view e-books, and contact the library to request physical books through the mail at www.cpsbc.ca/library/services-hours (return postage is included).
—Karen MacDonell
Director, Library Services


This article is the opinion of the Library of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.


1.    Espresso. Economist. Why printed books are still popular. 2016. Accessed 22 April 2021. https://espresso.economist.com/21e8cadba9839cd22bc29597866632e3.

2.    Mangen A, Olivier G, Velay J-L. Comparing comprehension of a long text read in print book and on Kindle: Where in the text and when in the story? Front Psychol 2019. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00038.

Karen MacDonell, PhD, MLIS. Hidden gems on the bookshelves. BCMJ, Vol. 63, No. 5, June, 2021, Page(s) 218 - College Library.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply