Library launches simple search tool

Launching into a quest for medical information requires that the searcher knows the relevant resources to explore. This can be a significant stumbling block, especially for busy clinicians who use online resources only occasionally. As part of the College’s new web site, the library has implemented a simple search tool that helps physicians discover valuable clinical information quickly without necessarily knowing the intricacies of a database’s interface or even of its existence.

This tool, known as a federated search engine, takes the form of search boxes displayed on various pages of the library’s web site. For example, on the library’s home page, the user enters a query into the search box and, with the click of the search button, the query is sent to numerous electronic resources, including bibliographic databases such as MEDLINE, Psyc­INFO, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews; the library’s online catalogue; and selected web sites with high-quality material (e.g., clinical practice guidelines and patient information). Results are displayed by relevance. Whenever the results point to a journal article, links to the full text document are provided if the library subscribes to that journal. The federated search boxes on other pages of the library’s site are filtered to particular resources. For example, searching from the “books” page limits the results to electronic books to which the library subscribes as well as materials listed in the catalogue.

We envision this as a simple tool for uncovering high-quality material: Google-like ease but more precisely focused. College members are welcome to provide feedback using the survey on the library’s web site,

—Linda Clendenning, Karen MacDonell, Judy Neill
Librarians/Co-Managers, CPSBC Library

Linda Clendenning, Karen MacDonell, PhD, MLIS, Judy Neill. Library launches simple search tool. BCMJ, Vol. 51, No. 1, January, February, 2009, Page(s) 34 - 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

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

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