Online research tools

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 62, No. 1, January February 2020, Page 12 College Library

When you find yourself asking, “Is that mood disorder a seasonal mood disorder?” or “How long should I continue pharmacotherapy for seasonal affective disorder?” there are tools available to help. The differential diagnosis and treatment of mood disorders can be aided by several types of evidence-based resources, many of which you can download onto your smart phone from the College Library and slip into your pocket.     

If you want to find information from one place, then you may look to resources such as DynaMed and BMJ Best Practice. Both platforms provide information about etiology and epidemiology along with diagnosis and management, all of which can be navigated through clearly laid out menus. Diagnostic criteria include differentials with quick access to additional information. If you aren’t sure that you’re looking at seasonal affective disorder, you can click over to the depression or bipolar disorder entries for a broader view. As for treatment information, DynaMed offers summaries of the evidence for each treatment, while Best Practice takes a different approach with a streamlined treatment algorithm.  

If you want information on bright light therapy, Clinical Key may be of use. The app offers journal articles and abstracts while the web page contains patient handouts and clinical overviews. The Clinical Handbook of Psychotropic Drugs Online also offers information on bright light therapy, from definition to dosage.

If you are looking for treatment guidelines for depression, Clinical Key will also give you access to those. Closer to home, BC Guidelines has a guideline app.  

For access to these resources and additional information, visit
—Chris Vriesema-Magnuson


This article is the opinion of the Library of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC and has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.

Chris Vriesema-Magnuson. Online research tools. BCMJ, Vol. 62, No. 1, January, February, 2020, Page(s) 12 - 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.

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

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