Thursday, July 26, 2012

More Nursing Resources @ Davis Library

This summer we’ve periodically highlighted resources available to support the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College Nursing Degree Programs.  Today we’re continuing that series of blog posts with a discussion MEDLINE, an important bibliographic tool for healthcare professionals.  See our previous postings made on Wednesday, May 16, 2012 and Monday, June 11, 2012 for details on other health-related resources provided through Davis Library.

Click on image for larger view.

If you scroll down the listings for Nursing  under the “By Subject” link on OhioLINK Databases page, you’ll notice two entries for MEDLINE under the “Also recommended…” heading.  This dual notation of what seems to be the same database often raises the question: 

“What’s the difference?”

First, let’s take a minute to review what MEDLINE is exactly.  Then, we’ll compare the two versions of the resource that are available to our Rio Grande students, faculty and staff through the OhioLINK Databases page.

“What is MEDLINE?”

MEDLINE stands for MEDlars onLINE.  “MEDlars” is the acronym for Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System, which is a computerized biomedical bibliographic information tool that was first launched by the United States (US) National Library of Medicine (NLM) in 1964.  NLM is part of National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, which is an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The primary responsibility of the NIH is the support biomedical and health-related research.  Eventually, MEDLars evolved into MEDLINE as advancements in technology and the development of the Internet progressed over the years. 

MEDLINE is a premier database for biomedical literature featuring millions of authoritative citations and abstracts from around the world.  This online resource deals with a broad range of subject matter relevant to those studying life sciences and working in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, health care systems management and preclinical sciences.  The database's coverage is extensive and contains information dating back as far as the late 1940s. 

“What is MEDLINE (PubMed)?”

MEDLINE (PubMed) is the freely available version of this government resource, which is offered to the public via the Internet using the web-based interface or site known as “PubMed” found at:

PubMed (Click image for larger view.)

While MEDLINE is a major component of “PubMed,” the site also provides access to various life science journals and publications not included in MEDLINE.  “PubMed” is actually one of several resources dealing with life science-related literature developed and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), which is also part of the NLM.  NCBI was established in the late 1980s as the increased need for computer-based information processing and analysis for research purposes was becoming apparent.   “PubMed” may also be searched together with other biomedical and genomic (study of genomes/DNA) resources through the “Entrez Search Engine,” a powerful multi-database research tool offered through the NCBI Website.

“Why go through the OhioLINK Databases page to access MEDLINE (PubMed) if it’s available free online?”

As an OhioLINK Member Institution, Rio Grande students, faculty and staff have access to vast amounts of full text material licensed specifically for educational or research purposes.  When utilizing the MEDLINE (PubMed) interface though OhioLINK, your search results will include “Find It with OLinks” buttons in each of the returned records. 
By clicking this feature, very often you’ll be able to obtain direct access to the full text of articles that normally would only be offered to you for purchase through publisher Websites or perhaps by making requests through traditional Interlibrary Loan (ILL) services, which could require special fees and/or several days to process depending on the supplying institution’s policies.

Please note that ILL services are available to Davis Library’s Community Patrons who are NOT OhioLINK eligible.   This option should prove valuable when such library users utilize MEDLINE (PubMed) for their information searches.

Now remember, if you ARE OhioLINK eligible (Yes, that means Rio Grande students, faculty and staff!) and want to access the OhioLINK Databases from off-campus, you’ll have to login to get to these restricted resources.  See our how-to video on this “remote authentication” process below, on our Tutorials page or through the uofriogrande channel (YouTube) at:

Also, important to note that whether you search “PubMed” directly or through OhioLINK, a number of limiting options are available to help you narrow and refine your results.   Consequently, you can regulate your search so that only those items that are available full text will show.  Links to help pages, online tutorials and other guides are provided under the headings “Using PubMed,” “PubMed Tools” and “More Resources” headings found in the center of the site’s main page.

PubMed detail (Click image for larger view.)

One of the main advantages of using the MEDLINE (PubMed) interface by itself or through OhioLINK is that it’ll give you the opportunity to become familiar with and adept at utilizing this free resource, making it easier for you to consult in your work and career as a healthcare professional after leaving college.  

“So then, why MEDLINE with Full Text (EBSCO)?”

Due to comprehensive nature of the MEDLINE (PubMed), the interface and search results can be at times overwhelming for some researchers.  To remedy this problem, commercial versions of the resource such as MEDLINE with Full Text (EBSCO) have been developed to help ease and give users more control over the information-seeking process.

 MEDLINE with Full Text (EBSCO) utilizes the EBSCOhost interface, which is familiar to many library users and researchers since EBSCO Publishing is one of the world’s leading database and eBook providers.   Most our students are already comfortable with the navigation features that are standard on almost all EBSCO Research Databases, several of which are offered to us through OhioLINK.  Academic Search Complete is one example.  It’s a multidisciplinary database that nearly all of our undergraduate students are introduced to in their required beginning composition and communication courses.

MEDLINE with Full Text (EBSCO) offers detailed Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) searching (the same process as the “CINAHL Headings” search feature in EBSCO’s CINAHL Plus with Full Text database that was mentioned in one of our previous blog posts) that assist you in finding the most relevant information.  

In addition to the full text access provided within the database, “Find It” buttons are also offered with each item record to help locate articles that may be available to you in either print or electronic format through other OhioLINK services.

With the EBSCOhost interface, you may set up a personalized account that enables you to store and access “Search History.”  Then, the EBSCOhost interfaces also provides easy to use “Folders,” “Print,” “Save,” “Cite” and “Share” tools that make managing your research simpler.

For more details on utilizing MEDLINE with Full Text (EBSCO), view the tutorial below from the EBSCO Support Site or at:

Have questions about either of these MEDLINE databases, or any other health-related resources we offer?  Please sure to… “Ask Us!

1 comment:

  1. If you’re not OhioLINK ( eligible, remember to check with your local public library ( to see what type of online resources they have to offer. All Ohio residents have access to the Ohio Web Library ( which lets you search and utilize a number of research databases including MEDLINE (EBSCO) ( Direct links to MedlinePlus ( NetWellness ( are offered through the site. Both of these FREE resources are consumer-oriented and designed to promote healthy lifestyles by providing the public with in-depth information on a wide-range of health and medical-related issues.