About Author: Amy Blevins

Posts by Amy Blevins


Adding Links to Articles in ICON

It’s that time of year again. The weather is hot, so a lot of us are staying inside and working on our ICON sites for the upcoming semester.

It has been brought to our attention that ICON is having some problems with creating links to library articles if they are set up to “open in a new window” when they have the proxy URL attached.  The proxy URL is what allows University of Iowa affiliates to access library resources from off-campus. This includes things like full-text articles.  The articles appear to open with no problems in the instructor’s view, but when you switch to the student view problems arise. These problems are different depending on if you are using Firefox or Internet Explorer.  Hopefully, this issue will be resolved quickly as ITS is working on it, but in the meanwhile, we have found that making sure the article links are set to “open in the same window” solves the problem.  In the image below, I’ve pointed out the box to avoid using.

You might be tempted to work around this issue by uploading the PDF of the articles you want your students to read instead of using links. Please do not do this as it could be a violation of the copyright agreements we hold with different publishers.

If you would like more information on the best ways to link to full-text articles on ICON, check out our “Linking to Full Text-Articles for Course Pages” guide.


DynaMed is Getting a Makeover

Sometime during the week of July 18, the point of care database DynaMed will be getting a new look along with some new functionality.  A beta version of the new design  is available.  The company that produces DynaMed is asking users to provide them with feedback so some of this new functionality may change before the new design is officially released.

It may be useful to look at the current interface of DynaMed side-by-side with the new version.  Below are some screenshots with the most noticeable changes.

The new homepage for DynaMed is much cleaner than the current one. In addition, there are now links to “Search other Services” included near the bottom right corner. In addition, a lot of the menu options that are seen on the left side of the page in the current (soon to be old) version are now located in a thin menu at the top of the page. 

Screen shot of new and current DynaMed homepages

Search Results
A quick search for the topic “GERD” yielded slightly different results in the new interface than the current one. As you see below, the new interface places “Gastroesophageal reflux disease” at the top of the list.  There may be some improvements to the search algorithm along with the changes in design.  Although not available in the beta version, when the new interface is released, a new spell checker will be provided for search results. The second thing that you may notice in the new interface is that the links for Tx (treatment) and Dx (diagnosis) are no longer there. Instead, when the mouse hovers over the topic, a menu appears on the right side of the screen with options for not only treatment and diagnosis, but also for other subsections of the topic, as well.

Images of Search Results in new and current DynaMed interfaces

Viewing Topics
There is a noticeable difference in the two layouts for topics. In the new version of DynaMed, the options for the left menu have been expanded. There are “+” symbols that allow quicker navigation to areas of interest within the topic. In addition, there is a link for searching other services for information. Clicking the links for other services simply takes you to the other service’s homepage where a new search must be carried out.

As illustrated in the image below, both versions of DynaMed start their topic pages with information on the latest updates right below the title of the topic. However, in the new version of DynaMed, only the latest update is listed. A link is provided for access to previous updates.

There have also been improvements to the “Search within Topic feature.” The new interface will have a search box and then a system for navigating through the results.  Links to appropriate clinical calculators will now be included within the text of topics, as well.

Lastly, the links for emailing and printing topics has been moved to the far right of the topic in the new version. In addition, there will be a new feature for receiving alerts whenever a topic of interest changes (this feature has not been turned on in the preview version of the database).

Topics view for new and current DynaMed interfaces

Other Changes
Another change for DynaMed involves their Current Updates feature.  There is a new filtering system to allow users to find updates on a specific subject. In addition, users now have the ability to check a box for “Practice Changing Updates.” This box can be used with a filter or without one.  An alert can be set up for this part of DynaMed as well as for specific topics. 

More Information
For more information on the upcoming changes, see EBSCO Support’s “DynaMed New Features and Functionality.”

As always, if you have questions or need assistance with DynaMed or other library resources, feel free to contact us.


Get Your Practice Exam Questions Here

Are you getting ready to take the USMLE, PANCE or NAPLEX or other exam? Are you wondering where to get some free for UI affiliates practice questions? Well, wonder no longer.  Hardin Library subscribes to a valuable resource called Exam Master Online.  You can find it on the Health Sciences Databases A-Z list on the home page for Hardin Library.

You will need to sign up for an account before you can use Exam Master which will allow you to keep track of your results and progress on various practice exams.  There are many options for using Exam Master. You can use a pre-created practice exam or you can create your own exam. If you decide to create your own exam, you have three options.

  1. You can select a number of questions from asection of the USMLE, PANCE or NAPLEX practice exams. You can choose to have between 1-999 questions in your exam.
  2. You can create an exam with questions containing a specific word. For example, you could find exam questions containing neuropathy or anatomy.
  3. You can also find questions based on a topic within a specific specialty like Internal Medicine certification, etc.

Once you create an exam, you have the option of two modes.  The practice mode will explain why an answer is correct or not allowing you to study the material.  The exam mode will time you and you will not be able to see the correct answers or explanations.  There is an option to pause the exam mode and continue later.

Exam Master will be updating their interface this month to improve your experience. You can read about those upgrades on their website. The functionality will remain mostly the same, but there will be a streamlined dashboard showing all your recent exams with progress, and there will also be some tabbing within the interface to allow for a more streamlined navigation of
the database.

If you are interested in other information for preparing for board exams, etc, you may want to check out our Board Review Materials LibGuide.

As always, if you have any questions about Exam Master or other library resources, contact Hardin Library.


Changes Coming to My NCBI

My NCBI is going to be getting a little bit of a make-over in the near future. If you are not familiar with My NCBI, it is most known for being a tool that allows you to save searches, set auto-alerts in PubMed, and manages your “My Bibliography” (which is used for managing your personal publications and NIH grant funding).  There are quite a few changes coming, but we’ll just focus on the ones that are most noticeable.

My NCBI Homepage

At this time, it’s not always easy to see what is available in My NCBI, but coming soon, the main page will be streamlined so that most features can be accessed from the main page. From the preview, it appears that the options will be laid out in titled boxes such as: My Bibliography, Filters, Saved Searches, etc.

Image of the new My NCBI landing page

Saved Searches

With the new Saved Searches box, you can set up an auto-alert if you want to receive an email when new research is published, or you can create a permanent saved search.  Within MyNCBI, there will be a table set up to show you when you last ran a search, how many new citations have become available since then, and a link that lets you go directly to the new stuff.

Image of My NCBI Saved Search Screen

My Bibliography

This is the area of My NCBI can be used to create a list of the articles that you have personally published. This list can be private or shared with others, and now, you can designate someone other than yourself to add and make changes to this part of your account without giving them your personal login information.  You also have more options for how you would like to display and share these citations. One display option lets you link your account with the eRA commons and see whether or not your articles are in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

Image of My Bibliography when linked to ERA

 If you would like to know more about these changes and the many others that are coming to My NCBI, check out the NLM Technical Bulletin: My NCBI Redesign.

As always, if you have any questions about using My NCBI, PubMed or other library resources, contact us. We’re happy to help.


MeSH database redesign launched February 14

Have you noticed that PubMed looks a little different when you’re using MeSH?

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Database was redesigned on February 14, 2011 to provide users with the same streamlined interface now available in PubMed® and the NLM® Catalog. If you haven’t heard of MeSH, it stands for medical subject headings and is a wonderful way to find relevant articles when searching.

What does this mean for you? Well, it means a much cleaner design within the MeSH database.  One of the best features is that the subheadings are now arranged into neat columns rather than in one jumbled paragraph. Another lovely feature is the PubMed Search builder that now shows up on the right side of the page.

Screenshot demonstrating columns for MeSH subheadings

If you’d like to learn more about all the changes that have taken place, you can check out the NLM Technial Bulletin that was updated on February 14 of this year.


Accessing Cyber Anatomy

The resource, Cyber Anatomy, has been a hot topic of discussion lately. Some of you may have seen the YouTube Video showing students using the 3-D version, or you may have heard the online version being discussed during this year’s State of Carver College of Medicine Address.  If you have not heard about it, Cyber Anatomy is a resource that allows one to view anatomical structures in a 3-D format. The images can be rotated, peeled and otherwise manipulated.  Recently, both Harvard Medical School and Cornell have started using the 3D adaption, but it was at Hardin Library for the Health Sciences first.

Hardin Library currently provides access to both the online version and the 3D version on Cyber Anatomy.  To access the online version, you only need a computer that is hooked up the internet and a HawkID and password.   You can access the software by going to the Hardin Library website and clicking on the link for “Health Sciences Resources A-Z.” You will need administrative rights to the computer so that a 3DVIA player plug in can be installed. 

If you are interested in a more immersive experience, we have the 3D version of Cyber Anatomy in the Hardin Library Simulation Center.  You will need to reserve Cyber anatomy ahead of time.

If you have any questions about this software or the Hardin Simulation Center, please contact Amy Blevins, Clinical Education Librarian.