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New Grey/Gray Literature Guide

If you’ve had any experiences with systematic review or writing dissertations/theses, you may have heard of grey literature.

Grey  literature is unpublished and can be hard to find.   Some examples include:

  • Pre-Prints
  • E-Prints
  • Academic Works
  • Commission Reports
  • Committee Reports
  • White Papers
  • Technical Reports
  • Government Reports
  • Conference Reports
  • Technical Standards
  • Dissertations
  • Theses
  • Working Papers
  • Market Surveys
  • Data Sets

Recently, librarians from Main, Sciences and Hardin Library have put together a guide to help people get started with locating and using grey literature.  You can access this guide at

As always, if you have questions about grey literature, please do not hesitate to contact Hardin Library.


EBSCOhost Mobile App

The EBSCOhost Mobile Application for iPhone provides you with the ability to search the EBSCOhost databases that the University of Iowa subscribes to via the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch without having to enter your HawkID and password every time you search. This app is available at no cost to University of Iowa affiliates since the University of Iowa Libraries pay for access to EBSCOhost resources.

To download this app, simply go to an EBSCOhost database (like CINAHL) and you’ll see a link at the bottom of each database page where you can register your email to download the app. Make sure you pick an email account that can be accessed on the mobile device where you plan to download the app. If you don’t get a chance to download the app within 24 hours, simply go back into an EBSCO database and register for the app, again. Keep in mind that you must be connected to a cellular network or WiFi to use this app, but you will not have to enter your HawkID and password. You will have to register for a new authentication key every nine months.

On the Home page, you will see options for retrieving recent searches (up to 25), saved searches, saved articles, Help, and Legal. At the bottom of the screen, there are navigation options for Home, Search, Settings, Recent, and Saved.  From the Search screen, you can run keyword searches and take advantage of truncation and nesting. Once a search is run, the default is 20 results per page but there is an option for loading more results.  In instances where there is a PDF available through EBSCOhost, an icon will appear near the bottom right of the citation. Clicking on a result gives options for viewing an abstract when available, saving the citation (or PDF if available) to the Save section of the app, checking for full text via InfoLink, emailing the citation (and PDF if available), and other similar functions. When PDFs are available, there is an option to save them to another app on your device. Examples include Kindle, Stanza, iBooks, Mendeley or Dropbo which also provide options for printing articles. Near the top of the Search screen are buttons to Refine or Save.  The options for Refine change a bit depending on which databases are activated.  For example, options for CINAHL Plus included limiting by journal, SubjectMajor, SubjectAge, and SubjectGender. The Save button allows the user to save the search indefinitely. Unfortunately, the app cannot be connected to a personal EBSCO account.  This means that users are unable to save searches in a way that would be accessible through another device later on.

The Settings screen, allows you to choose which EBSCO databases you would like to search. The default is for the app to search all the databases available through the University of Iowa, but this can easily be changed using check boxes to the left of each database. You can also use the Settings page to set search options such as limiting to: full text, peer-reviewed, publication name (the title must be entered manually) or publication date.

If you don’t want to download another app, you can also use EBSCO through your mobile device by simply going to the Hardin Library homepage.  However, you will have to authenticate using your HawkID and password every time you use the database this way. You also won’t have the ability to save searches and articles/citations as you would if you were using the app.

There are some nice features available through the mobile site that are not available in the app as well. For example, if one is searching CINAHL Plus via the mobile website, there are search options that allow for limiting to “pre-CINAHL” or to “exclude MEDLINE records.” In addition, a list of field codes is provided in Mobile EBSCO for the advanced searcher. The app searcher can use field codes, but must find them elsewhere.  Finally, the Mobile EBSCO version allows searchers to email results by screen rather than having to email citations one at a time. Both the Mobile EBSCO and the EBSCOhost for iPhone contain simplified versions of EBSCOhost databases and neither allows for access to My EBSCOhost accounts.

As always, if you’d like assistance with using the EBSCOhost app, website, or any other library resource, please do not hesitate to contact Hardin Library.



Scopus Database Now Available

Students, faculty and staff now have access to Scopus. This resource shares some of the same features as Web of Science (WOS), including coverage of both health sciences and basic sciences. Scopus is available both on and off-campus from the Hardin Library Health Sciences A-Z List.

Some features of this database include:

  • All of the content of Embase including index terms (but no access to the Embase thesaurus or hierarchical [thesaurus-based] searching)
  • Author Identifier to automatically match an author’s published research including the h-index.
  • Citation Tracker to simply find, check and track citations in real-time.
  • Affiliation Identifier to automatically identify and match an organization with all its research output.
  • Journal Analyzer provides a quick insight into journal performance.
  • Alerts, RSS and HTML feeds to stay up-to-date.
  • Document Download Manager to easily download and organize multiple full-text articles simultaneously.
  • Data export via bibliographic managers such as RefWorks, EndNote and BibTex.

For more information about Scopus, please visit About Scopus. View tutorials and other information at Scopus Help. If you have questions or would like to arrange a demonstration of Scopus for yourself or your class, please contact the Hardin Health Sciences Library.

Screen shot of the Scopus Interface


2011 Impact Factors now available

The 2011 journal citation reports (impact factors) are now available in Web of Knowledge.
.  The 2011 JCR includes:
  • More than 10,500 of the world’s most highly cited, peer reviewed journals in 232 disciplines
  • Nearly 2,500 publishers and 82 countries represented
  • Over 1,400 regional journals
  • 526 journals receiving their first Journal Impact Factor

Access journal citation reports by going to Web of Knowledge (, then select the additional resources tab.


JournalTOCs: Keeping current made easier

A good way to keep current with research and practice is to monitor recent publications in keys journals in a field, but it can be time-consuming to visit each journal’s website and browse the Table of Contents (TOCs).

JournalTOCs ( is a free one-stop shop for monitoring TOCs from multiple journals. A wide range of subject are covered by this site, such as art, humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, life sciences, and health sciences (see the subject page).  Below are step-by-step instructions on how to best use this website.

1. Registering an account is required but very easy. All they need is an email address and a password. Just click “Sign In” on the right top corner of your computer screen.

2. Log onto JournalTOCs and use the search box on the left of your screen to find the journal of your interest (see image below). For example, type in Journal of Biological Chemistry and click “Go”.

3. A “SEARCH RESULTS” panel will appear below the search box (see image below). Check the box before the journal you wish to follow, and the journal title will appear on the right.

4. To add more journal titles, repeat Steps 2 and 3. You will see the list on the right side of the search box expanding.

5. Next time when you log in, you will see journals you follow listed in the middle of your screen (see image below). Click on the title to view the TOCs.

6. If you do not wish to have another set of login to remember just for JournalTOCs, you can do either of the followings.

A.) Access JournalTOCs via your email
Make sure to check the box before “Email Alerts is On” at the bottom of the list of followed journals (see image above). When new articles are available, you will receive a message in the email address you used for registration.

B.) Access JournalTOCs via a RSS Feed Reader (e.g. Google Reader).
There are basically two steps here: exporting your mytocs list from JournalTOCs and importing this list to your RSS Feed Reader.

If you have any questions about using JournalTOCs, feel free to contact us at (319) 335-9151 or


PubMed Limits Are Now Filters

As you may have noticed, PubMed changed the way users limit search results. The link for “limits” has been replaced by a “filters” sidebar. This sidebar will function similarly to the way the limits page worked. For example, once filters/limits have been set, they will remain in place for all subsequent searches unless the user turns them off.

One difference users might notice is that filters will not show if they are unavailable or not applicable for a search. For example, if you run a search on a topic where there hasn’t been a meta-analysis done, the option to limit your search to meta-analyses will not be available.

A feature that should be used with caution is the “Text Availability” filter located prominently at the top of the filters bar. Remember that these filters are for people that do not have access to a health sciences library. Students, faculty, staff, residents and fellows of the University of Iowa should avoid these filters and use our InfoLink button instead (which is seen when you access the abstract view). This will ensure that high quality articles are not missed. Remember that University of Iowa affiliates can also take advantage of our free interlibrary loan service.

To learn more, please check out this tutorial on NLM’s YouTube channel, read NLM Technical Bulletin or feel free to contact Hardin Librarians a


Changes to PubMed

There are a few new features available in PubMed this week. There is now an option within a single citation abstract view to add items to favorites. This is similar to the clipboard function, but requires that you are signed in to your NCBI account (which is free and allows you to save searches, create folders and share citations.) This allows you to easily save citations permanently to your collections.

The other recent change is the addition of a menu option to send citations to a citation manager. This works very well for importing citations into Endnote.

Here is a series of screen captures to demonstrate the process for Endnote Import  using Microsoft’s IE 9.

Step 1: Select desired citation and then use the send to menu on the top right side, select citation manager radio button, and then select create file.

Step 2: If you are using IE, select open when prompted.

Step 3: Choose PubMed import filter and references will be imported.

Other browsers may perform differently. For example, in Firefox, steps 1 and 2 are the same but the file open prompt is different.

For Refworks Import,  instead of opening file, save file instead.

Follow steps 1 and 2 but then save file generated instead of opening (both IE and firefox).

Select the appropriate import filter, attach saved file, and import.

If you have any questions about these features or about how to use any of these tools, please contact your liaison librarian.

Or watch these PubMed tutorials for help: .


Scopus Trial Underway (concluded)

The Scopus trial has been concluded.  Thank you for participating.

Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature with flexible tools to track, analyze and visualize research..  Scopus is strong in all areas of the sciences. Updated daily, it indexes over 18,000 peer-reviewed journals and includes the content from Embase.  The trial will go until May 4th.

Trial link:

If you are accessing with IE9, compatibility mode is required. IE8 and Firefox work without problem.

Updated daily, Scopus offers
• +18,000 peer-reviewed journals from more than 5,000 publishers
• Over 1,200 Open Access journals
• 520 conference proceedings
• Over 600 trade publications
• 350 book series
• 34 million abstracts
• Results from 435 million scientific web pages
• 23 million patent records from 5 patent offices
• 41 million records, of which 24 million records include references going back to 1996 (75% include references)
• 17 million pre-1996 records go back as far as 1823

Please send comments to Janna Lawrence, Hardin Library Assistant Director.


RefWorks Enhancements

With the New Year comes a new release of Refworks!  In addition to general stability improvements, the new release has several enhancements.  Of these, one of the most exciting is the new Drag-and-Drop functionality for the Quick Access bar which means that users can click on the grey bar above any reference summary and drag the item to the Quick Access bar.

This image shows the ability to click on a citation and drag it into a folder.

In addition, usability revisions include new icons in the Organize & Share Folders area for Twitter, Facebook and over 300 other social bookmarking cites. You can easily share folders with all your Facebook friends or on Twitter with the click of a button.

Image of icons in RefWorks for sharing ciations to social media.

 Also, users will now be able to create New Folders directly from the Add to Folder icon. This makes the process much more seamless since you won’t have to change screens if you need a new folder after importing new references.

 This is an image of the option for creating new folders.


As always, if you have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’re here to help you with RefWorks whether you are just starting out or a long time user.


A Few Changes to Google Web Search

Google is frequently experimenting to enhance the search experience. But a recent change frustrated many users: the + operator was eliminated. This is how it worked: the searcher could use the + character after a term to find pages with the exact word in them. Now, it is suggested that instead of using the +, searchers should use quotation marks around a word to retrieve results with the exact word present. Example: instead of searching for Iowa +news, search Iowa “news.” In case you are curious, the – character still works to exclude words after it from  your search results. For example: Iowa – university would retrieve results with Iowa but exclude results with the word university. For many passionate comments and conversations about these changes, visit the following pages:

Wired Epicenter                     Search Engine Land                                 Google Help Forum

Another fairly recent change was the removal of the link on the front page to advanced search. Now the advanced search feature will display only after a search is performed. Or, the searcher cand navigate directly to  it by going to the top right side of the page, as shown below:

If you are wondering why you might bother using advanced search, consider that there are ways to narrow your search results to a more relevant group, and maybe even more importantly, a more manageable size. Check out the advanced search options to see which ones may help you!

For more hints on how to take advantage of other features of Google Web search, visit:

Google help pages                  Search Engine Land summary

Please contact your liaison librarian or the reference desk if you need more information on web or database search strategies.