New Resource: Board Vitals

Board Vitals Logo

Board Vitals is an exam preparation database. At this time, Hardin Library has subscribed to question banks for: Child Psychiatry MOC, Dermatology, Dermatology MOC, Emergency Medicine, Emergency Medicine ConCert Exam MOC, Family Medicine MOC (MC-FP Examination), Family Medicine Shelf Exam, Internal Medicine Shelf Exam, Neurology, Neurology MOC, Neurology Shelf Exam, OB-GYN MOC, OB-GYN Shelf Exam, OB-GYN, Otolaryngology MOC, Otolaryngology, Pathology, Pathology MOC, Psychiatry, Psychiatry Shelf Exam, Psychiatry Vignettes, Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Radiology CORE, Radiology Certifying Exam, Radiology MOC, Surgery MOC, and Surgery Shelf Exam.

According to Board Vitals: “we provide up-to-date explanations from the literature with our answers and give you detailed feedback and assessment of your progress broken down by subject areas. With each question you can see how you compare to your peers, and gauge the difficulty of the question by what percentage of your peers answered it correctly or chose the same option you did.”

To use Board Vitals, you will need to:

  1. Access Board Vitals via the health science resources page:
  2. Click the link that says “If Signing Up for the First Time, Click Here.”
  3. Fill out the form and you are ready to go.

You will have the option to select an area and then build a custom exam. The number of questions available is listed, and you can choose between a review or a timed exam. The reviewed exam provides explanations whether you answer the question or not. It will also show you how many exam takers correctly answered the question.

You can choose to answer between 1-50 questions, and, once you’ve used the resource, you’ll notice that you can choose to answer new questions, all questions, or incorrect questions.

If you are looking for other content, remember that Board Vitals is only one of the resources that Hardin Library provides for exam preparation. To find out about other resources, check out our Board Review Materials LibGuide

As always, please feel free to contact us if you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

New AccessMedicine App

AccessMedicine Screenshot

AccessMedicine is a collection of clinical tools and electronic textbooks. The app is powered by Unbound Medicine and provides access to a small portion of AccessMedicine.

The included resources are:

Quick Medical Dx and RX – Contains evidence-based outlines of conditions and disorders most often encountered in medical practice.

Fitzpatrick’s Color Atlas of Clinical Dermatology – This landmark digital reference facilitates visual diagnosis by providing color images of skin lesions, plus a summary outline of skin disorders and diseases.

Diagnosaurus – A differential diagnosis tool with more than 1,000 diagnoses. Browse by symptom, disease, or organ system.

Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests – This handy guide is a quick reference to the selection and interpretation of commonly used diagnostic tests include laboratory procedures in the clinical setting.

This app is available for Android and iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) devices. In order to download and continue to access to the app, you must have an active AccessMedicine account and sign in every 90 days through Hardin Library.

 1.       Go to AccessMedicine via Hardin Library

2.       Create an account by clicking on the box at the top right of the screen that says “Univ of Iowa Hardin Library.”

3.       Select “Login or Create a Free Personal Account.”

4.       Once you have your username and login, download the app from Google Play or the iTunes App store.

5.       Login with your AccessMedicine Account.

As always, if you have questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Problems with Logging into NCBI and Proxy

It has come to our attention that some people are unable to access their NCBI accounts from off-campus.  Occasionally, access from on-campus is also not working. With this problem, attempts to log into NCBI accounts result in the page failing to load completely. Sometimes, there is a notice at the bottom of the screen that you can click to allow the page to completely load, but that isn’t always the case.

It turns out there is a problem with the way that the library’s proxy server is interacting with the NCBI login page.  (The proxy server is what makes the links to full-text work.) The issue is being addressed, but in the meantime, if you want to use your NCBI account through the Hardin Library website, please use the following link: PubMed NCBI. You should use this link instead of the link at the top right of the PubMed website.

Picture of NCBI link in PubMed

Once you are logged into NCBI, you can access PubMed by using the link at the bottom of the page as shown in this image.

Picture of the PubMed Link from the NCBI page

If you continue to have problems accessing your NCBI account or have any other questions, please contact Hardin Library.


Trip Database Redesign

Coinciding (approximately) with their 100 millionth search, Trip has announced that the latest version of their website has been released.

It’s a complete overhaul with a new design (including logo), new features and some powerful new tools (including a PICO search interface). They have produced a brief screencast to demonstrate some of the new features but it’s probably best to try the site yourself –

If you aren’t familiar with Trip, it’s a free online database designed to provide integrated results from a variety of clinical resources including evidence-based synopses, systematic reviews, guidelines and original articles. Trip searches multiple resources, including but not limited to PubMed, National Guideline Clearinghouse, NICE, and Cochrane.

You’ll notice that there’s an option for creating an account for Trip, but it isn’t required. You can simply click the “x” on the top right corner of the pop-up box and start searching.  Since Trip includes both free and subscription based resources, you may need to locate full text in Hardin Library resources after identifying the citation in Trip.

As always, if you have any questions of comments, don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

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

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