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KCOM Medicine Library Toolkit

Resources to support KCOM students and faculty

Student Services Overview


  • Each student has a unique educational background and therefore, unique research experience and skills. 
  • Every academic institution has a unique collection of databases and each database has specific search criteria
  • Although a student may be well versed in researching databases, they may not be familiar with the databases at ATSU
  • Searching Google Scholar is not the same as searching medical library databases


  • Research instruction and assistance for all students regardless of their research experience
  • Instruction for basic, advanced and database specific searching
  • Instruction of how to determine which databases best fit a researcher's topic 
  • Information literacy instruction to educate students, faculty and staff in the acquisition of scholarly information sources
  • Assistance to development research questions, keyword searches, search strings, application of booleans & limiters, etc. 
  • These are just a few of the services we provide, please contact us for any information related questions. 

Your liaison librarian can provide these instruction and assistance services in various formats: 

Formulating a research question

A few tips to get you started: 

  1. Review Formulating your research question (JH Welch Medical Library guide)
  2. Do background research, the more you know about a topic, the easier it is to focus your research question. Textbooks and general topic searches are a great place to start. 
  3. Use the PICO format to ensure you have all of the elements needed for your research question.
    • P = Population
    • I = Intervention
    • C = Comparison
    • O = Outcome
  4. The PICO terms will also double as your search terms. 
  5. Once you have found articles related to your topic, review the sources noted in their reference list, and the keywords or search terms highlighted in these articles, they will expand your sources of information and your list of search terms. 
  6. For additional assistance, contact your library liaison.


Literature Searching

Literature search requests can be sent via email to your Liaison Librarian. You may request literature for a research project, an idea to improve health science education, or to see what new literature is out there.

When requesting a literature search, helpful information to include is:

  • Topic overview
    What are you looking for?  What do you not want articles on?
  • Limitations on results
    These could include publication date range, geography of studies, disciple specific research, etc.
  • Time line of when the information is needed
  • Search results format
    Would you like the results as a list of citations and abstracts to review, or as an RIS file to import into EndNote?
  • Is this a one time search, or would you like to set up a recurring alert?

A list of relevant articles are sent to you for review.  If you feel the articles are off topic, you may request a revised search request in a new topic area.  

You may also request the full text of articles listed, by providing the title or record number of the results.