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Library Research FAQ

FAQ and introduction to using A.T. Still Memorial Library for online research and learning

How to Evaluate & Use a Website as Source

Review websites carefully before trusting them as sources.

Who is paying for and managing the website?
  • This should be easy to find, and you should be able to verify their qualifications
  • Ranking the domain for trustworthiness:
    1. .gov (caveat : for non-politically controversial science)
    2. .edu
    3. .org
    4. .com
How often is the site updated?
  • This should be both obvious and frequent 

Who reviews the information before posting? 

  • Health info should be reviewed by someone with med/research/dental credentials and qualifications, which they should state obviously and accurately
Does the site present facts and original research, and not opinion?
  • Avoid advertisements, hyperbole, anecdotes, personal opinions, unsourced statements, vendor sponsored sites, political statements, soundbites, clickbait headlines, etc.
    • Some legitimate sites will include advertisements, but these are NOT legitimate sources of information themselves.

Who is the intended audience? Is it suitable for your needed complexity of answer?

  • If you are looking for research, consult research articles or scholars
  • If you are looking for patient education materials, ensure that the comprehension level matches your patient's needs
How do you cite a website?
  • Citing a website is different for different citation styles. Consult your publication style guide, or use your citation manager for assistance in  building a citation.
What should you do if you find a description of a study that you want to use as a source?
  • If you find an abstract or mention of a study on a website, you should find the full text of the original study, read it, and cite that actual study.
    • You don't need to cite the website you used to find the study unless you want to actually quote a comment made on the website. 
  • If you want to quote or cite the commentary or discussion that you found on the website, you should cite the website itself and not the study.
    • You should also find the actual study and review it to see if you also want to include information from it and cite it as an additional source.

Additional Resources:

Ithaca College Quick Quiz: Evaluating Resources - test yourself

Evaluating Internet Health Information : a Tutorial from the National Library of Medicine

Trust it or Trash it? : an interactive algorithm for evaluating websites

Find or Work With a DOI for a Document

DOIs (Digital Object Identifiers) are permanent, unique registered identifiers that are required for APA citation of digital articles, reports, conference proceedings, etc. They will allow you to access the document's permanent home on the internet, though that home may require you to have a subscription to view the full-text. 

Finding DOIs
Search CrossRef

Search this resource by title, author, journal, etc., in order to find a DOI and/or author's ORCID or other identifiers

  • Tip : Remember, search for as few words as possible - the more you put in, the less you get out. If you don't find your article, try searching for only part of the article title. Leave off subtitles.
View Articles or Abstracts

Many databases or journals will display the DOI in the article abstract, if it is available.

Most digital downloads of articles will display the DOI somewhere on the downloaded pdf itself. For example, the publisher Biomed Central will include it on the top left of each article

View APA Citations of Articles You may find a DOI by looking at an existing APA citation of a digital article.
Citing Documents Using DOIs
APA & DOIs

There are three currently acceptable forms of DOI according to APA - the older formats and the most recently adopted one. Any can be used correctly but APA recommends that you use only one in the same reference list. Consult your professors for their preference as to form, should they have one.

Example of APA citation of digital article using an older DOI format:

Thomson, O. P., Petty, N. J., & Moore, A. P. (2014). Clinical decision-making and therapeutic approaches in osteopathy – A qualitative grounded theory study. Manual Therapy, 19(1), 44–51. doi:10.1016/j.math.2013.07.008

Example of APA citation of digital article using an older DOI format:

Thomson, O. P., Petty, N. J., & Moore, A. P. (2014). Clinical decision-making and therapeutic approaches in osteopathy – A qualitative grounded theory study. Manual Therapy, 19(1), 44–51. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.math.2013.07.008

Example of APA citation of same article using the current DOI format:

Thomson, O. P., Petty, N. J., & Moore, A. P. (2014). Clinical decision-making and therapeutic approaches in osteopathy – A qualitative grounded theory study. Manual Therapy, 19(1), 44–51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.math.2013.07.008

Additional Considerations for DOIs
The DOI System This is the issuing organization that creates DOIs. Visit it for more information, or search its database for a known DOI in order to find its associated article.
What if it doesn't have a DOI? Some few publishers still do not generate DOIs for their published works, even current ones, and some older works do not have them. Print-only published articles do not have them at all. If there is no DOI available, or you consulted the print version, it is correct not to include them. 
What if it takes you to an article that won't give you the full-text?

If you follow a DOI link, it will take you straight to the article and won't tell it if ATSU has the rights to access it even if we have a subscription. ATSU may also have access to it, but not the original version on the publisher's website.  If this happens, use these three steps to gain access to it:

  1. Look up the article title using Still OneSearch on the Library's homepage
  2. If that fails, look up the journal title using the Library's Browse e-Journals link. 
    • Select the correct year from the journal's index page
    • Select the correct issue and browse for the article title
  3. If that fails, request the article or document using Interlibrary Loan
    • Typically takes 1-3 business days and is free to ATSU faculty, staff, students, and alumni (limit 5 per month for alumni only)

How to Use Wikipedia & Social Media Sources

These sources can be added or edited by anyone, without any guarantee of accuracy or even attempted accuracy. DON'T use them as major sources. DO use them as pointers to better sources & sources for ideas. Verify everything found using one of these sources.

Find ideas or research updates to investigate by following shared links or news stories, or by following discussions on general social sites used by a broad range of the general public such as TwitterRedditand Quora.

  • These sites are great for finding out about new studies, events, conferences, current policy discussion, legal changes, etc. that are in need of further investigation
  • Find researchers, hashtags, subreddits, topics, fora, etc that your research community uses and join or follow them
  • Statements found here are NOT RELIABLE on their own - everything you find here must be verified by consulting other sources

Join social and research communities and blog sites for researchers and health sciences professionals such as  MendeleyF1000 WorkspaceNEJM Resident 360, Dental Elfdentaltown, ResearchGateother networks. Chat with other interested and hopefully expert people.

  • These sites are great sources to find out about potential jobs, new research, potential research partners, interesting articles, etc.
  • Look up the work of researchers or chatterers who share things on the above – ensure that they are respectable before you trust their work
  • Find the original article or source mentioned in shared stories or news blurbs and use it to support your ideas
  • If you want to include a comment from the discussion, cite both the discussion, and then the actual research article – make it clear that you verified the discussion from the article

Use Wikipedia to get a rough overview of an idea fast, but don’t trust it as being verifiably true.

  • Look up articles or research in PubMed or other respected sources to support ideas discovered via Wikipedia.
  • Quote the published articles or presentations, NOT the Wikipedia synopsis.

How to Track New Research

BrowZine

BrowZine is a website and app that pulls ATSU's subscription and some open access journals into one platform to display tables of contents for new journal issues, with links to the full-text.  You can get it as an app for your iOS or Android phone/tablet, or access it via any browser on your computer.

You can create a personal ID to use it to track new issues and articles for journals of interest to you. This differs from other sorts of Alert features because you must visit BrowZine's interface or app to find the notifications of new content - it does not swamp your email.

Read by QxMD

Read is a website and app that gives you recommendations and links to relevant articles based on your choice to follow curated collections on biomedical topics, selected journals, and your entered keywords. It will also highlight new articles based on your profession and specialty.  It is a focused tool intended for clinicians, dentists, health sciences educators, and biomedical researchers. 

The Library has connected with it to add access to our online journal subscriptions to its tools for our user community - in other words, if we have access to a journal article that is being recommended, you can click a link to log into our full-text copy.  To use it:

  • You must create a personal ID to use it using your ATSU Id and a different password.
  • If you associate it with A.T. Still University when given the option, it will tell you if we have the journal in full-text format as well as give you access to other full-text or abstract sources.
  • If you choose to, you can share your own recommended articles publicly with the entire READ community by becoming a curator.
  • If you find an article that you are interested in that is NOT full-text, please do submit an interlibrary loan request to get it via the library website.
Scimago

Scimago is a curated index of the top journals in a very wide assortment of academic research fields.

Use it to identify influential non-predatory journals to track in your area of interest, via BrowZine, email, etc.

Alerts

You can set up a Database or Journal Alert for many different interfaces, journals or databases, which will automatically send you an email or even a text message when new articles or content are added to either a specific journal, search result set, or subject that you want to track. You must create an individual ID in order to do that in most cases.

Some examples include the EBSCO databases, PubMed, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.

RSS Feeds

RSS Feeds are lists of automatically updating new articles gathered by a string of code that can be copied from a resource and pasted into an RSS Feed reader, which can collect many such feeds. They can also be copied into webpages, where they will display an automatically updating list of new articles from a source.  This differs from Alerts as RSS Feeds do not appear in your email and may also display automatically in a list on a webpage.

Many resources that provide single article Alerts as described above can also offer or generate RSS feeds, including PubMed, many EBSCO databases, and many government agencies such as the CDC

Some examples of common free RSS Feed Readers are Feedly, the Old Reader, and RSSOwl.  If you have a Feed Reader, you can either paste the RSS feed code string into it, or search from within it for a feed from your desired source.

PubMed NCBI  PubMed's NCBI will allow you to create a personal ID that will allow you to create automatic updates and alerts for new results to saved searches or for new articles on PubMed. This video shows how to create an alert and use NCBI to manage it.
Twitter

Many researchers use Twitter to announce new ideas or studies, or to follow those of others. Follow individual researchers or important associations for very current news.

Some examples of twitter feeds to follow : @NIH@KHNews@WHO@HHSGov@AOA@APHA

Social Research Networks

Many more researchers and students use these to discuss and share research of interest. They commonly provide an open platform that can promote collaboration on projects, may provide a place to post green Open Access articles, and always aim to connect researchers with common interests. They allow you to create an online bibliography of interesting articles and share it with others, as described in this article from Nature. Some also provide assistance with formatting, but their key goal is to assist with organizing and sharing information.

Some examples : ResearchGateMendeleyZotero

Medical News Aggregators 

There are numerous medical news aggregators of sometimes varying quality which offer brief blurbs about notable research. Use them to find out about interesting studies, but then read the actual study before evaluating it. These are not primary sources, but they can help you find out about research with buzz that you might want to explore. 

Some respected examples are : StatScience NewsKaiser Health News

Professional Association Sites 

Many associations for special areas of practice also track ongoing research activities of interest to their topic or their members and may share these on their website - this can be especially helpful for specific disorders or less common areas of specialty.  This information can range from an RSS feed to an open blog to an actual trade publication offering regular updates.

Some examples are : The American Osteopathic Association's HealthWatchThe American Dental Association's ADANews, the Association of Health Care Journalists

Other Networking

Many practitioners in health sciences fields gain much of their information about new practices from :

  • Networking with peers at professional conferences
  • Organization offered Continuing Education (CE) or Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses
  • Organization or university hosted email listservs or closed forums

Create Personal Resource IDs or Accounts

Why Create a Personal Account?

Many online databases and tools offer their best benefits if you create a personal account. Most will allow you to use some of their functions without a personal account, but if you create one, you can save your progress in tutorials; save articles, bookmarks or even notes that you create; save searches or create automatic new-content alerts for yourself; earn CME/CE credits; renew library books, etc. 

Set Up Instructions

  • Login to the resource using your ATSU login and password
    • Note : If the resource is a free resource or has a free version (MendeleyZoteroMy NCBI, etc.), you will be able to later change the associated email address and carry your personal account with you even after graduation
  • Create a personal ID for the resource following its directions
    • Find the option for doing this by clicking on something that would require it - either a folder, a my-account link, save link, etc.
  • Use your ATSU email if an email is required
  • Do not use your ATSU password - that will change regularly, and the one for your personal ID will not. If you use something different, you will be less likely to forget it
 

Later Use Instructions

  • Login using your ATSU login and password
    • Note: Some resources will require this every time; most mobile resources will only require it when your ATSU login and password change
  • Login again using your personal ID for that resource
 

Create a Bookmark or Permanent Link to Library Content

Sometimes it is useful to create a permanent link to a Library resource to be able to share it, to save it for later access, or to include it in course information. However, some typical sources for links will not work well for e-Books or streaming media:

Weak Link Source: Browser Url Do not save the url from the browser after you've open the book from the library site. This is for your current session and will not work again.

Weak Link Source: Google

*sometimes

Do not save the source url you find using Google because it will not include the information to let you login using our proxy.

Exception: If you can use Open Athens to login to the e-Book or Media platform, this can work.

 

Follow these directions to create a permanent link for most Library e-Books or Videos, or contact the Library for assistance.

Short URL to the Catalog for an e-Book or Video

  • Recommended uses: Bookmarks, Mobile Shortcuts

Direct login urls to e-books and videos are long and ugly.  Permanent links to the e-book record in the Library catalog are short and easy, and require only one extra click.

  1. Find the e-Book or Video in the library catalog using the library's e-Books search tab or by clicking on a Library Catalog link
  2. Scroll down to the bottom of the item's record
  3. Right click on the Permanent Link url in the bottom right corner to get a pastable short link
  4. This link will take you to the library record, where you can click to login to the book or video
Image of permanent link url in the bottom right of book record

Long URL for e-Book or Media Direct Links

  • Recommended uses: Canvas or Document links, Bookmarks
  1. Search for the e-book or video using Still OneSearch, the Library Catalog, or the e-Books tab on the Library homepage 
  2. Right-click on the A.T Still Click to Access link below the title
  3. Choose Copy Link Location from the pop-up menu to get a pastable link
  4. This link will ask you to login with the typical ATSU portal login and then take you straight to the item
Image of mouse right clicking book link
Make a Browser Bookmark to an e-Book or Video

To use the long direct link, you must manually create a bookmark 

  1. Open a new tab in your browser
  2. Click to bookmark it
  3. Click to edit the new bookmark
  4. Paste the long direct URL into the correct field and name it

OR


You can create a bookmark to a short library catalog record url with one click

  1. Open the short library catalog record url in a new tab from the permanent link
  2. Create a bookmark
Make a Shortcut on a Tablet or Phone Homescreen to an e-Book or Video
  1. Use your tablet or phone's browser to open the library homepage
  2. Search for the e-Book or Video in the e-Books Tab or the Library Catalog
  3. Scroll down its record to find the Permanent Link url in the bottom right
  4. Click to open it 
  5. Send to the tablet or phone's home screen
    1. iOS Safari
      1. Click the Share share icon in iOS Safari browser icon in the bottom of the browser window 
      2. Click Add to Homescreen
    2. Android Chrome or Firefox
      1. Click to open the browser Menu in the top right corner
      2. Click Add to Homescreen
      3. In Firefox, open the Page submenu, then click Add to Homescreen
e-Book Chapter Permanent Links

See section on creating a permanent link to an Article or Chapter

Streaming Media Clip Permanent Links If you want to create a link to a clip from a video or to a video that is on a library resource but is not included in the catalog (typically, supplementary content for a book or article), please contact Lora Hanson for assistance. 

There are three useful ways to create permanent links to e-Journals.

Get a stable link to an e-Journal from BrowZine

Browzine is a utility that the Library uses to index all of its full-text journals. 

You can use it to find a link that will always go to the library's e-journal subscription and allow you to login.

  1. Go to the Library's homepage
  2. Find the link that says Browse e-Journals in the Discovery Tools box
  3. Search for the journal by title
  4. Click to open it
  5. Bookmark the journal's Browzine page to always have access to the current issue
  6. It will ask you to login when you click on an article 
Add a journal to your personal Browzine bookshelf to read it on a phone

Browzine will allow you to create a personal account using your ATSU email address. If you do this, you can download it as an app on your tablet or phone and use it as a journal reader. It will allow you to save preferred journals on a bookshelf and show you within the app when there are new articles available. 

  1. Visit the Library's Browzine Guide to learn how to do this
Save a publisher link to a journal ATSU subscribes

ATSU subscribes to some journals directly from the publishers, and some by paying for aggregator database access.  If a journal is subscribed directly from a publisher, you may (or may not) be able to login to it using your normal ATSU login. If you can do that, you can save the publisher link as a bookmark.

  1. To investigate this, visit the journal's publisher page 
  2. Click to login
  3. Look for either an Open Athens or Institutional login option
    1. If you see both, select Open Athens. This is the Library's proxy service
    2. If it asks you to select your institution from a list, select A.T. Still University
  4. Try to login using your ATSU login and password
  5. If it works, you can save the journal's main url as a bookmark and be able to use it
  6. Feel free to ask the library for help figuring this out 
Article Permanent Links
  1. See the section on articles for this information

It is very simple to get a link to a specific library database. 

However, some typical sources for links will not work well:

Bad Link Source: Browser Url Do not save the url from the browser. This is temporary for your current session and will not work again.

Bad Link Source: Google

*sometimes

Do not save the source url you find using Google because it will not include the information to let you login using our proxy.

Exception: If you can use Open Athens to login to the resource, this can work.

Instead, use this method.

Database Permanent Links
  1. Click on the Databases link in the Discovery Tools box on the library homepage
  2. Search for the database by name or browse for it by subject
  3. Right-click on the database link after it appears to copy it
Make a Browser Bookmark to an e-Book

To bookmark a database, you must manually create a bookmark 

  1. Open a new tab
  2. Click to bookmark it
  3. Click to edit the new bookmark
  4. Paste the long direct URL you got from the Databases index on the library homepage into the correct field and name it
Get a Mobile App for a Database

Some databases have mobile apps that you can use.

  1. Find them on the Library's Mobile App Guide.

Sometimes it is useful to create a permanent link to an article or chapter to be able to share it, to save it for later access, or to include it in course information. However, some typical sources for links will NOT work:

Bad Link Source: Browser Url Do not save the url from the browser. This is temporary for your current session and will not work again.

Bad Link Source: Google

*sometimes

Do not save the source url you find using Google because it will not include the information to let you login using our proxy.

Exception: If you can use Open Athens to login to the resource, this can work.

Some of our resources will create a direct link to an article for you. Others will require you to manually add our proxy string to an article or chapter's base URL.

Follow these directions to create a permanent link for most Library articles, or contact the Library for assistance.

The Easy Way - Still OneSearch

Still OneSearch, the Library's discovery service, will allow you to tables of contents, full-text, abstracts, and other records for journal articles and book content. Each record in this tool will allow you to create a permalink to it, which will allow you or your students to visit it and either read the html version or click to download a pdf.

  1. Search for the article or chapter using Still OneSearch from the Library homepage
  2. Click on the article record to open its abstract
  3. Click the Permalink link in the lower right part of the screen
  4. A link will appear on the screen right above the article title
  5. Copy it
  6. Paste it into your document

Image of an article in Still OneSearch with the permalink button clicked

Direct links to journal article full-text publisher pages or pdfs

Most journal articles or book chapters will allow you to make a direct link by adding the library's proxy string to them.

  1. Add this proxy link to an article or chapter's url: ​
    https://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=1&proxy=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.openathens.net%2Fredirector%2Fatsu.edu%3Furl%3D&target= 
  2. Clean up the link by taking care to remove any extra spaces
  3. Example: 
    1. Add the proxy url to this article url: https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMp2011418
    2. To form this usable url : 
      https://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=1&proxy=https%3A%2F%2Fgo.openathens.net%2Fredirector%2F atsu.edu%3Furl%3D&target=https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMp2011418
Exceptions

A few resources do not like Open Athens (example: UpToDate), and require a different type of link. You can find usable links using Still OneSearch or ask the Library staff for assistance. 

UpToDate Accounts & Access

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How to Filter Email by Sender/Subject

Nearly everyone receives too many mass emails. It can be very useful to get updates from your favorite databases or journals when new articles appear; or to receive notices about research tips, grants or events; or newsletters. It can also swamp your inbox. 

ATSU uses an email system provided by Gmail, which means that you can use a mix of filters, labels and folders to stash or trash those emails as they arrive if they have consistent subject headings or senders.

 

Find Filter Option
  • Select a mass email
  • Click on the three dots at the right side of the menu bar above the email
  • Click on Filter messages like these
Filter Based on Subject or Sender
  • It will display a form with different fields. By default, it will filter the sending address of your selected message. 
    • If you want to filter ALL messages from this source, keep it as is
    • If you want to filter a series of messages with a consistent subject line, enter the part of the subject line that is consistent on the correct line
    • If you want to filter the Library research tip emails, enter ATSU Library Research Tip on the subject line 
  • Click Create filter
Create Filter Conditions & Label
  • Select Conditions and Actions for your Filter
  • If you wish to do anything other than delete the messages, add an existing or create a new Label
  • The Label will act as a Folder which will appear on the left side of your inbox
  • Click Create filter to label this and future emails that meet your conditions

Gmail Filter Conditions menu with label inset

Send Emails to Folders Bypassing Inbox
  • Check the Skip the inbox (archive it) option
    • You will not see these emails in your primary inbox
    • They WILL appear when you click on the folder with the label you applied
    • You will see an unread email count next to your folders when new ones arrive
Send Emails Straight to the Trash
  • Check Delete it to automatically delete all emails like this one in the future
Label Multiple Emails Inside of Inbox 
  • Check Apply the label without adding other conditions
  • You can also manually apply a label to a single open email by clicking the Label icon above the message
Apply Filter to all Older Emails
  • Enter your conditions
  • Check Also apply filter to matching messages
Updating or Deleting Filters
  • Click on the Settings gear icon in the top right of your inbox
  • Select Settings from its menu
  • Click on Filters and Blocked Addresses at the top menu
  • Edit or delete your filters