Who offers what to whom: A guide to library services for BC physicians

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 43 , No. 6 , July August 2001 , Pages 349 College Library

This column describes choices for library services for BC physicians. Many organizations collaborate with the College Medical Library Service (MLS) and share responsibility for meeting your needs.

UBC libraries

Approximately 1500 of the College’s 8500 practising members have clinical appointments at UBC and enjoy access to the riches provided by the UBC Library. However, UBC encourages self-service—no free searches and no free articles unless you come in person. UBC emphasizes licences to electronic resources such as MDConsult, STAT!Ref, Harrison’s Online, and the OVID interface to various databases, including MEDLINE, PsycInfo, Excerpta Medica, the Cochrane Library, and Best Evidence—see the Life Sciences Library web site (www.library.ubc.ca/life) for details, especially the “Ebook” and “Full text e-journals” pages, or call (604) 822-4440. OVID access through UBC offers, from citations retrieved, links to full-text articles. Unfortunately, these links are offered only for a minority of journals. From major teaching hospitals, access is relatively straightforward. Many in more remote locations have successfully set up access via the proxy server (www.library.ubc.ca/home/proxyinfo/), but some technical difficulties have been encountered. As always, the UBC collection is accessible by request to the MLS. We visit UBC regularly to photocopy articles and, more recently, print articles available only electronically via public workstations. The MLS provides free searches of the same databases as offered by UBC—is it better to do the search yourself or have it performed by an MLS librarian?

College of Family Physicians of Canada

Many College members are also members of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and enjoy privileges with the Canadian Library of Family Medicine. Members receive 25 articles and one literature search free each year. Their web site (www.uwo.ca/fammed/clfm) gives access and more details, or call (519) 661-3170. In October 2000, the CFPC, collaborating with the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and ScotiaBank, established the Canadian Doctor’s Network via webmd.ca, which includes the full text of Scientific American Medicine and CFPC patient handouts.

Canadian Medical Association

As members of the BCMA, a majority of BC physicians are members of the CMA. The CMA has licensed access to OVID, the premier interface to MEDLINE, and MDConsult—see cma.ca/osler. Unfortunately, unlike UBC and other local hospital OVID offerings, links from citations to full-text articles are not available through the CMA interface—journal publishers seem reluctant to allow such access via a national organization. Also, the CMA has been unable to provide access to the evidence-based medicine databases such as Cochrane and Best Evidence. The CMA Infobase at cma.ca/cpgs effectively organizes Canadian practice guidelines and makes the full text of many available on the web. Call 800 663-7336, local 2255 for more information on the CMA Library.

BC health libraries

Hospital libraries across the province are primary sources of information for many BC physicians. They act as immediate, local points of access to the medical literature. We support these libraries, providing article copies and book loans, from UBC libraries as well as our own, and aiding in book selection. All librarians have access to MDConsult through accounts provided by MLS. More recently, we have been collaborating with hospital librarians in training physicians in information retrieval via the Internet. As well as hospital libraries, the MLS works with other BC health libraries such as those at the WCB and Ministry of Health. We encourage you to patronize your local library. See our web site under Hot Links for contact information for BC health libraries.

Medical Library Service

Finally, there is the MLS, supported by all BC physicians through College dues. We ensure that all physicians across the province have access to quality library services and try to pull it all into one coherent picture. Requests for documents not available online can be requested electronically via the MLS—for details, see our web site (www.cpsbc.ca/learning/fulltext.htm). As well as the organizations described above, BC physicians can, through the MLS, access libraries nationally and internationally to obtain documents and information. See our web site at www.cpsbc.ca for our view of the world—or contact us by phone (604) 733-6671, fax (604) 737-8582, or e-mail medlib@mls.cpsbc.ca. We would like to hear from you, either directly or through our collaborators.

—Jim Henderson, Director, 
Medical Library ServiceCollege of Physicians & Surgeons of BC

Jim Henderson. Who offers what to whom: A guide to library services for BC physicians. BCMJ, Vol. 43, No. 6, July, August, 2001, Page(s) 349 - College Library.



Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.


For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit www.icmje.org

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

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