for the latest in UAB resources

Elsevier Expo on March 4, 2015

The UAB Libraries invite you to attend the Elsevier Expo on Wednesday, March 4, 2015. There will be two sessions available during the day with identical research fairs & presentations. The morning session will feature an Embase demonstration while the afternoon session will feature a Knovel demonstration.

Morning Session @ Lister Hill Library

  • 9 AM to 12 PM – Research Fair  Drop by to learn more about Science Direct, Scopus, Embase, Knovel, and Mendeley.
  • 9:30 to 10:30 AM – Featured Resource Demonstration – Room 164   Attend a demonstration to learn more about the Embase biomedical database.
  • 11 AM to 12 PM – Content Expansion Presentation – Room 164   Attend a presentation to learn more about the expanded Elsevier content available through the UAB Libraries.

Afternoon Session @ Sterne Library

  • 2 PM to 5 PM  – Research Fair   Drop by to learn more about Science Direct, Scopus, Embase, Knovel, and Mendeley.
  • 2 PM to 3 PM  – Featured Resource Demonstration – Room 174    Attend a demonstration to learn more about the Knovel engineering product.
  • 3 PM to 4 PM – Content Expansion Presentation – Room 174     Attend a presentation to learn more about the expanded Elsevier content available through the UAB Libraries.

ScienceDirect is a leading full-text collection of peer-reviewed articles and chapters from more than 2,000 journals and 30,000 books in the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and humanities. ScienceDirect provides sophisticated search and retrieval tools, browsable tables of contents, and links to external audio, video, datasets, and job postings. Users may register for an account to personalize settings, save searches, create alerts, and read articles on mobile devices and zoom in on images without compromising quality.

Scopus is a large abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed scientific literature including journals, books, and conference proceedings. Scopus delivers a comprehensive overview of the world’s research output in the fields of science, technology, medicine, social sciences, and humanities and features smart tools to track, analyze, and visualize research.

Embase is a biomedical and pharmacologic database with extensive international journal and conference coverage. It is useful for comprehensive or systematic literature reviews, supporting effective evidence-based practice and in drug and medical device tracking. Embase includes in-depth coverage of pharmacology, pharmaceutics, and toxicology.

Knovel is a cloud-based application integrating technical information from over 100 content providers including AASHTO, ASTM International, CRC Press, SAE International, and SPIE with analytical and search tools to deliver answers for engineers.

Mendeley is a free reference manager and academic social network for organizing documents, collaborating with others online, and discovering the latest research.

The APA Citation Help You Needed Yesterday!

Remember the feeling you had yesterday, or last week, when you were struggling to figure out what to do with all the citations in your paper?  You were frustrated and running out of time and you had no idea how much time it would take to format you paper & all those citations in the text & on the References page.  And you were maybe more worried about your citations than you were about what you actually wrote in your paper???  It’s a lot of work & stress, right?

…well, it doesn’t really have to be.  Here’s some help–keep it handy for next time.

The only APA tools that you’ll ever need:

  1. Perhaps the most important of them all: The APA Style Guide for Electronic References, 6th edition.  (It’s available online!!!)
    • Whether on or off campus, you’ll have to enter your Blazer ID & Password in order to open it.
    • This book has most of everything that you need in order to format a citation.  It’s easy to navigate with a hyperlinked table of contents–no flipping through the pages!
  2. A nice guide with great examples from the University of Northern Michigan:  APA Reference Style Guide
  3. Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
    • Printed Copies available on the 1st floor of Lister Hill:  WZ 345 AM350p 2010
  4. Purdue OWL, aka OWL
    • This might be the most widely used and respected online resource for APA guidance.
  5. The LHL Citing Sources Guide

    • This guide covers APA, AMA, ASA, MLA, NLM, & Vancouver.
    • It defines what a reference is AND covers how to read a citation–understanding how to read a citation from the start could help you understand how to format the ones for you paper. —Wouldn’t you like to be able to look at a citation and know if it’s a book or an article?  Just think how cool your friends will think you are!  …They’re going to think you’re cool.
  6. The LHL APA: Formatting Your Paper Guide.  
    • Includes this step-by-step guide for physically formatting your document.
    • Plenty of examples on how to cite articles, book, websites, and when there is no author or when there is a corporate author.
  7. The Official APA Style Blog.
    • This is a great tool for the newest forms of media.  And for info that might not necessarily be evident in the APA Style book.  For example, this post on how to use first person: “Me, Me, Me”: How to Talk About Yourself in an APA Style Paper.
    • The blog discussions of these rules speak to the fluidity of citation styling–things change–how we create information, how we retrieve information, how we use information–and we must adapt.
  8. Need to find a DOI?   Use Crossref.org.
    • Not every article ever published has a DOI.  If there is one, CrossRef.org will let you know what it is.
  9. Have a DOI but nothing else?  Use DOI.org.
  10. EndNote:
    • Learn how to use it.  Streamline your citation & PDF collection and use Cite While You Write.  It makes your life a whole lot easier.

5 tips for understanding citation rules:

  1. Read the stuff around the examples!  That stuff explains how to understand the examples, and explains what to do when there are exceptions.
  2. Sometimes it’s not the citation that needs correcting, but your research or writing.  If you are citing the same source over and over you either need to:
    • Gather more source material (get back to the databases)
    • Paraphrase.  Go to Purdue OWL for tips.
  3. There may not be a hard-and-fast rule for the resource you’re citing.  You may need to combine 2 or 3 rules together.
    • Be able to explain why you cited a source the way you did–make educated arguments for the sources that don’t fit into standard citation rules.
    • If you’re still unsure, send your best educated guess to your professor for review.
  4. Give yourself enough time to format everything properly.  If you do this, you’ll cut your panic time in half!
  5. When you need to make sure you’re on the right track:  Ask-A-Librarian.  We won’t provide you with a definitive answer, but we will guide you to examples & try to help you figure out what to do when you run in to those strange sources…those online summaries of books with no author and no date ….yeah, those.  😉

Women’s Health Resources

National Women’s Health Week was May 11-17. During this week the Office on Women’s Health campaigned for women to take ownership in their own healthcare, health knowledge, and most importantly, encourage women to make their health a priority.

Lister Hill Library, Mervyn H. Sterne Library, the UAB Graduate School and The Edge of Chaos are all doing their part to help promote the issues that surround women’s health.  Thanks to a grant funded by the National Library of Medicine,  faculty, students, researchers, healthcare providers, and everyone you know will find our guide on Women’s Health Resources valuable.


For live links to these resources, go to our News Letter: http://eepurl.com/V-ZXz


Library Liaisons: Every bit as fancy as we sound

If you know who your Lister Hill Library Liaison is then you already know that:

  • Library liaisons keep you informed:  We send out notifications informing faculty and staff about relevant database trials, services and invitations to events.
  • Library liaisons pay attention:  Part of our mission is to understand what faculty and staff need to support teaching, research and clinical care.
  • Library liaisons help make the library visible:  Many of us keep office hours outside the library, in common areas within departments to be available to faulty, and at the Learning Resource Center at the School of Health Professions for students.
  • Library liaisons are your biggest fan:  We support you in your endeavors, whether it be an assignment for class or a research grant, and cheer you on every step of the way.

Now, while I’d love to make this post all about us, and go on and on about how smart and innovative we are, I’d be remiss if I didn’t get to the heart of what it means to be a Lister Hill Library Liaison.

Quite honestly, we wouldn’t be this wonderful if it weren’t for the work you do.

Here’s what the liaisons have to say about working with their schools:

School of Health Professions

Susie  Susie Smith:  susanc@uab.edu

Specifically, I think I’m most impressed with:

  • U.S. News & World Report ranks several SHP programs in the nation’s top 25
  • The school is at the top of the list in research funding from the National Institutes of Health for schools of its type and has been either first or second in funding received since 1969.

I get to see examples of these high-quality SHP programs on a day-to-day basis and consider myself extremely lucky to be the liaison to SHP.

See also: The School of Health Professions Guide & The School of Health Professions Blog

Liaison to the Graduate Biomedical Sciences & Joint Health Sciences Departments  &

Interim Liaison to the School of Dentistry

Lee  Lee Vucovich:  lvucovi@uab.edu

On the School of Dentistry:   The School of Dentistry is nationally known for it’s contributions to practice-based research.  I love to see this important work translated into the engaged, happy, and dedicated dentistry students who I see almost every day, in their scrubs, studying and researching at Lister Hill.

See also: The School of Dentistry Guides

On the Joint Health Sciences:  ….I could go on forever!

Faculty and scientists in the Graduate Biomedical Sciences and the Joint Health Science Departments explore, develop and share knowledge that truly does change our world.

  • According to the 2012 survey of The Best Places to Work for Postdocs conducted by The Scientist, UAB was 1st among all public universities nationwide and 16th among all universities surveyed.
  • Faculty are ranked 10th nationally for scholarly productivity (scientific publications, grants, awards) in overall biomedical sciences, Chronicles of Higher Education
  • The 28 UAB Research Centers involve communities of faculty scientists, graduate and postdoctoral trainees and staff with common research interests, who collaborate in scientific research projects, participate in common seminars, journal clubs, retreats or symposia, and share common resources and core facilities.
  • UAB ranks No. 20 in funding from the NIH and No. 30 in total federal research funding among academic institutions.

Additionally, approximately 400 graduate students in the Graduate Biomedical Sciences community participate in eight interdisciplinary themes that integrate more than 33 departments, 20 university research centers and affiliated drug-discovery and biotechnology institutes.

See also: The Joint Health Sciences Guides & The Joint Health Sciences blog

Expert Search Consultant,

working with School of Dentistry

Carolyn  Carolyn Holmes:  carolynholmes@uab.edu

They are the most energetic group of people I’ve ever seen.  It’s amazing to work with them. 



School of Medicine

Pat  Pat Higginbottom:  phiggin@uab.edu

Two of the most fun things related to my students are Match Day & the Best in Medicine Show.  I love to see them succeed when they’ve worked so hard for so many years, and I love to see them cut loose and have fun.

See also: The School of Medicine Guide



School of Nursing

   Jill Deaver:  jilld@uab.edu

The School of Nursing does so many amazing things, but one thing that constantly impresses me is the level of support the faculty give their students.  The faculty set high expectations for their students and they make the students work hard, but they are right there with them, helping to pull the weight.

I really hit the liaison jackpot with UAB’s School of Nursing.  At every level, from the faculty down to the undergraduate students, this group is not shy about their love of librarians!

School of Optometry

 NicolePic Nicole Mitchell:  anmitch@uab.edu

A new tradition was started this month by the 4th year OD students who wear sport coats to clinic on Fridays. The Dean rewards them with a UAB Blazer lapel pin to proclaim “Blazer Friday” at the School of Optometry.

I also really enjoy the Halloween costume contest—faculty, staff, and students all participate and it has become an annual tradition.

See also: The Optometry News and Notes Blog

School of Public Health

Kay Kay Smith: khogan@uab.edu

That the SoPH dean, Max Michael, is running for a county commission seat in order to address the Cooper Green fiasco!

MichaelAND Michael Fitts:  fitts@uab.edu

I feel blessed to have an opportunity to not only teach but to learn from the students, faculty and staff of the School of Health Professions.  I also love the fact that we constantly get the opportunity to meet new people and get to share with them everything the library has to offer.  We meet their needs by connecting and partnering, adding value to both SoPH and Lister Hill.    

Now that you know who your liaison is, what are you waiting for?  Get in touch! 

You might be surprised how we can help.

The Joanna Briggs Institute Database: Quick Answers to the Clinical Bottom Line

Default search box

The default search box for JBI.

Equally geared toward practitioners and researchers, the Joanna Briggs Institute Database might not seem very flashy, but it has a lot of muscle.

For anyone working on the front lines–nurse practitioners, registered nurses, nursing assistants–the JBI can help locate evidence-based information sheets and practice recommendations fast.  The details of the results can be skimmed and saved easily–maybe even by the time the next alarm goes off.


Looking up Recommended Practices is quick with the JBI database–look for JBI Database PDF to open the full document.


Publication type is clearly label under the title of the document. Clicking on JBI Database PDF will pull up the full document.

For nursing students the JBI database is definitely worth placing in your arsenal of databases among PubMed, CINAHL and Scopus.  For any assignment requiring an extensive search of the literature, focusing on EBP,  a JBI Evidence Summary can help jumpstart your literature search, or help fill in gaps after combing through PubMed & CINAHL.

You can simultaneously export multiple findings to EndNote from the results list.   You have the option to set up a personal account within JBI.  An account lets you save search history, organize and save findings into projects–keeping your research organized the way you want it.

JBI Content

These content types are clearly labeled under the the title of the publication–see the image above for an example. Searches can also be filtered for specific types–look for the Publication Type filter in the menu to the left.

Access off campus requires a Blazer ID & Password.



Feel Better about this Semester with LHL’s Express Training Clinics

Juggling the work

Not only do we have obligations to our chosen fields and majors in the way of research and writing, attending class, publishing and turning in assignments (not to mention making these contributions significant), but we also have to learn the technologies that make it all possible and manageable.  We need to know where to find information and then also how to dig it out of any number of databases.  And we need to know how to collect it, how to use it, and how to put it into the right style format.  When you add it up, that’s something like a million skills to learn.

It is a lot to juggle, but if you have an hour to spare on a Thursday morning, there are reference librarians eager to discuss, teach, and advise you on developing these skills.

What to expect at a LHL Express Training Clinic

The LHL Express Training Clinics for Spring 2014 cover everything from getting off on the right foot with your assignment, to learning search strategies for Scopus & Google Scholar, to writing a literature review, and yes–much, much more!

Maybe you’ve heard of EndNote?  And wished you had the time to learn it…well, there’s a clinic for that. Put it on your calendar for April 3 or April 17.  Are you expected to write a literature review? Make some time on March 6.

EndNote Class online

This is from a recorded session on EndNote Online, available in the Express Training guide.
Watch it anytime!

Need more incentive to come in besides learning something useful?

Well, you get to hang out with us!  If that’s not enough, we have free coffee & snacks for you.  Just stop by LHL between 9:00-11:00 and bring whatever it is you’re working on.  You’ll get specific advice and walk out the door feeling better about the things you need to do.

[See Also: The LHL Express Training Guide for more schedule details and listen to past recorded sessions.  And if you have any questions about Express Training, or want to suggest a class, let us know!]



2013: A Year of (Re)Source

December: Season’s Greetings! 


November:   EndNote

EndNote features, style changesEndNote is a bibliographic software that you can download to your computer for free (if you’re a student, faculty, or staff member of UAB).  This software allows you to organize and collect citations and PDFs as you find them, whether they are found on the web, or in one of LHL’s many resources.  You can also choose and adjust citation styles with the click of a button with Cite While You Write.  EndNote can save you a lot of time and effort when working on big projects.

EndNote also offers EndNote Web (a cloud-based version) and the EndNote for iPad app.  All three of the programs can be synced, making EndNote available wherever you are.  (Go to October’s post.)

October:  Ask a Librarian Chat

AskALibrarianThe Ask a Librarian chat service, provided by the LHL reference team, is one of our most convenient, popular services.  With an average of 8 seconds to respond to your chat, we answer your questions fast and efficiently.  So say “Hi” and ask your question–we’ll guide you to the answer.  (Go to September’s post.)

September:  Visual DX

DifferentialBuilder Visual DX is a beauty of a database.  It holds over 100,000 high-quality, peer-reviewed images that can aid clinicians and students alike.  The database is easy to navigate on your desktop and mobile device.  (Go to August’s post.)

July/August:  Women’s Health Resources

Nikki's PreziThe month of July was dedicated to Women’s Health.  The three posting highlighted The National Library of Medicine’s resources, The National Institutes of Health online course, The Science of Sex and Gender in Human Health, and Lister Hill Library’s Libguide for Women’s Health Resources.

June:  Anatomy.TV

RegionalShoulderDissection,AnatTVAnatomy.TV is a high quality student resource and clinical tool.  It produces medically accurate 3D images of human anatomy.  Along with animated, interactive images Anatomy.TV offers videos demonstrating real-life images of human body movement.  With the use of cadavers, real-life videos of internal movement, in a “how things work” type tutorial.  (Go to June’s post.)

In addition to the intriguing images curated in Anatomy.TV, sub-posts this month feature Anatomy-inspired works of art, old and modern.


May: UCentral

UCentral 2The UCentral app (compatible with iOS & Android) from Unbound Medicine searches MEDLINE and the Johns Hopkins  ABX Guide.  To set up the app, you’ll need to be on campus.  If you are one of our many distance-education students, contact the reference department for a license number.

UAB’s Article Linker button is also featured within the app, which can link you to full text articles. (Go to May’s post.)

April:  EndNote for iPad

EN 2The EndNote for iPad will sync with the EndNote software on your computer and your EndNote Web accounts.  You can attach PDFs to an EndNote record from anywhere, including a Dropbox account.  (Go to April’s post.)


March:  Express Training Videos on Vimeo

VimeoThe Express Training workshops this year, led by Lister Hill Librarians, covered topics from Finding Full Text, to EndNote, to searching PubMed, Scopus & CINAHL.  Understanding that sometimes people need a refresher course after a workshop, the librarians began posting the online Express Training classes on vimeo.

These recorded classes are still available on our Express Training @ LHL Guide.  (Go to April’s post.)

February:  DynaMed

DynaMed 1Click through sections quickly for the information you need.  DynaMed offers general information, diagnosis, treatment guidelines, ICD-9 & ICD-10 codes, and more. (Go to February’s post.)

January:  Clinical Key

CK 3In January we replaced MD Consult with Clinical Key.  This resource is primarily intended for medical and surgical specialties, but all the health sciences can benefit from the extensive ebook and journal coverage.  (Go to January’s post)

Cut the Clatter & Noise of Academic Writing with EndNote & EndNote Online

Allow me a metaphor:  You’re in a hip, noisy restaurant full of people talking, ordering, laughing, shouting to be heard, and generally having a great time.  Mixed up in all of these conversations is the constant clatter of silverware on plates and glasses, and chairs moving across a slick floor; from the kitchen, you can also hear the chef berating the entire cook line and the wait staff.  At your table is a group of like-minded people having a really interesting conversation about a topic that you all care about.  You want to join in, but you’re not sure how to do that since you can hardly hear what’s being said.  Wouldn’t it be great if you could organize the sound in the room so that you could hear your own thoughts, hear the conversation at your table, join in, and also enjoy the ambiance of the restaurant?

Well, if paper-writing is the noisy restaurant, EndNote is your way of organizing the clatter of articles, citations and style rules that are inherent of scholarly writing.  With EndNote, you can focus on the most important aspects of joining the on-going academic conversation: YOUR IDEAS and CONTRIBUTIONS!

EndNote features, style changes

Inside EndNote, at a glance. Click to enlarge.

How EndNote & EndNote Online help your paper-writing process

Among many other helpful features, EndNote software will allow you to:

  • import citations, as you find them, from research databases and search engines
  • store citations in groups by topic, class, assignments, or area of study
  • insert in-text citations and bibliography in Microsoft Word, with the Cite While You Write Tool, in the bibliographic style of your choice.  In the words of a first-year dentistry student during a recent demonstration of EndNote: “OK.  That’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.  Ever.”
  • find and attach full-text PDFs to their corresponding EndNote records, keeping everything in one secure place
  • sync citations between EndNote Online (the cloud version) and EndNote (the software version)
  • search and annotate PDFs
  • upload folders of PDFs already collected on your desktop
  • working on a group project?  Share your citations with your group.

EndNote with EndNote basic

Why two EndNotes?  EndNote lives on your machine, while EndNote Online is a web-based version that lives in the cloud.  You can easily sync the two programs.  If you choose to use EndNote Online with EndNote, you get the best of both products. You’ll have the ability to:

  1. Access your library of references from any computer with Internet access
  2. Share groups of references with others. You can give other EndNote Web users the rights to view and/or add to specific groups in your EndNote Web library. If you’re working on group projects, using EndNote with EndNote Online is a must [Student’s should expects to work on a lot of group projects in the near future.  See why in this announcement: UAB’s Next Chapter in the QEP, is Learning in a Team Environment.]

It’s not hard to learn, you just have to start using it

First things first: Download EndNote to your machine, and set up your EndNote Online account.  UAB students and employees* can download EndNote software for free with a Blazer ID & password.  You will need to learn a few things, and you will have questions along the way.  Once you see how it fits into your research & writing process, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.

We have about a dozen ways to help you learn EndNote, and Reference Librarians are always available for questions with ASK A LIBRARIAN chat and email:

Go on, get started with your next assignment!!

A word of encouragement to Undergrads: Join the conversation.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman fresh out of highschool, a Master’s student, a PhD candidate, a professor, or a practicing physician, scholarly writing is difficult.  The task puts pressure on your time, your brain, and your reputation.  So why do we do it??  Because it’s progression in research is important–it’s how the world gets better.  Beginning writers often make the mistake of assuming that paper writing will get easier, and that just isn’t so.  Those same pressures exist with each and every assignment and professional obligation to publish.  There is, however, good news: the more papers you write, the more experience you have in dealing with the long process of mapping out your ideas, gathering information, constructing a hypothesis or thesis, and disciplining yourself to keep to a writing schedule until the paper is submitted.

Using EndNote & EndNote Online can help you keep track of all your research findings in one place.  So, say goodbye to the days of creating folders on your desk top, keeping up with stacks of printed out articles, and trying to find the right PDF in your inbox when they’re all titled “Article for Paper.”  Because if you’re going to be writing big-time scholarship at UAB, you need a reference manager that can handle the type of work you’re producing.

*UAB Health System employees are not included; you may want to try Zotero.  **EndNote Online is in the process of changing their name.  As of this post, the online version of EndNote still reads EndNote basic.

We’re not Bots, we’re Librarians…and awfully chatty these days!


This is the Ask a Librarian chat box that users see. It is all over the LHL website.

Typical scenarios:

An undergraduate nursing student is writing a paper but has never really used PubMed or CINAHL before, a surgeon needs to know if we have a specific article found in the NEJM from 1965, or a member of the community needs information on the side effects of a new drug they’ve been prescribed.

Where do all these people go for help?  They have many options, but more and more, they are chatting in!

Lister Hill Library has been offering an online chat service for almost 10 years.  It may have taken a while to catch on, but today, over half of the reference questions asked come in through the Ask A Librarian Chat.

And the average wait time for your chats to be answered?  8 seconds!  That’s pretty impressive, and I think it says something about  how much we, the LHL Reference Team, enjoy answering your chats.

So what really goes on behind the ASK A LIBRARIAN chat box?

There are 10 of us in the Reference Department–a mix of experienced faculty librarians, associates and assistants.  Monday-Friday between 8am-6pm, there are at least 2-4 of us ready to answer your questions.  At least one librarian is on Sundays between 12pm-8pm.

We’re on a rotating hourly schedule making sure that one person is on, catching all the chats that come in.  Basically, if we’re at our desk, our Chat box is open.  All day long we keep an eye out for chats to pop up on our screens, and we’re paying attention to the questions that are asked.  Paying attention to what you’re asking helps us constantly improve our services and the teaching we do in your classrooms.  (So a big thanks to all of you who chat in!!)

We answer about 20 chats a day, and that number can increase during those times in the semester when projects and papers are due.  In between answering chats, we’re doing any number of things: working with people in person, working on clinical searches, working on preliminary searches in preparation for one-on-one consultations, preparing to teach classes, updating blogs, updating or creating LHL Guides.  It’s multi-tasking at it’s finest!

Typical desktop

So who have you been chatting with?

Meet the LHL Reference Team, your Resource(s) of the month!

No question is too tough for Lee!

Assistant Director for Reference Services: No question is too tough for Lee!

Fastest chatter in the South!  Carolyn is often the first to respond to a chat--she's fast! And an expert clinical searcher.

Carolyn is the fastest chatter in the South! and an expert with clinical searches.

If you've chatted in between 10am-2pm, you're likely chatting with Jack!

If you ever sent a chat between 10am-2pm, you likely chatted with Jack!

Karen is our early-bird.  She's always on a 8am.

Karen is our early-bird. She’s always on a 8am.

Emma is almost always on chat.  She might be our most stylish chatter :)

Emma is almost always on chat.

There's Nicole, with her trusty APA Style Manual...we get a lot of these questions.

There’s Nicole, with her trusty APA Style Manual…we get a lot of these questions.

Pat chats standing up!!

Pat chats standing up!!

Who wouldn't want to chat with Susan?  She really is as friendly as she looks!

Who wouldn’t want to chat with Susan? and she really is as friendly as she looks!


And me, Jill, working on this post, but pausing to answer a chat.

And me, Jill, working on this post, but pausing to answer a chat.








Visual DX makes the question “Does this look right to you?” easy to diagnose


DisualDX Image Example of Urticara, or Hives

When it comes to a resource that is fit for both clinical practice and patient education, VisualDX truly gets it right.  Not every high-quality, peer-reviewed tool is as intuitive and stream-lined as this one is.  With over 100,000 peer-reviewed images, diagnosis is easy to spot.  Dr. Noah Craft, Chief Marketing Officer of DisualDX, in an interview with medGadget this past July had this to say about his product: “We know that visual pattern recognition and processing of visual information is a much more primal brain function that is instinctual and requires less energy but is quite sophisticated.  For instance, we can recognize someone across a room very reliably in 1 second, while recognizing that same person from a paragraph of words would take much longer and may not be as reliable.”

Using the Differential Builder

The Differential Builder makes building a case as easy as selecting items off a menu.  Starting with a simple aspect, as seen in the picture below, you can start building possible diagnoses.  Clicking “Quick Start” will take you step by step, from type of lesion to location of the lesion, to describing the well-being of the patient (ex. patient is not in distress, or patient seems ill) and the rapidity of the occurrence of the symptoms (developed within minutes or hours, or over months or years).  As you build the scenario,  images adjust accordingly.  A detailed synopsis of the diagnosis, Pearls, and a list of linked Differential Diagnoses are accessible by clicking on any image.


VisualDX Differential Builder

Diagnosis search

The Diagnosis Search will search  common terms as easily as their medical counterparts.  One nice feature is that both terms will be displayed together.  VisualDX will refer to the medical term except for in the patient handouts.  Synopses also provide ICD codes, references, and a list of associated findings such as signs, medications, exposures, medical history, and more.


Results of Chicken Pox search, notice the easy access to differential changes and the Patient Handouts.


Medication adverse events

Search by medication to view adverse conditions that may be caused by a specific drug. Results provide images of medication-induced eruptions and include literature evidence documenting each association, as well as management and therapy guidelines.  As shown in the picture below, evidence is at-the-ready.  With a few clicks, you can link out to PubMed where you can follow the UAB Article Linker to the full text.

Images also come with list evidence-based literature

Images also come with list evidence-based literature

Patient Handouts

If you’re using VisualDX in a clinical setting, the images can aid in patient education.  Patients may feel a sense of ownership in their healthcare if they are able to see the similarities of their condition with the images indexed in VisulDX–they may even feel more confident in the diagnosis.  Patient handouts are available for most diagnoses; these can be printed or emailed.  The take-home pages can empower patients with a better understanding of their own condition.  The self-care guidelines will help patients remember what to do, and what not to do, once they get home.

Patient Pages, chicken pox

Easy-to-read Patient Handouts



VisualDX offers self-study supplements in 5 lessons.  The lessons themselves are not in-depth but do offer some interactive elements that some first-year students may find helpful.


LernDerm Educational Supplements

Explore VisualDX for yourself!

VisualDX can be access through Lister Hill Library’s databases.  Students and practitioners of Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Diagnostics, Family & Community medicine, Pediatrics, to name a few, will find many uses for VisualDX.  Students of Clinical.  Off-Campus access will require a Blazer ID and password.

As always ASK A LIBRARIAN if you need help and let us know what you think of VisualDX!!


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