Welcome to the Biomedical Library! This page is intended to help you get started using the library. You'll visit the Biomedical Library as part of your orientation, but if you have a question in the meantime and don't find the answer here, please contact us!
The Biomedical Library is at the School of Medicine, directly west of the Biomedical Sciences Building. It offers a graduate study room available 24 hrs a day -- come check out all the great study spaces! Group study rooms within the library are reservable up to 2 days in advance.
The libraries, along with many other campus buildings, have wireless Internet access so you can be mobile. You just need a WiFi (802.11b/g/n) card for your laptop. Sign on as guest ("coffee house" access) or register for the "UCSD Protected" network to access all the library resources. For details, see the ACMS Wireless Overview.
Your Personal Librarian
As you enter medical school, each of you will each be matched with a "personal librarian," a Biomedical Library librarian who will help you throughout the next four years. Personal librarians can help you with everything from research questions to database questions to policy and procedure information. They will also contact you periodically to let you know about new library resources and services, and other developments. You will receive your first communication from your personal librarian in the latter half of August.
Your UCSD photo ID card will be your library card and the barcode on the back is your library card number. With this number and your PIN (see "Roger" below), you can place a request for a checked out book and be on the waiting list for when it is returned, or you can request books from other San Diego libraries or even other UC libraries. You can also manage your library account online including renewing books or checking items you have through interlibrary loan.
Access from Home
Much of our library collections are now available online - thousands of electronic journals, books, databases, image resources, etc., -- almost everything -- is available from home if you set up your home computer for "remote access." You'll be able to do this when you get your username and password for UCSD e-mail.
See Access From Home for instructions for proxy setting for the browser you prefer to use or for instructions on installing the VPN.
We have materials on reserve for classes in the School of Medicine, School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences, and Biological Sciences. We have both print and electronic reserves. You can find out what is on reserve and, for print reserves, where it's located through our Reserves Website, reserves.ucsd.edu. Note: the reserves site is one that's restricted to current UCSD users, so from off-campus the link probably will not work for you until you are able to use remote access as outlined above.
Your personal librarian or any one of our librarians are available to help you with your research or other library related questions.
Here are some of the services we offer:
Have a specific question? Need help getting started with a search or finding something? Our reference desk is open weekdays, 9am - 4:00 pm. You can come in or call us at (858) 534-1201. We also take reference questions by e-mail or via IM (see details at our Ask a Librarian page).
If you need more in-depth research assistance, arrange a consultation appointment with a librarian. We can meet at the library or someplace else on campus. We have a Consultation Request Form you can use.
Need to learn a database in-depth? Need help with Microsoft programs like PowerPoint? During the academic year, we offer regularly-scheduled workshops on various topics including: PubMed, managing citations with EndNote or RefWorks, PowerPoint, and other tools. We also arrange for customized classes - if you have a group that wants to learn more about BIOSIS, drug information sources, eXtreme Googling, or some other topic, we can do that.
Getting Started With Searching
We have a huge number of biomedical databases at UCSD. These are the two most important ones:
This is the UCSD Libraries catalog. It lists all the books, journals, government documents, audiovisuals and other materials owned at all the UCSD Libraries. Once you have your ID card and are activated in our system, you can set up a PIN number in the Roger system; then you can also see what you have out, renew books and place requests for books already checked out. Highly recommended!
At the University of California, we use PubMed for our MEDLINE service. PubMed provides access to the biomedical journal article literature going back to the 1940s. We work with the creators of PubMed to include links to our electronic journals - looks for the UC-eLinks button with the abstract. Find the special link to PubMed from QuickLinks on our homepage. PubMed is such a key database that we have a whole page on our Website devoted to it - you can find the handouts we give out in PubMed classes, more information about getting full-text articles from PubMed searches etc. See biomed.ucsd.edu/pubmed/.
Not Sure Where to Start?
Check out the suggested resources from our online collection of helpful guides.
Tips for success
Get good at PubMed
This will be your main literature search tool during your time at UCSD and probably beyond. At some point in your first year, you should make a point of learning how PubMed really works and how to get your hands on the articles you find. We can show you lots of tricks for getting to the "good stuff" quickly. Don't forget though, PubMed isn't the answer to everything and whether you're looking for genetics, drug information, ethics, law or policy, we'll be able to help you find the right tool for the job.
Don't put off searches
Although UCSD has a great collection, we don't have everything. If you discover the best article on your topic is not here, you'll need to request it on Interlibrary Loan. Those requests usually take a week, so it's best not to put off your search til the last minute - you might run out of time.