Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences Survey: the Results


In February 2018, subject librarian Richard Fallis surveyed Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences students and staff to gauge which library resources they value most.

Over 200 users responded – thank you to everyone who took the time to do so.

Respondents identified the following 5 library resources as being most important to their research or studies:

  1. ScienceDirect journals
  2. Wiley journals
  3. Springer journals
  4. Ovid MEDLINE
  5. Oxford University Press journals

The survey also asked about the reference management preferences of students and staff. While almost 25% of respondents indicated that they use RefWorks, over 50% said they prefer other options, with Mendeley proving the single most popular reference management tool.

Various comments were made about library resources. These are summarised below, along with the library’s response.

If you have any questions, or additional comments you wish to make, please email Richard Fallis:

“The library doesn’t subscribe to a number of key journals”

Most of the journals mentioned by respondents are actually available. They are listed below, along with links to their library catalogue records.

Other journals mentioned were the Journal of Glaucoma, International Journal of Gynaecological Cancer, Cancer Discovery, and Nature Reviews Urology. While the library is not currently in a position to subscribe to these titles, they will be added to our ‘wish list’ of resources and we will explore subscribing to them in future, should extra funds become available.

“Can the library subscribe to SPORTDiscus?”

The library’s subscription to SPORTDiscus was cancelled a number of years ago due to low usage. However, if you consider this an essential resource, please contact Richard Fallis to get it added to the library’s resource ‘wish list.’

“Why doesn’t the library support journal manager apps like QxMD?”

While we don’t offer institutional support for journal manager or curation apps, this is an area we hope to move into presently. However, there is currently no precise timescale for this.

“How do I access PubMed?”

PubMed can be accessed, for free, by Googling for it, or by going to: This version will generally only connect you to the full text of articles if they are freely available via the internet.

An alternative version is available by going to or by clicking the PubMed link under P in our Databases A-Z ( This version will connect you to free articles and to the full text of articles in journals subscribed to by the library.

“Can the library provide access to a point of care tool like UpToDate or ClinicalKey?”

We are reviewing our provision of a point of care tool for health service staff in Northern Ireland, and will inform Queen’s users if the outcome of this review has any impact on their current lack of access.

“Does the library support Covidence?” 

While popular among systematic reviewers, Covidence is not currently provided or supported by the library. If you wish to use Covidence, you will need to pay for it as an individual user, or set up a free trial for the duration of your project.

“Most of the articles I need aren’t accessible via Queen’s, especially brand new articles and those in Wiley and Springer journals.”

We do our best, within our budget, to subscribe to as many key journals as possible. However, it is not financially feasible for us to make every journal available. Also, publisher-imposed embargoes may prevent us from providing direct access to the latest articles in a journal.

If any key journals are missing from the library’s subscriptions, please provide Richard Fallis with specific details so that he can add it to the library’s resource ‘wish list.’

In the meantime, you can request articles from missing or embargoed journals using our Inter-Library Loan service:

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