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Tools for Physicians: Home

This module aims to collect, in one place, resources that most physicians use quite often.

Tools for Physicians

EBM resources/services collected from various resources by SML Librarians and displayed in one location:

SML EBM resources that provide critically appraised topics:

Additional SML EBM resources that you can search for EBM items:

Learn more about EBM:


To locate clinical practice guidelines look at individual agencies/organizations, and in addition search:

Moreover, Medline, PubMed and Embase have limits in the 'publication types' such as 'guidelines' and 'practice guidelines' that can be added to a particular topic to limit retrieval to guidelines.

Use one or more of below resources to find scholarly articles that talk about a particular medical topic:

  • Medline: an index of 5600 journals in medicine & medical sciences, content very similar to PubMed          
  • PubMed@SML: a formatted PubMed that directly links many AUB subscribed articles to their full-text          
  • Embase: an international database like Medline/Pubmed, indexes around 1500 journals not in PubMed
  • Clinical Key: searches for articles, books, guidelines, clinical procedures, drug info etc...
  • TOXNET: access to many resources on toxicology, hazardous chemicals etc...
  • NCBI Resources: access to many biomedical and genomic resources
  • CAB Direct: for applied life sciences topics also includes Global Health which is mainly about public health

Additional resources that might be used to look up articles:

Remember many more resources are available, for more info all you have to do is contact us!

Below resources give information about a particular drug:

  • Micromedex: comprehensive drug authoritative resource
  • DailyMed: official provider of FDA label information, provides trustworthy information about marketed USA drugs.
  • Drug Classes from DailyMed: click on any to list drugs under this category
  • Drug RxClass: search by drug class or by drug name
  • trials of new drugs and drugs for new indications and medical device trials. Can search or browse by drug class or indication.
  • information on prescription, over-the-counter and herbal drugs. Includes pill identifier.
  • Drugs@FDA: browse or search for FDA approved prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
  • Epocrates Online: brief, professionally-focused monographs of frequently used prescription and OTC drugs. Includes interactions checker. Can download onto a mobile device, and requires free registration.
  • LactMed: Drugs and Lactation Database

For articles talking about a particular drug:

For Drug interactions:

For Drug Toxicity:

For Pill Identifiers:

For More Readings:

SML subscribes to below core e-Journals:

Search AUB Libraries Journal Collection to check the availability of a particular journal.

Case reports are descriptions of practice that can generate ideas, hypotheses, and techniques that can be studied later through controlled experiments. This conveys experiences to other clinicians while revealing hypotheses for future research. It might persuade or motivate other practitioners, or help develop practice guidelines and critical pathways. McEwen, I. (2009). Writing case reports: A how-to manual for clinicians. Alexandra, Virginia: The American Physical Therapy Association.

Below resources specialize in case reports publishing:

Medical journals that publish case-based learning sections:

Information about writing case reports:

Below is a list of the most useful clinical trials registries and resources:

For more information on clinical trials, read the NEJM Changing Face of Clinical Trials - these articles evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of current approaches, provide insight into the problems faced in various settings, and address current and emerging challenges in trial design and conduct.

Alternative PubMed Tools search PubMed in such a way that the indexed information may be seen with a different insight.  This is achieved through data mining, linguistic analysis, statistical methodologies and semantic algorithms, and below are few of these resources:

  • PubVenn: explores PubMed using venn diagrams to see the relative size for each term as well as how those sets interact.
  • PubReMiner: generates frequency tables and also looks up a human gene using all its synonym
  • GoPubMed: uses semantic algorithms to connect PubMed abstracts to background knowledge in the form of concept categories. This is done by meaning and not by keywords only.
  • PubAdvanced: sorts by RELEVANCE and INFLUENCE with CitImpact - needs free registration.
  • Babel MeSH: PubMed multilanguage search
  • PubMed By Year: you can chart the results of any valid PubMed search (as simple or complex as you wish) and compare different searches on the same graph.
  • NLM Surgeon-General's Catalogue IndexCat: search of very old (1880-1961) PubMed content.

Citation Analysis Tools cover a wide range of the international scientific literature including medicine and medical sciences.  These can be used either as a search engine to retrieve articles about a particular topic or to locate where, when and how many times a particular author/citation was cited in the scholarly literature:

  • Scopus: covers around 21,000 peer reviewed journals
  • Web of Science: covers over 20,660 peer reviewed journals in addition to books, patents and conference proceedings


Citation Management Tools: AUB Libraries subscribe to below two citation management tools that require free registration at the start:

Other similar tools are available on the Internet for free to all users such as:

Visit the complete SML ABC guide on how to manage your references from the most important Medical, Nursing, and Public Health databases using Refworks, Endnote Web & Endnote Client.


Contact us for more information on how to best search these resources.

Selecting a suitable journal for submitting your publication is a process that needs experience and knowledge.  Below is a list of criteria that need to be looked into:

  • Aims and Scope: for a candidate journal the Aims and Scope should be read carefully to guarantee submission of papers within journal's subject coverage. 
  • Journal/Author Name Estimator (JANE): enter title &/or abstract of your paper and click 'Find journals', JANE will compare your document to millions of documents in Medline to find the best matching journals.
  • PubMed PubReMiner: helps you select appropriate journal from PubMed.
  • Elsevier Journal Finder: helps you find an appropriate Elsevier journal for your publication.
  • Springer Journal Suggestor: helps you find an appropriate Springer or BioMedCentral journal for your publication.
  • PubMed: search for your topic to see which journals publish articles in that topic. Some journals accept only certain types of publications, if this is the case then while searching in PubMed apply filters to limit to the required publication type.
  • Audience: who are the intended audience, are they specialized or generalized ones?
  • Impact Factor (IF): search  Journal Citation Reports (JCR) to identify a journal that has an IF.  IF is the average number of citations per paper published in the last 2 years, but this has its shortcomings and so other tools like H-index were introduced to accommodate these limitations. Not all journals have IF, and many non-prestigious journal’s website present fabricated fake IF.  Below is a list of JCR journals published in Arab countries and fall within the broad biomedical field:

    Journal Title

  IF for 2017

  Annals of Saudi Medicine


  Applied Bionics & Biomechanics


  Applied Nano Science


 Arab Journal of Gastroenterology


  Arabian Journal of Chemistry


  Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal


  Egyptian Journal of Biological Pest Control


  Emirates Journal of food & Agriculture


  International Arab Journal of Information Technology


  Journal of Advanced Research


  Journal of Saudi Chemical Society


  Kuwait Medical Journal


  Libyan Journal of Medicine


  Medical Principles and Practice




 Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences


 Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology


 Saudi Medical Journal


 Saudi Pharmaceutical Journal



  • H-Index: an h-index of x means that an author has published at least x papers each of which has been cited at least x times. It is available from Scopus and Web of Science (WoS), and it also has its own deficiencies and may vary depending on the source it is coming from.
  • Indexing Services: a journal that is indexed in Medline or PubMed is a bonus. But be aware of those that appear in PubMed only because some of its free articles reside in PubMedCentral. For a good journal choice, make sure it is indexed in Medline, as here they do critical evaluation of journals before accepting them to be indexed in Medline.
  • Open Access OA: this option though might result in more readerships of papers, but may not result in more citations!  Here authors may be asked to pay for the article processing fee to make the paper freely available.  But beware the many OA publishers that are really predatory and are claiming their journals to be scholarly and peer-reviewed. One place where to check for a good open-access journal for your publication is the Directory of Open Access Journals DOAJ.
  • Scientific quality: check if it is a peer reviewed journal - where reviewers critically study the paper manuscript for quality of content and methodology to detect bias. Although this is mostly a subjective activity yet it stands as a good point for validity of paper, and some utilize a single/double blinded review process.
  • Publisher and the editorial board: check if journal has a user-friendly organized website, and what is the average time between submissions to publication.
  • Finally, get advice from colleagues that have previously submitted to the particular journal you are considering submission to.

Once you decide on the journal that you want to submit your manuscript, follow the specific instructions to authors that Mulford Library collected in its Instructions to Authors in the Health Sciences.

Open Access@SML: SML encourages publishing as open access and currently is a member of below open access publishers.  As a result, any AUB member who wishes to publish with these will be entitled to below designated discount on the Article Processing Charges (APC):

No-fee open access journals from all specialties may be used if you are in short of money for the article processing fee.

The Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) covers over 10,000 quality open access peer-reviewed academic journals.

Beware of open access predatory journals these are fake/scam open access journals requesting payment without providing robust editorial or publishing services; see the Beal's List of Predatory Journals and Publishers, also check the five point plan on how to avoid predatory journals by Jocalyn Clark.

Paul M. Blobaum "Blobaum’s Checklist for Review of Journal Quality for Submission of Scholarly Manuscripts", 2013.

Think, Check, Submit is a tool to help you make informed decisions on where to publish, helps researchers evaluate journals prior to submitting their work for publication. With so many publications, how can one trust a particular journal? Follow this check list to verify if you have chosen a trusted journal for publishing your research.  An interesting and alarming issue is the peer-review fraud from New England Journal of Medicine.

NOTE: Any author with an NIH grant submits his/her article to PubMedCentral (PMC) and it will appear in PubMed, irrespective in which journal it was published in. That is how some predatory publishers are advertising that they 'are indexed in PubMed'. Only journals that have a note in NLM 'Indexed for Medline' are the journals selected and evaluated by the NLM Committee.

Potential predatory and legitimate biomedical journals: can you tell the difference? A cross-sectional comparison has a very nice table (Table 10) showing 13 characteristics of potential predatory journals. 

What to do if you have submitted an article to a predatory journal before you realized it is predatory?

Try to withdraw the article.  If you do not succeed, look at 'instructions to authors' to see if you have transferred the copyright to the publisher or not.  If copyright is with you as an author, you are free to publish that same article in a reputable journal but explain to the editor what has happened to you with the predatory journal.  Editors of reputable journals are fully aware of what is happening and how predatory journals work.  You might have a chance to publish your article in the reputable journal!

Still need more information, then read Tennessee University guide "Is this publisher reputable?" also read Chrissy Prator "8 ways to identify a questionable open access journal" and "Spotting a Predatory Publisher in 10 Easy Steps" and "Predatory Journals Are Such a Big Problem It’s Not Even Funny".

One final point to mention: remember you can never be 100% sure...

Ten Strategies to Boost Your Research Impact:
  1. Create your unique researcher identifier and profile under which you gather all your publications to facilitate their findings and enhance visibility in the research community, to remove author ambiguity (due to variations in spellings), and to ensure your work is correctly attributed to you. Example Open Researcher Contributor ID ORCID

  2. Be consistent in writing your name, your institutional and departmental address and do not use abbreviations.
  3. List your email correctly and open it frequently.
  4. Publish in Journals that have at least one of these:
               for more information see Blobaum's checklist for submission of scholarly manuscripts
  1. Check ScopusPubMed or Web of Science to see if all your citations have correct author and affiliation address. If there are mistakes, Contact us to help you correct them.
  2. Create your profile in Google Scholar and preferably to also create a professional web-page and keep it up-to-date.
  3. Join academic social networking sites ex. Academia, LinkedIn, ResearchGate, Mendeley, CiteULike, Publons, ImpactStory Profiles...
  4. Participate in a professional listserv in your specialized area.
  5. Retain your right to place a copy of your publication @AUB Institutional Repository.
  6. Create your own website (you can use free resources for that like WordPress).
  7. Too much to remember? Ask US, we are here to help you!

Videos for physical examination:

Other multimedia tools:

Clinical Calculators:


Challenge YOUR Knowledge: aims for your own assessment and challenge of your clinical knowledge, the below links are taken from different places to satisfy many interests:

In addition, SML Librarians have created the SML PubMedQuiz for you to challenge your PubMed searching skills.

Medical practice recommendations is constantly changing with new evidence and as Dr Sydney Burwell told the graduating medical class at Harvard in 1956 "half of what you are taught as medical students will in 10 years have been shown to be wrong, and the trouble is that none of your teachers knows which half"; so below section highlights new recommendations that may change your clinical practice to achieve better patient outcomes::

  • UpToDate Change YOUR Practice highlights new recommendations - as evidence becomes available -  that UpToDate editorial team anticipates may change your clinical practice.
  • Dynamed Practice Changing Updates very similar to the above that displays updates for all specialties, but you may select the specialty you are interested in to see only relevant ones.
  • EBM Focus highlights EBM documents that will most likely change your clinical practice.
  • UpToDate What's New provides most important updates displayed by medical specialty.
  • DO NOT DO Recommendations Database: developed by NICE's advisory bodies, it recommends clinical practices that should be discontinued completely or should not be used routinely, due to evidence that the practice is not on balance beneficial or a lack of evidence to support its use.
  • Choosing Wisely: an ABIM Foundation initiative to help providers and patients engage in conversations to reduce overuse of tests and procedures, and to make smart and effective choices. It has recommendations from  about 70 medical societies.

For more readings:

  • "A decade of reversal: an analysis of 146 discontinued medical practices": list of not proven or contested medical practices.
  • BMJ's Too Much Medicine campaign aims to highlight the threat to human health posed by overdiagnosis and the waste of resources on unnecessary care.  There is growing evidence that many people are overdiagnosed and overtreated for a wide range of conditions, such as prostate and thyroid cancers, asthma etc...
  • Bad Science: written by Ben Goldacre, a best-selling author, broadcaster, campaigner, medical doctor and academic who specializes in unpicking the misuse of science and statistics by journalists, politicians, quacks, drug companies, etc...

SML Librarian can help you stay up-to-date by receiving automatic email alerts in any of the below:

  • particular journal(s)
  • particular topic of interest
  • alerts to see who have cited one of your paper(s)
  • alerts about recent EBM documents in your specialty
  • medicines and prescribing awareness alerts

Things you can do:

For more information contact us.


Access Medicine: self assessment, you need to do free registration to use below:

  • Create you own self-assessment program
  • Study with the Resident Readiness @ Internal Medicine
  • Physiology Cases
  • Biochemistry Cases
  • Hurst's Imaging Cases
  • Microbiology Cases

Access Surgery: self assessment, you need to do free registration to use below:

  • Case Files Surgery
  • Resident Readiness@Surgery
  • Q&A for Clerks
  • Quick Tests
  • Board Review for Residents
  • PreTest Surgery
  • Lange Q&A Surgery
  • Exploring Essential Surgery
  • Exploring Essential Radiology

Access Emergency Medicine: self assessment

Access Pediatrics: self assessment

USMLE Easy: a diagnostic and self-assessment tool with a bank of 2,5000+ online USMLE -type questions to study, practice, and simulate the test-taking experience for Step 1 and Step 3. Provides customizable tests covering all disciplines and organ systems that tell you everything you need to know to study effectively and returns detailed results with targeted remediation based on test results - links to selected readings from AccessMedicine - providing the knowledge you need. Users build a robust performance profile that allows you to track your results performance by topic and your test scores over

You are advised to direct your patients to the below free reliable uptodate resources that are written in a language that they can easily understand: 

Choosing Wisely campaign helps physicians and patients engage in conversations about the overuse of tests and procedures to help patients make smart and effective care choices:

  • Choosing Wisely lists: created by medical societies, gives evidence-based recommendations that clinicians and patients should discuss to determine when tests and procedures may be appropriate.
  • Choosing Wisely Videos: feature physicians, patients, and other health care stakeholders exploring various aspects of this campaign.

SML Librarians are professional people that are knowledgeable and available to help/support your information needs, so do not hesitate to ask us!

Help is available through:

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