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Getting Started at UCSF Library: The Basics

This guide will show you the things you need to know to make the most of UCSF Library, whether you are a student, resident, fellow, faculty or staff

Your library account

Borrower accounts are provided automatically, and you log in with your MyAccess credentials. For alumni or non-UCSF people, see more borrower account options

Access, useful bookmarks, the bookmarklet, and the search box

If you are on campus or in campus housing connect to the library with the UCSFwpa network. If you are off-campus connect to the library using the MyAccess login (

Key bookmarks will get you to resources with less clicks

  • UCSF Library homepage (

  • PubMed (

  • UpToDate  (

  • GoogleScholar ( This is a UCSF linked version of GoogleScholar which has Get it at UC links to full-text of articles. 

  • The EZproxy "bookmarklet" makes it easier to read the full text of articles to which UCSF has access when you are not on campus. This page shows how. This is especially useful if you find things through Google, Google Scholar, or the public version of PubMed. Use this when you are not on the USCFwpa network and “hit a paywall” (I.e., you are asked to pay for access to the article). 

The search box on library home page searches everything to which UCSF Library and the entire UC Libraries system has access.

Selected library resources offer native apps on mobile

Course reserves and requesting articles

Request articles

If we don't have access to the full text of an article at UCSF, you can request it from another library

Course reserves 

Print and audio/visual materials that have been requested by faculty for use by students in their courses

Study spaces and printing

Study spaces 

We offer spaces geared toward quiet study and spaces for collaborative or group study


Printing, scanning, and copying are available in library spaces

Specific resources by school

Resources to help with specific tasks

  • Surveys and Instruments can be hard to find. It is desirable to find a survey or instrument that has been validated and already used in research rather than creating your own. The work needed to validate an instrument requires time and training: 
  • Cited reference searching is a way to take a few good known articles about a topic and find others like it:
    • We recommend Web of Science for this. Web of Science contains most things you wold be looking for. Look up the article by title, you will see a list of the articles cited by the authors in their reference list, AND the newer article which have cited the article you are looking up. Web of Science also has an excellent related articles function. Everything you find will have a UC eLink, You will be able to directly access or request those articles from Web of Science. From Web of Science it is easy to save what you find into a reference manager.
    • Google Scholar shows a list of newer articles that have cited the articles you find in your search. A limitation of this function is Google Scholar tends to include duplicates. 
    • Other databases have limited "cited by" and "related article" functions, e.g. PubMed
  • Yale MeSH Analyzer is a tool in which you enter information from PubMed about articles you have found. With this tool you create a spreadsheet with which you can analyze the words in title abstract and keywords as well as Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) in order to improve the sensitivity and specificity of your PubMed search.

  • Nexi Uni newspaper content and government documents

  • Rayyan free, web-based title and abstract screening tool for synthetic reviews