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Getting Started at UCSF Library

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

When you become a student at UCSF a library account is created for you. Staff, faculty, residents, Masters and PhD candidates, postdocs and fellows should also have accounts.

One way to check your status is to go to this webpage and enter the information: 

If you need help with your account see this page for more:

News Note: The UC Library system is becoming more integrated at the end of July 2021. The evidence you will see of that is a change in the  catalog, the search box on the library homepage, and how you request articles. Article requests will become much simpler and not rely on you finding the 14-digit number on your UCSF picture ID.

The information in this page reflects the current state. We will update information as we launch the new version.

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 UCeLinks to full-text of articles. See above right for what links look like...

  • 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. If you are stopped from seeing the PDF of an article by a paywall (I.e., you are asked to pay for access to the article). 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 has access. This will change a bit beginning at the end of July, 2021. A new UC-wide version will appear at that time and have similar functionality. More details to come! See this page for more details:

Printing, Study spaces, Library hours, How to get help

Requesting articles from the library. If we do not have access to the full text of an article you can request it. Here are two resources which describe the steps to do so. We are in the process of consolidating this information but for now we are showing you both of them as they each have some unique information.

Course reserves 

  • For students:
  •  For instructors: Go to the page above and scroll down to find the pertinent information.


Library spaces  

Mobile access to selected library resources  

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