Writer & Author Resources

Subject guide with Mayo and web resources to help with the writing process

Verification Guide


Most of the databases available on Ovid cover primarily articles; the table below provides some idea of other formats, and the years covered.

Database Coverage Formats Updated Delay Content
MayoAuthors 1871- present Articles, Books, Audiovisuals, Chapters, Abstracts 2 weeks 8 weeks Materials published by Mayo authors, early authors being added
MEDLINE 1950- present Articles only Weekly 3 weeks Biomedicine
EMBASE 1988- present Articles only Weekly 6 weeks Drugs, European literature
Current Contents 1996- present Articles, Table of Contents, Books and Chapters Weekly 1 week Multidisciplinary, Science
PsycInfo 1887- present Articles, Dissertations, Books, Book Chapters Weekly 12 weeks Psychology, Psychiatry
HealthStar 1975- present Articles, Newsletters, meeting abstracts Monthly 8 weeks Healthcare Administration, Management
Nursing & Allied Health 1982- present Articles, Dissertations, Books, Book Chapters, Software, some Full Text Weekly 8 weeks Nursing, allied health

PubMed is the National Library of Medicine's bibliographic database. A portion of the database is MEDLINE. But PubMed also includes publications prior to being fully indexed, or published. Some journals have not yet been selected for inclusion in MEDLINE.  Coverage is now 1950 to present.

PubMed has a tool "Citation Matcher" which allows verification of a citation in MEDLINE when only a few pieces of information are available. Ovid now provides a similar tool, available from the logon page, or as a tab "Find Citation" above the keyword box.

Correctly identifying what the full journal title is can be critical. PubMed at the National Library of Medicine also provides the Journal Database in the same menu as Citation Matcher. Journal titles can be searched by full title or by abbreviation.

EndNote provides direct connections to PubMed and individual Ovid databases so searching for known references can be coupled with adding to existing EndNote library in one step.

There are a number of databases listed in the alphabetic database list which include citation + abstract. Journals@Ovid can be searched as a database; OCLC WorldCat provides access to their ECO fulltext journal database, and ArticlesFirst. Even if the full text is not available, complete bibliographic information is.

What if the article is not found?

First, is the topic biomedical in nature? One of the above may be more appropriate - or Web of Science, which covers all areas of the sciences, including chemistry, agriculture, engineering and statistics. SCOPUS covers more than 14,000 journals in the sciences, social sciences and business. 

Is it an older article? The Index Catalogue of the Surgeon General covers all areas of medicine from the 18th century through the middle of the 20th century.

Verify the journal title in the National Library of Medicine's Locatorplus or in the OCLC WorldCat. Both allow searching by keyword rather than exact title. Most entries list where the journal is indexed: Chemical Abstract, BIOSIS etc.

Pay attention! Some studies indicate that as many as 25% of entries in journal bibliographies are incorrect. Don't take a title match as the final step. Check the coverage years and volume numbers, too. If you have a citation to volume 2, 1985 and the journal is listed as beginning in 1902 - there may be a problem.

Check to see how others have cited the reference - Web of Science covers 1945 to present. How an article is cited is available for the full period - so you can see that 2 people cite an article your way, but 350 cite it with a different volume or year.

It may be necessary to go the the original article, or printed indexes. Plummer Library has earlier print indexes of Biological Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts, Excerpta Medica, and Index Medicus (back to 1880).

Ask the reference staff for assistance.


There are a number of resources available to verify books - to name only a few major resources:

Other Library Catalogs is a more complete listing of large regional catalogs, such as OhioLink and the Big Ten links available through the University of Minnesota can be useful as well, as well as national and international resources.

EndNote direct connections can also be used to check online catalogs.

Don't overlook Amazon.com - libraries typically list only the first editor plus et al if there are more than three. Amazon not infrequently has all of the authors - and with it's Look Inside feature (and now the Search Inside the Book) you may also be able to get chapters and pages.

Book Chapters:

Not well covered in any database - although PsycInfo, CINAHL do provide information in their subject areas. Current Contents has indexed multi-authored monographs since 2001.

Some library catalogs add the Tables of Contents of books.

  • if it is a Mayo Author - start with MayoAuthors database
  • OhioLinks Ohio State Catalog has added many Tables of Contents
  • CISTI Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information

Don't forget Amazon.com

Meeting Abstracts:

Meeting abstracts are indexed spottily in some databases: BIOSIS, Web of Science. More and more of the meeting abstracts are published on the web prior to being issued as a journal supplement. Some societies are simply foregoing journal supplements altogether.  MEDLINE will occasionally identify abstracts for the meeting published in a journal (but not the individual abstracts).

If the meeting is not available there, checking OCLC Worldcat or the British Library may identify a journal volume/supplement or printed abstracts. And, if all else fails, a search for the association as a phrase (in quotes, e.g. "Infectious Diseases Society") on Google or AltaVista for the association may reveal the abstracts on a third-party site such as Medscape or Abstracts-on-Line.