Author: Susan Kaplan Jacobs

Using Web-Scale Discovery Tools in the Health Sciences

Many searchers ask about the efficacy of using Web Scale Discovery (WSD) tools to search the health sciences literature.  You may have noticed that NYU promotes EDS (Ebsco Discovery Service) on our main databases page.

Should you use this tool?

  • For most keyword searches in the health sciences, many thousands of hits are retrieved.  For a very obscure, very new, or very narrow topic, the results may be useful and manageable, as in the following examples:
    • Example: I am seeking an Author, Valeria Esquivel, 17 results on 12/2/2016.
    • Example: I am seeking an article with a known Title phrase: “hills are alive with the sound of music”  205 results on 12/2/2016.
    • Example: I know Kovner published about “novice nurses” in a scholarly journal in 2016. A search: Kovner novice nurses 2016 limited to scholarly journals= 28 hits on 12/2/2016.
  • The EDS tool lacks the filtering functionality of CINAHL, Pubmed, PsycINFO and others (the ability to limit by study methodology, e.g., a clinical trial, an RCT or systematic review, etc.). A keyword search might  retrieve highly relevant hits on the first few pages of results, but a comprehensive search of the evidence for a topic leaves the searcher wondering what might be buried or missing in the next thousands of results!
  • The EDS tool does some mapping to standard vocabularies, but novice searchers often use one search term when they should consider synonyms. Specialized health sciences databases assist searchers to translate synonyms.
  • No single search tool or database is comprehensive. While EDS promises to search among “more than 7 million+ scholarly journals, magazines, news & more,” like googlescholar or google it doesn’t include every published source.  Always use several databases, and of course, ask a librarian for help.
  • The best strategy is to go ahead and try it! But use web-scale discovery tools as an adjunct to a more rigorous and tailored search in specialized recommended core databases linked here.

Trial “Access Physiotherapy”

NYU affiliated faculty and students, please help us evaluate these Physical Therapy collections from McGraw-Hill. Our trial runs through November 30.  Send feedback to

Access Physiotherapy

“from McGraw-Hill Medical is devoted exclusively to the study, instruction, and practice of physical therapy. Updated regularly, this comprehensive online physiotherapy resource integrates leading physical therapy textbooks, procedure and exercise videos, image galleries, self-assessment tools, and a unique cadaver dissection tool –optimized for viewing on any device.

Access Physiotherapy/F.A. Davis collection

“The F.A. Davis PT Collection on AccessPhysiotherapy is the most comprehensive digital subscription product for educators and physical therapy students. This partnership between F.A. Davis and McGraw-Hill Education brings you a comprehensive online PT resource that covers the entire spectrum of physical therapy—for viewing on any device”

Welcome Week!

Welcoming new students at the Steinhardt PhD orientation and the College of Nursing Masters orientation.

Connect to get started with library resources:

for OT:

for CSD:

for nursing:

Get a jumpstart at the Nursing Online Tutorial:

Library Help:

Wisdom From a Chair – Thirty years of Quadriplegia (Andrew I. Batavia and Mitchell Batavia)

Congratulations, Mitchell Batavia, Department Chair, NYU Steinhardt Physical Therapy, on the publication of:

Wisdom From a Chair – Thirty years of Quadriplegia
Andrew I. Batavia and Mitchell Batavia, Inc 2016
ISBN 978-1-63491-079-8

Copies on order at NYU:

Andrew Batavia’s memoir leaves the reader with the lasting impression of his remarkable “adjustment” to his disability. Following an accident as a teen that left him with high-level quadriplegia, he went on to attend Stanford and Harvard, become a lawyer, a scholar, a professor of public health policy and rehabilitation research, an activist for independent living and the right to die, and an implementer and proponent of the American Disabilities Act of 1990. He marries and becomes a father of two. The memoir, published posthumously (Batavia died in 2003), focuses on what he did, not what he could not do.

In Batavia’s words: “I did my very best to make [people] feel comfortable with my disability, a skill that I have since perfected to the extent that many people say they forget that I have a disability after being with me for a little while.” Batavia achieves this comfort level for the reader as well. Although the reader can’t help but keep his physical constraints upmost in our minds, Batavia’s voice is strong, assured, confident, and independent, as well as witty and pragmatic.  Co-author and younger brother, Mitchell Batavia, provides more context, highlighting both Andrew’s scholarly achievements as well as wrenching background, with commentaries that give context for the accident from the family’s viewpoint.  A memory of a 13-year-old visiting his newly injured older brother confined in a CircOlectric bed, and being asked to, please, “scratch his nose,” only begins to hint at the anguish and consequences for patients’ families in the aftermath of such a devastating injury.  Compelling reading, it turns out to be a page-turner, as we root for Batavia’s recovery and accomplishments.

Highly recommended for library collections serving healthcare professionals, caregivers, policymakers, administrators, and software developers of assistive technologies, as well as the general public.


Obama’s JAMA article, review of ACA

 President Barack Obama has published a review in JAMA of what the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has and has not accomplished since its passage in 2010.

Here are the highlights:

  • The ACA has been successful in sharply increasing insurance coverage. Since the ACA became law, the uninsured rate has declined from 16% in 2010 to 9.1% in 2015, a relative decrease of 43%.
  • States that decided to expand their Medicaid programs saw larger reductions in their uninsured rates from 2013 to 2015, especially in states that started with large uninsured populations.
  • Early evidence suggests that expanded coverage has led to modest improvements in some measures of access to treatment, financial security, and health.
  • Payer spending per health care enrollee has continued to decline in a continuation of pre-2010 trends, and health care quality has improved.

 It is free on-line: United States Health Care Reform: Progress to Date and Next Steps