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PBC Library

The NAU library website for the Phoenix Biomedical Campus Library

Research Support Services

 Research Support 

Your librarian can assist you throughout the entire life of a research project. An overview of services includes:

Citation Management | Literature Review Assistance | Copyright / Fair Use | Institutional Repository Support

To schedule a research consultation for these and other services, contact Mary Catherine Lockmiller via:

 Document Delivery 

In instances where NAU-PBC affiliates need to access materials which are not available in PBC Library or via NAU's e-resources, materials can be requested through Document Delivery Services.

DDS allows for the interlibrary loan of printed materials and full text journal articles that are not available electronically.

To initiate a DDS request, please visit

For more information, call the Cline Library DDS Office at 928-523-6808.


OpenKnowledge@NAU is NAU's Institutional Repository, where faculty and students provide access to their pedagogical work, research, and other creative output. Having access to an Institutional repository can 1) extend NAU's global impact; 2) help researchers meet funding requirements; 3) advance interdispiclinary and public collaboration; 4) promote long-term preservation and access; 5) promote the value of open access to information.

NAU PBC faculty and students can publish postersscholarly writingcurricular design, art, books, datasets, and reports, among other  products! 

For information about OpenKnowledge@NAU, please contact catherine lockmiller at or Brittany Blanchard at

 APA Resources 

Free citation generators

Whether or not you use RefWorks, these open access and freeware apps can save you time by auto-formatting your citations:

NOTE: always double check citations!


RefWorks is a data and citation management platform that allows researchers to generate, store, retrieve, and manipulate citations across a number of styles and formats. It is highly recommended that students and faculty learn how to use RefWorks, as it can save a significant amount of citation time. However, because students can only use RefWorks while enrolled at a university, there are a number of free citation management apps available as well. Please see the Citation Management Apps tab for more information.

To get started with RefWorks, view the Refworks Introduction slideshow here:

 What is Zotero? 

Zotero is an open-source citation management platform. It includes a wealth of options to help make research easier. These include:

  • Format citations in over 9,000 different citation styles
  • Generate bibliographies, works cited pages, and reference pages for Word, Google Docs, and Open Office
  • Organize, edit, and de-duplicate citations using local software, mobile apps, and cloud storage
  • Browser extensions that capture and store citations without the need for manual input
To get started with Zotero, visit NAU's Zotero Resource Guide:

 Systematic Reviews 

Systematic reviews are widely considered the highest level of evidence for researchers in biomedical and health science. Most of us are familiar with literature reviews, in which writers summarize the information relating to a specific topic. Systematic reviewers take this idea and go much farther by exhaustively searching the literature, assessing it, summarizing it, and making analytical and critical conclusions and/or statements based upon their findings.

NOTE: See here and here for two different visualizations comparing systematic reviews to other evidence-types.

Systematic reviews are complex, and full of moving parts. For that reason, it's good to know how they function--both for practitioners and for researchers interested in writing a systematic review.

Additionally, researchers should consider the many review types available before conducting a systematic review. Check out the following resources to learn about different review types, and when to leverage them:

Check out the following guides for in-depth descriptions, processes, and rationales for systematic reviews and meta-analyses:

For systematic reviews concerning interventions in biomedical and health science, familiarize yourself with the following:

In addition to understanding the components and workings of systematic reviews and meta-analyses, evidence-based practitioners should also spend time learning about the criticism used to question and explore reliance on systematic reviews:

PBC Library Systematic Reviews Service

PBC Library launched a systematic reviews pilot service in Summer 2018. As part of this service, the NAU PBC librarian provides search coordination and review processes guidelines to teams working on different review types. For now, the service is freely available to all NAU faculty currently considering embarking on a review. 

For anybody who wants to learn more, the librarian requests at least one face-to-face or video-based consultation to talk about the review journey. It is also required that all teams complete the PBC Library Systematic Reviews Initial Steps Planner

If you have any questions about this service, feel free to call, email, or schedule an appointment to learn more!

 Understanding metrics 

Bibliometrics & altmetrics

It is becoming increasingly common to take bibliometrics and altmetrics into consideration when performing research and preparing for publication.

  • Bibliometrics: statistical measures of research impact based upon citations by author, article, and journal depending on the measure used.
  • Altmetrics: statistical measures of impact based upon views, links out, and shares across social media platforms.

Typically, bibliometrics will inform decisions to publish work in specific journals; they also function to give insight into the common usage of specific articles within a discipline or field of study, They also provide insight into emerging lines of inquiry and research. The Journal Impact Factor (JIF) and H- score are the most common measures; however, Relative Citation Ratio (RCR) is growing in popularity. They function as follows:

  • JIF: a measure which designates the overall impact of an entire journal, based on that journal's prestige, citations, and authorship.
    • a common problem with JIF is that it does not accurately provide counts for individual articles, and unfairly weights articles with minimal impact higher because of a journal's overall popularity while weighing articles with more citations unfairly low due to their being published in a journal with a low JIF.
  • H- score: provides a measure that is weighted in favor of the author rather than the journal. H- scores rise alongside the number of citations attributed to a specific author.
    • H- scores are weighted in favor of authors who have more publications in print. Authors who are at the early stages of their careers are unfairly impacted by this measure.
  • RCR: balances authorship, number of citations per article, and journal popularity according to discipline. By focusing on discipline-specific research methods, RCR attempts to negate the broad brushstroke techniques employed by other systems of bibliometric measurement.

 Where to find metrics 

Web of Science

Different databases employ different metrics; however, Web of Science includes complete readouts of different metrics (including H- score and JIF). Web of Science also includes its own in-house metrics scale that measures publications by number of views. This measure affects how results are loaded in response to a search query. Articles with more views tend to appear higher on the results list.

Scopus & Scimago

Scimago is an open access database that ranks journals according to prestige. Journals that are established, have more publications that get cited, and with more popular authors are listed higher in the rankings. Scimago allows users to search by discipline.

Scopus is similar to Web of Science, in that it places emphasis on citations and maps networks of citations across disciplines. Scopus relies on SNIP, a method that is similar to the NIH's RCR method mentioned above.


iCite is a service developed and funded by the NIH. It ranks papers according to RCR. iCite has the potential to deliver more balanced measures than Web of Science or Scopus; however, iCite only includes papers published in MEDLINE from 1995 to present.

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