• 1,743,727articles accessed in top biomedical journals
  • 301classes taught by librarians
  • 9,640reference questions answered
  • 13,393linear feet of archival material preserved
  • 97%compliance rate with the NIH Public Access Policy

Inquiry. Discovery. Innovation.

The Duke University Medical Center Library & Archives provides biomedical information, innovative services, educational programs, archival preservation, knowledgeable staff, and collaborative spaces.

Katherine Smith, Content and Discovery Associate checks out a book at the service desk.

Collections: Delivering Information You Need

We license, curate, and provide access to information resources for Duke Health, including:

  • 12,660 online biomedical journals
  • 3,394 core online biomedical books
  • 124 core biomedical databases

Selected library resources have been integrated into MaestroCare and were viewed over 730,597 times in fiscal year 2022.

Centralized buying saves money: one of the lowest cost-per-use for a library-subscribed article is only $0.09. Independently buying an article directly from most publishers averages $40 per article.

In this photo, Katherine Smith, Content and Discovery Associate, checks out a book at the service desk.

YouTube Channel Video List

Education: Fostering Lifelong Learning

We teach evidence-based practice, literature searching, and information synthesis.

We have liaisons to all of Duke’s academic health professions programs, Graduate Medical Education, and Duke University Health System nursing. We also teach on demand classes and create online tutorials to make learning available online, any time.

In the 2021-2022 academic year, librarians:

  • Facilitated 1,848 consultations
  • Taught 5,278 learners in 301 classes
  • Conducted 1,482 expert searches

In this photo, the Library's YouTube channel features video tutorials on many topics, including searching PubMed, using citation management software, and managing records.

Archives collection stacks with boxes

Archives: Capturing Our History

We maintain administrative and historical records for Duke Health, including the records of 2 Nobel Laureates, World War II surgical teams, School of Medicine and School of Nursing departments, and student groups.

In fiscal year 2022, we:

  • Added over 6,602 digital items and over 424 linear feet of print items
  • Provided 4,236 scans of Archives documents which allowed remote access to collections
  • Answered a total of 785 Archives reference questions
  • Conducted 123 research consultations

Some examples of the new materials added to our collections this year are the records of the Duke Midwifery Service; oral history interviews about former Department of Surgery chair, Dr. David Sabiston; and administrative files for Root Causes, a student group that supports the sustainable and humane production of food in combination with access to healthy food.

The Medical Center Archives is partnering on a Trent Endowment funded-project to document the history of maternal health in Durham through oral history interviews with members of the Duke Midwifery Service and Durham County Health Department

In this photo are boxes of archival materials which, if stacked on top of each other, would be over 63 times higher than the Duke Chapel.

Medical Center Library recording room

Spaces: Creating Connections

The 2021-2022 academic year brought students, faculty, and staff back to the Library after the unusual circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our library spaces are bustling again, including our study rooms. We facilitated over 12,000 hours of room reservations for study, classroom use, and medical student interviews. We expanded hours for study spaces on the weekends to offer two 12-hour days for safe and uninterrupted study.

We also brought new life to our Medicinal Herb Garden. New plants include Mullein, Echinacea, Borage, and Hyssop: all traditional medicinal plants as well as pollinator friendly bloomers. This year we were honored to receive a bequest from the estate of the garden's founder, Susan Cavanagh, which will contribute to future enhancements.

In this photo is our new Audio/Video Recording Studio. Featuring soundproofing for optimal acoustics, this space facilitates recording podcasts, interviews, and online learning modules.

vossviewer network analysis visualization

Research: Promoting Discovery & Inquiry

Librarians are literature search experts.

Systematic Reviews: Almost one-third of our 1,848 research consultations with Duke faculty, staff, and students are regarding systematic reviews or other evidence synthesis work. We have provided methodological expertise for more than 120 synthesis projects in the 2021-2022 academic year.

COVID Research: Librarians conducted over 37 searches related to COVID in the 2021-2022 academic year and co-authored 11 published or in-process systematic reviews synthesizing COVID research to date.

Research Impact: In the 2021-2022 academic year, our staff worked on 37 research impact projects to demonstrate the research impact of departments and research teams using publication data.

Animals in Research - Searching for Alternatives: Librarians construct comprehensive literature searches for Institutional Animal Care and Use Committees (IACUC) protocols in order to seek methods of reduction, refinement, and replacement. We conducted 46 searches to support these protocols.

In this photo is a network map of COVID-publications by concept. Network maps and other publication reports can show relationships of authors, subjects, and other components of publications.

Medical Garden

Innovations: Spotlight on our Goals

Our strategic goals connect our daily work to our vision. While this work is ongoing, this year we have been focusing on:

  • Scholarly Communication: Building staffing models and cross-campus partnerships to enable research impact reporting; expanding our online publishing guidance for Duke Health students, faculty, and staff; exploring new models for journal subscriptions, including renegotiating with publishers and participating in transformative agreements.
  • Learn Online Any Time: Developing tools and templates for digital-first online learning modules for library-related topics such as searching PubMed and other databases.
  • Inclusive Archives: Identifying institutional groups that have been historically under-represented in the archives; reviewing and revising standards describing collections to improve discoverability and inclusivity.
  • Using Exhibits to Engage with our Community: Refreshing exhibit spaces to allow for more flexible exhibit types; publishing a new online exhibit on Duke's Poison Control Center history.
  • Communicating our Value: Assessing the reach of our current communications and engaging with experts to learn best practices.
  • Staff Development and Engagement: Creating new collaborative opportunities to work, learn, and network; fostering diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility as a foundation of our professional development.

In this photo is an image from our medicinal herb garden. An exhibit featuring medicinal herbs will launch in early 2023.


Innovations: Enhancing Collections for Inclusion

Library resources – textbooks, journal articles, and online resources – are not immune to the systemic racism and bias that are pervasive in our society. A recent analysis of dermatological textbooks shows that darker skin is rarely represented in educational materials used to train future medical providers (Adelekun, Onyekaba, and Lipoff 2021). To address this gap, we added several online textbooks specifically focusing on different populations and skin colors. These materials are linked off many of our guides.

In addition, we undertook a yearlong trial of a resource that offers increased opportunity to enhance inclusion in teaching: VisualDx, a clinical point-of-care tool and educational resource. For those teaching our learners, whether via lecture or in clinics, VisualDx is particularly helpful because it contains an inclusive collection of images, including 14,000+ images with variations in skin color and the ability to filter by skin tone. There are images for many conditions and body systems; image types include photographs, diagrams, and radiographic images. To assess whether this resource helps Duke faculty and students overcome some of the biases that exist in other resources, we are collecting information on this survey.

In this photo is a mobile device showing the VisualDx app.

screenshot of staff Zoom meeting

Staff: Service Excellence

Our staff has expertise in information technology, administration, collection curation, archives, access services, and research and education.

In the 2021-2022 academic year, we co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles – most of which are the result of collaborations with Duke authors on systematic reviews and other research projects. Staff also delivered presentations at conferences and served the university community and our professional networks through committee work, peer review, and leadership roles.

In this photo are many of our 25 staff members. Staff work a mix of hybrid and on-site schedules and offer services to the Duke community in person and online.