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Database Search Tips

This guide will help get you started in some of our most popular databases! Happy searching! Let us know if we can help.


UpToDate allows clinicians to easily search, browse, and follow the topics and specialties that matter most to them, and get fast, actionable answers to clinical questions. Key takeaways, targeted synopses, and evidence-based recommendations reduce searching time. When further information is needed, UpToDate also provides one-click links to primary literature. Over 25 clinical specialties covered. CME is earned while you research in UpToDate. Drug information is pulled in via Lexicomp.  UpToDate offers two levels of content for patients: The Basics are short overviews and Beyond the Basics are longer, more detailed reviews.

Most useful for:

  • Practicing clinicians
  • Health profession students

Mobile App Available

There is an associated mobile app available. If you are on a laptop or computer, you must first click the UpToDate link above. Once you are in Duke's version of UpToDate, follow these steps:

  • Click on the "Log In/Register? option the upper right-hand corner.
  • Create a personal account.
  • Use your Duke email address when you register. 
  • On your mobile device, download the UpToDate app from the App Store / Play.
  • Login with your new account username/password.

Getting Started

UpToDate Tutorial provided by Wolters Kluwer

Basic Searching Instructions

Get started in UpToDate using the search box or through the Content drop down menu.

Steps to Find Full-Text Articles

If you are unable to find full-text articles using the links below, you will need to order it via InterLibrary Loan (Step #3).

Before making a request for full-text articles through Interlibrary Loan (ILL), please try steps #1 and #2 to search for the full-text. This allows our service to focus on articles that are not available for free nor via our Duke subscriptions. Our Interlibrary Loan service is no charge to Duke borrowers for all article requests. If there are copyright or other fees associated with your article request, we will contact you.

  1. Find the article citation in a database: If you aren't already in a database, go back to PubMed or other database such as CINAHL, Embase, or Web of Science to look up the article. Why? Because our Get it @ Duke button will fill out the ILL form for you with all the article information – this saves you time and ensures greater citation accuracy.
  2. Click the GetIt@Duke button: Once you locate the article in a citation database, click the Get It @ Duke link.
  3. Select second button to request as Med Center User: From the page that says “We don't have this online — see below for other ways to get it” click the green button that says “Request – Med Center users.”
  4. Log on with your DHE / NetID username and password: This will take you to the ILL form. The article information will be filled into the form automatically. Scroll to the bottom, verify accuracy, and click submit.

If you can't find the citation in a database or you don't see a GetIt@Duke button, you can place a request manually through our interlibrary loan service. Follow the steps below.

Questions about Interlibrary Loan? All interlibrary loan questions should go to Louis Wiethe, Document Delivery & Interlibrary Loan Manager, 919.660.1179 or

Contact the Medical Library

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