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Medical Students' Resources

Resources for Emory School of Medicine Students

Searching, Writing, to Publishing

For literature searching, build your concepts using the PICO method.  Once you have mapped your concepts, think about what databases are appropriate for your topic(s).  To refresh your memory about searching principles, look back to the Literature Searching section.

In regard to systematic reviews, below are the most commonly searched databases, but often others are searched as well:

Often, people make the mistake of thinking that they are performing a systematic review because they are "systematically" going through the literature.  Systematic reviews are not only a specific type of publication, they are also a specific process of research/writing that aims to answer a specific clinical question/outcome.  Below are the most common types of reviews that Discovery projects entail:

  • Systematic reviews:  generally take 6 months to more than a year, depending on the topic, from beginning to end.  If you are looking at a very specific topic, it may be feasible to complete the searching portion within 2 months, but again, it depends on how specific your topic is.
  • Scoping reviews: in regards to the literature searching, there is little difference, but the end result is different than a systematic review.  With a scoping review, you are not looking to answer a specific answer.  You may be addressing several issues and summarizing what you find.

Emory University subscribes to Nature Masterclasses.  They are a series of online tutorials created by various editors of Nature journals that discuss the entire article process from writing, submitting to a journal, and the publication process.  To access Nature Masterclasses:

Which journal you should submit your article?  More than likely, your faculty member or Primary Investigator (PI) will have a few journals in mind that he/she would like to submit your article.  If he/she does not, what is the best way to determine which journal would be interested in your article?  You can use Web of Science to see what topics are most published in what journals.    

Below is an example.  I ran a search related to Kawaski Disease within the last 5 years.

When I got to the results page, I selected "Analyze Results."

Then I selected "Source Titles" to see which journals published on Kawasaki Disease.

Your Publication Name

As you prepare to write manuscripts or articles as a part of your Discovery Phase Curriculum, consider what and how you plan to distinguish your name from other authors with either the same last name and first initial, or even the same last name and first name.  For instance, if you search my last name and first initial and even combine it with Emory, you retrieve more than 50 records.  There are others named M. White at Emory.  When I co-author an article, I always try to publish using my middle initial:  M.S. White.  In addition, I have registered for an ORCHID ID. The ORCHID ID is a unique designation, kind of like a PMID, which distinguishes you from others with a similar or even the same name.  You should go ahead and register for an ORCHID ID. You can and will use it well past your days at Emory University.  Even if your name changes because of marriage, etc., your ORCHID ID tells others that the new name is you.  Go to: to register for an ID and get more information.

Citation & Data Management

Learning a citation management program is essential to help build your own digital library and to streamline the bibliography process.  While there are numerous citation management programs available, the following 3 are probably the best well known:


Emory University has a University site license for the citation management program EndNote.  You can download and install EndNote from the Software Express server with your University NetID and password. 

For additional information regarding EndNote, visit the WHSC Library's EndNote page.



There are other open source (free) citation management programs available like Mendeley and Zotero.  Please visit the citation management page for more information.



Emory University Licenses Covidence, a tool that helps with the literature review process from deduplication of records, to the screening process, all the way to the extraction process.  Covidence is available to all Emory faculty, staff, and students.  Non-Emory individuals working on Emory projects can be added to a project, once an account has been established.