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Collections Updates & Feedback: Health Sciences Library

Updates regarding Health Sciences Library resources

Known Issues & Bugs

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Collections FAQ

Jump to answer: 

Why does the library have collections?

Library collections refers to the collections of resources offered by the library rather than collecting fees. Use the UW Libraries Search to explore the collection. Alternatively, you may browse the Health Sciences Library's collections by resource type below. 


While guides are not technically part of collections, they provide pathways to accessing relevant resources in the library's collections and beyond. 

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How do I add something to Course Reserves?

Place a Reserve Request for print, electronic, or streaming media.

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How do I safely share a link to something from the library?

Permalinks are persistent and 'short' URLs; the term is a portmanteau of permanent and link. Permalinks are helpful for sharing your search results with others or easily getting back to an item later. The URL from your browser window will tend to break while using the UW Libraries Search due to the nature of the system, so a permalink is strongly recommended to avoid broken links.

Here's how to get a permalink: 

  1. Use the UW Libraries Search to locate your resource.
    UW Libraries Search with redlining typed into the search box
  2. Click on the permalink icon. It is located on the right of the item, appearing as a chain link.
    UW Libraries Search result with red circle around permalink icon of a chain link
  3. The item record will expand and display the permalink (screenshot below). Simply copy and paste, and you have your link! 
    UW Libraries Search result expanded to show full permalink and a red circle around the chain link icon and a red square around Copy the Permalink to Clipboard

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What do you mean by 'safely share a link'?

Due to copyright and licensing requirements, the safest way to share library resources is to link to it rather than, e.g., attach a PDF to your email.

Licensing Considerations

Sharing permalinks to library resources as depicted in the previous FAQ avoids accidentally sharing a licensed resource with folks not covered by the UW's license terms. After clicking on the library's permalink, the user must authenticate with a valid UW NetID to view licensed online resources or must come to campus to borrow physical items. 

Copyright Considerations

Sharing permalinks to library resources as depicted in the previous FAQ avoids potentially affecting the copyright holder's exclusive right to "to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending" (as stated in 17 USC §106). Please keep in mind that you are responsible for following all relevant rules and laws.

Please note: Nothing in this guide or the linked resources provides legal advice.

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Why doesn't the library have this book, journal, or database?

There are many reasons the UW Libraries may not currently provide access to the book, journal, or database in which you're interested. Some of these reasons include availability to libraries (not all resources available for individuals are made available to libraries and institutions), the resource's applicability to the Health Sciences Library's user groups, affordability (some resources are only offered to libraries on a subscription basis, a cost that increases significantly every year Lock icon), availability (some individual resources are only available in very expensive packages), and more. Learn more about our guiding principles for collection development at the Health Sciences Library. 

If you would like the library to consider purchasing or subscribing to a new resource, please recommend a purchase

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Why can't I access this resource when I used to use it all the time?

If you should be able to access something but are unable to, please report the issue with the permalink and a description of the problem. Libraries staff will investigate the issue and provide a solution if possible.

Basic troubleshooting: Clear your cache or use incognito or private browsing. 

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How many people have access to this ebook?

Follow these steps to find out:

  1. Open the UW Libraries Search.
    Screenshot of Health Sciences Library homepage with arrow pointing at UW Libraries Search
  2. Search for the ebook.
    UW Libraries Search with arrow pointing at search keyword 'epidemiology' without the quotes
  3. Refine the search results if needed (e.g., filter Resource Type to view only Ebooks).UW Libraries Search results with an arrow pointing at Ebook Resource Type checkbox and a second arrow pointing at Apply Filters
  4. Click on Online Access to the ebook of interest in the search results.
    UW Libraries Search Results with arrow pointing at Online Access link under Epidemiology Ebook Gordis, Leon, 1934-2015 copyright 2009
  5. Click on [show license].
    Epidemiology ebook record with arrow pointing at Show License under View Online heading
  6. Read the Concurrent Users Note.
    Epidemiology ebook  license terms with arrow concurrent users note

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What does the Concurrent Users Note mean?
"Unlimited users"

Means any number of UW people can access the item at one time. 

"Unlimited concurrent users but total uses limited to 325 per year"

Means any number of UW people can access the item at one time but once it has been accessed 325 times that year, access is denied. 

"3 users"

Means only three UW people can access the item at one time. If you are denied access, try again at another time. 

"Most recent 1 year(s) not available" 

Means the publisher or vendor has not made the most recent month(s) or year(s) of the resource available to the UW or any institution. You may request access to the full text for free as UW faculty, student, or staff members. 

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Glossary of Terms Used in this Guide

Health Sciences Community

The health sciences community is made up of faculty, students, and staff across three campuses: UW Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma. The Health Sciences Library serves the Schools of Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, and Social Work and UW Medical Centers Harborview and Montlake.

The Health Sciences Library works closely with the Bothell and Tacoma Libraries, which serve the Nursing and Nutrition & Health Studies programs and the Nursing, Social Work, and Biomedicine programs, respectively. Health sciences librarians collaborate closely across campuses and libraries regarding collections, education, and services. 

General Terms

Biennial Budget

The University of Washington budgets operate on a two-year cycle. Therefore, the UW budget consists of two fiscal years, called a biennial budget; this can be contrasted to an annual budget which consists of one fiscal year. Due to the UW Financial Transformation (UWFT), the UW is transitioning to annual budgets in FY2024.

I.e., the FY20-21 Biennial Budget will end June 30th, 2021, and the FY22-23 Biennial Budget will begin on July 1st, 2021, and end two years later on June 30th, 2023. 


Libraries use the term collection to refer to all of the electronic, print, and other resources they provide. 

E.g., the Electronic Collection refers to all ejournals, ebooks, streaming media, point-of-care (also called evidence based practice) tools, and databases to which the library subscribes or has purchased.

E.g., the Print Collection refers to all of the paper books, journals, and reports the library owns. 

Fiscal Year (FY)

The University's fiscal year begins July 1st every year and ends on June 30th the following year. 

E.g., FY22 begins July 1, 2021, and ends June 30, 2022. 

Interlibrary Loan (ILL)

The UW Libraries partners with libraries across the nation and world to make resources accessible to patrons. 

E.g., if UW Libraries does not subscribe to the journal from which you need an article, you may place an ILL request and the UW Libraries will obtain the article for you from another library for free. Please note that not every article or item is accessible via interlibrary loan but the Libraries will do our best to find the requested item for you. 

Single Journal Titles

Libraries can subscribe to journals in packages or as single titles. Libraries typically have very little say in which journals are included in journal packages; in contrast, the library can add and cancel single titles with much more flexibility. Learn more about library acquisition models.

E.g., if UW Libraries would like to add a journal that is only available to libraries in a package, we must subscribe to the entire package to get access to that one title. Similarly, if the UW Libraries would like to cancel one title in a package, we must cancel all titles included in that package. Single journal titles are available to add and cancel independently from the library's other journals.


Many of the Health Sciences Library resources are subscription only.

I.e., publishers and vendors sell subscription access to their electronic resources (e.g., an ejournal) typically on an annual basis. If the Health Sciences Library subscribes to one year of an ejournal, the subscription must be renewed the next year, typically at a higher price than the previous year's subscription price; this increase in price is often referred to as serials cost inflation, which averages 6% annuallyLock icon.

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