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Danny Jones History of the Health Sciences Essay Award Winner

Please join us in congratulating Jacob Canfield (School of Medicine), this years’ winner of the Danny Jones History of the Health Sciences Essay Award sponsored by the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Library. This annual contest was established in memory of Danny Jones, M.L.S., who served as Head of Special Collections at the UT Health at San Antonio Briscoe Library and who was also a Past President of the Friends of the P.I. Nixon Medical Historical Library.

Jacob is a first year medical student from Fort Worth. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University Commerce and is involved with the organizations Frontera de Salud and Access Care Texas here at UT Health San Antonio. Jacob loves nature, history, and fossil hunting!

Pictured here congratulating Jacob is Owen Ellard, Senior Director of Libraries. Jacob’s essay was entitled Anti-Vax: 19th Century Insights into a Modern Healthcare Issue. For those of you who would like to hear more about Jacob’s essay, he will be providing a presentation on his topic during the Student Fiesta celebration being planned for April.

A copy of Jacob’s essay is provided here: Canfield,Jacob_EssayAward_2019.

Deadline January 31st to Win $500!

Submit your entry for the Danny Jones Student Essay Competition by midnight on Jan. 31st for a chance to win.

Email in PDF format to Peg Seger (

All UT Health students as well as interns, residents and fellows are eligible to enter.

Previously unpublished essays (up to 2500 words) in broad areas related to the history of the health sciences or the history of any health science profession are eligible for submission.

The contest is sponsored by the Friends of the P.I.Nixon Medical Historical Library in memory of Danny Jones, MLS, former Head of Special Collections at the UT Health Briscoe Library and Past President of the Friends.

For more information, click here.

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Five Tools That Can Help

Tool 1: The Link Generator.

When you want to distribute articles to students or colleagues, it works so much better to send or post links, as opposed to a copy of the article itself.  Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to find a link to a given article that will consistently work, both on-campus and off-campus.  That’s why the Health Science Center Libraries created the Link Generator — it’s a way to take one of several simple identifiers that most scholarly articles possess — either a PubMed ID (PMID), a Digital Object Identifier (DOI), or another ID — and quickly turn it into a short, simple, persistent link that works for Health Science Center faculty, staff, or students, on-campus or off-campus.

To begin, just go to and drop a PMID, DOI, CINAHL Accession Number, or PubMedCentral ID (PMCID) in the box.  Or if you prefer, you can just attach the identifier to the end of that same URL: for example, the link for an article with PMID 19197747 will be

Tool 2: Citation Help Resources.

There are lots of formats and models to help you create citations to works you wish to acknowledge.  The two most important things to remember when creating citations are:

  1. Your citation should prominently identify the creators of the work you are citing, whether they are individuals or entities, to ensure they get due credit for their creation.
  2. Your citation should include information that will help your readers locate copies of the work you are citing, so they can study it for themselves.
Here are some useful tools for creating citations properly — and easily:
  • The National Library of Medicine’s style guide, Citing Medicine by Karen Patrias, is available in its entirety online for free on the NCBI Bookshelf. This guide details the reference format (sometimes called the “Vancouver” format) recommended by the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (URM), as agreed upon by the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE).
  • Reference managers like RefWorks and EndNote allow you to collect information about the material you’re researching, and then automatically compile that information into bibliographic citations in the format of your choice.  EndNote is available at a discount through the Health Science Center bookstore, while RefWorks is free online to Health Science Center students, faculty, and staff. Learn more about using the Health Science Center’s subscription to RefWorks.
  • New web-based tools like Mendeley and Zotero offer reference management functionality like the tools mentioned above, but also offer the ability to share citation information with colleagues online.  Both Mendeley and Zotero are free.
  • For a simpler solution, BibMe is an easy web-based tool that allows you to enter necessary citation information in a web-based form, from which BibMe will create citations for you in APA, MLA, Chicago or Turabian formats (Vancouver format is not an option with BibMe).

Tool 3: Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) Academic License.

The Copyright Clearance Center is a nonprofit “rights broker” that attempts to simpify the process of requesting and granting permission to use copyrighted works, by offering a single clearinghouse for requests and royalty payments that works with all rights owners and users.  CCC has also negotiated a blanket “Academic License” with major scholarly publishers, and the University of Texas System institutions have purchased this license to cover copying and distribution of materials within all 15 UT component institutions.

Individuals affiliated with any UT System institution can learn more about this license and how to use it by visiting the UT System Office of General Counsel’s CCC Academic License website (note: to access this restricted website, you will need to first select your institution, and then log in as instructed).  If you have questions about the Academic License and how it applies to your class or project, we can help.

Tool 4: Creative Commons & Other Reuse-Safe Searches.

We’ve described how the Creative Commons license is a handy way for creators to expressly make their work available for others to use, but how can you find materials that are available for use under Creative Commons (or other reuse-friendly) licenses?  A number of major web search tools now offer “advanced search” options that allow you to limit your results to just works that can be reused.  For example, if you use Google Advanced Image Search, look for the selector labeled “Usage Rights” and set it to “Only images labeled for reuse” before you run your search.  Other important media sources that offer advanced search options for Creative Commons content include the image-sharing network Flickr and the video-sharing service YouTube.  You may also find this Creative Commons Search page handy for searching several such services.

In addition, there are a number of media repositories specifically oriented toward the health sciences that make content available under Creative Commons or other open licenses.  Examples include:

Tool 5: Copyright Management Resources.

You put a lot of time and effort into your scholarship, so you want it to have the widest distribution and application possible.  You may want to distribute your work to more places than just the pages of one publication. The publication agreements you enter into with publishers will determine which rights you provide to them, and which you maintain for yourself.  It’s very important that you read publication agreements carefully before signing, and ensure that they are written in a way that allows you to retain the rights you need for the future.  If you have concerns, remember that publication agreements are negotiable, and you can attach an author addendum to the agreement that modifies the terms of the agreement according to your needs.

Here are some tools that can help you craft an author addendum to meet your needs:

Frequently Asked Questions about Records Management

What is Records Management?

Records management is the application of management techniques to the creation, use, maintenance, retention, preservation and destruction of records for the purposes of improving the efficiency of record keeping.

Why is Records Management Important?

There are many reasons — legal requirements, open records requests and litigation, disaster recovery, lack of space, and backup of vital records. Texas laws require all state agencies, including state educational institutions, to maintain an active records management program with an appointed Records Management Officer and an approved Records Retention Schedule for state records.

Is there training available on Records Management?

Training classes are available for Records Management Representatives for each department and any other interested staff. See the Records Management Classes page for more information.

What are the duties of the departmental Records Management Representatives?

The Records Management Representative (RMR) for each department is responsible for helping the Library update the department’s records in the Records Retention Schedule. A full list of duties is available on the Records Management Representatives page.

What is the definition of a state record? Are all records at the UTHSC considered state records?

A state record is any written, photographic, machine-readable or other recorded information created or received by or on the behalf of a state agency or elected state official that documents activities in the conduct of state business or use of public resources.

The following are examples of documents that are not considered state records: library or museum material, reference materials, stocks of publications, blank forms, convenience copies, and alternative dispute resolution documentation.

What is the Records Retention Schedule?

The Records Retention Schedule, known as the RRS, provides information on the location of records, how long records must be kept before they are destroyed, confidentiality of records, and whether records are considered vital to the institution. Each state agency must submit a revised Records Retention Schedule every five years. The next UTHSC revision is due July 2018 although yearly amendments are also submitted. To facilitate this process, each UTHSC department is requested to appoint a Records Management Representative (RMR) who will work with Library staff to revise their department’s records in the RRS.

Do I need permission to destroy records listed on the Records Retention Schedule?

A departmental Records Management Representative (RMR) who has taken the required records management training may dispose of records listed on the Records Retention Schedule following their approved retention period without asking permission of the Records Management Officer or of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. A Disposition Log listing all the records disposed of and signed by the departmental Records Management Representative must be sent immediately to the UTHSC Records Management Officer.

May records not listed on the Records Retention Schedule be destroyed?

Some records, such as phone messages, fall under the general category of Transitory Information and may be discarded after they have fulfilled their purpose. Transitory records are records of temporary usefulness that are not an integral part of a records series of the University, that are not regularly filed within the University’s record keeping system, and that are required only for a limited period of time for the completion of an action by an official or employee of the University or in the preparation of an on-going records series. Transitory records are not essential to the fulfillment of statutory obligations or to the documentation of University functions.

Most records, however, are not transitory in nature. Destruction of any non-transitory state record that is not on the RRS must be approved by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Departments must send information on such records needing destruction to the Records Management Officer in the library, who will obtain approval from the Texas State Library.

Do I have to keep any kind of documentation on the records I destroy?

You must fill out a Disposition Log describing the records you have destroyed. Blank disposition log forms (and a sample completed form) are available from the Library Forms page. The log must be signed by your departmental Records Management Representative then sent to the Records Management Officer in the library.

What is a Disposition Log, and how long does my department have to keep them?

A disposition log is a document that tracks the final disposition (removal) of records from a state agency. The retention period for disposition logs is 10 years. Departments should send the original to the Briscoe Library to the Records Management Officer, who will keep the official copy. Departmental copies are convenience copies and may be discarded when no longer valuable. Blank disposition log forms (and a sample completed form) are available from the Library Forms page.

Can the Warehouse Certificate of Destruction be used as my disposition log?

The warehouse issues a Certificate of Destruction to departments after it destroys records belonging to that department. If the Certificate contains the same information as that listed on the Disposition Log , it may be used in lieu of filling out a Disposition Log.  This includes for each type of record listed the Record Series Title, Agency Item Number, required retention period, and the dates of the records included in the destruction.

Why are some records designated as “Vital” records?

Vital records are records that are necessary to the resumption or continuation of University operations in case of an emergency or disaster. They may also be records that are necessary to the recreation of the legal and financial status of the university. State law requires that vital records included on this list be backed up and stored off site.

Examples of vital records include: Contracts and leases, affiliation agreements, accounts payable ledgers, accounts receivable ledgers, federal tax records, employee earnings records,long-term liability records (bonds), insurance policies.

What kinds of records may be stored in the UTHSC warehouse?

  • Only official state records, those listed on the Records Retention Schedule, may be stored in the warehouse.
  • Do not send personal items such as books and journals.
  • The records must have at least 2 years left in their required retention period.
  • You must designate a destruction date for records sent to the warehouse.  Permanent records are generally not accepted as there is not enough room.
  • Note: All records in the box should have the same retention period as warehouse staff will discard the entire box at one time.

On the Materials Management (General Services) Storage Request form you should include for each box # a list of all the record series in the box.  For each record series listed include 1) the Agency Item Number (in the column for Record Series #) and 2) the official Record Series Title, official retention period, and date range of records included (in the Description column) .

How are records disposed of once they are removed from the UTHSC warehouse?

Periodically, warehouse staff determine which boxes have exceeded their disposition date and notify the responsible department that the box is eligible for final destruction. Copies of the original storage request and a Record Destruction Report are sent to the department. A department representative then signs and dates the Destruction Report form, permitting the warehouse to destroy the documents. Once permission is obtained, the boxes are pulled and taken to the recycler’s warehouse where they are mixed with documents from other sites then sent to a paper mill for pulping.

Do not recycle confidential documents (see next topic for examples) — they should be shredded instead.  Ask the warehouse if they can store the records until the next free university shred day.  If not, the department must pay for the shredding of the records.

What types of records should be shredded?

Records that have confidential information should be shredded. State law only requires that such records be destroyed to the point where they are unrecoverable–it does not specify how. The pulping process of recycling of paper satisfies this requirement, but is not as secure as shredding.

Confidential information includes the following: social security numbers, medical records, investigation of alleged child abuse and neglect, juvenile court records, and student records.

Small volumes of paper may be shredded in departments by using a small shredder. For large volumes of paper, contact the UTHSC Accounting department for information on shredding companies with state contracts.  Information Security occasionally offers a free Shred Day for the university.  You can also contact them to see if one is coming soon.

Do departments have to keep backup for IDTs and billing detail (4.1.002)?

Departments with federal grants are the only departments required to keep IDTs and billing detail.  Accounting scans these records but only keeps them for FE+3 (3 years after the end of the fiscal year in which they were created).  Fiscal records for federal grants must be kept for 6 years after the end of the grant, so departments must have them on hand to show federal auditors. Departments may keep the current year  or two in the department and send the remaining years (at least 2) to the UTHSC Warehouse with a date to destroy the records written on the box.

What is the difference between a fiscal year and a calendar year?

The fiscal year for UTHSC runs from September 1 of one year through August 31 of the following year. For example, the 2016 fiscal year runs from September 1, 2015 through August 31, 2016.

The calendar year runs from January 1 through December 31 of the year. For example, the 2016 calendar year runs from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016.

To figure out when documents may be destroyed, you can either count backwards from the beginning of the current year (fiscal or calendar) to determine which old documents may be destroyed or count forward from the end of the year to determine when a document created during that year will be eligible for destruction. See the examples and spreadsheet calculator for more information.

How long must we keep documentation for charges against state accounts?

The state requires FE +3, or 3 years past the end of the fiscal year in which charges occurred.

How long must we keep grant records?

It depends on grant requirements and the type of record.

The Records Retention Schedule sets the retention period for federal grants to AC +5 (close of grant plus 5 years). Non-federal grants (state or privately funded) must be kept for AC+3 (close of grant plus 3 years).  Fiscal records for federal grants are kept longer, AC+6.

Note, however, that grants involving clinical trials and drug studies can only be kept for 3 years after either 1) notification of new drug application approval or 2) completion, termination, or discontinuation of study if it does not result in a submission of application for research or marketing permit. This includes research data and documentation, case reports, study protocols, etc.

The text portions of grants may be kept as long as needed as they are often re-used in subsequent grant applications. Medical research findings (research participant records, surveys, questionnaires, etc.) may also be kept as long as desired, except for clinical trials.

All of these are state requirements. Check with the granting agency to be sure they do not require a longer retention period.

How long must departments keep resumes, employment applications, etc.?

Individual departments do not have to keep applications, resumes, etc., as Human Resources does so. Any resumes received for employees that are hired should be sent to Human Resources for filing as employees often ask for them.

May we keep personnel files for separated employees longer than 5 years?

Documents used for credentialing or verification for employees who are health professionals may be kept for as long as they are deemed administratively valuable while such documents for Residents/Fellows must be kept permanently. This includes certifications, training certificates, most current licenses, anything of value in responding to requests for credentialing or verification.

How long must travel expense backup, such as credit card bills & receipts, RTAs, etc. be kept?

FE+3 (3 years past the end of the fiscal year in which expense occurred). See Record Series 3.3.023 Reimburseable activities.

Fresh Food and Coffee Machines are Coming!

Here’s a sneak peek at Briscoe library’s new vending machines waiting in the warehouse for shipment.

The fresh food, coffee, and snack machines are expected to arrive before the end of September.

Having these vending machines means that food and coffee will be available for students in the library 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You will no longer have to leave campus when you get hungry at night or on weekends, food and coffee will be right here in the library!

Get Some Exercise at the Library!

Did you know that you can exercise and study at the same time?

Well, now you can, and you will have a great view of our beautiful campus!

Come to the 5th floor of the Briscoe Library to check out the new equipment.

There are 3 exercise bikes with attached desk-tops that can be used night or day, 24/7/365.

Standing power hubs are also available to charge your phone or laptop while you are exercising.

Stay tuned for a treadmill desk coming soon.

Girl Scout Carnival of Hope

With the help of many dedicated adult leaders, Girl Scout Troop 128 created a one-of-a-kind health event at the Salvation Army Hope Center  Emergency Shelter For Women and Children on Saturday, April 8th. Many UT Health San Antonio campus departments, including the library, volunteered to make this event a success. Women and children who attended the event were treated to many fun and educational activities revolving around  nutrition, exercise, relaxation, health screenings, and more.

Shown above, librarian Kirsten Lorenzen uses an anatomy model to show carnival attendees how to identify organs in the body. Crayons and handouts were available for kids to color in order to learn how to identify nutritious fruits and vegetables.  Girl Scout troop member, Carolina Toboada, eagerly helped at the library exhibit table handing out crayons and coloring sheets.

To achieve the Girl Scout Silver Award,  troop members have also created a website, Worthy Women, that provides support information to homeless women.

To learn more about how the UT Health Libraries can partner with you on community outreach events, contact Peg Seger

How do I get a Thesis/Dissertation bound?

Students that complete their thesis or dissertation at the UT Health Science Center San Antonio may elect to have their copies bound.  Any student wanting to have copies bound should receive a memo either from the Graduate Dean’s office or their department office.

The Libraries do not bind copies in-house; they are sent to a company specializing in binding of materials.  It normally takes 3-4 weeks to get copies back once a shipment has been sent.

The cost for binding is $14 per copy.  Payment may be made by cash, check, credit card, or Project ID, if approved by the department.

The Libraries cannot print copies from electronic versions for students.  All copies must be printed by the student prior to submitting for binding.  Please note that library staff will not rearrange or insert pages prior to shipping (don’t forget the signature page!).

Copies are bound exactly as they are shipped.  Due to this, each copy must be individually packaged in an unsealed envelope.  The Libraries are not able to provide envelopes for students.  We suggest students not get expensive envelopes because these are not returned to us.

Below is a recap of what the Libraries will need for binding thesis/dissertation copies.  All of this is required at the time of delivery by the student.  Take this to the Circulation Desk and library staff will assist you.

  • A completed binding memo – please type information to avoid mistakes due to illegible writing.
  • Full payment for the copies being bound.  This amount may be split between a Project ID and personal payment but should cover the cost for the total number of copies.
  • Correct amount of printed copies in individual envelopes.

*Click here to access binding memos.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Andrea N. Schorr, Head of Resource Management.

Integrate Library Research Skills into Course Content

Faculty are encouraged to consider integrating library research skills into course content.  Classes can be requested for any group, department or class and participation is open to everyone.  Librarians are available to develop and teach classes that meet specific needs or are about a specific resource.  Classes are usually hands-on and interactive when students have laptops or if the class is held in the Library Computer Classroom.

Librarian teaching students in the lecture hall

Popular themes for classes include:

  • PubMed
  • Ovid Medline
  • Evidence Based Practice
  • RefWorks
  • EndNote
  • Creating and Presenting Poster Sessions

Please submit your request in advance to ensure the availability of a librarian and time preparation of materials.  If a specific assignment will be assigned after the class, please let us know the details and expectations you have for your students.

To learn more or to schedule a class, contact Briscoe Library Information at 210-567-2450 or