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: