Frequently Asked Questions - VHA National Desktop Library
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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs
Online Books and Journals FAQs
Remote Access FAQs

General FAQs

  • Who may use the VHA Desktop Library?
    • All VA employees and contractors may use the VHA National Desktop Library. Residents, students, and trainees are allowed access while they are on rotation at the VA.However, it is recommended that you use your local library website which may provide additional resources.
  • Is there training available for the resources?
  • Can I make multiple copies of UpToDate's patient education materials to keep on hand for patient visits and education fairs?
    • UTD routinely updates patient education materials to ensure currency of information. It is acceptable to provide a patient with printouts at his/her visit. However, UTD has not given the VA permission to keep printouts on hand in bulk. So do not store UTD printouts for future distribution at an unknown date.  Multiple copies can be printed out at the time of an instance such as an education fair, but copies left over should not be retained. 
  • My medical center does not have a library or library staff. Who can assist me with electronic resources and literature searches?
    • If your medical center has made no arrangements for library service, then the VHA National Desktop Library is the only resource available to you. For assistance with the VHA National Desktop Library resources, you can contact the LNO. Contact your medical center administration to see what alternative arrangements they may have made for literature searches and interlibrary loans.
  • How do I recommend that additional resources (journals, books, databases) be made available?
  • Do you have any materials that are not medical or nursing texts?
    • Yes. We have materials in the areas of pharmacy, nutrition, rehabilitation, and other clinical areas. In addition, there are e-books on management, computer software, and other subjects at Skillsoft Books through TMS. Check your local library for print materials on a wider range of subjects.
  • Can I use images from library subscribed resources?

    Yes and no, it depends on the resource:

    • AccessSuite from McGraw Hill: AccessSuite users may display, download, or print out images associated with the site for personal and educational use only. Educational use refers to classroom teaching, lectures, presentations, rounds, and other instructional activities, such as displaying, linking to, downloading, printing and making and distributing multiple copies of said isolated materials in both print and electronic format. Users will only display, distribute, or otherwise make such images from the applicable AccessSuite site(s) available to students or other persons attending in-person presentations, lectures, rounds or other similar instructional activities presented or given by User. Users may not otherwise copy, print, transmit, rent, lend, sell or modify any images from any AccessSuite site(s) or modify or remove any proprietary notices contained therein, or create derivative works based on materials therefrom. They also many not disseminate any portion of the applicable AccessSuite site(s) subscribed to hereunder through electronic means except as outlined above, including mail lists or electronic bulletin boards.
    • Psychiatry Online: Valid subscribers may download and print text and images from the site for their own personal, noncommercial use, provided that they keep intact all copyright and other proprietary notices and follow all terms of use. No one may systematically retrieve Content from the site to create or compile, directly or indirectly, a collection, compilation, database, or directory without written permission from American Psychiatric Publishing.
    • EBSCO databases (CINAHL Plus with Full Text, PsycARTICLES, PsycBOOKS, Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection, PsycINFO,  Social Work Reference Center and SocIndex with Full Text): Copyrights of images are the property of the PUBLISHER and the images may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. Images may be printed for personal, non-commercial use and used in presentations for educational use consistent with the Copyright Act of 1976, but may not be posted on the Web or used in any other form of mass media without express written permission from the copyright holder.
    • Elsevier resources (Clinical Key, ClinicalKey for Nursing): Request for permission is required. Images may be used in presentations for educational use consistent with the Copyright Act of 1976, but may not be posted on the Web or used in any other form of mass media without express written permission from the copyright holder. Further instructions are found on their website.
    • Lexicomp for Dentistry: Contact Linda Taylor for permission.
    • VisualDX: Each image has a unique url. If the presentation is to be delivered on site at a VA there is no problem with pasting the url into the PowerPoint. When the deliverer of the presentation gets to the slide with the image url they just click on it and it will open since IP authentication is set up for all sites. If the presentation will be offsite send a request to Christan Mary Brown on what’s needed and she will have image archivist send out the images to whoever needs them. Images cannot be copied and pasted directly from VisualDx. Turnaround time is about a day or two.

Online Books and Journals FAQs

  • How do I find out if I have access to the full text of a journal article?
    • Search for the journal title in your local library's alphabetical list of online journals and books.  If located there will be a note indicating dates of full text coverage, along with a link for access. The process is described in more detail at the Locating E-Resources document.
  • What can I do if the full text of the journal I need is not available online?
    • If you are unable to locate the journal you need, please contact your local library staff (Intranet resource) to obtain the article through interlibrary loan.
  • Is there a way when searching PubMed to see if the full text of an article is available?
    • There is a unique PubMed URL established for every library. After you enter your search term(s) change the Display Settings from 'Summary' to 'Abstract.' The 'Abstract' display setting will show an icon when full text is licensed for your facility. Click the icon to be taken directly to the full text.
  • Are there online books and journals available for my discipline (nursing, infection control, etc.)?
    • There are books and journals for most clinical and allied health areas. Special subject guides have been developed for some disciplines and more are being added. If there isn't a subject guide, please check your local library's alphabetical list. You can browse by title, keyword, or subject.
  • Does the Cognitive Processing Therapy ebook license allow for internal VA posting on a webpage or Sharepoint site and can the handouts be used VA wide?
    • Yes, until 2027, a copy of the license  is here CPT License.
  • Can VA Staff copy and paste content from the OVID eBooks Telephone Triage Protocols for Nurses, Triage Protocols for Aging Adults, and Telephone Triage for Obstetrics & Gynecology into CPRS?
  • Does the New England Journal of Medicine license include the 1 hour CME that is available with the print journal?
    • No, the CME is available only if you have a personal online subscription. More information on CME and CE can be found on the Continuing Education page.
  • Does the New England Journal of Medicine license provide access to downloading teaching slides embedded in full text articles? 
    • No, the teaching slides are only accessible if you have a personal online subscription.

Remote Access FAQs

  • How do I access online journals/databases if I am not using a VA computer?
    • To access library materials from home or while on travel you need to establish an Athens account. The account will provide a single link and a single username/password that will allow you to access all the resources available through Athens. You MUST register for an Athens account while at work on the VA network. Once you have registered, you will not need to be on a VA computer to use most library resources.
      There are a few resources that are not available using Athens. Some of these resources allow remote access through the use of a username and password. These resources are listed under the remote access page. Some resources are only accessible while on the VA network. These are also listed on the remote access page.
  • I forgot my Athens username and password. How do I reset it? What do I do if my account has expired?
    • The majority of usernames follow this pattern va[VISNnumber][first initial][last name]. For example, the username of Elvis Presley in VISN 9 would be va9epresley. If this does not work please email the Library Network Office for retrieval of your username.
      Visit the password reset page to reset your password. This will generate a message to the email account you used for registration. Follow the link provided in the message to reset your password.
      Accounts that will expire within 30 days or have been expired no more than 90 days can be renewed via the Athens re-registration page. If your account has been expired more than 90 days contact the Library Network Office for renewal.
  • I logged into Athens and still can't get the full text of the article I need. What's wrong?
    • The most likely reason is that the journal is not licensed for your use by your local library, the VISN, or nationally by the Library Network Office.