How many of you have a stack of journals in your office or at home beside your favorite chair (much to your spouse’s chagrin), or slips of paper with journal citations of “must-read” articles littering your desk? And when will you find the time to read all of these “must-read” articles or peruse those journals to glean the newest, most up-to-date information for your field? The sad truth is that if you spent all of your spare waking hours in that pursuit, you would still be woefully behind. So how does a busy clinician stay on top of the professional literature in order to provide the best care for his/her patients? Let’s face it – in the words of that much quoted adage, it’s a jungle out there, with more medical literature being generated than anyone could possibly keep up with. Not only that, depending upon the source, it could be contradictory in nature. Are there any trustworthy shortcuts you can use as you make your way through the underbrush? Happily, yes, there are. Below are but a few tools you can use to keep yourself updated in your area of interest. These tools require very little work on the user’s part (registration), and the information is vetted and sent automatically.

  • Table of Contents Services: Many journals offer this service to those who register on the journal web site. The table of contents for each current issue is sent via e-mail for the reader to determine if there is any article of interest in that issue. However, links to the articles will only be active if the reader subscribes to that journal. All those listed below are accessible to the Palmer community. To make sure you have access to the full-text, register by accessing the journal through the A-Z electronic journals from the Palmer library web page.
    • Chiropractic & Manual Therapies
    • Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics
    • Manual Therapy
    • Spine
  • Alert Services: Offered by some journals and medical web sites, this is also a registration-based e-mail service which includes article abstracts and research information. Often these can be tailored to the reader’s specialty and area of interest.
    • National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine ( – evidence-based information on CAM, scientific literature searches, summaries of NCCAM-funded research, and more.
    • BMJ Evidence Updates ( – the reader can personalize by specialty and topic of interest and set filters for relevancy and newsworthiness.
    • Science Daily ( – register for newsletters by medical topic and/or medical condition.
    • Dynamed (access through the library database page) – register for the Dynamed Weekly Update – 1 to 5 articles chosen by the editorial team as ones most likely to change clinical practice.
    • Natural Standard (access through the library database page) – register for the monthly eNewsletter which gives current news and research concerning herbs & supplements, nutrition, and CAM therapies.

These are but a few of many available, and of course you probably don’t want to register for all of them, or you will be faced with the same fire hydrant of information when you only want a drink. You might want to test one or two at a time until you find the information service that gives you the most and best information for your topics of interest, or check with your colleagues for their recommendations. All of the above services have RSS feeds, and some also have smartphone apps also available. Check on their web sites for information on those. Hopefully, this will give you a path through the information jungle. Happy traveling.