Medicine and Pharmacy Portal

The Medicine and Pharmacy Portal offers support for your studies, research and teaching. Here you may find news and information about subject-specific events and services offered by the university library as well as useful tools for your scientific work. Quick links:

Coffee Lectures on YouTube

Inputs from medicine, science and open science available on YouTube

Online Services 24/7

Here for you whenever you want

Take advantage of our online services wherever you are.

Everything you need to know

Systematic Searching Guide

The Systematic Searching Guide answers your questions about systematic searching in medical databases and registries:

Made for you

PubMed Video Tutorials

Our video tutorials offer support in conducting systematic searches in PubMed and in designing search strategies.

How to do a systematic review

Cochrane Interactive Learning

The Cochrane Training website provides a range of learning opportunities for individuals interested in learning more about conducting, editing or reading a systematic review. Whether you are a complete beginner or a seasoned reviewer, you will find new opportunities to learn here about Cochrane systematic review methodology and processes. A registration is required in order to access the training modules.

Further information

Brief consultation
Consultations & Searches
Systematic Review Services
10-20 minutes via Zoom
Consultations on databases & search strategies. Brief contract searches (max. 2 h, no systematic searches)
Consultations on systematic and other reviews. Conduction of systematic searches. Free access to Covidence
Students UniBE
free free
- (CHF 120.00/h)
Employees Inselspital
free free
Employees UniBE / PhD's
free free (Searches > 2h: CHF 88.00/h)
CHF 120.00/h
Employees Canton Bern
free CHF 88.00/h
CHF 120.00/h
External clients
free CHF 114.00/h
CHF 150.00/h
Contact Wed, 11-12.30 & 16-18 h, Zoom link for drop-in

Detailed information on fees and services:

Quick Question?

Speak with an information specialist

Find answers and resources by dropping in virtually. Every Wednesday 11:00 – 12:30 and 16:00 – 18:00.


  • Formulating your research question
  • Developing your search strategy
  • Translating your search strings from one database to another to obtain the most complete results
  • Peer review of your search strategy
  • Sources for systematic literature searching (databases, registries, grey literature)
  • Tools, handbooks, and guidance in systematic literature searching
  • New publication alerts

Please contact us with the following form. We are looking forward to your request.


Auftragsrecherchen / Librarian assisted searches

  • Support with and development of non-systematic searches

Fees and policy.

The Research Support Services team of the University of Bern Medical Library offers individual research consultations and contract searches for complex literature searches for systematic or scoping Reviews, HTAs or clinical guidelines. Our services cover:

Advice and Consulting on the following:

  • Sequential steps of systematic searching and systematic reviews
  • Search concepts and strategy development
  • Database selection and searching grey literature (non-published literature)

We offer the following paid services:

  • Conducting searches in specified databases
  • Designing (complex) search strategies
  • Revising your search strategy, subject to the approval of the principal investigator
  • Peer-reviewing your search strategies
  • Delivery of search results in an agreed-upon format
  • Documenting the search strategy, databases searched, and our results. Documentation includes the limits we set for the search. The documents we supply are ready to include in the manuscript's appendix and the PRISMA flow chart.
  • Writing up the search for the Methods section of your manuscript


Time frame

Contact us when your protocol has been drafted. Search times vary, depending upon the complexity of the search, the number of databases to be searched, and your availability for feedback. Deadlines are mutually approved.


When we conduct complex searches for you and document them for the manuscript (e.g., in the Methods and Appendix), we request co-authorship. If our contribution does not meet the ICMJE standards for authorship, we require clients to acknowledge our work as contributors.

Further information:


Registration for Systematic Review Services

If you want to register for our systematic review services, please fill out the following form and return it to us by email.

Information on Open Science, Open Acess, and BORIS is provided by the Open Science team.


Dr. Kali Tal:
Dr. Sampoorna Rappaz:


Registration & Fees

  • Affiliates from University of Bern, Pädagogische Hochschule PHBern, Inselspital Bern: Free
    Registration via ILIAS on course page
  • Academic fee for affiliates from University and hospital: CHF 150 / course (3 hours)*:
    Registration via ILIAS on Academic fee for affiliates from University and hospital: course page
  • External fee: CHF 200 / course (3 hours)*
    Registration via registration form (for Swiss participants not affiliated with the University of Bern)

*Discount if more than 3 (= 2%), more than 5 (= 5%) or more than 10 (= 10%) courses are booked per semester at once.

➔ Participants should have English at a C1 level or higher.

Knowledge and Learning

Courses and Workshops

Brief coffee lectures, systematic searching in databases, and much more. We're happy to share our knowledge.

The Medical Library of the University of Bern is committed to teaching students and researchers how to improve their research skills and raise the quality of their publications.

Our courses in literature searching and evidence-based medicine include:

  • Curricular courses for the faculties of Medicine and Veterinary Science
  • Customized courses to meet the needs of your institution, department, or group

For course offers, please contact:


Systematic searching and more

Please find our courses on the courses on the courses site or at the bottom of this page.

Coffee & Sweets

Brain food for your research projects or study

The coffee lectures of medicine and pharmacy provide practical tips in a nutshell concerning your scientific work. The coffee lectures will take place in the spring and in the fall as an online event. No registration is required

New Coffee Lectures


Missed the Coffee Lecture? Watch the recording on Youtube ▶️

Unterlagen & Folien von vergangenen Coffee & Sweets:

We hold various lectures in literature searching as part of the regular curriculum of human medicine, dentistry medicine, biomedicine, veterinary medicine, pharmacy and biotechnical engineering.

The medical library also offers courses for the program "Transferable Skills",the Graduate School for Health Sciences (GHS) und the Graduate School for Cellular and Biomedical Sciences (GCB).

For other courses please contact corresponding study coordinators. To get an offer for customized workshops please contact us via
Or alternatively have a look at our video tutorials on literature searching.

Lighten scientific life

Tools for Academic Workflows

Useful databases, tools for statistical analysis, data visualization, citation management, and much more.

Questions or considerations about tools:

AI Tools: Position Statement Medical Library

At the Medical Library, we value ethical conduct, research integrity, critical thinking, transparency, high-quality reproducible science, and trustworthy information. Based on these values, our position on the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools in the production of useful scientific knowledge is that researchers must:

  • Have a deep understanding of the limitations and biases of the tool(s) that they intend to use.
  • Fact-check the data and information provided by the tool(s) before using it for any scientific purpose. Researchers must take full responsibility for the integrity of everything that they produce.
  • Be careful about what information they share with the tool(s). Researchers must not share confidential information, including unpublished hypotheses and results, if the AI developer has access to this data.
  • Document details of usage: purpose of use, software details, input(s), date and time of use, user details, raw output(s), etc.
  • Think carefully about which tool(s) they want to use and why. Researchers must not use AI for AI’s sake. We recommend critically evaluating a few tools using clearly defined criteria that focus on quality, trustworthiness, and AI developer’s ethics, before deciding on which tool(s) to use. Researchers must re-evaluate their choices and outputs regularly because algorithms change.
  • Assess the personal limitations and biases that could impede the objective evaluation of the outputs of the tool(s). Researchers should seek advice and training from experienced and knowledgeable users on how to use the tool(s) safely and effectively.
  • Ensure that AI usage does not replace the constant improvement of one’s scientific skills, such as critical thinking, information assimilation leading to original thought, effective communication, etc.
  • Disclose the use of tool(s) clearly and fully when sharing scientific information, in line with ethical and institutional guidelines.

If you need any support in the use of AI tools for your scientific literature search or academic writing  feel free to contact us:


ChatGPT (GPT-3)

Modality of acess



ChatGPT-3 was designed to handle a wide range of conversational and text-based tasks, including programming, answering questions, and generating text.


You can use ChatGPT-3 to quickly summarize and paraphrase text or generate code across multiple programming languages. ChatGPT-3 allows for iterative improvements in prompts and outputs. ChatGPT-3 is user-friendly, and it is easy to initiate a chat with a single sentence.


Though chatting with ChatGPT-3 may feel similar to chatting with a person, ChatGPT-3 does not understand your ideas or concepts. Its knowledge also does not extend beyond January 2022. ChatGPT-3 may fabricate (“hallucinate”) content, summarize incorrectly, misinterpret nuance. It may invent index terms, suggest incorrect syntax in search strategies, and is unreliable when supplying references. Finally, information shared with ChatGPT-3 is not confidential since ChatGPT-3 also trains on data provided by users. Therefore personal information can be part of ChatGPT-3 outcomes. Even ChatGP3 policies advises users against sharing sensitive data with the system.


Elicit AI Assistant Tool

Modality of access



Its primary purpose is to automate some parts of the literature review workflow. One of the strongly supported steps is idea generation by retrieving papers and assisting the selection of key papers.


Elicit can help you identify papers on a topic, without overwhelming you with hundreds of results. You can use Elicit to explore existing research, which can help you elucidate and define your topic. Elicit can help you identify key papers and then help you use them to find similar literature. You can save and export your search results.


Elicit does not recognize advanced search syntax (e.g, truncation); instead, it process research question or main concepts written in natural language. You cannot conduct a full systematic/scoping review project within the Elicit environment.


Rayyan Screening Tool

Modality of access



It is intended to help you screen titles and abstracts faster.


The free version will de-duplicate references; you can specify inclusion and exclusion criteria and collaborate with up to 3 blinded reviewerse. The free version also includes AI-based features, e.g., sorting by best matching. If you subscribe to the paid version you can use it on mobile devices.


The interface is outdated and, in the free version, it is hard to assign subgroups of articles to different coauthors for screening.



ASReview Screening Tool

Modality of access



ASReview helps you screen titles and abstracts faster.


ASReview is open source, transparent, and educational. It utilizes active learning to identify relevant papers. The process starts with an initial users selection of relevant papers, which will be used by the system to sort articles based on relevance.


Requires some expertise with Python to install it. Each user must customize their screening process to suit their needs.

Video Introducation ASReview (MOV, 17.8 MB)

Research Rabbit

Research Rabbit Topic Exploration

Modality of access



You can use Research Rabbit to identify articles and their authors, track publications, and generate visual representations of research domains.


Research Rabbit facilitates forward and backwards citation searching and explores connections between the papers you have already identified.


Because Research Rabbit’s filters and options are limited, you cannot filter your results by, e.g., date of publication or publication type. Forward citation results are not reliable and papers that have cited your paper of interest may be missing from the list.


Consensus Topic Exploration

Modality of access



You can use Consensus to identify articles and their authors, track publications, and generate visual representations of research domains.


Consensus can be used for a naive search while you are still formulating or finalizing your research topic. You can use it to identify scientific sources without setting up a search strategy. You can query Consensus in natural language and it will identify research papers related to the query you entered.


You can use Consensus for a superficial exploration of your research question, and it will supply you with some key papers, but you cannot conduct a comprehensive search in the Consensus environment.

Academic Writing Tools

Academic Writing Tools

AI-based writing tools can be categorised based on what they do, for example, generative AI tools (such as ChatGPT) generate text, paraphraser AI tools (such as Writefull) rewrite text. We have listed these categories below, along with some of the risks of using these tools indiscriminately and without appropriate training. While AI tools can help produce text quickly, this text is generic, ineffectively structured, and, in many instances, factually incorrect. The quality of the output depends more on the user’s experience, knowledge, and training than on the tool’s functionality. Therefore, we cannot recommend any one tool in any of the categories as the best of its class.

We strongly advise academic writers, especially new writers and those with less experience, to use AI tools cautiously and in moderation. Writing well is hard because writing is intertwined with thinking. Both our writing and thinking become clearer as we work on making our sentences more effective and our paragraphs more coherent. We urge all writers to make the effort to read a lot and to write a lot to improve their ability to synthesize evidence, summarize it, and communicate it. We ask them to not fall into the trap of accepting AI-generated texts that simply “sound good.” We insist that they use AI tools only if they are certain of what high-quality academic writing should look like.

Category Example(s) Risk(s) from indiscriminate usage

Translator tools

DeepL Write

  • Ineffective writing is accepted

  • Limits learning of language and style conventions

Generative tools

ChatGPT, JenniAI

  • User’s critical thinking atrophies

  • User’s writing skill deteriorates

  • Text contains factual errors

  • Low-quality text is accepted

Reader and summarizer tools

Wordtune, Humata, SciSpace, Leminda

  • User’s critical thinking atrophies

  • User misses details, idea generation, reflection

  • User’s writing skill deteriorates

  • Factually incorrect summaries are accepted

Paraphraser tools

Writefull, Ref-N-Write

  • User’s critical thinking atrophies

  • User misses details, idea generation, reflection

  • User’s writing skill deteriorates

  • Factually incorrect paraphrases are accepted

Academic editing tools

ProWritingAid, Paperpal

  • Ineffective writing is accepted


Further information with the subject librarian: Fachreferat Medizin

Medline Reference database for all areas of biomedicine, with more than 21 million citations from 1946. Issued by: National Library of Medicine, USA

EMBASE Reference database with more than 23 million biomedical and pharmacological citations from 1974, including Medline from 1966. Issued by: Elsevier

Vivocase: Largest freely accessible German-language collection of medical-clinical case studies

The Cochrane Library Database on evidence-based medicine: includes full text of systematic reviews, protocols and register of clinical studies. Issued by: Cochrane Collaboration

PubMed Citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books

Discover e-journals in your subject area with BrowZine. The best starting point is here: Biomedical and health sciences

Further information you find with the subject librarian pharmacy: Fachreferat Pharmazie.

Ovid MEDLINE ALL Reference database for biomedical and related literature. Published by the National Library of Medicine, USA


Cochrane Training Learning material and online courses for conducting, editing or reading a systematic review (for some courses you need to register with a free Cochrane account and access the website via VPN)

Discover e-journals in your subject area with BrowZine. The best starting point is here: pharmacy journals

Pschyrembel Comprehensive medical encyclopedia, which also comprises the Hunnius Pharmaceutical Dictionary

PubMed Reference database for biomedical and related literature. PubMed includes references from MEDLINE, PubMed Central and the NCBI Bookshelf. Published by the National Library of Medicine, USA

DrugBasePlus Access to various databases for pharmacy and medicine, e.g. ABDA, AHFS-DI, Fiedler, Hager, Index Nominum, Normdosen, Pediatric dosage tables

Data Science Platform


Anaconda package manager and environment manager for Python and R: Anaconda is a free, multi-functional toolset for data science applications. It facilitates package management of Python and R libraries and enables the effective use of programming environments and software packages.

Documentation and installation: Anaconda Individual Edition


SciFlow makes scientific writing easier

SciFlow makes it easy to write and format scientific texts - whether for a specific journal or as a student paper. SciFlow also offers attractive templates, chat support, webinars and text checking. The University Library of Bern has licensed SciFlow for the entire UniBE campus. Further information



LaTeX is a text processing program, that enables structured formatting. Especially helpful for academic working with sciences.

➜ Download LaTeX
➜ E-Book: Das Textverarbeitungssystem LaTeX (German fulltext within the UniBE network)
➜ E-Book: LaTeX Beginner's Guide, Leitfaden für Einsteiger, S. Kottwitz, 2011 (Fulltext within the UniBE network)

Plagiarism Checker


Plagscan is a plagiarism checker tool, which can be accessed via Campus account. It is able to scan all common file formats for potential plagiarisms.


Download Zotero: free of charge; all operating systems. Use your unibe-email in order to get more storage space.


Members of the University of Bern can use the campus licence for citativi or they get a licence at discounted rate at the Softwareshop.

Deduplicate references with 1 click


You got references from different databases and you need to deduplicate them? The AI-powered deduplication tool Deduklick has been developed in collaboration with the Medical Library Bern.

Connects researchers and research


Distinguish yourself in research! ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor ID) is a unique identifier for academic authors.
Register for your own ORCID.

How your paper is discussed


The Altmetric-Plugin allows you to easily display altmetric data for electronic articles that have a DOI. Using the Altmetric Explorer you can get detailed information about the online dissemination of research at article, author, group and institutional level.

➜ Altmetric Explorer
➜ different Altmetric tools
Screencast about Altmetric (Coffee Lecture of November 2021)

Hot off the press

Our publications

We support and collaborate with research teams, devising and improving search strategies for systematic and other reviews.

  • Steinmann M, Rietschin A, Pagano F, Karrer T, Kollár A, Weidlinger S, von Wolff M. Systematic Review of the Gonadotoxicity and Risk of Infertility of Soft Tissue Sarcoma Chemotherapies in Pre- and Postpubertal Females and Males. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2024 Jul 12. doi: 10.1089/jayao.2024.0057. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38995852.

  • Vetsch T, Eggmann S, Jardot F, von Gernler M, Engel D, Beilstein CM, Wuethrich PY, Eser P, Wilhelm M. Ventilatory efficiency as a prognostic factor for postoperative complications in patients undergoing elective major surgery: a systematic review.Br J Anaesth. 2024 Apr 20:S0007-0912(24)00144-2. doi: 10.1016/j.bja.2024.03.013. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38644158.

  • Weidlinger S, Graber S, Bratschi I, Pape J, Kollár A, Karrer T, von Wolff M. A Systematic Review of the Gonadotoxicity of Osteosarcoma and Ewing's Sarcoma Chemotherapies in Postpubertal Females and Males. J Adolesc Young Adult Oncol. 2024 Apr 17. doi: 10.1089/jayao.2023.0185. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38629685.

  • Fuchs A, Koepp G, Huber M, Aebli J, Afshari A, Bonfiglio R, Greif R, Lusardi AC, Romero CS, von Gernler M, Disma N, Riva T. Apnoeic oxygenation during paediatric tracheal intubation: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Br J Anaesth. 2023 Nov 28:S0007-0912(23)00622-0. doi: 10.1016/j.bja.2023.10.039. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38030551.

  • Zürcher A, Knabben L, von Gernler M, Stute P. Depot medroxyprogesterone acetate and breast cancer: a systematic review. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2023 Nov 15. doi: 10.1007/s00404-023-07265-5. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37966517.

  • Stute P, Walker LJ, Eicher A, Pavicic E, Kolokythas A, Theis S, von Gernler M, von Wolff M, Vollrath S. Progestogens for endometrial protection in combined menopausal hormone therapy: A systematic review. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2023 Aug 22:101815. doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2023.101815. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37634998.

  • Michailidou, E.; Rüegg, P.O.; Karrer, T.; Korda, A.; Weder, S.; Kompis, M.; Caversaccio, M.; Mantokoudis, G. Hearing Results after Transmastoid Superior Semicircular Canal Plugging for Superior Semicircular Canal Dehiscence: A Meta-Analysis. Audiol. Res. 2023, 13, 730-740.

  • Krone LB, Fehér KD, Rivero T, Omlin X. Brain stimulation techniques as novel treatment options for insomnia: A systematic review. Journal of sleep research. 2023 May 18:e13927.

  • Weidlinger S, Winterberger K, Pape J, Weidlinger M, Janka H, von Wolff M, Stute P. Impact of estrogens on resting energy expenditure: A systematic review. Obes Rev. 2023 Aug 6:e13605. doi: 10.1111/obr.13605.

  • Theis, S; Baumgartner, S J; Janka, H; Kolokythas, A; Skala, C; Stute, P (2023). Quality of life in menopausal women in the workplace - a systematic review. (In Press). Climacteric, pp. 1-8. Taylor & Francis 10.1080/13697137.2022.2158729

  • Jeyaprakash N, Maeder S, Janka H, Stute P. A systematic review of the impact of 7-keto-DHEA on body weight. Arch Gynecol Obstet. 2022 Dec 25. doi: 10.1007/s00404-022-06884-8. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 36566478.

  • Borissov N, Haas Q, Minder B, Kopp-Heim D, von Gernler M, Janka H, Teodoro D, Amini P. Reducing systematic review burden using Deduklick: a novel, automated, reliable, and explainable deduplication algorithm to foster medical research. Syst Rev. 2022 Aug 17;11(1):172. doi: 10.1186/s13643-022-02045-9.

  • Fernandez-Palomo C, Fazzari J, Trappetti V, Smyth L, Janka H, Laissue J and Djonov V. Animal Models in Microbeam Radiation Therapy: A Scoping Review. Cancers. 2020;12(3). 527; doi:10.3390/cancers12030527.
  • Schaffer MF. Transforming the medical library into a welcoming learning space: a collaborative project. Journal of EAHIL. 2020;16(2):39 - 42. doi: 10.32384/jeahil16393.
  • Schaffer MF. Dienstleistungsangebot für EBM – von der Lehre bis zur klinischen Forschung und Praxis: Erfahrungen an der Universität Bern. GMS Med Bibl Inf. 2020;20(1-2).
  • Weidlinger S, Schmutz C, Janka H, Gruetter C, Stute P. Sustainability of vaginal estrogens for genitourinary syndrome of menopause - a systematic review. Climacteric. 2021;3(1-9); doi: 10.1080/13697137.2021.1891218.
  • Leitlinienreport der interdisziplinären evidenz- und konsensbasierten S3-Leitlinie für Diagnostik und Therapie von Zwangsstörungen im Kindes- und Jugendalter; AWMF Register Nr. 028-007
  • Stute P, Wienges J, Koller A-S, Giese C, Wesemüller W, Janka H, Baumgartner S. Cognitive health after menopause: Does menopausal hormone therapy affect it? Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2021; doi: 10.1016/j.beem.2021.101565
  • Nucera M, Meuli L, Janka H, Schindewolf M, Schmidli J, Makaloski V. Comprehensive review with pooled analysis on external and internal jugular vein aneurysm. J Vasc Surg Venous Lymphat Disord. 2021 Oct 9:S2213-333X(21)00502-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jvsv.2021.09.009. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34634519.
  • L. M. Kaemmle, A. Stadler, H. Janka, M. von Wolff & P. Stute (2022) The impact of micronized progesterone on cardiovascular events – a systematic review. Climacteric, DOI: 10.1080/13697137.2021.2022644, PMID: 35112635.


Subject librarian medicine

Research support medicine and pharmacy

Subject Information Medicine | Subject Information Pharmacy