It’s February. That means the Oscars are on people’s minds. While most people are wondering which of the nominees will win best picture, I’m wondering which literature database is used most frequently. (This proves I’m a librarian!)

The answer is a bit more difficult to determine than you’d expect. We subscribe to hundreds of databases but they don’t all track statistics the same way. You also use lots of free literature databases like Google Scholar, PubMed, and arXiv. They just complicate things by either not reporting any stats, or reporting stats in a very different manner.

I’m going to give a special award for Best Resources in a Supporting Role to Google and Google Scholar. I am sure they are used more often than most of our library databases, but I have no stats to back up that statement.

And now for the award for the most popular literature database at Johns Hopkins University. The envelope please.

And the winner is…PubMed!

Created by the National Library of Medicine, PubMed provides free access to information about the biomedical literature back to 1947. MeSh, the medical subject heading database, lets you create extremely focused searches.

I want to thank the other nominees, for the support they provide to JHU researchers.

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