The Main Library’s Blog

Geography new in the Main Library

19. September 2018 | HBZ | No Comments

The former library of the Department of Geography was integrated into the Main Library (HBZ) in September 2018. The books and journals listed in the Rechercheportal are now located at HBZ – Science (Y15) on floor J. The old holdings, which are not yet listed in the Rechercheportal, can be requested at with the subject «Altbestand GIUZ».

The integration is also a central example of the project «UZH Bibliothek der Zukunft». It aims to develop professional services in the age of digitisation and at the same time efficiently maintain traditional book and journal collections and optimise the range of services offered.

Due to an event on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 16:30 at the HBZ – Science floor J, we ask persons looking for quiet workplaces to switch to the HBZ – Study Center (Y63).

Categories: Main Library - ScienceTips for ResearchersTips for Students

HOPE: New Multimedia-Issue of the Journal für Psychoanalyse online

18. September 2018 | HBZ | No Comments

The «Psychoanalytische Seminar Zürich» goes one step further with its new issue in the “Journal für Psychoanalyse”. Matching the title of the new issue “Transmission and Mediality” (only in German), there is now a multimedia online version in addition to the print version. Thus the digital possibilities of an online journal are used and the texts are enhanced with videos and audios. It is definitely worth taking a look. Scan the QR-Code or click here.

The Journal für Psychoanalyse has been published since issue 55 (2015) with Open Access on the platform HOPE (Hauptbibliothek Open Publishing Environment). This service is offered by the Main Library of the University of Zurich based on the infrastructure of the Zentrale Informatik and is available to researchers of the UZH for the publication of Open Access journals. The Open Source software Open Journal Systems (OJS) is used as a basis.



Categories: Open Access

Billroth and the «Archiv für klinische Chirurgie»

17. September 2018 | HBZ | No Comments

Theodor Billroth in Zurich (Archive for Medical History PN 184.05)


At the Cantonal hospital

Theodor Billroth came to Zurich from Berlin in 1860 as a young surgeon. The medical faculty had taken considerable effort to appoint the ambitious student of the well-known Bernhard von Langenbeck. Billroth was only the second full professor of surgery in Zurich after Heinrich Locher-Zwingli, who was appointed at the founding of the University in 1833. In Zurich, Billroth encountered modern infrastructures. The Cantonal Hospital was newly built in 1842 at the current location of the hospital park.

The Cantonal Hospital 1869


A new journal

Billroth had already as an assistant in Berlin suggested to Bernhard von Langenbeck to found a journal for surgery. German-speaking surgeons published mainly in “Göschens Klinik”, a journal in which surgery played only a minor role, due to a lack of better alternatives. Langenbeck hesitated at first. In several letters to his colleague Friedrich Esmarch, Billroth describes how he tried to persuade his superior to change his mind, for example by offering himself as an editor who would do all the work for him.

The turn came with Billroth’s appointment to Zurich. Billroth now indicated to Langenbeck that he could also found the journal on his own. Finally, Langenbeck agreed to become editor of the newly founded «Archiv für klinische Chirurgie» Billroth took over the editorial office with Ernst Gurlt, a colleague from Berlin. As a result, the world’s oldest journal for surgery still in existence was founded in Germany. After several name changes, Springer now publishes it with the title “Langenbeck’s archives of surgery”.

Lithographs of the article in the appendix


Anatomical study of clubfeet

The article of Theodor Billroth in the showcase of the exhibition in the Main Library – Medicine Careum was published in the first volume of the “Archiv für klinische Chirurgie”. Billroth at this point had been in Zurich for less than a year. In his article, he does not describe the results of his research in Zurich, but two cases of malformations from his work in Berlin.

He describes in detail the deformities of the feet of a newborn boy and a nine-month-old girl and makes suggestions for therapy. The male infant died of pneumonia at the age of 14 days. Billroth managed to get the boy’s body for examination. He dissected the foot and had a lithograph made, which was added to the article as a plate. Billroth treated the deformity of the girl by having his foot fixed in a splint boot.


Categories: ExhibitionsHistory of MedicineMain Library - Medicine Careum

More and more journals

11. September 2018 | HBZ | No Comments

The beginnings of the medical journal

The first scientific journals with medical content were published in the 17th century. Preconditions were created with the invention of the newspaper and the flourishing of experimental science in the Enlightenment. The tradition of the scholarly exchange of letters was transferred to scientific journals, which were printed for the members of academies and other subscribers. Soon private publishers also discovered a market. Numerous periodicals on medicine and natural sciences were founded, though many were resumed already after a short time.

Periodicals from the 18th century in the magazine of the Main Library – Medicine Careum.



From the mid-19th century, modern medicine established itself as an important subject at universities. The various disciplines emerged, which in turn led to the founding of specialized journals. Wherever a subject, society or technology was newly established, a journal was needed in which results could be discussed and presented.

This development continues up to today. We are confronted with such a flood of medical journals; it is hardly possible to keep an overview. As early as 1880, the National Library of Medicine listed just over 8,000 different medical journals in its Index-Catalogue, the predecessor of PubMed. In 1999, PubMed listed 20,000 journal titles; in 2018, the list of journals indexed in PubMed includes approximately 30,000 records. Of these, just over 5,000 are currently indexed. The remaining titles are either no longer published or not indexed any more.

Journal display in the reading room of the former hospital library of the USZ, around 2004


Digital Revolution

Since the 1990s, medical journals have been increasingly digitalised. Large amounts of data have allowed new functions such as rankings of researchers and universities, which in turn has effects on how research is done at the universities. With all the benefits of digital journals, universities struggle with increasing costs for the growing number of journals and for online services.

Libraries have adapted to the new situation. The large journal displays and long shelves full of periodicals have disappeared from the reading room. Today, students and researchers enjoy access to journal articles from anywhere. The Main Library – Medicine Careum has switched to E-Only in 2017. Most journals are only available electronically. Instead of registering incoming issues, librarians manage the electronic journal subscriptions, the linking software and the various online platforms.

Even if database searches have become much easier, it still requires sophisticated research strategies to obtain high quality results. Libraries have therefore in the last years started to offer classes in information literacy.

Categories: ExhibitionsHistory of MedicineMain Library - Medicine Careum

From issue to e-journal

10. September 2018 | HBZ | No Comments

Not that long ago, journals were only available in print and research was done with heavy bibliographies.

The Main Library – Medicine Careum goes back in its own past and presents an exhibition on the history of the medical journal. Attractions include research questions to be solved with Index Medicus. Can you do a search like in the old days?

Reading room of the library at University Hospital Zurich, 1960s

Background stories to the exhibition will be published on this blog

Introductions to the exhibition on Library e-day, Thu October 25, at 12:00 am, 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm.

Categories: ExhibitionsHistory of MedicineMain Library - Medicine Careum

The SNSF supports Plan S to Open Access

5. September 2018 | HBZ | No Comments

On 4 September 2018, the Plan S was published in Brussels. The SNSF supports this plan, but has not yet signed it.

The aim of this plan is that by 2020 all publicly funded publications must be published Open Access. 11 national research funding organisations have already signed this plan.

More information see press release by the SNSF (4.9.2018)

Information on Plan S (cOAlition S) on the website of Science Europe

Categories: Open Access

Dates for introductory classes on ZORA and Open Access – FS 18

24. August 2018 | HBZ | No Comments

Are you responsible for entering publications in ZORA? You would like to receive tips and tricks for the deposit?

Come and visit one of our introductory classes on ZORA and Open Access in autumn semester 2018. The course language is German. If there is a need for English classes, please write to

We look forward to seeing you!

Registration and Course Material


Categories: Courses and LecturesOpen Access

Opening hours on August 1

26. July 2018 | HBZ | No Comments

The Main Library – Medicine Careum and the Main Library – Science will be closed on Wednesday,  August 1

Main Library – Study Center
Access with UZH Card: 7am-12pm
Main Library – Medicine Careum
Main Library – Science

The MediZone in the Careum 1 building, reserved for UZH medical students, and the Study Center of the Main Library on Irchel Campus will remain open, access with a valid UZH Card.

Please note that the access rights of students who have exmatriculated for the fall semester will expire on August 1, 2018.

Categories: Main Library - Medicine CareumMain Library - ScienceMain Library - Study CenterOpening hours

Poster prize for the Main Library

24. July 2018 | HBZ | No Comments

Our poster “Usability testing of our library’s new website revealed interesting insights into customers’ search behaviour” was awarded “best poster presentation by a first-time attendee” at the European Association for Health Information and Libraries (EAHIL) Conference 2018 in Cardiff, Wales.


The poster described how we tested the HBZ’s website, which we redesigned and transferred to the UZH’s content management system last year. Students had helped us with this task e.g. by pointing out ambiguous terms or hidden links.

Sabine Klein (1st from left) accepted the prize. (All winners are listed on the EAHIL website.)

EAHIL Award Winners

Photograph © adamthomasjones Photography, 2018

Categories: ExhibitionsUncategorized

Design your Data Management Plan for the SNSF

17. July 2018 | HBZ | No Comments

Are you planning to submit a research proposal to the SNSF this fall? Is it the first time you have to write a DMP (Data Management Plan) and you feel intimidated by all these rules?

We are here to help! The Main Library, Zentralbibliothek Zürich, S3IT and the Graduate Campus are organizing a one-day workshop for Postdocs and early career professors of all disciplines.

  • Learn how to write a DMP according to SNSF guidelines specifically for your research project
  • Know where and how to store your research data in compliance with the FAIR Data Principles
  • Know the available services for data management at UZH

Find answers to your questions on …

  • data organization and documentation (metadata)
  • ethical, copyright or intellectual property issues
  • data sharing, FAIR principles
  • data storage and preservation

More information and registration via the Graduate Campus.

Categories: Research DataTips for Physicians & Health ProfessionsTips for Researchers