Welcome University of Iowa Health Sciences Alumni! We encourage you to take advantage of the many library services available to you. The guidelines below describe what resources and services are available to alumni and non-affiliated users.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance.

Access to the Hardin Library for the Health Sciences

The Hardin Library gladly admits onsite access to its print and online collections. No identification or authorization is required to enter the library and to make use of the books, journals, government publications, reference materials, or copying facilities. Click here to learn more about the library or call 319/335-9151.

The John Martin Rare Book Room is normally open Monday through Friday and is closed on University holidays. Because staff commitments may occasionally result in the Rare Book Room being closed, appointments are strongly recommended and may be made by contacting the Librarian at 319/335-9154 or calling the Information Desk at 319/335-9151.

Borrowing Privileges

Iowa residents who are not currently affiliated with the University may check out materials from the Libraries after applying for a borrower’s permit. Out-of-state residents who are members of the Friends of the Library may also take advantage of this service. Employees of the Iowa City VA Hospital also qualify for a borrower’s permit.  Application for a borrower’s permit may be made at the Hardin Library Information Desk or any University Library. For information on borrowing permits or circulation policies, please follow the links or call the Information Desk at 319/335-9151.

Computer Privileges

Iowa residents and non-residents can apply for computer privileges which will all access to the Internet as well as the Libraries’ online resources.  Wireless access available to those 18 years old or older.  Application requires a picture identification.

InfoHawk Catalog

InfoHawk is the UIowa Libraries Online Catalog. This database reflects the holdings of the University of Iowa Libraries and can be accessed from any computer with internet connection.

Subscription Electronic Resources

Some of the electronic databases and journals available from the Hardin Library web pages are available for use by any user from any location. Most, however, are licensed for use only for University of Iowa faculty, students, and staff or by any user who is physically on the campus.

If you wish to use a restricted electronic resource you may do so by :

  1. Using the resource from any on-campus location.
  2. Consulting a Hardin Library reference librarian who will be able to access the resource for you.
  3. Consulting your local hospital or health science librarian who may have access to the resource.


Resources Free to the Public

Journal Articles

  • BioMed Central — an independent publishing house committed to providing immediate free access to peer-reviewed biomedical research.
  • DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals)—this service covers free, full text, quality controlled scientific and scholarly journals.
  • Free Medical Journals — is dedicated to the promotion of free access to medical journals over the Internet.
  • Highwire Press — more than 1.3 million free, full-text articles online.
  • Public Library of Science — a nonprofit scientific publishing venture that will provide high-quality, high-profile journal articles.
  • PubMed Central— a digital archive of life sciences journal literature managed by the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Library of Medicine.


  • Merck Manuals — a series of healthcare books for medical professionals and consumers. Texts are available in English as well as other languages.
  • Freebooks4Doctors — links to more than 500 full-text medical books online.
  • NCBI Bookshelf — a growing collection of online, searchable biomedical textbooks.

Databases and Other Websites

  • PubMed — free access to MEDLINE, the premier biomedical literature database.
  • MedlinePlus — authoritative information from NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies and health-related organizations. It also includes extensive information about drugs, an illustrated medical encyclopedia, interactive patient tutorials, and the latest health news.
  • CancerNet — gateway to peer-reviewed information by cancer type. Includes links to PDQ (Physician Data Query), SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results) and other specialized information resources.  Also available in Spanish.
  • NLM Gateway — allows users of NLM services to initiate searches from one Web interface, providing “one-stop searching” for many of NLM’s information resources or databases. Resources include MEDLINE, TOXLINE, ClinicalTrials.gov, and MedlinePlus.
  • National Guideline Clearinghouse — a public resource for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.
  • Science.gov
    Science.gov searches over 38 databases and 1,950 selected websites of US government information.  You can also explore websites by topics such as disease, mental health, and health care.

Document Delivery Services

Alumni and non-affiliates wishing to obtain photocopies of articles held at the Hardin Library may do so by completing a journal article request form or by contacting the InterLibrary Loan Office at 319/335-9874. Please note that there are charges associated with this service.

To obtain items not held at the Hardin Library you must use your local public or hospital library or contact a document delivery supplier such as one from the list below.

Please Note: These commercial suppliers are not affiliated with the University of Iowa.

  • Documentis Document Delivery Services offers a variety of service options so that you may customize requests to meet your needs. Includes photocopies of published articles, papers from conference proceedings, technical reports, dissertations, government reports. Specializes in RUSH requests.
  • British Library Document Supply Centre supplier of articles, conference papers, book loans, and more.
  • CAS Document Detective Service supplies customers worldwide, documents cited in CAS publications such as Chemical Abstracts.
  • Infotrieve retrieves articles from libraries around the world. Offers customized billing options.
  • IngentaConnect provides free online access and searching from a database of periodicals. From these titles you may order articles.
  • Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) Document Solution comprehensive document delivery service that provides high-quality, full-text copies.
  • Use this link to review and compare more than 50 commercial Document Delivery Suppliers. Compiled by Jean Shipman, Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences, VCU Libraries, Virginia Commonwealth University.

Reference Services and Mediated Literature Searches

Alumni should feel free to utilize the expert help of Hardin Library staff in answering reference questions. Reference staff members can be contacted by phone at 319/335-9151, through the electronic reference form which can be completed and submitted via the Internet, or by using the instant messenger service. There is no charge for these services.

Hardin Library staff members have access to scores of specialized indexes with which they can search the health sciences literature. Alumni can contact the Hardin Library to request that a literature search be performed on a topic of their choice or they may call the reference/information desk at 319/335-9151. Search results can either be printed and sent to the requestor’s home address or e-mailed.  The search results may contain article citation information but will not contain copies of the articles.