Medical Library


Opening hours

Study Places

  • Study places.
  • 28 carrels for free use (first come, first served)
  • 140 daily study places in the "Silent Zone" (ground floor)
  • 13 tables for groups up to four persons in the whisper zone (first floor)
  • Eight group rooms with 10 to 12 places and two group rooms with 16 to 20 places with online booking schedule. For reservations outside the booked periods, please complete the forms next to the doors. Please note, however, that priority is given to online reservations
  • Mac pool room with 20 Mac workplaces for persons with Uni accounts
  • Reservable course room with 24 PC workplaces for members of the university, no renting to external persons possible
  • WIFI is available throughout the library for persons with Uni accounts. With VPN access you can also use this authorization to consult e-media from home
  • Here you can find the short video tutorial "how to connect to WLAN"


  • Rental of 65 lockers per six months CHF 20
  • Lockable cloakrooms
  • Uniprint photocopier, scanner, printer in black and white or color (between CHF 0.02 and 1.40)
  • Comb-binding machine
  • Validation station for Unicards
  • Coffee machine on first floor of Cellular Biology Centre
  • Other refreshment facilities
  • Reading corner with daily newspapers (Bund, BZ, NZZ)

Borrowing and Information

  • The conditions of borrowing and usage are based on the University Library Bern’s user regulations.
  • A user account is required for borrowing.
  • You can register online or in person at our counter.
  • You can order most media via the swissbib Basel/Bern catalog.
  • Here you will find instructions for searching and ordering.
  • Most books have a loan period of 4 weeks. If no reservation is received, they are automatically renewed for four weeks. Books with a blue dot above the call number have to be returned by the end of the following day (short loan). Attention: A fine for short loan books not returned on time is applied immediately.
  • Persons reserving borrowed media are notified when they arrive.
  • Orders are retained at the loan desk for collection for five working days following their arrival.
  • You can normally extend this online via your user account.
  • You can bring back our books to the counter at our library or to any other messenger library. A fee is charged for reminders issued for media not returned on time. 
  • The Medical Library is a collection point for messenger books.
  • You can receive information about general library issues at our loan desk, online or by e-mail.
  • For subject-specific questions, please contact our specialists.
  • Introductory and training sessions at the Medical Library are published in our News.
  • During weekend and evening opening hours, full service is not available.

Interlibrary Loan / Document Delivery

Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan order form
Loan Renewal Application

Document Delivery

Document Delivery order form
PubMed-ID order form
Loansome Doc

Further information on the services and the fees

The constant change in the medical and health sector is a challenge to keep up-to-date with the latest developments. The Medical Library therefore offers the relevant collections in preclinical and clinical medicine.

The Medical Library is linked to various university libraries in Bern and German-speaking Switzerland via a courier service.


The research support services team of the University of Bern Medical Library offers individual research consultations, lectures and workshops for students, researchers and clinicians to support them in literature searching. The medical information specialists have profound expertise in conducting systematic literature searching, teaching and keeping themselves up-do-date through continuos education.

  • Consultation and support for developing search strategies
  • Feedback on framing the research question and advice on how to translate into a search strategy customized for each database/source to search
  • Feedback on initial search strategy / Peer Review of search strategies
  • Advice on relevant sources to search (medical databases, trial registries, grey literature)
  • Referral to relevant handbooks and guidance documents for conducting literature reviews
  • Setting up search alerts for new publication

For any short advisory service (max. 30 min.) in literature search, the research support service team can be contacted by email:

Individual research consultations with a medical information specialist are available by appointment and requests are made via our form below.

  • If you don’t have time to go to the library, the library can come to you. We are happy to consult by web conference.

The medical library supports researchers, clinicians and external clients in the design and conduct of thorough and complex literature searches for systematic or scoping reviews, HTAs, clinical guidelines. Services include:

  • Consultation and guidance in various steps in conducting a systematic review
  • Search concepts and strategy construction for initial search strategy
  • Database selection; grey literature / unpublished literature choices
  • First search strategy draft submitted to author
  • Search strategy revision / final approval
  • Running the searches in all agreed sources
  • Search completion
  • Peer review of search strategies
  • Results delivered in agreed format
  • Search documentation of search strategies, databases, limits, numbers of results (to be included in the appendix of a manuscript and in a PRISMA flowchart)
  • Writing the search methodology for the manuscript

Further services in comprehensive literature searching may be negotiated.


Comprehensive searches are an iterative and time-intensive process, therefore please contact us as soon as you have a draft protocol. How much time it actually takes depends on the complexity of the search, types and number of databases searched, changes required, and length of time required to resolve questions. The medical information specialist will discuss timelines and delivery dates before any work commences.


Authors who do not engage the medical information specialist as a co-author should acknowledge their work as contributor.

Further Information and request of comprehensive literature searching

Detailed explanations concerning the offered services, authorship and grants are described in the policy for literature search services below.

Requests are made via our form below. We attend to the reviews by the order in which we receive them.

The medical library of University of Bern has a strong dedication to teach students and researchers to enlarge their research skills and increase the quality of their publications.

The offered courses in literature searching and evidence-based medicine includes:

  • Curricular courses for the faculties of medicine, dentistry and veterinary
  • Customized courses to meet the needs of your institution, department or group

For any course offers in literature searching the research support services team can be contacted by email:


Our next courses

Course title

Short description



Link Registration
Finding best evidence for clinical practice

Review of concepts such as Evidence Based Medicine, (EBM) Evidence Based Practice (EBP) and trusted resources for clinical practice and patient care.


14:00 – 17:00


Scientific literature search – Introduction Principles for searching systematically and database search functionalities. 06.05.2020

13:00 – 16:30


Advanced Searching Searching via multiple databases and produce a complex search strategy. 13.05.2020

13:00 – 16:30



Librarian assisted searches are for the purposes but not limited to:

  • topic exploration
  • research support
  • quality improvement projects
  • teaching/training
  • presentations
  • personal knowledge,  etc.

For students, the medical information specialist will not conduct a complete literature search needed to write their master thesis or dissertation.  Students are encouraged to attend courses and/or individual research consultations offered by the library.

Librarian assisted searches take a maximum of 2 hours per research project.

The librarian assisted search service by a medical information specialist are requested via our form below and are done on a first come, first serve basis. These searches are designed accordingly by the medical information specialist to deliver a set of relevant references.


  • Higher quality search strategies
  • Support to improve quality of theses and published articles
  • Facilitates literature searches and the publication of articles
  • Medical information specialists have skills in complex bibliographic retrieval, organization of large amounts of data, identification and verification of information
  • Ensure high recall of relevant and most credible articles without overwhelming the resources of the review team
  • Searching is a critical point as errors made in search process potentially result in a biased or incomplete evidence base for reviews
  • Support in managing, organizing and documenting of search results
  • Information provided by the medical information specialist can improve diagnosis and treatment plan of clinicians
  • “Google can bring you back 100,000 answers, a medical information specialist can bring you back the right one”
  • Physicians reported that the information they obtained from the library led them to different decisions about patient care

Literature Search Services Policy

Our publications

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.

Scientific Writing Courses with Dr. Kali Tal: Open to all students and postdocs in the health and natural sciences. To sign up please use the ILIAS-links or email Participants should have English at a C1 level or higher. Please bring a laptop. Courses take place at the Mittelstrasse 43.

Course Title ILIAS-links  Date 2020 Room 
Scientific Writing for Beginners: Introduction to the IMRaD Format Register here. Jan 29,


Mittelstr 43, Rm 220
Storytelling for Researchers & Clinicians Register here. Mar 4,


Mittelstr 43, Rm 320
Outlining the Scientific Paper (health & natural sciences) Register here. Mar 10,


Mittelstr 43, Rm 320
Improve Your Scientific Writing in English (health & natural sciences) Register here. Mar 17,


Mittelstr 43, Rm 320
Introduction to Grant Writing Register here. Mar 25,


Mittelstr 43, Rm 320
Writing the Methods & Results Section of a Scientific Paper (health & natural sciences) Register here. Apr 7,


Mittelstr 43, Rm 320
Writing the Discussion Section of a Scientific Paper (health & natural sciences) Register here. Apr 15,


Mittelstr 43, Rm 320
Writing the Introduction to a Scientific Paper (health & natural sciences) Register here. Apr 28,


Mittelstr 43, Rm 320
Writing the Abstract Register here. May 13,


Mittelstr 43, Rm 320
Effective Tables, Figures and Slides (health & natural sciences) Register here. May 26, 


Mittelstr 43, Rm 216
Presentation Skills for Scientific Researchers: Increase the Effectiveness of Your Conference Talks, Poster Sessions, and Job Presentations Register here. Jun 10,


Mittelstr 43, Rm 016
Managing Co-Authors and the Ethics of Authorship Register here. Aug 5,


Mittelstr 43, Rm 320


Subject Librarians

Research Support Services Medicine

Media processing and lending

Reader Services