FY 20 Annual Report

The Health Sciences Library System

Research and Instruction

Research at HSLS

HSLS faculty librarians support research activities in the health sciences through an extensive array of services, including individual research consultations, advanced literature searching, systematic review search expertise and methodology documentation, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) searching, and publishing and research impact guidance.

HSLS Research FY 20 Data Output

257 individual or group research consultations
460 literature searches; 48% involving expertise to search across multiple databases
76 systematic review or clinical guideline projects in one or more phases of the research process
38 IACUC protocols supported by literature searches

24 research publications with HSLS authorship

4 NIH-funded research grants with HSLS as consultants or co-investigators

Data Services

Data Services librarians offer consultations and customized instruction to help organize and describe research data, write data management or data sharing plans, create data visualizations, use electronic research notebooks, share data through appropriate data repositories, and preserve data for long-term access.  This year, expansion included support for software annotation and version control and software training. HSLS Data Services has leadership in the multi-institutional data discovery collaboration consortium.

Data Services FY 20 Research and Instruction Output

41 consultations to 73 attendees
37 data classes were offered to 590 attendees

Provided 18 guest lecture sessions for 266 attendees

The Pitt Data Catalog contains 76 records

Molecular Biology Information Service

Molecular Biology Information Services (MBIS) specialists provide access to bioinformatics resources via software procurement, implementation, and training to assist biomedical scientists. MBIS teaches hands-on workshops and offers one-on-one or group consultations on multiple bioinformatics software covering Next Gen Sequencing, Genetic Variation, Sanger Sequence Analysis, Microarrays, Gene Regulation, Pathways, and Genes, Proteins, and Diseases.

MBIS FY 20 Research and Instruction Output

356 consultations on 72 research projects
17 commercial bioinformatics software and database packages to 8,507 registered users

30 workshops covering 10 bioinformatics topics to 550 attendees

Pitt researchers cited HSLS-licensed commercial software in 329 papers retrieved via Google Scholar and 138 open access journal articles via European PMCs


HSLS continually develops new instruction topics to meet the demands of Pitt’s active research community.  Instruction is conducted by faculty librarians and staff both in-house and through requests for tailored presentations.  Liaison librarians are integrated into the undergraduate and graduate programs in the six schools of the health sciences, serve on curriculum committees, customize new faculty and student orientation sessions, and provide instruction as part of the curriculum and as guest lecturers.

300 classes and workshops were offered reaching 5,504 participants

35% of all instruction customized to support the curriculum or faculty development

HSLS developed workshops on 15 new topics. Collaboration with the Center for Research Computing and the Department of Biostatistics provided education in Python, R, and critical appraisal, with classes reaching maximum attendance. 

Popular new topics also included:

    • Introduction to Data Management
    • Introduction to Adobe Photoshop
    • Six Strategies for Effective Database Searching
    • Finding and Getting the Funding You Need
    • Exploring and Cleaning Data with OpenRefine