Introducing… Clinical Focus

Clinical Focus is a search portal that provides quick access to high-quality clinical information.  Clinical Focus uses HSLS’ familiar search box format and clustering technology from Vivisimo, Inc.

To search Clinical Focus, enter a disease, symptom, drug, procedure, test or other short phrase into the search box in the center of the page.  The system searches a pre-selected set of full-text “answer tools” and electronic textbooks from HSLS’ extensive collection.  These include:

  • First Consult’s Medical Conditions
  • Current Diagnosis and Treatment textbooks from the Lange Educational Library
  • ACP Pier
  • Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
  • BMJ Clinical Evidence

Search results are clustered into meaningful categories and are directly accessible to any computer on the UPMC or Pitt network, or any authorized remote user.  Users can “remix” the clusters if desired, or “search within clusters” to further refine their results.

On the right-hand side of the screen are other links leading to helpful information.

1- Clinical Focus_v2

Medical Calculators opens MedCalc 3000, a reference and tool set offering medical formulae and equations, clinical criteria sets and decision tree analysis tools.  Clicking on Patient Education opens a new search box that will retrieve patient education resources from UPMC, MedlinePlus and MDConsult (UPMC’s handouts are always “boosted” to the top of the results page in a yellow box.)  Mobile Apps finds information on e-resources for Blackberry, iPhone, Palm or Pocket PC devices.  The EBM button is a quick link to HSLS’ EBM Resource Pyramid.

From every Clinical Focus page, you can link directly to the HSLS home page, offering the library’s full range of services and electronic resources.  And if you’re stumped, Ask a Librarian for individualized assistance, or call the Falk Library Reference Desk at 412-648-8796 (412-623-2415 if you’re at UPMC Shadyside).

Clinical Focus is accessible from the HSLS home page under Quick Links.  From the UPMC eRecord, click on “Health Sciences Library” on the PowerChart tool bar.  In EpicCare, Clinical Focus is found via Links/Medical References/Health Science Library System.

PubMed Redesign

PubMed, the freely accessible online database of over 19 million biomedical journal citations and abstracts, has a new look! The new home page is more streamlined, though the search functionality basically remains the same. While the majority of features were transitioned to the new interface, many were relocated or combined to improve usability.

2- PubMed_small
Interface changes include:

  • The Go button is now the Search button.
  • Popular tools previously found on the PubMed home page sidebar, such as Single Citation Matcher and Clinical Queries can now be found under PubMed Tools.
  • The Limits, History, and Details tabs have been moved to the Advanced search screen.
  • The Display Settings menu replaces the Display, Show and Sort By menus.
  • The maximum number of citations that can be printed, saved, or e-mailed is now 200.
  • The Advanced search page was modified to improve user friendliness.
  • The footer includes links to many NCBI resources.

PubMed is produced by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), a part of the National Institutes of Health.

To access PubMed, go the HSLS home page and click on PubMed in the Quick Links box. It is always preferable to access PubMed from the HSLS home page instead of entering the URL directly, because it will be easier to link to HSLS’ full-text licensed articles.

For help using PubMed, contact an HSLS reference desk, your Liaison Librarian, or Ask A Librarian.

Parts of this article were reprinted from the NLM Technical Bulletin.

~ Jill Foust

“Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Academic Surgeons” Exhibit at Falk Library

HSLS is hosting the traveling exhibit, “Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Academic Surgeons,” from Tuesday, November 3, 2009, to Thursday, January 28, 2010, at Falk Library. The exhibit is open during regular library hours.

Through contemporary and historical images, the exhibit tells the stories of four pioneering African American surgeons and educators who exemplify excellence in their fields:

  • Alexa I. Canady, MD, pediatric neurosurgeon, Sacred Heart Medical Group, Pensacola, Fla.
  • LaSalle D. Leffall Jr., MD, Charles R. Drew Professor of Surgery, Howard University College of Medicine, Washington, D.C.
  • The late Claude H. Organ Jr., MD, chairman, surgical residency program, University of California/Davis-University of California, San Francisco East Bay Surgery Department.
  • Rosalyn P. Scott, MD, associate professor and vice chair, Department of Surgery and chief, Division of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles.

In honor of this exhibit, a career panel of African American surgeons with connections to the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine will take place from noon-1 p.m., Friday, January 15, in Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 3.  Velma Scantlebury, MD, transplant surgeon, professor of surgery, assistant dean for community education, director of the division of transplantation, and director, University of South Alabama Regional Transplant Center, will moderate.

During the exhibit, an additional photo and biography display in the library honors African American surgeons with University of Pittsburgh and UPMC connections.

Opening Doors is a collaborative effort between the National Library of Medicine and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in Baltimore.

The exhibit and events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Falk Library at 412-648-8866.

~ Renae Barger

Director’s Reflections…Thank You to Our Donors!


The past year has been exceptionally difficult as the library faced the dual challenges of an economic downturn and rising costs of information resources.  While many of our vendors were willing to forego scheduled price increases, others were not as accommodating.

Thus, we are particularly grateful to the donors listed below who generously supported the library with monetary gifts and in-kind contributions from November 2008 through October 2009.

Best wishes to all for a happy holiday season, and a successful and prosperous new year!

Monetary Contributions
Dr. Teisa An
Dr. Nancy A. Baker
Dr. Eileen Maria Bartolomucci
Dr. Robert Michael Dephilip
Barbara and Arnold Epstein
Friends of Inge Soffietti
Dr. Mark Barclay Gibb
Mr. Jie Han
Dr. Deborah L. Hung
Dr. Walter Karl Kraft, Jr.
Giselle J. Leonardo
Dr. Robert David Lille
Dr. G. Daniel Martich
Janet Lynn Misko
Dr. John Jefferson Moossy
John Kerr Musgrave IV
Dr. Delynne J. Myers
Stanton H. and Carol D. Pearlman
Carolyn M. Phalin
Dr. Karen Lee Rach-Boretsky
Dr. Barry Richard Reznick
Dr. William E. Rinehart
Dr. Joseph Salkowitz
Louise Platt Schulhof
Lee and Judy Silverman
Dr. Earl Charles Smith
Dr. Nancy Nan-Szu Sun
Dr. Thomas J. Tredici
UPMC Shadyside Auxilliary
Liping Wang
Yuqing Zhang

Gifts of Books or Journals
Douglas Balsley
Dr. Frances H. Critchfield
William P. Hogle
Sue Kennedy
Dr. Arthur S. Levine
Dr. Eric Miller
Dr. Donald M. Mrvos
Dr. Jack L. Paradise
Karen A. Schmieder
Sophie and Cici Verska

New Resource for NCLEX—RN Preparation and Review

EXAM MASTER NCLEX—RN Preparation and Review is a Web-based resource designed to help nursing students prepare for the NCLEX-RN exam. Users have access to over 3,800 NCLEX© quality review questions covering four client needs areas (safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, physiological integrity).  Users are able to take practice exams and quizzes online, review results, and access detailed explanations of correct answers to questions. This resource is accessible remotely or on campus, and is available to UPMC and Pitt users with a onetime individual registration.

To access EXAM MASTER OnLine: NCLEX—RN, type Exam Master into the Pitt Resources Quick Search box on the HSLS home page. This resource can also be found in the HSLS Databases A – Z list.

6- Exam Master

~ Mary Lou Klem

Quick Searching Tools and Techniques, Part 2

When you need several articles fast, and are not concerned with identifying every article on a topic, the following tools and techniques are just what the doctor ordered! “Quick Searching Tools & Techniques, Part 1”appeared in the HSLS Update, October 2009.

1.    Try  OvidSP’s Basic Search mode. The name “Basic Search” is misleading since it employs advanced search algorithms and natural language processing.  You can enter into the Basic Search box a group of keywords, a specific question, or even a phrase or sentence. OvidSP Basic Search validates your concepts and can expand your inquiry to include synonyms, word variations, and even acronyms.  It then returns the results in a starred relevancy rank score. Test drive OvidSP Basic Search with the phrase: LMWH in the management of thrombosis in advanced cancer. For more examples, read “Best Practices in OvidSP’s Basic Search.”

7- Ovid - Basic Search_small

Results are displayed in starred relevancy rank score.

7- Relevancy_small

2.    EBSCOHost’s SmartText searching in CINAHL is the quick article prescription for the busy nurse or nursing student!  Just enter your topic in a phrase, sentence, or keywords.  Enter as much text for your search as you want—a phrase, a sentence, a paragraph, an abstract, or even entire pages, up to 5,000 characters including spaces.  SmartText is your virtual librarian, using natural language processing and sorting results by relevancy. Test drive SmartText searching with the phrase: nursing management of chest drains. For more information on EBSCHOHost’s SmartText Searching, read “Search Modes.”

7- Results_small

For help with these search tips and techniques, contact your Liaison Librarian or Ask A Librarian.

~ Charles Wessel

SnapShot PA: One Day in the Life of HSLS Libraries

8- SnapShot PA
On October 28, 2009, HSLS staff tallied the number of people they served, questions they answered, items circulated and Web site hits, along with programs and classes taught. The project, SnapShot PA, was held in conjunction with libraries across Pennsylvania, coordinated by The Pennsylvania Library Association and Commonwealth Libraries. Its purpose is to assess the impact libraries have on their respective communities on any given day.

HSLS libraries joined the count. Preliminary results showed that during this one day:

  • Over 4,040 visitors accessed our Web site
  • 128 people attended classes or outreach sessions
  • 375 items were borrowed from HSLS libraries
  • 1,485 patrons came to the libraries and used the onsite collections and facilities
  • Staff answered 157 reference questions in person or electronically

HSLS librarians consulted at resident morning report, taught a Microarray Data Analysis class, and lectured to student nurses. One challenging reference question was, “I am working with the Toxic Release Inventory data set for chemical manufacturing plants … I am struggling to find underlying studies which provide evidence that measured or modeled air toxic levels are higher around stationary industrial sources. I am looking for evidence for any of the 187 air toxins of interest to the EPA. Can you suggest potential sources?”

Over 6,185 faculty, staff, student, patient and visitor requests were served by HSLS libraries and its resources and staff on SnapShot PA day.  A comment from the chief resident in General Internal Medicine to the HSLS librarian sums it up, “Everyone should have their own librarian. What would we do without you?”

HSLS libraries matter to the users they serve. Now we can see how much.

~ Michele Klein Fedyshin

Supporting the Evidence: HSLS Systematic Review Workshop for Librarians

USE - Systematic Review - session_day_2 017-aOn November 9-11, 2009, HSLS faculty librarians presented an intensive 2.5 day systematic review workshop for health science librarians from across the country. The focus of this course was to provide support and instruction to librarians consulting with authors of systematic reviews in their home institutions.  Topics covered included:

  • The structure and purpose of systematic reviews
  • The reference interview and communication issues
  • Approaches to comprehensive literature searching
  • Project organization

Attendees included librarians from By the Book Research Services, Case Western Reserve University, The Children’s Institute, Georgetown University, Harvard University, Indiana University, Johns Hopkins University, The Joint Commission, National Institutes of Health, Oncology Nursing Society, Oregon Health and Science University, SUNY Downstate Medical Center,  Seattle Children’s Hospital, Temple University, Texas A&M University, University of Connecticut, University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey,  University of Tennessee, University of Vermont, Virginia Commonwealth University, and the Washington University in St. Louis.

Upon completion of the course, participants were awarded 20.0 Medical Library Association (MLA) continuing education credits.

Systematic Librarians_altered-3This workshop grew out of an HSLS internal working group to address the growing number of requests from University of Pittsburgh and UPMC faculty for assistance with systematic reviews and instruction in systematic review literature searching. The workshop attracted a large waiting list of applicants and will likely be offered again in the future.

HSLS faculty librarian instructors included Linda Hartman, MLS, Mary Lou Klem, PhD, MLIS, Melissa Ratajeski, MLIS, RLAT, Ahlam A. Saleh, MD, MLS,  and Charles B. Wessel, MLS.

~ Charles Wessel

HSLS Interns Gain Experience

HSLS supports the training of students interested in health sciences librarianship by providing real-world experiences. HSLS provides this opportunity in conjunction with the School of Information Sciences (SIS) Partners Program, SIS internships, and the Department of Biomedical Informatics (DBMI) Traineeships.

The SIS Partners Program is a partial tuition scholarship program that matches the interests, skills, and background of students with opportunities at institutions such as HSLS.

HSLS Interns - October 2009 001_smallThis year we welcome three Partner students.

Emily Johnson graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a degree in information resources. She is interested in a career where she will be able to apply her technological and information skills.  Emily is interning in the Reference Department in Falk Library where she staffs the reference desk and is currently working on a library space usage study that examines where and how patrons use Falk Library.

Sarah LaMoy attended Haverford College where she studied comparative literature.  Sarah has long held a particular interest in special collections, though she plans to specialize in health sciences librarianship. Sarah is interning in the Technical Services Department in Falk Library, where she is updating serial holdings through OCLC. She also staffs the Rare Books Room and helped create a display to accompany the Opening Doors exhibit.

Heather Mitchell earned a degree in English and creative writing from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She is enrolled in the SIS School Library Certification Program. Heather is interning at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC (CHP) libraries. Her projects include collection development, displays, and story times for patients at CHP.

SIS Interns at HSLS gain valuable work experience in an academic health sciences library setting and class credits at the same time. Interns are assigned to projects in different areas of HSLS libraries depending on their qualifications and interests.

This fall we welcome one intern.HSLS Interns - October 2009 004_altered_small

Carleen Leonheart earned an undergraduate degree in health information management from the University of Pittsburgh where she is currently an MLIS student concentrating on the health resources and services track. Carleen plans to graduate with an MLIS degree in December. She worked in medical records for many years and currently works as a medical transcriptionist.  At HSLS, Carleen is interning in the Reference Department in Falk Library where she staffs the reference desk, attends Morning Report in the Department of General Internal Medicine once a week, and creates the National Disease of the Month displays in the reference department.

Biomedical Informatics Trainees
HSLS and DBMI offer a joint training program in health sciences librarianship and biomedical informatics, funded by the National Library of Medicine. This initiative is a year-long educational opportunity for individuals who have earned a Master of Library Science degree, and who have special interests or experience in health sciences librarianship and biomedical informatics.

HSLS Interns - October 2009 008_smallThis year we welcome two Biomedical Informatics Trainees.

Patricia Anne Connell received her BA in journalism from Penn State University. Her advanced degrees include an MBA and MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. Patricia is interested in medical librarianship because it gives her the opportunity to interact with health science professionals and integrate some of her prior work experience, as well as continually learn new skills and tools in information management. As a biomedical informatics trainee, Tricia is working on a project to investigate information behaviors related to prescribing. She is also reviewing patterns in e-mail reference questions and developing several “@ Your Pace” online tutorials.

Katrina Kurtz, from Reading, Pa., is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh where she received her BS in molecular biology and English literature, with a minor in chemistry, and her MLIS. Upon graduation, Katrina decided that she would prefer to support researchers with their experiments rather than carrying them out herself and enrolled in the MLIS program. Last spring, Katrina interned at HSLS in the Molecular Biology Information Service Department, where one of her tasks was to update the Online Bioinformatics Resources Collection (OBRC), which contains annotations and links for bioinformatics databases and software tools.  As a biomedical informatics trainee in the same department, Katrina continues to update OBRC and is researching its usability.

~ Jill Foust

HSLS Schedule of Classes January-February 2010

HSLS offers classes on database searching, software applications such as Adobe Photoshop, bibliographic management, molecular biology and genetics, and library orientations.  For more information visit the online course descriptions.

Classes are held on the first floor of Falk Library (200 Scaife Hall) in classroom 1 and conference room B, and on the second floor in the Computer and Media Center classroom 2. Some classes are also held in the conference room at UPMC Shadyside Libraries. All classes are open to faculty, staff and students of the schools of the health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC.

No registration is required for any of these classes.  Seating for classes is first-come, first-served, until the class is full.  Classes marked with an asterisk (*) qualify for American Medical Association Category 2 continuing education credit.

Class schedules are subject to change.  Please consult the online class calendar for the most current information.


Introduction to HSLS Resources and Services at Falk Library
(Meet inside entrance to library)
Wednesday, January 20                 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Also offered upon request to groups or individuals. Call 412-648-8796.

Introduction to HSLS Services at UPMC Shadyside
Offered upon request to groups or individuals.  Call 412-623-2415.

Finding Full-Text Articles at UPMC Shadyside
Offered upon request to groups or individuals.  Call 412-623-2415.


PubMed Basics*
Monday, January 11                       2-3:30 p.m.       (Falk Library Classroom 1)
Wednesday, January 27                 10-11:30 a.m.    (Falk Library Classroom 1)
Thursday, February 4                     2-3:30 p.m.       (Falk Library Classroom 1)

Searching in CINAHL*
Thursday, January 21                     10-11:30 a.m.    (Falk Library Classroom 1)

Focus on Behavioral Medicine: Searching in PsycINFO*
Tuesday, January 26                      1-2:30 p.m.        (Falk Library Classroom 1)


Locating Gene-centric Information* (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, January 6                   1-3:30 pm.

Locating Protein Information* (Falk Library Conference Room B)
Wednesday, January 13                  1-3:30 p.m.

Genome Browsers* (Falk Library Conference Room B)
Wednesday, January 20                  1-3:30 p.m.

SNPs & Genetic Variation* (Falk Library Conference Room B)
Wednesday, January 27                  1-3:30 p.m.

Introduction to Vector NTI* (Falk Library Conference Room B)
Wednesday, February 3                   1-3:30 p.m.

Pathway Analysis Tools 1* (Falk Library Conference Room B)
Wednesday, February 10                 1-3:30 p.m.

Lasergene* (Falk Library Conference Room B)
Wednesday, February 24                 1-3:30 p.m.


EndNote Basics (Falk Library Classroom 2)
(Note: This class is usually full.  Please arrive 15 minutes in advance to ensure seating.)
Tuesday, January 12                       10 a.m.-noon
Tuesday, January 26                       1-3 p.m.
Wednesday, February 10                 1-3 p.m.
Wednesday, February 24                 1-3 p.m.

Adobe Photoshop for Beginners (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Thursday, January 7                        10 a.m.-noon
Thursday, February 4                      10 a.m.-noon

PowerPoint for Beginners
Thursday, January 28                      10 a.m.-noon (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Wednesday, February 17                  11 a.m.-1 p.m. (UPMC Shadyside Libraries)

Advanced PowerPoint for Presentations (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Thursday, February 11                    10 a.m.-noon

The WOW Factor: PowerPoint for Posters (Falk Library Classroom 2)
Tuesday, January 19                       10 a.m.-noon

Hands-On Classes at UPMC Shadyside Libraries

Why Use PubMed?
Friday, January 8                            3:30-5 p.m.
Tuesday, February 9                       9 -10:30 a.m.

Patient Education: What Do You Do When Google Leaves You Stranded?
Monday, January 11                        9-10 a.m.

Searching for Nursing Articles Using CINAHL
Friday, January 15                           4-5 p.m.


These informal, brown-bag lunches are held in Falk Library conference room B. Bring your own lunch. Drinks and dessert are provided. For more information visit the online descriptions.

Beyond PubMed—Next Generation Literature Searching
Thursday, January 14                      Noon-1 p.m.

What are RSS Feeds? How Can they Make Your Life Easier
Monday, February 15                       Noon-1 p.m.

Thursday @ Three HSLS UPMC Shadyside Libraries Information Series
These informal sessions are held in the conference room at UPMC Shadyside Libraries.

Advances Google: Tips and Strategies for Getting More from Google
Thursday January 14                        3-4 p.m.

Drug Information for Your Desktop
Thursday, February 18                     3-4 p.m.

Customized classes can be developed for your department, course, or other group.

These online tutorials provide information on getting started at HSLS, focusing on the Web site and popular resources.

HSLS Staff News

The HSLS Staff News section includes recent HSLS presentations, publications, staff changes, staff promotions, degrees earned, etc.


Barbara Epstein, director, presented “Clinical Focus in the eRecord” at the annual meeting of the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries, Boston, Mass. on November 7, 2009 and “Integrating knowledge-based information into the eRecord:  a long and winding road” at the Medical Library Association Tri-Chapter Meeting, Atlantic City, N.J. on October 7, 2009.

Charles B. Wessel, head of hospital services presented “Librarians as learners: HSLS systematic review opportunity” at the Medical Library Association Tri-Chapter Meeting, Atlantic City, N.J. on October 6, 2009.


John Erlen, history of medicine librarian, published “New dissertations” in Nursing History Review, 18(1):243-250, 2010; “Disability studies abstracts” in Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal, 5(3):101-102, 2009; co-authored “Recent dissertations” in American Indian Quarterly, 33(4):591-600, 2009; and edited “Recent dissertations in the history of medicine” in Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, 64(4):565-588, 2009.

Linda Hartman, reference librarian, co-authored “Telerehabilitation: policy issues and research tools” in International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 1(1):47-58, Fall 2009.


Donald Graham, circulation specialist, received an MLIS degree in April from the School of Information Sciences at Pitt.

Michele Klein Fedyshin, reference librarian, passed the NCLEX examination in October and is now a Registered Nurse.

Opening Doors Exhibit Celebrates Achievements of African American Surgeons

Opening DoorsThe Falk Library is hosting the traveling exhibit “Opening Doors: Contemporary African American Surgeons” from November 1, 2009–January 28, 2010.  This exhibit tells the stories of four pioneering African American surgeons and educators who exemplify excellence in their fields.  Through contemporary and historical images, the exhibition takes the visitor on a journey through the lives and achievements of these academic surgeons, and provides a glimpse into the stories of those that came before them and those that continue the tradition today.  It was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture.  Stop by the Falk Library and celebrate the contributions of African American academic surgeons to medicine and medical education.  The exhibit will be open during regular library hours.

In honor of this exhibit, there will be a public program titled “The African American Surgeon: A Century of Growth” on November 19, 2009, at 6 p.m., in Scaife Hall, Lecture Room 5.  The presenter will be Frederick D. Cason Jr, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief, Louis Stokes Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center and Associate Professor of Surgery, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

This lecture will be followed by a reception in the Falk Library.  All are welcome!

~ Renae Barger

Google Scholar vs. PubMed for Health Sciences Literature Searching

In the 18 months since I last taught a class about Google Scholar vs. PubMed, Google has become an even more pervasive presence on the Web. Revisiting Scholar in a Google world, how does it stack up against PubMed−no slouch itself thanks to continuing innovations and improvements?

To a searcher accustomed to PubMed’s Lexus engine, Scholar still rides like a go-kart. Search results are delivered in round numbers (“about 127,000”). You can’t limit search results just to articles, so you may puzzle over the kind of item you are looking at (conference paper? book?). With no controlled vocabulary, a searcher must anticipate all the different terms an author might use to articulate a particular concept. And there is no search history, making it harder to repeat and document searches.
The absence of standardized journal names causes inconsistencies. Search PubMed for either Nature Genetics or Nat Genet as journal title, and you retrieve 5,336 articles. In Scholar, Nat Genet as publication title retrieves about 5,630 items—but Nature Genetics retrieves about 10,400.

But Scholar’s biggest drawback is its vague denominator. Only Google knows its total number of records and names and included dates of covered journals. You can limit results to a subject area, but there is no information on how these are defined.

PubMedBy contrast, PubMed’s scope is clearly documented: 17,764,826 records (2009 baseline) from 5,398 journals back to 1949. From its link to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Journals database, it is easy to determine whether and how far back a journal is covered and its standardized title. Records have a consistent structure (title, author, source, abstract, etc.) and can be fully displayed. With controlled vocabulary MeSH (Medical Subject Headings), you can search concepts, not just keywords. Search for the MeSH concept stomach neoplasms and get articles whose authors use the terms gastric cancer and gastric neoplasms.

Other PubMed tools include Clinical Queries and Single Citation Matcher. The NCBI environment provides links to molecular biology and genetics databases and to NIH’s free PubMed Central repository. Access PubMed through the “Quick Link” on the HSLS home page, and you’ll automatically get full-text links specific to the University of Pittsburgh.

GoogleSo what does Scholar offer that PubMed does not? It isn’t the only product with multidisciplinary coverage (try Web of Science or Scopus). Besides journal articles, Scholar has book, scholarly Web site, and conference proceeding records, but this is not unique either.

Scholar’s biggest plus is that it makes full-text articles completely searchable, letting you dig up details like place or personal names that might not surface in a PubMed search. PubMed records may include a link to full text that your institution subscribes to, but never the full text itself. Other Scholar pluses:

  • Relevance-ranked search results: in PubMed, ranking is by date;
  • Citation data: click on a Cited by link to see citing publications;
  • Scholar’s Bibliography Manager: exports records to EndNote and RefWorks automatically—a manual procedure in PubMed.

The conclusion? Both Scholar and PubMed belong in your search tool box. Scholar is ill-defined, but has useful features and retrieves items not in PubMed. For best results, choose precise search terms and configure Advanced Scholar Search to look for them in article titles. For access to all the full text you’re entitled to, configure Scholar Preferences/Library Links by entering University of Pittsburgh.


  1. Badke W. Google Scholar and the researcher. ONLINE. 33, no. 2(May-Jun 2009):47-9.
  2. Falagas ME, Pitsouni EI, Malietzis GA, Pappas G. Comparison of PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar: strengths and weaknesses. FASEB Journal. 22, no. 2(Feb 2008):338-42.

~ Patricia Weiss

Director’s Reflections…October is National Medical Librarians Month!

barbaraThe Medical Library Association has declared October as National Medical Librarians Month to raise awareness of the important role of the health information professional.  Medical librarians are an integral part of the healthcare team.  They have a direct impact on the quality of patient care and research by helping users stay current about advances in their specialty areas.  They teach students and healthcare providers how to find and evaluate information, and provide access to resources in a variety of formats.

HSLS includes 24 faculty librarians on its staff, each with at least a master’s degree, and several with second master’s degrees and/or doctoral degrees.  Their responsibilities vary widely: some are in public services such as school liaisons, expert search consultation and instruction.  Others are subject specialists in molecular biology, history of medicine, animal research, and consumer health services.  HSLS librarians also may be specialists in collection development, cataloging, Web management, and computer services.

Stop by the display cases in Falk Library to “Meet Your HSLS Librarians” in October.