IMLS Grant Awarded to Health Sciences Library System and School of Information Sciences

imlsHSLS and the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Information Sciences (the iSchool) have been awarded a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The three-year grant, for $991,311, will support the development of a Post Master’s Degree Certificate of Advanced Studies in Health Sciences Librarianship, managed jointly by the iSchool and HSLS. The program will offer specialized preparation for professional positions in health sciences libraries. iHealth@Pitt will include online coursework, an applied research project, mentoring experiences, and attendance at a national conference. The grant from IMLS will support the costs of curriculum development and evaluation, online course delivery infrastructure, and student recruitment. In addition, the grant will provide tuition scholarships for 27 students throughout the United States. Students will be enrolled in iHealth@Pitt beginning in May 2010.

Coursework will address such issues as evidence-based medicine, teaching and instruction in a health care setting, clinical librarianship, expert searching in medical resources, and integration of information resources in electronic health records. Students, admitted in cohorts of 12-15, will complete the 15-credit program within one year. Students will plan and complete a 3-credit applied research project at their home institution under the guidance of a professional mentor.

To learn more about iHealth@Pitt, contact Ester Saghafi, reference librarian and project manager, at 412-648-1973 or

~ Jill Foust

New Bioinformatics Resources: Lasergene and Partek Genomics Suite

Are you a frustrated Mac user trying to find sequence analysis software? Have you been searching for software to help you with data on copy number variation? We’ve heard you, and we’ve licensed new resources, Lasergene and Partek Genomics Suite, to help you out!

mb_lasergeneLasergene is comprehensive software for DNA and protein sequence analysis, contig assembly, and sequence project management.  It is compatible with Windows Vista and XP as well as Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.4. The software consists of an integrated suite of seven modules:

SeqBuilder: visualization, sequence editing, Primer design and virtual cloning
SeqMan Pro: sequence assembly, Next-Gen sequence analysis and SNP discovery
MegAlign: sequence alignment
PrimerSelect: oligo primer design
Protean: protein structure analysis and prediction
GeneQuest: gene finding
EditSeq: utility for importing unusual file types

Use Lasergene for primer design, virtual cloning, SNP analysis, and protein structural analysis.  The Data Manager synchronizes data between the modules, allowing for easy and seamless editing.mb_partek

Partek Genomics Suite (Partek GS) is a comprehensive suite of advanced statistical and interactive data visualization tools designed to reliably extract biological signals from noisy data.  It is available for both PC and Mac, and consists of five applications:

Partek GS for Gene Expression Data
Partek GS for Exon Expression Data
Partek GS for Chromosomal Copy Number Data
Partek GS for Promoter Tiling Array Data
Partek GS for SNP Association Studies

Use Partek GS powerful statistics and interactive data visualization to easily analyze and compare a variety of genomic data sets, such as gene expression, exon, copy number, mapping, tiling, and SNP data.

To access Lasergene or Partek GS, visit Licensed Tools on the Molecular Biology portal.

For more information regarding Lasergene or Partek GS, please contact either Ansuman Chattopadhyay at 412-648-1297, Carrie Iwema at 412-383-6887, or Ask A MolBio Librarian.

Parts of this article were reprinted from Lasergene and Partek.

~ Carrie Iwema

Director’s Reflections…Welcome!


The staff at HSLS is pleased to welcome new and returning faculty and students.  Though we’ve hardly been napping all summer, it’s fun to get back into the faster pace that fall term brings.

HSLS librarians spent the summer orienting new UPMC residents, planning orientations and workshops for the fall, sprucing up our physical facilities, catching up on delayed projects, and even fitting in some vacation days.

In this issue, you’ll find news and information to help you take advantage of the wide range of services and resources available at HSLS.

Take a quick virtual tour of Falk Library, or stop by and talk to your liaison librarian to learn how HSLS can enhance your productivity in research, educational and clinical activities.

HSLS Remote Access Changes

Thousands of users access HSLS electronic resources from computers, at home or elsewhere, that are not directly connected to the Pitt or UPMC networks.  Many have registered for HSLS Remote Access accounts using their email addresses.

Effective August 31, 2009, all HSLS Remote Access accounts will be discontinued due to changes in network security.

Instead, those affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh should use Pitt’s Secure Remote Access service which provides access to most HSLS and other Pitt online resources.

UPMC employees should use the Connect@UPMC service to gain access to HSLS online resources.


All HSLS e-resources continue to be directly accessible from all computers connected to the Pitt and UPMC networks.

For further information, please contact the Falk Library reference desk at 412-648-8796, the CMC help desk at 412-648-9109, or Ask A Librarian.

~ Fran Yarger

Librarians on Your Team

Over the past several years, HSLS librarians have increasingly been invited to be part of a team of clinicians or researchers working on projects or grants.  These HSLS reference librarians bring knowledge-based resources and expert search skills to the team.  They are trained to analyze complex questions and formulate comprehensive search strategies.

For example, librarians work on systematic reviews teams. Charles Wessel, head of hospital services, was a member of a clinician team that researched and authored an interventional review article, “Parenteral Calcium for Intensive Care Unit Patients,” published in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2008, Issue 4. Article No.: CD006163.

Librarians are members of research teams.  Rebecca Abromitis, reference librarian, worked with a group conducting research for the poster “Non-Pharmacological Therapeutic Techniques to Decrease Agitation in the Geriatric-Psychiatric Patient with Dementia in a Psychiatric Hospital Setting” as part of the Nursing Evidence-Based Practice and Research Council at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. The poster won the “Impact of Nursing on Practice” award during the UPMC 2009 Nurses Week Celebration, April 28-30, 2009.

HSLS Librarians participate in Morning Report on the General Internal Medicine Service at UPMC Montefiore.  The daily Morning Report session, which includes an attending physician, chief resident, and eight medical residents, is an important educational component of internal medicine resident training programs.  The presence of a librarian in this process serves as a reminder that quality primary literature is readily available.

These are just a few examples of how HSLS librarians work as part of a team.  If you are interested in having a librarian on your team, contact the Falk Library reference desk at 412-648-8796 or send an email to

~ Nancy Tannery

Librarians and Nurses: Partnering for Patient Safety

img_1423_v2Evidence-based practice (EBP) is a systematic approach to health care where providers, including nurses, apply the best available evidence from scientific studies to make clinical decisions and promote patient safety.

In order to support and encourage the use of evidence in patient care, UPMC Shadyside convened the EBP Nursing Council, which celebrated its one year anniversary in February. The council includes one staff nurse from each inpatient and outpatient area; representatives from ancillary disciplines involved in direct patient care, such as respiratory and food and nutrition; four advisors; and an HSLS reference librarian.

The librarian’s main role on the Council is to train its members to locate the best relevant evidence through use of resources such as MEDLINE and CINAHL. This step in the EBP process is often the most challenging and intimidating, especially for nurses who have limited time and are often unfamiliar with online databases and literature searching.

Members of the EBP council view the librarian’s involvement as a critical component in its achievements, as demonstrated in the comments below:

“The EBP Council’s success is due in large part to the dedication and in-depth investment exhibited by our library system and more specifically, by our prized librarian, Melissa Ratajeski…As the EBP Council continues to evolve, it is assured that the interdisciplinary efforts between council members and the library (and our librarian) will continue to strengthen the foundation of an effective change-making force.”–Rachel Nechyba, RN and Chair EBP Council

“The assistance and expertise that has been provided to all of the members of the group (by the librarian) in navigating the challenging area of the article search has been invaluable. We have moved from a model of dependence, of “allowing the librarian to do it, to becoming very active consumers of the literature and students of the ‘search.’”–Denise Verosky, Director Nursing Education and Research and EBP Council advisor

HSLS librarians also sit on other EBP Nursing Councils throughout the UMPC system, including Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.

If you would like assistance on locating evidence for patient care, please contact the Falk Library reference desk at 412-648-8796 or Ask A Librarian.

~ Jill Foust

Survey Results: Molecular Biology Information Service

mb_4prongIn early spring 2009, the HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service (MBIS) conducted an online survey as part of a larger project assessing the overall services of MBIS.  The intent was to gather feedback in order to create new workshops, identify new bioinformatics tools to license, update our Web site, promote our services, and strengthen the relationship with our users.

Results from the survey were presented at the Medical Library Association annual meeting in May 2009.  Preliminary findings from the survey indicate:

  • 63% of respondents preferred to use PCs, while 37% favored Macs.
  • The most-used features on the Molecular Biology home page were Licensed Tools, Class Calendar, and Workshops & Tutorials.
  • 53% of survey respondents requested written tutorials and 66% requested video tutorials.
  • New tutorials suggested by respondents include: SNPs, miRNA, protein structure modeling, primer design, HapMap, sequence alignment, and immunoinformatics.
  • The most popular workshops reported by the survey were Pathway Analysis Tools, Genetic Variations Resources, and Vector NTI.
  • New workshops suggested by respondents included advanced classes, neuroinformatics, and analysis (microarray, pathway, SNP, etc.).
  • Respondents recommended the purchase of Partek Genomics Suite and Lasergene.

Many user comments indicate that MBIS needs to advertise our services better, provide more tutorials and workshops online, offer advanced training classes, and license more Mac-friendly tools. Many comments praised the good work of the MBIS staff!

The survey was created and administered by Carrie Iwema, information specialist, MBIS, with consultation from Ansuman Chattopadhyay, head, MBIS.

~ Carrie Iwema

GoPubMed for Enhanced Retrieval of PubMed Search Results

gopubmedGoPubMed is a free biomedical literature search tool that expands on PubMed search results through ontology and categorization rather than chronology. After search terms are entered, GoPubMed sorts results into four categories: What, Who, Where, and When. These correspond to relevant concepts, authors, affiliations, journals, and publication dates. The categories expand and collapse for easy viewing.

Category Highlights

gopubmed_menuThe What category groups search results into three Top Categories: Gene Ontology ( GO; controlled vocabulary for genes and gene products), Medical Subject Headings ( MeSH; controlled vocabulary thesaurus from the National Library of Medicine), and the Universal Protein Resource ( UniProt; protein sequence and function).

The Who category quickly identifies leading scientists and centers working in the biomedical area matching the search query. Authors are listed with the number of PubMed citations.

The Where category lists geographic locations, high impact factor journals, top journals, and review articles.

The When category provides a publication timeline for search results. Top years for query lists the years with the most matching citations.

Bibliometric Analysis of Retrieval

Another novel aspect of GoPubMed is the Statistics feature, which performs bibliometric analyses of search results. After conducting a search, click on the “Statistics” tab to view the results through bar graphs, charts, and visual representations of the top authors, top countries, top cities, top journals, number of publications over time, and author collaboration network.

GoPubMed was developed at the Technical University of Dresden and at Transinsight.

To access this resource, type “GoPubMed” in the search.HSLS box on the HSLS home page. For questions, contact a reference librarian. Read the original article on GoPubMed for additional information.

Parts of this article were reprinted from GoPubMed.

~ Charles Wessel

Time to Test Those Bookmarks!

Have you created Web-based bookmarks for quick and easy access to HSLS resources and Web pages that you use frequently? If so, now is the time to test your bookmarks. When you click on a bookmarked link, it should always lead to a relevant Web page. But for various reasons, a Web address, also known as a Uniform Resource Locator (URL), can link to an unrelated Web page or display an error message. These changes occur because the original Web page was moved or is not being updated. Or, perhaps an electronic resource is no longer available.

bookmarkTo avoid bookmarking problems, the best solution is to bookmark the HSLS home page and select an electronic resource or HSLS Web page from there, so you can be assured the Web address is accurate, and links to journal articles will work correctly.

~ Jill Foust

Getting What You Need

Although the Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) has a strong electronic and print collection, it is not feasible to purchase everything. Have you ever discovered HSLS did not have what you needed? Have you ever needed materials from our offsite storage facility? Have you ever thought it would be convenient to have an article or chapter copied from the library’s print collection and sent to your desktop?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, then HSLS Document Delivery Services is for you. Join the 2,188 HSLS users who have ordered through our online, user-friendly system over the past year. This system, introduced in July 2008, alleviates the need to re-enter user information when requesting multiple items. It also allows you to submit orders, track the status of your requests, update your profile and receive electronically delivered documents through one simple Web interface.

Get_Need - img v3

Getting started with HSLS Document Delivery is easy:

  1. Create an HSLS Document Delivery account (This is different from your HSLS computer account).
  2. Log in when you want to order, track the status of requests, or download electronically delivered documents.
  3. You can also order articles directly through many HSLS databases such as Ovid, PubMed, and CINAHL. Just click on thelinks_pitt-upmc icon. If the article is not available full text, you will have the option to request a copy from HSLS Document Delivery.
  4. See HSLS Document Delivery FAQ for more information on our services, fees and turnaround times.


~ Renae Barger