HSLS Remote Access

If you are affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh, you should use Pitt’s Secure Remote Access service for 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 are 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.

Falk Library Group Study Rooms

gsrBecause two heads are better than one, Falk Library offers four group study rooms—spaces to communicate and learn while still maintaining the library’s quiet atmosphere. The rooms may be reserved for up to 4 hours, and accommodate 2 to 8 people. Each group study room contains a table, chairs, a laptop (upon request), and a plasma display monitor.

You may reserve a room online or in person at the Falk Library Computer & Media Center (CMC) up to 3 days in advance. A valid University of Pittsburgh ID or HSLS Library Computer Account is required for online bookings. Those with a valid UPMC ID may book by calling the CMC help desk at 412-648-9109. Before booking a room, please take a moment to read the group study room policy.

At your reserved time, go to the CMC help desk to obtain the room key. You must provide your Pitt or UPMC ID to access the room.

Finding the Full Text of a Journal Article

After you’ve identified a journal citation, locating the full text of a journal article can be confusing. The most efficient route to the full-text of a journal article often depends upon the starting point. Two common starting points are described below with explanations on how to get from those points to the desired article.

Starting Point #1: from the PubMed Abstract, Abstract Plus, or Citation display screens

Click the Links@Pitt-UPMC button near the article citation. You may also see full-text links from journal publishers. But these links may or may not lead to full text and frequently request payment for access.


A new Web page will open that displays the article citation. Directly below the citation information you will see one of two options. One option allows you to access the full-text article by clicking on the name of the journal publisher.


Alternatively, you may be given a link to PITTCat for the Health Sciences, the online catalog for HSLS and other University of Pittsburgh libraries.


Clicking the PITTCat link launches a journal title search in PITTCat. Within the PITTCat search results, click on the full title link for the journal to access the electronic version or to find information about the location of the print version. If Pitt libraries do not subscribe to the journal, you will receive the message “PITTCat found no records that matched your search.”

Starting Point #2: List of citations but not in a database such as PubMed

Go directly to PITTCat for the Health Sciences. You have two options for searching PITTCat.
One option is to go to the HSLS home page and enter the journal title in the Pitt Resources Quick Search box.


This runs a keyword search in PITTCat. Electronic resources available from HSLS will be listed in a highlighted box at the top of your search results, and will include links to the fulltext. Other search results (for University Library System resources or HSLS print resources) will appear further down in your search results and contain links to the PITTCat record.


Alternatively, you can search for the journal title using PITTCat’s traditional search interface. On the HSLS home page, click on the Search PITTCat directly link.


In the traditional PITTCat search interface:
In the box Search Term(s), enter the journal title.
In the box Search Type, select Journal Title Begins with.
Click on the Search button.


Within the PITTCat search results, click on the full title link for the journal to access the electronic version or to find information about the location of the print version. If Pitt libraries do not subscribe to the journal, you will receive the message “PITTCat found no records that matched your search.”

If your search of PITTCat indicates that a journal is not available from any Pitt library, you can use the HSLS Document Delivery service to request a copy of the desired article.

HSLS Offers Educational Support

HSLS supports the educational needs of health sciences faculty and students. Teaching faculty should be aware of the many ways HSLS can provide course assistance.

How the library can help:

Integrated Class Sessions
Reference librarians are available to provide integrated instruction in information skills as part of courses offered in the schools of the health sciences. Librarians can provide instruction on access to online resources, such as databases and full-text journals, and instruction on identifying and evaluating subject specific Web sites.

Web-based Curriculum Support
Web-based information resources can provide curriculum support to students on and off campus. Information resources include links to full-text journal articles, database searches developed by a librarian, chapters in electronic textbooks, and authoritative Web resources.

Course Reserves
Provide access to required or supplemental reading materials by placing books and journal articles on closed reserve.

Request Books to Supplement a Course
Faculty may request the purchase of materials that support teaching, study or research.

Computing Resources
The Computer and Media Center staff can assist in creating a CD-ROM that contains slides, PowerPoint presentations, image files and word documents to be used during a course. Instruction to improve presentations is available through classes such as PowerPoint or Photoshop. Faculty may request the purchase of software applications and videos to supplement a course. Please call 412-648-9109 for details.

Falk Library’s Computer & Media Center

The Computer & Media Center (CMC), located on the second floor of Falk Library, is open to health sciences faculty, students, and staff. Technology available at the CMC includes scanners, DVD burners, and Windows XP computers equipped with software for word processing, spreadsheets, statistics, graphics, video editing, and database management.

Other technology and services available at the CMC include:

Color, black-and-white, and double sided printing, are available from the CMC. Patrons must pay for printing through the use of HSLS Copy Cards. Copy Cards may be purchased at Falk Library. Medical students may use their subsidized accounts instead of a Copy Card on the black-and-white printer in the CMC only.

Circulating Technology
The CMC provides circulating technology, which currently includes 35 general purpose laptops that can be checked out by patrons for up to 4 hours. These laptops can connect to the University of Pittsburgh wireless system with a valid University Computing Account username and password, and can be taken outside the library.

The CMC also offers a collection of audiovisual materials including slides, audiocassettes, videotapes, CDs and DVDs, which may be checked out for one week.

The CMC opens at the same time as Falk Library, but closes 30 minutes earlier.  For questions regarding CMC technology or policies, please call the CMC helpdesk at 412-648-9109.

PITTCat: Your Finding Aid for Books, Journals, Audiovisuals, and Other Library Resources

Are you looking for a specific book or DVD? Do you have a citation to an article and want to find the full text? Make PITTCat for the Health Sciences your first stop. PITTCat is the online catalog for HSLS and other University of Pittsburgh libraries.  PITTCat contains information on books, journals, audiovisual aids, and other items held in all University of Pittsburgh libraries.

PITTCat can be easily accessed from the HSLS home page, at the link shown in the illustration below.


There are four search tabs within PITTCat:

Basic Search: Search for exact titles of books, journals, audiovisual materials or other resources using the “Title Begins with” or “Journal Title Begins with” search type. You can also browse by subject heading or call number.

Guided Search: a form-based keyword search. Keyword searches may be especially helpful if you are looking for items on a topic, but are not sure of specific titles or authors.

Course Reserves: Browse current course reserves by instructor, department, or course.

New Items: View new items added to the libraries’ collections. Browse by library, call number, author, or title, for new items added in the last one to four weeks.

See the online help below the PITTCat search box for more detailed search instructions and examples. If you have questions or need assistance navigating PITTCat, please contact the Falk Library Reference Desk, 412-648-8796, or Ask A Librarian

Stay Updated

The HSLS Update is an online newsletter published six times a year. It provides information about services, educational opportunities, and resources available to faculty, staff, and students in the schools of the health sciences and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.  You can receive the Update via an RSS feed or by email subscription.

HSLS Library Computer Account holders are automatically subscribed to ensure that you receive the latest information about new resources, upgrades and services. Feedback from our readers and suggestions for future articles are welcome! E-mail the editor at hslsnews@pitt.edu.

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 esaghafi@pitt.edu.

~ 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 medlibq@pitt.edu.

~ 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