Scientific Reports: New Open Access Publication from Nature Publishing Group

Nature Publishing Group is launching a new online, open access publication called Scientific Reports. Coverage includes primary, original research in the natural sciences including biology, chemistry, earth sciences, and physics. Clinical research is not included at this time. The purpose of Scientific Reports is to provide rapid access to peer-reviewed research. Papers describing negative results will be considered if their insight is useful. The main criterion for inclusion is the technical soundness of the research.

There is an article processing fee of $1,380 for articles accepted before December 31, 2011, after which the charge will be $1,700. Authors retain copyright for their article, with content licensed under one of two Creative Commons licenses. The first articles will appear in June 2011.

Why publish in Scientific Reports? This product appeals to authors who value speed of publication; those whose papers are technically sound but do not have a conceptual advance in the field; or those whose papers describe negative results.

The articles will be available on the publication’s Web site and on PubMed Central. Also included on the Web site will be lists of the most-downloaded, most-emailed, and most-blogged articles. Publication will be continuous so papers will be published as they become available.

Parts of this article were reprinted from Scientific Reports FAQs.

~ Linda Hartman

PubMed’s “Epub Ahead of Print” Articles

Articles often appear on publishers’ Web sites prior to the release of a journal issue. Publishers also have the option of submitting these pre-publication articles to PubMed. PubMed citations for these advance articles include the notation “[Epub ahead of print].”

Full-text availability of this type of article varies depending on the publisher and the HSLS provider, and is not always specified in our licensing agreements. Many publishers limit access to “Epub ahead of print” articles to individual subscribers and do not offer access to institutional subscribers such as HSLS. Some publishers allow access only to those libraries that subscribe directly through the publisher and not through a third party. In some cases, HSLS has the flexibility to change existing subscriptions to take advantage of this. For example, HSLS moved its subscription for the journal, Heart, from Ovid directly to the publisher to allow users to access the high-demand “Epub ahead of print” articles. Unfortunately, this is not possible in all cases due to publishers’ restrictions.

Even when a library is entitled to “E-pub ahead of print” articles, it may not always be possible to link to the full-text article for several reasons: lack a Digital Object Identifier (DOI) that is used to link to full text, lack of specific citation components such as volume, issue or page number of an article, or simply the unavailability of such contents at the journal site at a particular time.

There is not an easy answer for access issues regarding “Epub ahead of print” articles. The only sure way to find out if the article is available in full text is try to access it!

Citation marked as [Epub ahead of print]

~ Liping Song

HSLS Update’s RSS Feed Keeps You Up-To-Date!

HSLS Update articles of immediate interest to our readers are now available more rapidly through the HSLS Update’s RSS feeds. By subscribing to an HSLS Update RSS feed, you can view articles as soon as they are published. [For a quick, non-technical introduction to RSS feeds, watch the 3-minute video, RSS in Plain English, on]

To subscribe to an HSLS Update RSS feed, click on the RSS Newsfeed Button button located in the top right corner of every HSLS Update page. This takes you to the RSS feed page. There are a variety of ways to subscribe, depending on what browser or reader service you are using:

Internet Explorer (7.0 and up):

  1. In the yellow box at the top of the page, click on Subscribe to this feed.
  2. A “Subscribe to the Feed” box will pop up. Type a name for the feed and select the folder where you want to place the feed.
  3. Click on Subscribe.
  4. To view the feed, open Internet Explorer and then click on View on the browser’s toolbar at the top of the page, select Explorer Bars, and then select Feeds.

Internet Explorer "Subscribe to this Feed"
Detailed instructions are available on the Internet Explorer Web site.

Mozilla Firefox (1.0 and up):

  1. In the yellow box at the top of the screen, click on the Live Bookmarks Button button.
  2. A drop-down menu will appear with several options:
    • “Live Bookmarks” allow you to read articles through your Mozilla Firefox browser. After selecting “Live Bookmarks,” click on Subscribe Now.
    • “Subscribe with Live Bookmark” pop-up box will appear. Type a name to refer to the feed as it will appear in your bookmarks. Select where you want to save this bookmark. Click on Add.
    • The Bloglines, My Yahoo, and Google options are online reader services.
  3. Mozilla Firefox "Subscribe to this feed using.."

  4. To view the feed, open Firefox, and then click on Bookmarks on the browser’s toolbar at the top of the page. Scroll through your list of bookmarks and look for the feed RSS Feed Icon icon.

Detailed instructions are available on the Firefox Web site.

Online RSS Reader services:
There are several online reader services that can be used to view feeds. Mozilla Firefox allows you to quickly link to your Bloglines, My Yahoo, or Google account directly from the RSS feed page. For all online services, create or sign into your account to add the RSS feed. For example, on Google Reader, click on Add subscription, and then enter in the URL of the HSLS Update feed.

Mobile devices:
If you prefer to view RSS on your mobile device, you will need to install a feed reader application. Some options for iPhone and iPad include MobileRSS Free and xFeed RSS Reader.

Even with the added features of RSS feeds, the HSLS Update will still be delivered bimonthly via email and in printer-friendly pdf; and contain all of the articles released through the RSS feeds and more.

~ Julia Jankovic

MD Consult: E-Books and More

MD Consult is a collection of electronic resources from Elsevier, the medical and scientific publisher, providing access to over 80 e-books in specialties including cardiology, emergency medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics & gynecology, pathology, and surgery. Numerous “classics” in the medical literature are included:

  • Miller’s Anesthesia
  • Braunwald’s Heart Disease
  • Pathways of the Pulp
  • Williams Textbook of Endocrinology
  • Sleisenger and Fordtran’s Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease
  • Brenner and Rector’s The Kidney

HSLS’s subscription provides access to new editions when they become available, so the content is always current.

MD Consult also offers a variety of other full-text materials available from the same site: over 50 noted e-journals, 35 Clinics, and an Images site that contains over 50,000 high-quality medical images from the MD Consult books that may be used for personal, non-commercial use. See MD Consult’s Terms and Conditions for further information about copyrights and limitations on use.

Two other notable sections are “Guidelines and Patient Education.” The Guidelines section includes links to full-text clinical practice guideline articles published in MD Consult journals, plus links to additional full-text guidelines from professional and government agencies available on the Web. “Patient Education” contains more than 13,000 patient education handouts that can be printed and distributed to patients. Most are written at a 6th- to 8th-grade reading level; Spanish versions are available for approximately 75% of topics. The guidelines can be customized by physicians to provide additional instructions and contact information on each handout.

To access this comprehensive online information resource, type MD Consult in the Pitt Resources Quick Search box or in PITTCat for the Health Sciences.

To access individual MD Consult e-books:

Portions of this article are reprinted from the MD Consult Web site.

~ Leslie Czechowski

NAPLEX and NCLEX-RN Practice Exams Updated in Exam Master Online®

Exam Master Online®, the online preparation tool for health sciences specialty exams, has recently updated the content of two study guides.

The North American Pharmacist Licensure Examination study guide has been redesigned to more fully simulate the actual experience of taking the NAPLEX, and contains 185 questions covering all topics outlined in the National Associations of Boards of Pharmacy NAPLEX Blueprint.

NAPLEX Practice Exam

The National Council Licensure Exam – RN practice exam has also been updated. It contains 350 multiple choice questions, many focusing on patient needs. Each NCLEX–RN question includes a detailed explanation of the correct answer, and questions can be accessed in either a “study” or “test” mode.

NCLEX-RN Practice Exam

To access either study guide, type the name of the study guide into the Pitt Resources Quick Search box on the HSLS home page.  The guides can also be found in the HSLS Databases A – Z list.

~ Mary Lou Klem

Directors Reflections…Uncertain Times

Barbara EpsteinAs I write this column, the University is experiencing considerable anxiety over proposed budget cuts in its state appropriation. The Pitt community is mobilizing to demonstrate to the legislators and the governor our important contributions to the health and well-being of our city, state and region, but the outcome is still unclear.

At the same time, HSLS is buffeted by increases in the cost of our e-resources. In many cases, increases far exceed the general rate of inflation in the economy. While some publishers are working with us to control costs, others take a more rigid stance. The scholarly publishing world is experiencing rapid change, particularly as library budgets are flat or declining, and open access journals gain credibility and acceptance. Publishers, who have grown accustomed to charging libraries annual price increases of 7-9% for decades, fear that their income will decline and scramble to develop new pricing and access models.

We carefully review current and historical usage patterns for all our resources, and monitor your requests and feedback. Though we will have to make difficult choices in the coming months, we are committed to maintaining access to a broad range of important clinical and research resources, and to continuing to provide innovative services and educational workshops.

Treasures from the Rare Book Room

The Diseases Incident to Armies: With the Method of Cure, translated from the original of Baron Gerard van Swieten, was published for the use of military and naval surgeons in America.

The Disease Incident to Armies: With the Method of CureThe original English translation of van Swieten’s work on the hygiene of troops and diseases impacting the military was published in London in 1762, and the first American edition printed by Robert Bell appeared in Philadelphia 14 years later. Thus, the information derived from foreign experiences in military hygiene was made available to young surgeons in the War of Independence. Swieten’s text was enhanced by the addition of several chapters, including “Some Brief Directions to Be Observed by Sea Surgeons in Engagements” by William Northcote (extracted from The Marine Practice of Physic and Surgery, 1770) and, “The Nature and Treatment of Gun-Shot Wounds” by John Ranby (extracted from The Method of Treating Gunshot Wounds, 1744).

The Falk Library copy is bound with another interesting voice in the campaign to improve soldiers’ well-being: the 2nd edition of John Jones’s Plain Concise Practical Remarks on the Treatment of Wound and Fractures, to Which is Added an Appendix on Camp and Military Hospitals Principally Designed for the Use of Young Military and Naval Surgeons in North America, published in 1776.

The added work is noteworthy for several reasons. The original edition, published a year earlier, was the first textbook of military hygiene written by an American author. The target audience was army surgeons who had little, or no, formal medical education. According to European tradition, surgeons did not need a deep knowledge of medicine since they were working under the direction of physicians. The text is also significant because it was written by America’s first full professor of surgery. Jones delivered his lectures in surgery in the King’s College Medical School in New York City from the beginning of his appointment in 1767, until 1777 when he joined the American forces as a surgeon for the 10th Massachusetts Regiment.

The book also has an interesting provenance. It belonged to Jacob Ehrenzeller Jr., who is considered to be America’s first medical intern. He apprenticed as apothecary in Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia in the years 1773–1777 and was rewarded a certificate of medical competency. Later, he served as a surgeon at the battle of Monmouth, and after the war established a practice in Goshen, Illinois. There he was able to live comfortably on his physician income, which was not the case for many doctors at that time. The Falk Library copy is signed by J. Ehrenzeller Jr. and has three handwritten notes with corrections to the suggested measurements used in Swieten’s recipes, and a comment on the use of sauerkraut in the English Navy as a remedy for the scurvy (proving that his apprenticeship was well spent).

The Disease Incident to Armies: With the Method of CureThe book, The Diseases Incident to Armies Including Plain Concise Practical Remarks on the Treatment of Wound and Fractures, comes from the collection of our notable donor, the late Dr. Mark M. Ravitch, and is located in the Rare Book Rooms at Falk Library. It can be viewed on Mondays and Wednesdays from noon–3 p.m., and other times by appointment.

~ Gosia Fort

NCBI Holds a Mirror to Third Party Web Tools for Searching Biomedical Literature

Biomedical literature continues to grow exponentially. At the same time, greater numbers of researchers, healthcare providers, students, and members of the general public are trying their hand at searching this literature on their own. Librarians, information scientists and information industry developers are creating tools to facilitate the process of searching this vast literature.

To help searchers find their way, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has compiled a list of 28 Web-based search tools. The tools were compared to PubMed and then to each other. A variety of Web technologies and information searching conventions were utilized to create a constantly updated, interactive, and easy-to-use list of search tools.

Search tools on the NCBI list share three major characteristics:

  • They are bibliographic in format (display citations and abstracts) and draw upon similar or equivalent content in PubMed.
  • They are specifically designed for searching the biomedical literature, but are general in their coverage of the domain. They do not focus on any particular specialty, but accommodate questions from all branches of medicine and on all aspects of health care.
  • They are web-based and freely available on the internet. They do not require installation of any proprietary software or a paid subscription.


Lu Z. PubMed and beyond: a survey of web tools for searching biomedical literature. Database (Oxford). (January 2011):baq036.

~ Ester Saghafi

Not Your Stereotypical Librarian!

HSLS cataloging librarian Gretchen Maxeiner was featured in the January 2011 Living in Washington County article, “Ice hockey leagues are booming throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania.” The article focuses on the popularity of amateur ice hockey in the region, particularly women’s hockey.  Maxeiner (seen on the right below) has played for the Pittsburgh Puffins for nine years and serves as a board member and statistician for the Pennsylvania-Ohio Women’s Hockey Association.

Icetime: Gretchen Maxeiner

Photo used with permission from the Observer-Reporter.

~ Jill Foust

HSLS Interns Gain Valuable Experience

HSLS regularly host interns from Pitt’s School of Information Sciences. Internships allow students to 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.

Eleanor Akyar earned an undergraduate degree in management information systems from Pace University. She is currently working on her MLIS degree aEleanor Akyart Pitt. The majority of Akyar’s work experience has been in the development and project management of computer software applications. She is also a licensed real estate agent. Akyar’s belief that “information is power” led her to pursue an advanced degree in library and information science. Akyar is interning in the Reference Department in Falk Library, where she is creating an online exhibit by digitizing a unique collection of images and reports from a World War II field hospital in New Guinea.

Ricardo Figueroa graduated from Towson University where he studied Spanish and piano performanceRicardo Figueroa. He worked as a bilingual information specialist in the Epilepsy Foundation’s library and as a records manager at the Superfund Records Center. Figueroa believes an advanced degree in library science will compliment his past professional experience. He is interning in the Reference Department in Falk Library, where he is working with GSPH embedded public health informationist and reference librarian Barbara Folb.

~ Jill Foust

Harry Potter at the Hogwarts Library (aka Falk Library of the Health Sciences)

For six weeks, Falk Library masqueraded as the Hogwarts School Library as we hosted Harry Potter’s World: Renaissance Science, Magic and Medicine, a travelling exhibit produced by the National Library of Medicine, and coordinated by the American Library Association. Several hundred students, faculty and visitors toured the exhibit, posed next to the life-sized picture of Professor Albus Dumbledore, and tried their luck at the Harry Potter trivia quiz.

On February 22, Stephen Greenberg, PhD, coordinator of Public Services, History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine, entertained nearly 200 attendees with his intriguing connections between Renaissance science and medicine and the Harry Potter series. Many historical materials are conceptually linked to the fictional world created by author J.K. Rowling. For instance, alchemist Nicolas Flamel, who is featured in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was a real 15th-century scholar whose experiments with metals influenced the development of modern chemistry. Paracelsus, who appears as a sculpture in Harry Potter, was a 16th-century physician and alchemist notorious for criticizing the medical practices of his time. The lecture was followed by a reception co-hosted by Falk Library and the C.F. Reynolds Medical History Society.

In March, Sylvia Pamboukian, PhD, assistant professor of English Studies at Robert Morris University, visited the exhibit and spoke on the ways in which medical materials of the Renaissance were perceived as part of a larger, ritualistic process incorporating material, environment, practitioner, and patient. Dr. Pamboukian also discussed the ways in which such practices were perceived at the time, particularly the fears about witches and wizards.

Also in March, Lori M. Campbell, PhD, lecturer, Department of English, University of Pittsburgh, visited to talk about a chapter from her book, Portals of Power: Magical Agency and Transformation in Literary Fantasy (McFarland 2010). Using Harry Potter’s character as an example, Dr. Campbell discussed how the concept of the gateway or ‘portal’ between real and magical worlds operates in contemporary fantasy writing. Her talk demonstrated the ways in which magical nexus points and movement between these worlds are used throughout the 7-volume Harry Potter series to illustrate real-world power dynamics.

On March 26, the exhibit moved on to its next destination, and Hogwarts School Library reverted back to its previous identity as Falk Library of the Health Sciences. Thanks to all who visited the exhibit and attended the lectures. The Exhibit Committee (Renae Barger, Jonathon Erlen, Leslie Czechowski, Rebecca Abromitis, Barbara Epstein and Rhoda Ludin) hope you enjoyed attending the exhibit events as much as we enjoyed planning them.

Harry Potter event photos
Please visit our Facebook Photo Album for more event pictures.

Congratulations to our contest winners: out of 89 entries to the Harry Potter trivia quiz, only one person, Carlos Lopez from the School of Medicine, scored 100%, and was awarded a jar of Bertie Bott’s jelly beans. Sam Zolin, from the School of Arts and Sciences, won the raffle for a set of Harry Potter books. And Professor Dumbledore went home with Christina Jolley from the School of Nursing.

Harry Potter prize winners

~ Renae Barger

History of Nursing Exhibit

Be sure to visit the display cases in the Falk Library lobby and the Rare Book Rooms for an engrossing exhibit depicting the long and distinguished history of nursing through books in our History of Medicine collections.

Several of America’s most famous nurses, such as Clara Barton, Walt Whitman, and Dorothea Dix, cared for Union and Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. Sarah Emma Edmonds disguised herself as a man and served as a nurse, soldier, and spy. In her 1865 book, Nurse and Spy in the Union Army: The Adventures and Experiences of a Woman in Hospitals, Camps, and Battlefields, Edmonds details her exciting adventures, comprising everything from elaborate disguises, near escapes, and her care of fallen soldiers. This is a wonderful historical text that not only celebrates her adventures but also the bravery shared by all war-time nurses.

Prior to the 19th century, most nursing was performed neither in hospitals nor on the battlefields, but rather by women in the home. In his 1888 text, Gunn’s New Domestic Physician, John C. Gunn, MD, discusses both the practical treatments of home nursing, covering everything from pregnancy, common diseases, medicinal herbs, and the very Victorian ideal of the spiritual and maternal caretaker.

Isabel Hampton Robb, one of the great advocates of nursing education, focuses on hospital nursing. In her 1906 Nursing: Its Principles and Practice, Robb describes the nitty-gritty facts of a nurse’s daily life and the skills needed by nursing students to care for their patients.

And, of course, no display of nursing history would be complete without Florence Nightingale, the great 19th century nursing education advocate. In our collection is a rare book from 1859 titled Notes on Nursing: What It Is, and What It Is Not. This slim volume is especially valuable as it was given to the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing in 1951 to honor the nursing program. It serves as a reminder of the great historical nursing legacy left to all nurses by their predecessors.

The history of nursing exhibit is available for viewing in the Falk Library Lobby display case during regular library hours and in the Rare Book Rooms on Mondays and Wednesdays from noon-3 p.m., and other times by appointment.

~ Robin Sencenbach

HSLS Staff News

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


Nancy Tannery, associate director for User Services, was elected chair of the Libraries in Medical Education (LiME), a special interest group of the Northeastern Group on Educational Affairs of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) for 2011-2012.


Barb Folb, public health informationist and reference librarian, presented a talk “Information Needs and Practices of Disaster Response Professionals: Findings and Implications for Information Support Services” at the Disaster Information Outreach Symposium held at the National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Research Center in Bethesda, MD on March 29, 2011.

Nancy Tannery, associate director of User Services, presented a poster titled “From Module Development to User Testing: A Collaborative Project to Create an Online Search Module for MERC,” at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the Northeast Group on Educational Affairs, March 11-13, in Washington DC. The poster was co-authored with Kerry O’Rouke1 and Donna Berryman2.

1Robert Wood Johnson Library of the Health Sciences, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
2Edward G. Miner Library, University of Rochester


Jonathon Erlen, history of medicine librarian, served as a major contributor to ISIS Current Bibliography of the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences, 2010. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011.

Michele Klein-Fedyshin, reference librarian, published “Information Practice” Chapter 12 in The Medical Library Association Guide to Managing Health Care Libraries, NY: Neal-Schuman Publisher, 2011.