Falk Library Holiday and Winter Recess Hours

Over Pitt’s winter break, Falk Library will have modified hours:

  • Saturday, December 22: 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 23: 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Monday, December 24 through Tuesday, January 1: CLOSED
  • Wednesday, January 2: resume regular hours

The Ask a Librarian service will be monitored during the last week of December.

PalPITTations Concert in Falk Library on December 13

Get into the spirit of the season by joining us for a holiday concert performed by the PalPITTations, an a capella vocal group of health sciences students from the University of Pittsburgh. The PalPITTations will perform on Thursday, December 13, at noon, on the upper floor of Falk Library. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome for this free concert.

Director’s Reflections…2013 and (Still) Counting

It’s hard to believe that we will soon be turning the calendar to 2013. It seems like just yesterday we were fretting about Y2K concerns, yet most of our students today were in grade school at the turn of the millennium.

Many things have changed over the last thirteen years, but one thing that’s fairly consistent in library-land is that we count things: how big is our collection, how many people visit the library, how many questions do we answer, how many students do we reach, and so on. Each year, we report detailed statistics to both the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries and the Association of Research Libraries. To help us plan for the future, we analyze the data over time to discern trends.
Continue reading “Director’s Reflections…2013 and (Still) Counting”

New Remote Access Tool for Pitt Users: “Reload via HSLS”

Have you ever received an e-mail at home that includes a citation to an article that’s available through an HSLS subscription, but you can’t view the full text because you aren’t logged in to Pitt’s remote access service? HSLS now has a new tool called “Reload via HSLS” that provides instant access to full-text articles even if you aren’t logged in as a remote user.

In a nutshell, the tool works by embedding the “Reload via HSLS” link in your bookmark toolbar. When you come across an article citation and would like to view the full text, all you need to do is click on the “Reload via HSLS” link and the EZproxy login box will automatically appear. Type in your University Computer Account information and the article will instantly be available in full text.

“Reload via HSLS” is available for both desktop and laptop computers as well as mobile devices. For instructions on how to set up “Reload via HSLS” for your desktop or laptop computer, direct your browser to the Remote Access page on the HSLS Web site. The directions are located at the bottom of the page. Detailed printable instructions for adding an EZproxy bookmark to your mobile device are also available for the iPad and Android tablets.

For further information about this new tool, please call the Falk Library Main Desk at

412-648-8866 or e-mail Ask a Librarian.

~ Jill Foust

HSLS Databases on Your Mobile Device

Do you want to access HSLS databases from your mobile device? If the answer is “yes”, then keep reading!

Through the library’s database licenses, HSLS users have free mobile access to nine databases, including Micromedex, AccessMedicine, The Medical Letter, ISI Web of Knowledge, and more. Visit the HSLS Mobile Resources Web site for details about each resource, including:

  • The content and features available for the mobile version of the database (on the Mobile Resources chart, click on the “Read more…” link under the resource name).
  • Links to download the app or access the mobile Web site.
  • Instructions on how to create an account, when needed.
  • Notations about the availability of full text.
  • Descriptions of any issues encountered by the librarians when downloading and/or using the mobile resources. Each resource listed was evaluated by three HSLS librarians using an iPad, iPhone, Android Xoom, and an Android Smartphone.

On the Mobile Resources Web site, you’ll find all the information you need to stay connected and productive anytime and anyplace.

Watch for upcoming HSLS classes on mobile resources. For further information, please call the Falk Library Main Desk at 412-648-8866 or e-mail Ask a Librarian.

~ Melissa Ratajeski

Watch for It: HSLS FlashClass

You know how it goes: You see the list of upcoming HSLS classes. You notice one you’d like to attend when it’s offered in two months. Maybe you even mark it on your calendar. But, by the scheduled date, things have changed, and a competing commitment demands priority.

To address this situation, HSLS will soon be testing a new program of classes inspired by popular deal-of-the-day Web sites such as Groupon and Living Social. Based on just-in-time scheduling, the FlashClass system will propose two topics each week and invite HSLS patrons to sign up for a one-hour class the following week. If enough people sign up, we’ll notify them and then hold the class.

The idea is to shorten the turnaround time between scheduling and teaching a class, to focus on topics you’re interested in at the moment, and to accommodate your shifting schedule.

Watch for FlashClass announcements and e-mails in early 2013. If you’re already on the HSLS Update mailing list, you’ll receive them automatically. Sign up now to add yourself to the list.

~ Patricia Weiss

Redefine Reading with Utopia Documents

Utopia Documents is a free Portable Document Format (PDF) reader optimized for scientific literature that brings static articles to dynamic life. Instead of merely enabling you to read an article, Utopia connects to a plethora of online resources that help you not only to further explore the article’s content but also to discover related materials. It combines the reliability and convenience of a PDF with the power and flexibility of the Web.

Upon opening an article, Utopia analyzes its content, and links to up-to-date online resources displayed in a sidebar on the right. The exact content of the sidebar varies depending on available information, but can contain:

  • A format style-customizable citation, provided by CrossRef
  • The Altmetric score, which is an indication of article impact via blogs, social networking sites, and the media
  • Links to related articles, provided by Mendeley
  • Copyright information, provided by Sherpa/RoMEO
  • Related data from an international repository, provided by Dryad
  • Drug Discovery information, provided by SciBite
  • Laboratory materials, provided by AQnowledge

Utopia promotes additional knowledge discovery via the “Explore” function. This replaces the sidebar’s contents with information related to whatever you’ve selected within the article itself, such as genes, proteins, drugs, diseases, references, etc. These information sources include PubMed, Wikipedia, UniProt, Quertle, and NCBI databases/tools. You can also search for terms and phrases not explicitly stated in the text of the article, such as from figures.

Utopia also allows users to make private annotations to articles, or to provide public comments viewable by all Utopia users. The “Reflect” tool highlights small molecules and proteins discussed within articles, with links to online data and definitions. The “Figure Browser” makes it easier to see the illustrations in an article. You can even interact directly with live data from articles in the Royal Society of Chemistry publications and Biomedical Journal.

You can download Utopia Documents for Windows, Mac, or Linux free of charge. For more information, view the Introduction to Utopia Docs video, read the Utopia publications, or contact the HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service.

*Parts of this article were reprinted from Utopia Documents.

~ Carrie Iwema

Plum Analytics: Alternative Impact Dashboard for Pitt Researchers

Traditional measures of research impact, such as the ISI Journal Citation Report impact factor, generally focus on the citation counts generated by peer-reviewed journals, which can take a long time to develop—approximately seven years from initial hypothesis to publication, according to a recent BMJ blog.1 Why wait so long to measure response to your work? Why limit the type of scholarly output measured? Alternative metrics or “altmetrics” allow authors to track the immediate impact of each article, grant, book, presentation, video, dataset or other work produced. Plum Analytics, a new company with offices in Philadelphia and Seattle, has created a personal dashboard for researchers to quantify and visualize the altmetrics of individual scholarly works.

The University of Pittsburgh’s University Library System (ULS) and HSLS have signed on as the first customer of Plum Analytics. We are partnering in a pilot project with selected Pitt researchers to more fully develop the product to help Pitt scholars track, assess, and compare scholarly impact. Using the Plum Analytics tool, researchers can make their scholarship more accessible, promote their research, and connect with other scholars.

Current metrics span five weighted categories of impact:

  1. Citations (Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar)
  2. Mentions (blog posts, news stories, Wikipedia articles, comments, reviews)
  3. Usage (downloads, views, book holdings, document delivery)
  4. Captures (favorites, bookmarks, saves, groups, readers)
  5. Social media (Tweets, likes, shares, ratings)

Social media and Web-based products currently monitored include Dryad, Slideshare, Vimeo, Github, PLoS, Mendeley, CiteULike, YouTube, Reddit, Wikipedia, SourceForge, Figshare, Facebook, Twitter and PubMed. Resulting research directories of linked people, labs, departments, and institutions will strengthen collaborative efforts.

Andrea Michalek, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Plum Analytics, presented preliminary results of the pilot project at the Open Access Week 2012 presentation, “Plum Analytics and Altmetrics: New Methods of Measuring Scholarly Impact,” on October 24 at the William Pitt Union. Two researchers from the schools of the health sciences are featured in the video. If you missed the presentation, it is now available for viewing online. While the Plum Analytics tool is not yet available for general use, stay tuned for further developments.

1. Bower C. “Plum Analytics: a new player in the field of altmetrics?” BMJ Web Development Blog, 2012, http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj-journals-development-blog/2012/09/28/plum-analytics-a-new-player-in-the-field-of-altmetrics/.

~ Andrea Ketchum

Chat Reference is Back!

HSLS librarians are once again available to chat when you need help with a reference question. Just visit Ask a Librarian and enter your question in the bottom window of the mhsls chat widget to start an online conversation.

Chat is available during regular reference hours, Monday–Friday 9 a.m.–5 p.m. and Saturday noon–4 p.m. You can also chat with us directly in Google Talk or XMPP-compliant chat apps such as IM+, Jabber, and Pidgin. Our user name is mhsls@chat.libraryh3lp.com.

~ Patricia Weiss

The New JAMA Network

In April 2012, the American Medical Association established the JAMA Network to promote integration of JAMA and the nine Archives journals. Since then, The JAMA Network Web site was introduced.

The JAMA Network Highlights

The JAMA Network offers access to a number of innovative features, including:

  •  The ability to search all ten journals at once. The search engine uses semantic tagging to link articles by meaning rather than word patterns, resulting in more relevant search results.
  • An easier manuscript submission process. “Manuscripts that are not accepted for publication by one JAMA Network journal may, with the authors’ consent, be referred for prompt assessment and consideration by another JAMA Network journal. In addition, information and commentaries about articles published in one journal that have importance and relevance for another journal will be featured across the Network.”1
  • The ability to export images to PowerPoint. Use of images is subject to AMA Terms & Conditions of Use.
  • Expanded views of figures and tables within articles by clicking on the table/figure icon.
  • Sharing links to Facebook and Twitter by clicking on the Share link in the article toolbox.

 Archives Specialty Journals to Be Renamed

Effective January 1, 2013, the nine Archives specialty journals will be renamed. The new names incorporate JAMA into their titles as follows: JAMA Dermatology, JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, JAMA Internal Medicine, JAMA Neurology, JAMA Ophthalmology, JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, JAMA Pediatrics, JAMA Psychiatry, and JAMA Surgery.

You can find information about other user friendly tools and plans for future products on The JAMA Network.

1. H. Bauchner, D.M. Albert, J.T. Coyle, et al, “The JAMA Network Journals: New Names for the Archives Journals,” JAMA, (2012) 2:1. doi: 10.1001/jama.2012.6312.

~ Jill Foust

PubMed’s New My NCBI Favorites Feature

There’s now a quick and easy way to save a PubMed citation to a My NCBI collection.

Sign in to your My NCBI account, run a search, and view a citation of interest in the abstract format. Click on the “Add to Favorites” icon on the upper right side of the page. The star in the icon will turn blue when selected. The abstract will automatically be saved to a collection called “Favorites.”

If you want to add an abstract to a currently established collection, click on the down arrow on the right side of the Favorites icon. Click on a collection name, or the star to the left of a collection name, and the abstract will automatically be saved to that collection.

If you choose to create a collection, you will be prompted to create a name for the collection. After you click on the Save button, the abstract will be saved to the new collection.

If you are not already logged into your My NCBI account, you’ll be prompted to do so when you click on the “Add to Favorites” icon.

To deselect a Favorite, click on the Favorites icon, or the star next to a collection name.

For further information, please call the Falk Library Main Desk at 412-648-8866 or e-mail Ask a Librarian.

~ Jill Foust

eLife: A New Peer-Reviewed Open Access E-Journal

eLife is a timely open access e-journal published under the auspices of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust. The eLife initiative aims to bring funders and researchers together in a unique collaboration with the overall goal to communicate new research findings in life and biomedical sciences.

The eLife journal is expected to be launched this winter. In the interim, the full content of its first collection of articles is now available and can be accessed at eLife: The Journal, the National Library of Medicine’s PMC digital journal archive, and its mirror sites including UK PubMed Central.

Access to the full content of the journal is free and available immediately upon publication. All content is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.

Fast facts about eLife:

  • Scope: Research communication in life and biomedical sciences
  • Audience: Researchers, in particular early-career researchers
  • Review Process: Swift, transparent, fair and constructive
  • Access: Open
  • Content: Value is added by inclusion of rich media presentations, accessible data, metrics to track the impact of contributors, and avoiding the imposition of extraneous limits on articles
  • Editors: The 21 member international Senior Editorial Team and 175 member Board of Reviewing Editors represent a wide array of expertise
  • Publishing Fees: None (for the time being)

To view the author and reviewer guides, direct your browser to the eLife Manuscript Management System.

*Parts of this article were reprinted from eLife.

~ Ester Saghafi

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: The Caracalla Medal

In addition to the many exquisite rare books in the Falk Library Rare Book collection, there are a number of valuable non-literary items. As objects, they can sometimes speak to us more strongly than text, since they appeal not only to our intellect but also to our senses. Among the artifacts is the Civil War Post-Mortem Surgical Set, which was described in detail in a December 2010 HSLS Update article. Another interesting collection is the commemorative medals associated with the field of medicine. These medals consist mostly of 19th and 20th century specimens, though there are a few that date as far back as the 15th century.

One medal in the collection commemorates the Roman emperor Caracalla. It was struck in Venice, Italy, in 1466. The design is loosely copied from a coin and is attributed to the Venetian artist, Giovanni Boldù, who was active from 1454-1477. It is a large medal (90 mm in diameter) struck in bronze. The obverse has an image of the Roman emperor Caracalla as a boy done in high relief. The youth’s bust facing left is circled by the name ANTONINVS PIVS AVGVSTVS (Antoninus Pius Augustus). The reverse side of the metal pictures the artist seated naked with his head in his hands; before him there is the Genius of Death, resting on a skull; above him, the inscription IO SON FINE; and below him, the date MCCCCLXVI (1466).

As commissioner of a large public bath house (thermae) in Rome, Caracalla fits the pattern of men accomplished in the field of medicine. The building that housed the bath house was constructed during his reign between 212 and 216 AD. It was heated by the ancient hypocast system of under-floor heating, and supplied with water by the Aqua Marcia Aqueduct. The bath house consisted of cold and hot rooms, a pool, gyms, and two libraries. It was free, open to the public and in use until the 6th century, when the hydraulic installations were destroyed. While in use, it provided a place where Romans could bathe and possibly receive health benefits from the baths. Today the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla are a tourist attraction in Rome.

This medal can be viewed in the Rare Book Room by appointment.

~ Gosia Fort

NN/LM MAR Identifies Emergency Preparedness State Liaisons

The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) long range plan includes working with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) to establish disaster response plans for libraries, as well as encourage librarians to aid in disaster preparedness and response and recovery efforts. HSLS, as the regional medical library for the NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region (MAR), has developed an emergency preparedness liaison network to support this effort across Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.

Emergency preparedness liaisons will:

  1. Raise awareness and promote continuity of access to knowledge-based and emergency-related health information before, during, and after local, regional and/or national emergencies through promotion of NLM and NN/LM emergency preparedness and disaster information courses and resources, such as the “10 Step Approach to Service Continuity Planning” class, NN/LM Emergency Preparedness & Response Toolkit, Disaster Information Management Research Center, and the Disaster Information Specialization Program.
  2. Facilitate communication among NN/LM MAR, Network members and NLM in the event of a local, regional and/or national emergency.
  3. Encourage medical and public librarians to get involved in emergency preparedness outreach within their institution and community.

On November 14 and 15, 2012, MAR hosted a training session for MAR staff and MAR’s newly identified emergency preparedness liaisons, led by Dan Wilson, NN/LM Emergency Preparedness Coordinator. Mr. Wilson provided an introduction and background of the NN/LM Emergency Preparedness and Response Initiative, as well as an overview of the liaison structure in other NN/LM regions.

Cindy Love and Siobhan Champ-Blackwell from NLM’s Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) also participated in the training via remote connection. DIMRC connects librarians, emergency responders, medical personnel, and public health workers to health information resources and technology for disaster preparedness, response, and recovery. Love and Champ-Blackwell provided a presentation on DIMRC resources, such as disaster and emergency response tools and the Resource Guide for Disaster Medicine and Public Health. They also provided an overview of the Disaster Information Specialization Program and discussed disaster health information outreach projects supporting partnerships between libraries or information centers and non-library organizations with disaster-related responsibilities.

~ Renae Barger, MAR Executive Director