How Can the Library Help in the Systematic Review Development Process?

In early 2011, the Institute of Medicine released Standards for Systematic Reviews. Standard 3.1 that calls for systematic reviewers to work with a librarian or other information professional when conducting literature searches for systematic reviews. Additionally, the standard advises that a librarian or other information professional be involved in the peer review of the search strategies.

The following list expands and specifies the potential ways a librarian can contribute to the systematic review team:

  • Provide guidance on determining if a systematic review has already been done on your topic
  • Prepare and conduct literature searches for the systematic review
  • Peer review of systematic review search strategies
  • Provide guidance on the reference management of the located studies
  • Document delivery (ordering the full text of articles not available at our institution)
  • Documenting and writing the search methods for the review
  • Updating literature searches

Health Sciences Library System (HSLS) reference librarians have expertise in systematic review searching. They are available as potential collaborators for University of Pittsburgh systematic review teams. To request a librarian to help with your systematic review, contact the Main Desk at 412-648-8866 or e-mail Ask a Librarian. Search preparation and processing can take as long as three months, therefore it is advisable to put in your requests early in the process and to engage the librarian in the first stages of planning for a systematic review.

HSLS librarians have collaborated on the systematic reviews listed below, and several others are in process:

~ Ahlam Saleh

AccessMedicine’s Mobile Version

AccessMedicine’s mobile version can keep you connected and productive no matter where you are, day or night. The mobile version is easy to use and navigation is simple. It’s available to Pitt and UPMC users through the HSLS subscription to the full AccessMedicine site.


AccessMedicine mobile contains a scaled-down version of the full AccessMedicine site and features essential resources, such as:

  •  Harrison’s Online
  • CURRENT Medical Diagnosis and Treatment 2011
  • Picture Galleries from Fitzpatrick’s Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology, 6th edition
  • Clinician’s Pocket Reference: The Scut Monkey, 11th edition
  • CURRENT Practice Guidelines in Primary Care 2009
  • Diagnostic Tests from Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests, 5th edition
  • Quick Answers
  • Diagnosaurus
  • Drug Monographs

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Director’s Reflections…What Do English Coffee Houses and Libraries Have in Common?

The month of May is a very busy one for medical librarians as we gather at the Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association, our main professional organization. This year the meeting was in Seattle, a beautiful city with many similarities to Pittsburgh: it’s green and hilly, with a vibrant downtown and a major university. They drink lots more coffee than we do, though.

Several HSLS librarians were able to attend, and taught workshops and presented papers and posters (described elsewhere in this issue). The meeting offers valuable opportunities to meet colleagues from across the country and around the world to make connections and share ideas about projects to work on at home.
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Introducing the HSLS Scholarly Communication LibGuide

Are you interested learning more about open access or scholarly publishing? The new HSLS Scholarly Communication LibGuide is now available, providing a wide range of information and guidance on academic publishing issues for the University of Pittsburgh’s health sciences community. The guide incorporates the previous NIH Public Access Policy Web site, and has been expanded to cover the basics of open access, author rights, publishing and journal selection tips, and the evolving landscape of impact metrics.

On the front page, you’ll find several brief modules that introduce the open access concept, including a video from the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition describing the academic publication process and the benefits of open access. Other media of interest include live feeds to The Scholarly Kitchen blog and Twitter postings from open access experts that support current awareness in this rapidly developing area.

Gain a better understanding of authors’ rights and responsibilities by viewing informative videos on copyright, and then refer to related Web sites and other information resources.

Considering where to publish? Directories and other tools found under “Tools for Publishing” help authors research journals, publisher agreements, author fees, and funder requirements to choose the best journal to achieve the widest possible dissemination of your research.

The open access model of publishing has invited the rethinking of methods used for measuring scholarly impact. Alternative metrics or “altmetrics” incorporate social media and online usage statistics beyond the journal literature to assess the impact of individual scholarly works rather than the journals in which they are published. Learn more about altmetrics by watching a short introductory video to the PLoS Altmetrics Project. The guide also provides access to a variety of traditional journal metrics and altmetrics tools, including SCImago Journal Rank, F1000 Journal Rankings, ResearchID, and Total Impact.

Visit the Scholarly Communication LibGuide as a reference for scholarly publishing information. You can arrange for consultations or department presentations by contacting Andrea Ketchum at or 412-648-9757.

~ Andrea Ketchum

Linking to Full-Text Articles Just Got Easier!

HSLS has implemented a new tool that allows you to access the full text of articles with one click. That tool, called a link solver, is available in HSLS subscription databases, such as PubMed and Ovid, and provides direct access from an article’s citation to the full text of that article.

To see the tool in action, Pitt and UPMC users can scroll through search results and look for the dark blue  button. Depending on the database, you may have to click on the article title before seeing the button.

Clicking on the button will lead you directly to the full-text view of an article if HSLS subscribes to the e-journal.

For various reasons, some articles have not been set up for full-text access. In these cases, clicking on the button will lead you to the screen below, indicating “It was not possible to link directly to the full text of this item. Please select from the options below:”


  • Search PITTCat for the Health Sciences for this journal
    PITTCat is the online catalog of the University of Pittsburgh and is the most comprehensive source for locating e-journal articles available at Pitt.
  • Request this item from HSLS Document Delivery
    If HSLS does not have an article in print or online, a copy can be requested through this service for a small fee. This service is available only to those with University of Pittsburgh computer accounts.
  • Export full PubMed citation to RefWorks
    Easily move this PubMed citation into your RefWorks citation manager
  • Questions? Ask a Librarian at HSLS
    Not sure what to do next? Use this form to submit questions to HSLS reference librarians. Expect a response usually within 24 hours.
  • Links not working? Report a Problem
    Let us know if you have trouble accessing this resource, so we can quickly troubleshoot the problem.

~ Julia Jankovic

Explore Genomic Resources from the National Human Genome Research Institute

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is one of 27 centers and institutes comprising the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Initially established in 1989 as the National Center for Human Genome Research, the NHGRI is evolving into a multidivisional organization that includes Genome Sciences, Genomic Medicine, and Genomics and Society, among others.

In February 2011, NHGRI sponsored a symposium, “A Decade with the Human Genome Sequence,” and published a strategic plan, “Charting a Course for Genomic Medicine from Base Pairs to Bedside.” This was to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the first analysis of the draft human genome as well as articulate a new vision for the future of genomics research and describe the path towards an era of genomic medicine.

The NHGRI Web site is a rich source of genomics-related information. Of particular interest are the videos-on-demand. Current Topics in Genome Analysis is a lecture series covering contemporary areas in genomics and bioinformatics. This year’s series was held from January–April. Available resources include a syllabus, handouts, and videos of all the lectures, which were recorded live at the NIH and presented by leading genomics scientists. Among the topics covered are genome browsers, genomics of microbes and microbiomes, pharmacogenomics, and large-scale expression analysis.

The videos for these lectures are located on GenomeTV, which is the YouTube channel for the NHGRI. It currently features 27 playlists and 352 videos, including not only the aforementioned lecture series, but also “Genomics in Medicine Lectures,” “Next-Gen 101,” “1000 Genomes Tutorial,” “Genetics for Epidemiologists,” and many videos from small genomics conferences, workshops, and meetings.

It is easy to stay up-to-date on new NHGRI content by subscribing to the GenomeTV YouTube channel, twitter feed, or Facebook page.

For additional information and training on a variety of genomics resources, e-mail Ansuman Chattopadhyay at or Carrie Iwema at of the HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service.

Parts of this article were reprinted from NHGRI.

~ Carrie Iwema

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: William Harvey’s Anatomical Treatise on the Movement of the Heart and Blood

William Harvey (1578-1657), physician to the English kings James I and Charles I, is best known for his work, Exercitatio Anatomica de Motu Cordis et Sanguinis, published in Frankfurt in 1628. This book is considered to be one of the most important texts in the history of medicine. Physiologists before Harvey knew that blood is not a stationary fluid, but it was Harvey who clearly demonstrated for the first time that blood is pumped by the heart and moves in circular fashion.

The Falk Library collection includes a pocket-sized edition of this famous work published in the Netherlands in 1648. The book is only 12 cm tall and easily fits in the palm of your hand. It is bound in plain white vellum and has a brief handwritten title on the spine.

It is a beautiful example of the bookbinding method called limp vellum. With this method, a text block is laced into folded vellum covers made from a single piece of smooth and durable animal skin. Vellum, unlike leather, is bleached and not subjected to any tanning processes. In the 17th century, it was a simple and popular way of binding functional books. Though viewed with disdain by historians and called “cheap and temporary,” this style of binding attracted new appreciation after Christopher Clarkson, a book conservator working on books damaged by flooding in the city of Florence in 1966, discovered that books bound in vellum not only survived the flood better, but vellum also provided much better protection to the text block than leather binding.

Vellum is best stored in a stable environment with controlled temperature and humidity, such as that in Falk Library’s Rare Book Room.

Provenance of this book is unclear. The last traceable owner was James D. Heard, who purchased the book in 1893 and brought it to Pittsburgh when he joined the faculty of the School of Medicine around 1909 until his retirement in 1953.

The book can be viewed in the Rare Book Room by appointment.

~ Gosia Fort

PubMed’s New Citation Manager Option

Are you a PubMed searcher who uses EndNote, RefWorks, or another citation manager? Saving your PubMed search results just got easier.

Citation manager has been added to the list of possible destinations for your selected results. So now you can format and save your references to a file with one click.

In the Choose Destination dialog box, select Citation manager, and then click on the Create File button. Save the file, then switch over to EndNote or RefWorks and import the saved file as usual.

For more details, see pages 13-14 of the HSLS EndNote X4 Basics class workbook.

~ Patricia Weiss

HealthCAS Graduates Second Cohort of Students

The second cohort of 11 students in the Certificate of Advanced Study in Health Sciences Librarianship (HealthCAS) program received graduation certificates at a Capstone event held on May 19, 2012. The event was held at the University of Washington Health Sciences Library in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association (MLA) in Seattle. In addition to completing 12 credits of online coursework, each student conducted an applied research project over the course of the yearlong program, and submitted the results as a poster presentation at the MLA meeting. Ten poster submissions were accepted and presented at this meeting.

A third cohort of seven students is now enrolled in the program and progressing through the first course, Libraries in Health Care Environments. A student visit to the Pitt campus is planned for the week of June 18.

HealthCAS is funded by an initial three-year grant, now extended to a fourth year, to Pitt’s School of Information Sciences (iSchool) and HSLS from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The program consists of three semesters of online coursework. Each semester covers one four-credit course: (1) Libraries in Health Care Environments, (2) Collections and Resources in Health Care Environments, and (3) Reference Services and Instruction in Health Care Environments. The independent research project spans all three semesters. The HealthCAS curriculum is developed and taught by a team of HSLS faculty librarians, who have adjunct iSchool faculty appointments.

Further information about the course is available from the iSchool or HSLS.

~ Ester Saghafi

NN/LM MAR Hosts Advisory Committee Meetings

April was a busy month for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NN/LM MAR) as we hosted our first in-person advisory committee meetings. As a new regional medical library, the HSLS has created an advisory structure that includes health sciences and public librarians, unaffiliated health professionals, and representatives from community and health consumer groups, representing the diversity of Network members within our four-state region of Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

The advisory structure consists of a Regional Advisory Committee, which serves as an oversight committee, and four Special Advisory Groups: (1) Outreach to Health Professionals and Public Health Workers, (2) Consumer Health, (3) Hospital Libraries, and (4) Resource and Academic Libraries. Committee members are geographically dispersed and come from varied backgrounds and areas of expertise, such as resource and academic libraries, hospital libraries, mental health professions, public health leaders, public libraries, patient educators, and community based organizations.

Collectively, these groups will assist the NN/LM MAR in planning, coordinating, and implementing a variety of network and outreach programs. Committee members serve as ambassadors throughout the region and help identify target audiences for outreach programs in order to improve access to biomedical information for health professionals and the public; promote active participation by health professionals, consumer groups, health sciences and public librarians; advise on regional priorities; and recommend communication and training strategies to reach those within the region.

Participants in this first round of meetings were very enthusiastic, and gave the NN/LM MAR staff useful feedback and recommendations for the next contract year. Future quarterly committee meetings will be conducted virtually. Minutes from each of these meetings will be posted on the NN/LM MAR Web site.

~ Renae Barger, NN/LM MAR Executive Director

HSLS Participation at the Medical Library Association’s Annual Conference

HSLS librarians were active participants in the Medical Library Association’s Annual Meeting held in Seattle, Wash., from May 18-23, 2012.

Contributed Paper

Carrie Iwema, information specialist in Molecular Biology, presented “Covering the Bases: Running a Library-Based Bioinformatics Service at a Health Sciences University.” Co-author was Ansuman Chattopadhyay, head, Molecular Biology Information Service.

Poster Presentations

Barbara Epstein, HSLS director, “Building a Farm Team: 10 Years of Developing New Academic Health Sciences Library Directors—The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program.” Co-authors were Carolyn E. Lipscomb1, Lynn Kasner Morgan2, Julia F. Sollenberger3, and M.J. Tooey4.

1Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries, Seattle, Wash.
2Mt. Sinai Medical Center, New York, N.Y.
3University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, N.Y.
4Health Sciences and Human Services Library, University of Maryland, Baltimore, Md.

Melissa Ratajeski, reference librarian, “Using QR Codes to Promote E-Books.”

Ahlam Saleh, reference librarian, “Grey Literature Searching in Health Sciences Systematic Reviews.” Co-authors were Melissa Ratajeski, reference librarian and Marnie Bertolet1.

1Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh

Presentations and posters of HSLS participants are available on the HSLS Presentations Web page.

Other Conference Activities

Barbara Epstein, HSLS director, is incoming chair of the Scholarly Communications Committee. Epstein also presented the Open Forum on Scholarly Communication and moderated a plenary panel titled “Comparative Effectiveness:  Trends and Issues.”

Carrie Iwema, information specialist in Molecular Biology, was a panelist on the AAAS/Science Translational Medicine Reception and Panel where she presented “Personal Genomics, Personalized Medicine, and You.” Iwema was also a judge for the MLA 2012 Research Award and volunteered at the Grants and Scholarships Committee’s scholarship booth.

Melissa Ratajeski, reference librarian, co-chaired the Chapter Council Presents Sharing Roundtables with Angela Dixon, University of Rochester.

~ Jill Foust

HSLS Staff News

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


 Debbie Downey, library specialist, has joined the help desk staff of the Computer and Media Center. Downey’s previous position was at UPMC Shadyside Libraries.

 Michele Klein Fedyshin, reference librarian, has been awarded an Outreach to Health Professionals Contract from the Middle Atlantic Region of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. In collaboration with the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association, Klein Fedyshin will assess the information needs and information usage of hospice/palliative care nurses working in the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

Farewell to Ahlam Saleh, reference librarian, who is leaving HSLS after seven years. Saleh has accepted a position with the Arizona Health Sciences Library at the University of Arizona at Tucson.


Jonathon Erlen, history of medicine librarian, published “Dissertations Recently Completed in Related Fields” in Journal of the History of Sexuality 21, no. 2 (2012): 360-1, and “Dissertations in the History of Pharmacy” in Pharmacy in History 52 no.3 (2011): 116-8.

Nancy Tannery, senior associate director, along with co-author Lauren Maggio, medical education librarian, Lane Medical Library and Knowledge Management Center, Stanford University, published “The Role of Medical Librarians in Medical Education Review Articles,” in Journal of the Medical Library Association 100 no. 2 (2012): 142-4.


 Jonathon Erlen, history of medicine librarian, has been appointed to the Board of Governors of the American Osler Society.

 Linda Hartman, reference librarian, has been re-elected to the University of Pittsburgh Senate Community Relations Committee.

 Melissa Ratajeski, reference librarian, earned Senior Member status in the Medical Library Association’s Academy of Health Information Professionals and has been appointed to the Medical Library Association’s Kronick Traveling Fellowship Jury for a one-year term. Ratajeski was also appointed to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Middle Atlantic Region’s Regional Advisory Committee for a four-year term.

Patricia Weiss, reference and information technology librarian, has been named affiliated faculty, Program for Research on Media and Health in the Division of General Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and has been elected to the University of Pittsburgh Senate Plant Utilization and Planning Committee.

 Fran Yarger, associate director for Digital Library Services, was elected to the University of Pittsburgh Senate Computer Usage Committee.

Classes July-August 2012

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. All classes are open to faculty, staff and students of the schools of the health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC residents and fellows.

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.

You will need a valid Pitt ID or e-mail address to attend these classes.


Introduction to HSLS Resources and Services at Falk Library

(Meet inside entrance to Library)
Offered upon request to groups or individuals. Call 412-648-8866.


Painless PubMed* (Falk Library Classroom 1)

Tuesday, July 3 9-10 a.m.
Tuesday, July 10 3-4 p.m.
Wednesday, July 18 1-2 p.m.
Thursday, July 26 10-11 a.m.
Tuesday, July 31 11 a.m.-noon


Pathway Analysis Tools* (Falk Library Conference Room B)

Wednesday, July 18 1-3 p.m.

Personal Genomics & Personalized Medicine* (Falk Library Conference Room B)

Wednesday, August 22 1-3 p.m.


EndNote Basics (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Thursday, July 12 10 a.m.-noon
Tuesday, August 28 2:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.

Adobe Photoshop (Falk Library Classroom 1)

Tuesday, July 17 noon-2 p.m.


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