Improved Off-Campus Access to Electronic Resources

Pitt recently implemented a quick and easy way to access electronic resources when you are off campus. The new system is called EZproxy. Using EZproxy means that you’ll no longer have to log in via Pitt’s Secure Remote Access service.

To access e-resources remotely using EZproxy, follow these simple steps:

  1. From the HSLS home page, navigate to the e-resource you want to access.
  2. Click on the e-resource’s link.
  3. A pop-up box will appear.
  4. Enter your Pitt Computer Account username and password.
  5. The e-resource is now ready to be used.

You do not need to log in again for the rest of your session as long as you stay within the same browser. This means that you can search different databases, view e-journal articles, read e-book chapters, and more, all within the same session without being prompted to log in again.

In order for EZproxy to work correctly, you must set your browser to allow cookies.

See the following FAQs for more information:

  • What are the benefits of EZproxy?

    You will no longer need to remember to log into Pitt’s Secure Remote Access service before using HSLS e-resources.

  • How do I log in?

    You will automatically be prompted to log in when EZproxy recognizes you as being off campus.

  • Can I open new tabs in the same browser?

    Yes, you can open new tabs in the same browser. However, if you switch browsers after you have logged in, you will be prompted to log in again.

  • What should you do if you have a problem logging in?

    You need to log in with a valid Pitt Computer Account. Make sure you’ve entered your username and password correctly. Also, be sure your Computer Account is current. For help with your Computer Account, please call 412-624-4357 (available 24/7) or e-mail the CSSD Help Desk.

  • How do I report e-resource access problems?

    To report e-resource access problems, e-mail Ask a Librarian.

UPMC users should continue to access HSLS e-resources through Connect@UPMC when off the UPMC Network.

~ Liping Song

Director’s Reflections…Not Your Father’s (or Your Mother’s) Library

During the past months, we’ve been renovating Falk Library’s upper floor. There’s been a lot of dust and discomfort, as we’ve torn down walls, re-painted and re-carpeted. We appreciate your patience as our facilities have been updated to meet the needs of students and faculty in the 21st century.

So what’s different? The most notable change is that there is no longer a Computer and Media Center (CMC). Our computers aren’t confined behind walls and doors; instead, you’ll see them scattered throughout the library. The classroom has been moved, and will now accommodate up to 24 students. When a class is not in session, the classroom is open to individual users who want to use the computers. Continue reading

Micromedex 2.0 Mobile Products: Drug Interactions and IV Compatibility Apps, Part 2

Part 1 of this article appeared in the August issue of the HSLS Update, and gave an overview of the freely available Micromedex 2.0 Drug Information App. Part 2 reviews the Micromedex Drug Interactions and IV Compatibility apps. Both apps are available to Pitt and UPMC users through the HSLS subscription to the full Micromedex 2.0 site.

Micromedex Drug Interactions App

The Micromedex Drug Interactions app provides information on the potentially harmful interactions of medications, including the probability, potential timeframe, and severity of an interaction, as well as adverse effects, and more.

Micromedex IV Compatibility App

With the Micromedex IV Compatibility app, you can view Y-Site, Admixture, and Solutions results from the Trissel’s 2 Clinical Pharmaceutics Database. The app also provides information on physical compatibility, storage, study period, container, and chemical stability.

Getting Started

Both apps are available for Apple and Android devices and can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store.

Each downloaded app requires a unique password. These passwords are available to Pitt and UPMC users by following these instructions:

  • From an on-site Pitt or UPMC computer, direct your browser to the HSLS Web site.
  • In the Quick Links box on the right side of the page, click on Micromedex.
  • From the Micromedex 2.0 home page, click on mobileMicromedex on the top left side of the page.
  • Follow the instructions listed under “Micromedex Apps on Apple and Android Devices.”

NOTE: Your password is confidential and must not be shared with anyone.

After initially entering the app password, you will not be required to do so again. But you will occasionally be asked to update the password. Once the current password nears expiration, the app will remind you to enter a new one. At that time, return to mobileMicromedex by using the instructions above and obtain the new password.

For help using the Micromedex Drug Interactions and IV Compatibility apps, contact Micromedex support. For help using the full Micromedex 2.0 site, please call the HSLS Main Desk at 412-648-8866, e-mail Ask a Librarian, or contact Micromedex support.

~ Jill Foust

HSLS Senior Associate Director Selected for Prestigious NLM Committee

Nancy Tannery, HSLS senior associate director, was recently appointed to the National Library of Medicine’s Literature Selection Technical Review Committee (LSTRC) for a four year term. The purpose of this committee is to review journals for inclusion in MEDLINE, the world’s premier database of biomedical journal literature. The committee consists of approximately 14 members who meet three times a year. Only two members of the committee are librarians. Other members are selected based on their scientific expertise and experience.

According to Tannery, in order for a publisher or editor to have a journal considered for review by LSTRC, they must first complete the MEDLINE Review Application. The committee then evaluates the journal by considering a number of items, including the scope and coverage of the journal, its editorial board, the quality and types of content, its geographic coverage, and the overall quality of the journal. Approximately 140 journal titles are reviewed at each meeting, and 20–25 percent of these are selected for indexing.

At her first meeting in late June, Tannery did not officially participate, but observed the meeting’s format. The meetings are formal and members follow parliamentary procedures. Tannery will actively take part in the next meeting which is scheduled for October 25–26. She’s looking forward to working with committee members, each of whom brings a different background to the group. She also anticipates learning a great deal about biomedical publishing.

~ Jill Foust

HSLS Octoberfest Workshops

HSLS Octoberfest  is a new series of workshops that provide an informal way to learn more about finding and using information important to your work. Each Tuesday in October a different topic will be explored, including searching for grant resources, next generation literature searching, resources and strategies for publishing an article, and more. The workshops will be held in Falk Library, Conference Room B, from noon–1 p.m. For more information, please see the HSLS Octoberfest Workshop schedule, contact the HSLS Main Desk at 412-648-8866, or e-mail Ask a Librarian.

UpToDate Expands to Include Psychiatry

UpToDate, the clinical decision support database, now includes topics on the specialty of Psychiatry. The new content covers many major concerns of psychiatry including anxiety disorders, bipolar disorders, child/adolescent mental disorders, depressive disorders, dissociative disorders, eating disorders, impulse control disorders, mental and medical disorders, personality disorders, psychotic disorders, somatoform disorders, and substance-use disorders. A separate section of patient information can be found under the topic Mental Health.

In addition, a section called “What’s new in psychiatry” highlights additions to UpToDate from the last six months that are considered of special importance to the profession. Examples of these topics include first-generation antipsychotic medications; pharmacology, administration and comparative side effects; cocaine abuse and dependence in adults; depression in adolescence; guidelines for prescribing clozapine in schizophrenia; and more.

Among the authors and editors are University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine faculty Boris Birmaher, MD; David Brent, MD; Adam J. Gordon, MD, MPH; and Holly A. Swartz, MD.

For authoritative information on psychiatric topics from agoraphobia to unipolar major depression with psychotic features, or on subjects in between, try the new content in UpToDate. For questions about using UpToDate, contact the Falk Library Main Desk at 412-648-8866 or e-mail Ask a Librarian.

~ Michele Klein Fedyshin

Updates to PubMed Central and PubMed

PubMed Central Now PMC

PubMed Central, the free digital repository of biomedical and life sciences journals from the National Library of Medicine, has been updated with a new name, PMC, and a new look. This new look is a “cleaner and more uniform presentation across PMC’s site as well as its article, issue and journal archive pages.”

Other enhanced features include:

  •  Updated presentation of article front matter, including links to author information, article notes, and copyright and license information.
  • Clicking on an individual author’s name executes a search for other articles by that author.
  • Pages with figures and tables offer several options to see the full article view.
  • Article pages with links to various print formats in upper right corner.
  • Reference citations in an article will highlight when moused over and will link to the full reference citation.
  • “Go to” navigational menu that will take you through parts of the article more easily.

Searching for History of Medicine Articles in PubMed Is Now Easier

A history of medicine subject filter has been added to PubMed. Using this filter will limit your search results to history of medicine articles.

You can locate this filter on the left side of the PubMed search page by clicking on “more” under Subjects.

Or, you can click on Topic-Specific Queries on the front page of PubMed, scroll down the page, and then click on the History of Medicine link.

For help using the PMC or PubMed, please contact the HSLS Main Desk at 412-648-8866 or e-mail Ask a Librarian.

*Parts of this article were reprinted from “What’s New in PMC: Another Facelift” and “Retrieving History of Medicine Citations in MEDLINE/PubMed,”  NLM Technical Bulletin, July-August 2012.

~ Nancy Tannery

Are We Ready? The National Network of Libraries of Medicine Emergency and Disaster Information Resources

A summary of this year’s Emergency Preparedness Poll from Adelphi University’s Center for Health Innovation indicates that 48 percent of U.S. adults lack emergency supplies, 55 percent believe that local authorities will help them in their time of need, and only 18 percent report receiving information on healthcare preparedness from the media. This provides an excellent opportunity for healthcare and information professionals to become involved and advance their knowledge of emergency and disaster health information resources.

A good place to start is with the Medical Library Association (MLA) and National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Disaster Information Specialization Program and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region’s (NN/LM MAR) in-person and online training and awareness workshops.

MLA and NLM have developed a continuing education program in disaster and emergency preparedness. There are five courses required for the basic certificate with additional courses being offered for an advanced certificate. Barb Folb, HSLS public health informationist and reference librarian, teaches one of the advanced courses, Ethical and Legal Aspects of Disaster Response. Courses are offered in a classroom setting or online at no cost. Eligibility is open to librarians and library staff at all types of libraries, as well as those affiliated with the disaster workforce.

Acquiring the Disaster Information Specialist certificate will demonstrate that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to support your institution or organization, educate your patients and their families, and empower the community in the event of a disaster or public health emergency.

The NN/LM MAR provides training in the use of NLM’s disaster information resources. Also offered are funding opportunities for information professionals to collaborate and form partnerships that enhance health information access for public health and healthcare professionals. For further information, visit NN/LM MAR, call 412-648-2065, or e-mail NN/LM MAR.

~ Michelle Burda

Comparative Effectiveness Research Resources

The 2009 Report to the President and Congress from the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research states that “recent government legislation and revised definitions of comparative effectiveness research (CER) put a spotlight on the information resources available to support CER and patient-centered outcomes research efforts.” As a result, the National Library of Medicine (NLM), other government agencies, and many academic centers have developed tutorials and tools to locate primary literature and datasets to support CER, as well as resources to identify CER technical reports and reviews for consumers.

Useful resources include:

  • CER Training Resources
    The Center for Health Outcomes, Policy, and Evaluation Studies at Ohio State University produced sixteen online modules that provide both basic and advanced learning opportunities. Modules include an introduction to CER as well as advanced instruction on various CER methods, such as propensity scores, instrumental variables and cost effectiveness, and policy and practice.
  • NLM Resources for Informing Comparative Effectiveness
    This resource provides specialized searches of published research from the PubMed database, as well as research still in progress from the HSRProj database and For more information on the development of this resource, see “NLM Resources for Informing Comparative Effectiveness Research,” NLM Technical Bulletin, April 21, 2010.
  • PubMed Health
    This authoritative tool from NLM specializes in providing reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with summaries for consumers as well as full CER technical reports and clinical guides. Information contained in PubMed Health comes from top world health research organizations, including the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centre for Reviews and Dissemination (University of York), The Cochrane Collaboration, German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care, National Cancer Institute, and the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence Guidelines Programme.
  • Community Health Status Indicators 2009
    The reports of the Community Health Status Indicators Project contain key health indicators for local communities by providing over 200 measures for each of the 3,141 counties in the United States. The collection of data was obtained from a variety of U.S. federal agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Census Bureau, and Department of Labor.
  • Accelerate: Access CTSI Services to Enable Research
    This large dataset inventory tool is produced by the Clinical & Translational Sciences Institute at the University of California at San Francisco. You can search by selecting from a list of criteria or browse a list of all datasets.
    Use Data/Tools to access a comprehensive catalog of health-related datasets. The Health Apps Expo gives examples of innovative apps using health-related data that help consumers make better-informed decisions. is produced by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

~ Charlie Wessel

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Early Chinese Books

Most of the hidden treasures in the Falk Library collection were contributed by donors. One of these generous people was Lieutenant Colonel J.A. Mendelson, a World War I veteran, who was a member of the United States Military Mission to China, and at one time an assistant professor of Military Science and Tactics at the University of Pittsburgh. During his years in China, Burma, and India, he collected interesting objects related to the cultures of the countries where he served. Many of the swords, daggers, and knives from his collection are housed in the Smithsonian Institute. He also brought home early Chinese medical texts that he gave to Pitt’s School of Medicine’s library during the summers of 1943 and 1944.

These early Chinese books are now housed in Falk Library’s Rare Book Room. The collection includes rare books by Chen Shigong (1617), Dou Hanqing (1717), Li Shizhen (1784), and two 19th century texts by Gao Wenjin (1856) and Chen Huichou (1878) covering the subjects of surgery, blood circulation, blood vessels, Chinese herbal medicine, and acupuncture. One outstanding title is Bencao Gangmu (本草綱目), also known as the Compendium of Materia Medica, written during the Ming Dynasty. This 18th century reprint from the original 1590 edition is regarded as the most complete and comprehensive medical book ever written on the history of traditional Chinese medicine. It lists all of the plants, animals, minerals, and other items that were believed to have medicinal properties. The oldest book in the group, Xin kan Wai ke zheng zong (外科正宗), published in 1617, is a compendium on external diseases in traditional Chinese medicine. According to the Chinese Rare Book Catalog (中國古籍善本書目), there are only four known copies of the book in China. WorldCat, the global catalog of library collections, shows two copies in the United States.

All of the books are illustrated. They are also examples of traditional woodblock printing. This method was developed in China for printing on silk, rather than paper, and better suited for Chinese character set than movable type. The books are thread-bound, a predominant binding format in traditional Chinese books, and are enclosed in a cloth-covered case which is enforced with wooden boards, and closes with loops and pegs.

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

We gratefully acknowledge the help of Zhang Haihui, Chinese Studies Librarian at the University Library System’s East Asian Library, for her guidance and assistance in cataloging these rare Chinese books.

~ Gosia Fort and Liping Song

Head of Molecular Biology Information Service Lectured at Universities in India

On a recent visit to India, Dr. Ansuman Chattopadhyay, head of the HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service, was invited by three prestigious national institutions to offer workshops on emerging bioinformatics topics. He lectured at the Human Genetics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata on August 8 and the Institute of Genetic Engineering, also in Kolkata, on August 10. On August 21, he presented at the National Institute of Biomedical Genomics in Kalyani.

Chattopadhyay discussed the technological and research advances that have led to an exponential increase in the volume of data and published literature in this genomic era. He also described next-generation informatics tools that assist researchers in mining the scientific literature.

Chattopadhyay is a frequent visitor to India and has lectured there in the past.

~ Jill Foust

HSLS Staff News

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


Tristan Lucchetti, HSLS business manager, has been accepted into the Pittsburgh Civic Leadership Academy. The 10-week course was created by Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl to foster effective civic leadership. Course activities give an up-close view of how the city is run and culminate in a city service project.


Jonathon Erlen, history of medicine librarian, published “New Dissertations” in Nursing History Review, 21:155-160.

Jeffrey Husted, collections librarian, and Leslie Czechowski, retired assistant director for Access Services, published “Rethinking the Reference Collection: Exploring Benchmarks and E-Book Availability” in Medical Reference Services Quarterly 31, no. 3 (July 2012): 267-279.

Ester Saghafi, project manager of the Certificate of Advanced Study in Health Sciences Librarianship and reference librarian, along with co-authors Nancy Tannery, HSLS senior associate director, Barbara Epstein, HSLS director, Susan Alman1, and Christinger Tomer2, published “Development of a Post-Master’s Online Certificate in Health Sciences Librarianship” in Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 100, no. 4 (2012): 310-3.

1School of Library and Information Sciences, San Jose State University.

2School of Information Sciences, University of Pittsburgh.

Classes November-December

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, and on the upper floor of the library in Classroom 2. All classes are open to faculty, staff and students of the schools of the health sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. They are also open to 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.

Faculty, staff and students of the schools of the health sciences will need a valid Pitt ID or e-mail account to attend these classes. UPMC residents/fellows will need to show their UPMC IDs.



Introduction to HSLS Resources and Services at Falk Library
Offered upon request to groups or individuals. Call 412-648-8866.


Painless PubMed* (Falk Library Classroom 1)

Monday, October 15 3:30-4:30 p.m.
Friday, October 26 1-2 p.m.
Thursday, November 1 noon-1 p.m.
Tuesday, November 6 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Monday, November 12 11 a.m.-noon
Thursday, November 29 3-4 p.m.
Wednesday, December 5 9-10 a.m.
Tuesday, December 11 3:30-4:30 p.m.

Focus on Behavioral Medicine: Searching in PsycINFO* (Falk Library Classroom 1)

Tuesday, December 4 10:30 a.m.-noon


DNA Analysis Tools* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, November 7 1-3 p.m.

SNPS & Genetic Variation* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, November 14 1-3 p.m.

Cancer Informatics* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, November 28 1-3 p.m.

Pathway Analysis Tools 1* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, December 5 1-3 p.m.

Pathway Analysis Tools 2* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, December 12 1-3 p.m.


EndNote Basics (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Monday, November 12 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Tuesday, December 4 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Advanced PowerPoint for Presentations (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Monday, November 5 noon-2 p.m.
Monday, December 3 12:30-2:30 p.m.

The WOW Factor: PowerPoint for Posters (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Tuesday, November 13 noon-2 p.m.


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