PalPITTations Holiday Concert in Falk Library

PalPittationsThe PalPITTations will perform a concert of holiday favorites on Tuesday, December 10, at 12:30 p.m., on the upper floor of Falk Library. The PalPITTations are the a capella vocal group of health sciences students from the University of Pittsburgh. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome for this free concert.

Director’s Reflections…Coming in 2014: More E-Books, Less Print

Barbara EpsteinYou may have noticed that HSLS has reduced its purchases of print materials over the past several years. In fact, we no longer subscribe to any scholarly journals in print! All of our journals are electronic. And we know that users appreciate the ability to read articles anywhere, anytime.

Transition from print to electronic books has been a much longer process. Our book collection has traditionally received less use than our journals; this is generally true of health sciences libraries. Scholarly publishers have been slower to convert to electronic book publishing, and there can be a significant delay after a book is published in print before an electronic copy is available. Pricing and access models for e-books can also be problematic. Instead of licensing content for unlimited institutional use as we do with e-journals, e-books are often made available in the traditional library mode: one user per “copy” of the title. Continue reading “Director’s Reflections…Coming in 2014: More E-Books, Less Print”

Do Nursing Students Need Instruction in Both CINAHL and MEDLINE?

Instruction by health sciences librarians in the use of both MEDLINE and CINAHL databases has long been a mainstay of the undergraduate nursing curriculum. This meant the health sciences librarian was faced with the task of teaching students the use of two different databases with dramatically different search screens, often in a one class session. This dilemma led to a discussion within HSLS about the necessity of teaching nursing students the use of both databases. That is, we wondered if the nursing content of CINAHL and MEDLINE was so different that nursing students should routinely be taught how to use each? Or was it possible that instruction in MEDLINE alone (via PubMed) would enable students to find the evidence-based nursing resources required for their homework assignments?

To begin to explore this issue, we compared the current nursing journal coverage in CINAHL to that of MEDLINE, to determine the number and types of academic nursing journals available exclusively through CINAHL.

In the fall of 2010, HSLS requested from an EBSCO CINAHL representative a list of academic nursing journal titles indexed in CINAHL, but not in MEDLINE. We received a list of 460 titles. The file included the journal’s document type, such as academic journal, magazine, or trade publication. Of the 460 nursing titles reportedly exclusive to CINAHL, we determined 195 titles were labeled as academic journals by EBSCO CINAHL and the other 265 titles were a mix of magazine or trade publications. The 195 academic nursing journal titles were then reviewed, using the publications listing in CINAHL, to determine indexing coverage as well as journal and content type.

Of the 195 academic journal titles reportedly exclusive to CINAHL, 6 were currently indexed in MEDLINE, leaving 189 journals to be analyzed. Of these 189 journals, we found 88 titles that were either not currently indexed in CINAHL (83), indexed selectively (1)—meaning only some of the articles in a journal are nursing-specific and indexed, or never indexed in CINAHL (4). Of those not currently indexed, the indexing was for varying periods of time, including 6 journals indexed for one year or less and one for as little as one issue. The remaining 101 titles were currently indexed in CINAHL. Of these, 8 were newsletters, 5 magazines, 3 journals describing nursing student projects, and 18 were non-English titles that would be of little use to nursing students, as they would be titles not held by HSLS. Excluding these 34 titles, only 67 of the academic nursing journal titles unique to CINAHL warranted further evaluation. (See supporting data for a list of the 67 titles and a flow chart of the results.)

Examination of these 67 journals indicated that many of them tended to contain a mix of news articles, updates to the nursing profession, and some peer reviewed articles. The latter were typically review articles rather than the original research articles commonly required for nursing student homework assignments. The few journals containing original research articles tended to have a very narrow focus.  For example, one published only articles based on a single nursing theory (the science of unitary human beings).

There are additional factors to take into consideration when making decisions about which database(s) to use for teaching. One such factor is the controlled vocabulary used in CINAHL, which reflects nursing practices and interests not well represented in the subject headings used in MEDLINE. For example, in CINAHL, in addition to the global subject heading “patients,” there is an extensive set of narrower headings defining specific patient populations such as crime victims, homeless persons, and runaways. In contrast, MEDLINE’s controlled vocabulary provides only the subject heading “patient.” Research projects such as systematic reviews or meta-analyses require exhaustive searches for published literature on a topic, and so may benefit from inclusion of CINAHL in the larger set of information resources to be searched. On a related note, there may also be specific topics or projects for which the many magazine and trade publications in CINAHL would be useful. And, finally, CINAHL contains allied health journal content, as well as nursing journal content. This study did not include an analysis of the allied health journal content.

Overall, the study results suggested that a number of academic nursing titles indexed CINAHL were also indexed in MEDLINE and that the number of academic nursing journals unique to CINAHL was small. On the basis of these results, HSLS librarians currently teach undergraduate nursing students the basics of searching PubMed only. Nursing faculty have the option of requesting instruction in the use of CINAHL but, to date, no such requests have been received.

*Supporting data can be found at http://hsls.libguides.com/content.php?pid=519077.

~ Nancy Tannery and Mary Lou Klem

HSLS Collaboration to Improve the Outcomes of Infectious Diseases

Community-spread Staphylococcus infections, the overuse of antibiotics, and other microbial threats to health all make the topic of infectious diseases (ID) important both nationally and globally. One organization promulgating practice guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions is the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) located in Arlington, Virginia.

Recently, IDSA selected HSLS for literature search assistance to meet the ever increasing standards in guideline development [IOM, GRADE, PRISMA] and to ensure a comprehensive systematic search for the evidence to support each of their guidelines.

Two HSLS librarians, Charlie Wessel and Michele Klein-Fedyshin, work closely with IDSA and their guideline panels to design the search strategies, conduct the literature searches that reinforce their guidelines’ recommendations, and deliver search results to panel committee members throughout North America.

During a recent meeting with the IDSA Standards and Practice Guidelines staff in Arlington, Klein-Fedyshin and Wessel developed several documents to enhance the efficiency of the literature review process for guideline development. IDSA, along with both librarians’ input, formulated a Literature Search Process algorithm, while the librarians also contributed a Guideline Elements Form and a PICO Elements Form to help define the guideline and individual associated clinical questions in a format suitable for searching. This mutually beneficial collaboration is an ongoing project demonstrating how an interdisciplinary team involving medical librarians can advance knowledge translation.

~ Michele Klein-Fedyshin and Charlie Wessel

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Girolamo Fracastoro’s Poem on Syphilis

FracastoroSyphilis ou le mal vénérien: Poeme Latin de Jerome Fracastor avec la traduction en François & des notes [Syphilis, or the venereal disease: the Latin poem of Girolamo Fracastoro with French translation & notes]. Paris, 1753

Girolamo Fracastoro (1478-1553) was a Venetian nobleman educated at Padua University. Although medicine was his true passion, he was also a poet, humanist, and scientist; and his many interests included astronomy, mathematics, physics, botany, geology, and geography. He counted Copernicus, the Renaissance mathematician and astronomer, among his friends.

As a physician, Fracastoro is considered one of the founding fathers of modern medicine. He discovered that microorganisms were able to transmit infection and proposed a scientific hypothesis on tiny particles or “spores” 300 years before the empirical formulation of germ theory was developed by Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch.
Continue reading “Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Girolamo Fracastoro’s Poem on Syphilis”

Why is Searching PubMed in Late Autumn Different than Any Other Time of the Year?

PubMedReloadThe answer is simple and yet complex.

From mid-November to mid-December, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) does year-end-processing. During this time, extensive maintenance is done on MEDLINE. MEDLINE is the NLM database of biomedical journal citations and is the primary component of PubMed.

Daily “routine maintenance” on MEDLINE happens throughout the year and includes a variety of edits to MEDLINE citations. These edits include corrections of misspellings; the addition of published errata, retractions, and comments (including author replies); changes to journal titles and their abbreviations; changes to supplementary concepts such as chemicals, protocols, and diseases; and adjustments to MeSH (Medical Subject Headings).

The primary purpose of year-end maintenance is to update MeSH. Each year, new MeSH headings are added, other headings are replaced with more up-to-date terminology, and out-dated headings are deleted with no replacement. From mid-November to mid-December, NLM applies these MeSH heading changes to MEDLINE citations where necessary.

Things you should know when searching PubMed during the year-end-processing period:

  • All regular routine corrections to MEDLINE are on hold. MEDLINE corrections will appear when the update is complete.
  • “In process” citations (Figure 1) will continue to be added to PubMed. In-process citations do not have medical subject headings assigned to them, but they have undergone quality control review. As a result, the number of PubMed records labeled “in process” will temporarily increase, and the number of MEDLINE records will stay the same.

    Figure 1
    Figure 1
  • If you use a PubMed filter (human, review, etc.) or a MeSH heading in a search, you may not see any new MEDLINE citations until year-end-processing is complete in mid-December.

Things you should know when searching PubMed after the year-end-processing period:

  • By mid-December when year-end-processing is complete, “in process” MEDLINE citations will have 2014 medical subject headings assigned to them and these citations are then noted in PubMed as “indexed for MEDLINE” (Figure 2). Searches, including, “My NCBI” stored searches, containing these MeSH headings will automatically retrieve all applicable MEDLINE records.

    Figure 2
    Figure 2
  • You can scan the 2014 New MeSH descriptors to identify the MeSH headings that apply to your clinical and research interests.

NewDescriptors

  • You may want to check your saved My NCBI searches to make sure they reflect the 2014 MeSH headings.

For more information, send an e-mail to Ask a Librarian or call the HSLS Main Desk at 412-648-8866.

~ Charlie Wessel

HSLS Staff News

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

Publications

Michele Klein-Fedyshin, reference librarian, published “American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) Magnet Conference Liaison Report October 2-4, 2013,” in National Network, 38(2): 8-9, November 2013.

Presentations

Kate Flewelling, outreach coordinator, NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region, presented two lectures, “PubMed and Beyond: Clinical Resources from the National Library of Medicine,” at the Fulton County Medical Center, McConnellsburg, PA, on November 12, 2013, and “Online Resources to Support Mental Health: Information for Clinicians and Patients,” at the Commonwealth Medical College, Scranton, PA, on November 16, 2013.

Barb Folb, public health informationist, taught “Systematic Reviews: Skills to Develop Literature Searches, Manage Results, and Evaluate Findings” at the American Public Health Association annual meeting, Boston, MA, on November 2, 2013. Co-instructors were Joey Nicholson1 and Helen VonVille2.

1. Education and curriculum librarian, Langone Medical Center Library, New York University.

2. Director, School of Public Health, University of Texas.

Classes December 2013

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 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. 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.

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.

FlashClass

FlashClass is a “deal of the week” Groupon-like offer of timely and useful learning. Each week’s offer proposes one or two topics, and you’re invited to sign up to attend a one-hour class the following week. If at least three people sign up, we’ll hold the class. (We’ll notify you either way.)

HSLS CLASSES

EndNote Basics (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Friday, December 13 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

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)

Monday, December 2 4-5 p.m.
Thursday, December 12 Noon-1 p.m.

MOLECULAR BIOLOGY AND GENETICS RESOURCES

Pathway Analysis Tools 1* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, December 4 1-3 p.m.

Pathway Analysis Tools 2* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, December 11 1-3 p.m.

CUSTOMIZED CLASSES

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