The New HSLS Update!

Beginning with the March issue, the HSLS Update will be published monthly and include fewer articles. This new format allows us to provide faster access to the latest HSLS news and happenings. Each issue will also include the monthly schedule of HSLS classes and latest staff news.

In this issue, you’ll find articles highlighting:

  • The importance of metadata in scientific publications
  • How PubMed Mobile makes accessing authoritative medical information on your mobile device quick and easy
  • Molecular Biology Information Specialist Carrie Iwema’s popular class, “ABCs of DNA: Unraveling the Mystery of Genetic Information for Consumers”
  • Falk Library’s  “crime scene”

We hope you enjoy the leaner, timelier format!

Data Management Planning: Metadata, Part 2

Metadata: it is so much more than data about data! When a dataset is included in an online collection or database, the standardized structure and vocabulary of metadata makes it “findable” when users query the search interface. Metadata also supports interoperability between databases, providing the semantic power necessary for sharing datasets and enabling collaboration.

At its simplest level, metadata provides a standardized description of the content of any form of data, such as a book, an image, or a dataset. The metadata elements for a book include title, author, and publication year, whereas the elements for a dataset can include contributor/creator, unique identifier, format, file size, type of data (survey, microarray), subject, abstract, version, source, and ownership. Use metadata elements as headings in spreadsheets or databases to facilitate and standardize data collection.

Pre-existing sets of elements are readily available, such as Dublin Core, with 15 repeatable core elements, and DataCite, with 17 repeatable elements. Both are designed especially for scientific datasets. DataCite also supports registration of a persistent Digital Object Identifier (DOI), which serves to increase the exposure and citation count of your dataset.

Some biomedical journals require raw data to be deposited in an approved public repository, such as UniProt or ArrayExpress, prior to peer review, and an acquisition number assigned by the repository must then be submitted along with the manuscript. The metadata standards for those datasets are determined by the repositories. An excellent resource for biomedical metadata standards is “MIBBI: Minimum Information Guidelines from Diverse Bioscience Communities.”

Metadata is a brief but required section of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and National Science Foundation (NSF) data management plans. The free resource DMPTool provides a framework for describing the metadata used in projects funded by NIH, NSF, and other organizations.

Part 1 of this six-part series appeared in the February 2013 HSLS Update and gave an introduction to data management planning.

~ Andrea Ketchum

PubMed Mobile

PubMedMobileSearchPubMed Mobile provides a simplified, mobile friendly Web interface for accessing the National Library of Medicine’s Standard PubMed/MEDLINE database. The mobile version searches the same content as Standard PubMed and does not require an account or registration.

To search PubMed Mobile, simply enter your search terms in the search box and then click on Search. Continue reading

Teaching the ABCs of DNA for NN/LM MAR

IMAGE BY Amanda Van Buren
IMAGE BY Amanda Van Buren

In this genomic era, many people are eager to learn about personal genomics and personalized medicine, yet feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information. These complex topics encompass not only scientific and medical concerns, but also ethical, legal, and social issues. To assist in the dissemination of awareness about these issues, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine is offering a four hour continuing education class, “ABCs of DNA: Unraveling the Mystery of Genetic Information for Consumers,Continue reading

Police Line: Do Not Cross!

Caution TapeI must be imagining things! I walk into the library and not only have the books and journals switched places, but now part of the library looks like a crime scene from CSI…have I bumped my head or have I been studying way too much?

You’re not alone if things are feeling a little out of place. But fear not—this “crime scene” is actually a step in the second phase of remodeling at Falk Library. The books from the upper floor are now on the main floor, exchanging places with the journals. The extra journal shelves that were formerly in the middle of the main floor have been removed, opening up space on the floor. In the next step, the nearby computer desks and furniture will be rearranged to make those areas more spacious for our patrons. So if you’re a victim of too much studying, you can at least get a change of scenery once the main floor remodeling is complete!

~ Julia Jankovic

HSLS Staff News

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


Linda Hartman, reference librarian, moderated a paper session on “Health Care for Children” at the fifteenth annual meeting of The Southern Association for the History of Medicine and Science, February 21–23, 2013, in Charleston, South Carolina.

March Classes

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



Painless PubMed* (Falk Library Classroom 1)

Monday, March 4 4:30-5:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 21 11 a.m.-noon
Wednesday, March 27 3-4 p.m.


Microarray Data Analysis* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, March 6 1-3 p.m.

Sequence Similarity Searching* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, March 20 1-3 p.m.

Introduction to CLC Main Workbench* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, March 27 1-3 p.m.



Advanced PowerPoint for Presentations (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Thursday, March 7 1:30-3:30 p.m.

EndNote Basics (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Tuesday, March 12 2-4 p.m.

PowerPoint for Conference Posters (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Monday, March 18 noon-2 p.m.

Prezi for Presentations (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Tuesday, March 26 1-3 p.m.


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