Falk Library Holiday and Winter Recess Hours

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

  • Saturday, December 20: 9:30 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 21: 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Monday, December 22: 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 23: 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 24, through Sunday, January 4: CLOSED
  • Monday, January 5: Resume regular hours

The Ask a Librarian service will be monitored over the break. Continue reading

PalPITTations Concert in Falk Library on December 12

PalPittationsGet into the holiday spirit 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 Friday, December 12, at noon, on the upper floor of Falk Library. Light refreshments will be served. All are welcome for this free concert.

Directors Reflections…December 2014

Barbara Epstein HSLS Director bepstein@pitt.edu
Barbara Epstein
HSLS Director

The holiday season is a good time to look back at the year that’s passed and ahead to the new one. We take a breather from our daily routines to celebrate with friends, family, and co-workers and forget about the gloomy dark winter.

We at HSLS also pause to look back at our achievements and forward to plans for the new year. Our FY 2014 annual report has been posted to our Web site, and we’ve compiled our annual statistics for various reporting requirements. Below are some FY14 highlights:

  • Our collection now includes 7,200 electronic journals, 3,400 e-books and 100 databases or publisher collections of full-text information. This compares favorably with other academic health sciences libraries Continue reading

HSLS on YouTube

HSLS is coming to a screen near you! Our own YouTube channel, Pitt Health Sciences Library System, features recordings of special lectures and classes. If you missed that interesting workshop on scientific image manipulation, or you want to share Gail Kern Paster’s compelling talk on Elizabethan medical beliefs, just search it in YouTube. To stay in the loop, subscribe to Pitt Health Sciences Library System with your Google Account, or like us on Facebook.

HSLS YouTube is a featured channel of the University of Pittsburgh’s own official presence on YouTube. Pitt’s video series include Spotlight on Research, Alumni Looking Back, and In a PITT(sburgh) Minute.

~ Julia Dahm

10 Simple Rules

A new feature of PLOS Computational Biology is a series of articles titled, “Ten Simple Rules.” Written by PLOS Computational Biology Editor-in-Chief Philip E. Bourne, and occasionally with collaborators, the “Ten Simple Rules” aim to provide a quick, concise guide of interest to researchers as they move through their careers. Topics focusing on beginning a research career include: “Ten Simple Rules for Graduate Students,” “Ten Simple Rules for Selecting a Postdoctoral Position,” and “Ten Simple Rules for Choosing between Industry and Academia.” Topics of interest as a researcher builds their career include: “Ten Simple Rules for Writing Research Papers,” “Ten Simple Rules for Getting Grants,” and “Ten Simple Rules for Getting Published.

New articles will be added as they are published, so check back regularly to see what’s new.

~Nancy Tannery

NLM Director Donald Lindberg to Retire

After three decades as Director of the National Library of Medicine, Donald Lindberg, MD, has announced his retirement at the end of March 2015. According to NIH Director Francis Collins, Dr. Lindberg “created programs that changed fundamentally the way biomedical information is collected, shared, and analyzed.” Read about Dr. Lindberg’s many substantial accomplishments in the “NIH Director’s Statement on Dr. Lindberg’s Retirement.”

~Jill Foust

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: White’s Stereoscope

Stereoscopy is a technique that creates the illusion of a 3D image. It is based on a simple principle: when viewing two nearly identical images side by side through prismatic lenses, the eyes blend the two views into one, which is then perceived in three dimensions. Stereoscopic images became widely popular with photography from about 1850 to 1920. These images were a form of entertainment, and even today this technique is used to enhance the teaching power of photography. Falk Library owns several newer anatomy and pathology atlases with stereoscopic illustrations that include their own viewers: Hirsch’s Neuroanatomy (1999) with 3D glasses; Schuknecht’s Stereoscopic Atlas of Mastoidotympanoplastic Surgery (1966) with a folded compact stereo viewer; Bassett’s A Stereoscopic Atlas of Human Anatomy (1965); and Gass’s Stereoscopic Atlas of Macular Diseases (1987, 1997) with a standard reel view-master.

The early stereoscopes and viewers are collectibles. Before the invention of photography, the first stereoscope for viewing drawings was introduced in 1833 by Charles Wheatstone. Later, Oliver Wendell Holmes designed the first handheld viewer which was produced and improved by Joseph Bates.

Hawley C. White Stereoscope (ca. 1905)
Falk Library Rare Books Collection

Over the years many other inventors perfected stereoscopes. Hawley C. White was one of them. His company was the largest producer of stereoscopes in the world. He won a prestigious prize at the 1900 International Exhibition in Paris. Many of his 20th century viewers can be identified by the emblem referencing this event. The stereoscope in our collection has his Award Medal depicted in the center of the hood along with the H.C. White name. One of the three card holders has a clasp designed by Truman W. Ingersoll in 1904, thus making the stereoscope traceable to ca.1905. The other two card holders were added later and do not belong to the original viewer. This stereoscope works well with these stereoscopic atlases owned by Falk Library: Cunningham’s Stereoscopic Studies of Anatomy for the Internist (1900); Enderlen and Gasser’s Stereoskopbilder zur Lehre von den Hernien (1906), as described in the February 2012 HSLS Update article, “Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Photography and Medical Books, Part 3; Kelly’s Dr. J. A. Bodine’s Operation for Inguinal Hernia (1909); Cunningham’s Stereoscopic Studies of Anatomy (ca. 1909); and Jones’s Equilibrium and Vertigo (1918).

These materials can be viewed in the Rare Book Room by appointment.

~ Gosia Fort

HSLS Staff News

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


Lydia Collins, consumer health coordinator, NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region, presented “More Than a Bandage: Health Information Resources for K-12 Professionals,” at the Delaware School Nurse Association Fall Conference in Dewey Beach, DE, on November 15, 2014; “Online Resources to Support Mental Health: Information for Clinicians and Patients,” at the Pennsylvania Behavioral Health and Aging Coalition in State College, PA, on November 17, 2014; and “Combatting Information Fatigue: Health Information Resources for Veterans,” at the Pennsylvania Veterans Forum in Grantville, PA, on November 19, 2014.

Barb Folb, public health informationist, taught “Systematic Reviews: Skills to Develop Literature Searches, Manage Results, and Evaluate Findings,” at the APHA 142nd Annual Meeting & Expo, in New Orleans, LA, on November 15, 2014. Co-instructors were Helena VonVille1 and Joseph Nicholson2.

  1. Library Director, University of Texas School of Public Health, Houston, TX;
  2. Coordinator of Systematic Review Services, Education and Curriculum Librarian, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York, NY.

Carrie Iwema, molecular biology information specialist, presented “The Perils & Promises of Genomic Medicine,” at the annual meeting of the MLA Upstate New York and Ontario Chapters in Saratoga Springs, NY, on October 24, 2014.

Michele Klein-Fedyshin, reference librarian, presented a poster titled “Information-Seeking Patterns and Skills of Hospice and Palliative Nurses: Implications for Librarians Seeking New Frontiers,” at the 2014 MAC/MLA Annual Meeting in Alexandria, VA, on October 20, 2014.

Classes December 2014

HSLS offers classes on database searching, software applications such as Prezi, 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, who will need a valid Pitt ID or e-mail account. They are also open to UPMC residents and fellows, who will need to show their UPMC IDs.

No registration is required, except where noted. 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 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.)

EndNote Basics (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Monday, December 8 2-4 p.m.

PowerPoint for Conference Posters (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Tuesday, December 9 10 a.m.-noon

Painless PubMed* (Falk Library Classroom 1)

Thursday, December 4 Noon-1 p.m.
Monday, December 8 1-2 p.m.
Tuesday, December 16 11 a.m.-noon


Primer Design & Restriction Analysis* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, December 3 1-3 p.m.

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

Wednesday, December 10 1-3 p.m.


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

Wikipedia or HSLS Evidence-Based Resources?

We all use Wikipedia. It’s quick, easy and free! However, because the wiki model allows anyone to edit content, Wikipedia is sometimes just plain wrong. This is not a problem if you’re looking for song lyrics, but does become a concern when searching for accurate medical information.

Regardless, the use of Wikipedia as an accepted information resource is evident within the health science community. A recent survey reports “…nearly 50% of U.S. physicians who go online for professional purposes use Wikipedia for information, especially on specific conditions.”1 Since 2011, Wikipedia has been cited as a reference with increasing frequency in peer-reviewed health science papers.2 While Wikipedia has both champions and detractors, this fact remains: “[A]rticles relating to medicine are viewed more than 180 million times per month on Wikipedia, yet, less than 1 percent of these have passed a formal peer review…”3—the universally accepted process which ensures the quality of scientific research.

In response, over the last decade, WikiProject Medicine—a subgroup in Wikipedia—has been dedicated to improving the quality of medical information contained on the Web site. In addition to the 540+ Wikipedian volunteers, other collaborators in this effort include:

  • Medical students at the University of California San Francisco, who earn course credit for editing and adding citations to Wikipedia medical topics;4
  • The Cochrane Collaboration, which is sharing expertise to improve the evidence-base within Wikipedia medical articles.5

While WikiProject Medicine continues working towards their laudable goal of “…giving the general public and health care professionals a text they can all read, appreciate, and respect, free of charge,”6 Wikipedia—like any other encyclopedia—remains a tertiary information resource. For that reason, we encourage you to make use of the excellent HSLS resources specifically designed to help in your efforts to turn evidence into practice.

For example, you can access critically-appraised topics which evaluate and synthesize multiple research studies via Clinical Evidence or ACP Smart Medicine, or locate evaluations and synopses of individual research studies through EvidenceUpdates or ACP Journal Club. The gold-standard Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews supplies detailed, structured topic reviews with conclusions about the available evidence to inform health care decision-making. These and many other highly reliable resources are available via HSLS Evidence Based resources.

HSLS librarians can provide guidance in effective use of these information resources. To request assistance, please use Ask a Librarian.

~ Rebecca Abromitis

  1. M. Aitken, T. Altmann, D. Rosen, “Engaging Patients through Social Media: Is Healthcare Ready for Empowered and Digitally Demanding Patients?” IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics (January 2014): 17, accessed October 14, 2014, http://www.imshealth.com/deployedfiles/imshealth/Global/Content/Corporate/IMS%20Health%20Institute/Reports/Secure/IIHI_Social_Media_Report_2014.pdf.
  2. M.D. Bould, E.S. Hladkowicz, A.A. Pigford, L.A. Ufholz, T. Postonogova, E. Shin, S. Boet, “References That Anyone Can Edit: Review of Wikipedia Citations in Peer Reviewed Health Science Literature,” BMJ  (March 6, 2014): 348:g1585, accessed October 10, 2014, http://www.bmj.com/content/348/bmj.g1585.
  3. “The Cochrane Collaboration. Evidence for Everyone, Everywhere,” accessed October 12, 2014, http://www.cochrane.org/features/evidence-everyone-everywhere.
  4. Juliana Bunim, “UCSF First U.S. Medical School to Offer Credit for Wikipedia Articles,” San Francisco, CA, accessed October 12, 2014, http://www.ucsf.edu/news/2013/09/109201/ucsf-first-us-medical-school-offer-credit-wikipedia-articles.
  5. “The Cochrane Collaboration. Evidence for Everyone, Everywhere,” http://www.cochrane.org/features/evidence-everyone-everywhere.
  6. “Wikipedia: WikiProject Medicine” 2014, accessed October 10, 2014, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Medicine.

NN/LM MAR Offers Evidence-Based Practice Training to Rural Hospitals

Kate Flewelling

In August, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NN/LM MAR) collaborated with the Center for Rural Health Practice at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford to provide training on evidence-based practice to nurses at Bradford Regional Medical Center, a rural community hospital. Home to Zippo lighters and bordered by the Allegheny National Forest, Bradford is located in northwest Pennsylvania and has a population of approximately 8,300 people.

NN/LM MAR Outreach Coordinator Kate Flewelling traveled to Bradford, about three hours north of Pittsburgh, to provide the training.

Topics covered included:

  • Ways that evidence-based nursing can be integrated into clinical practice;
  • Types of studies and how they relate to levels of evidence;
  • Well-built, answerable questions to support clinical practice;
  • Online tools for finding evidence-based research, such as PubMed, PubMed Health, and the National Guideline Clearinghouse;
  • Literature searches to find relevant evidence.

Participants received CNE credit from UPMC’s Center for Continuing Education in the Health Sciences.

A 2010 report from the Institute of Medicine entitled, “The Future of Nursing,” argued for increased training for nurses in a number of competencies including research and evidence-based practice. For health professionals who do not have access to a medical library and for those in rural areas, accessing such training and finding reliable health information to support their practice can be a challenge. NN/LM MAR assists health professionals by providing training on free online tools to support evidence-based practice.

Nearly all participants in the training at Bradford Regional Medical Center reported learning about new resources in the training, and all anticipated using their new skills in the next month. Expected outcomes of the training included: “Improved quality of care”; “This is a great help since I want to provide the most up to date information to my staff. Thank you for your insight!”; and “When I get a clinical question from someone I will know how to find evidence-based answers.”

The article, “Center for Rural Health Practice Provides Training for Area Health Providers,” which appeared in October 14, 2014 issue of Bradford Today provides further insight into this valuable training workshop.

NN/LM MAR and the Center for Rural Health Practice will continue to offer such trainings in the area, with the next one scheduled in January 2015 at Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport, Pennsylvania.

For more information about MAR programs and activities, e-mail nnlmmar@pitt.edu or call 800-338-7657.

~ Kate Flewelling

Data Journals: A New Way to Share Research Data

How do you share your data? If your answer only includes publishing results in a journal article or presenting results at a conference, think again! Consider that a journal article or conference presentation is composed of two parts: 1) the interpretation of data collected, in the form of the text, and 2) the supporting evidence, i.e., the data. These two parts are increasingly recognized as independently citable. In keeping with the University of Pittsburgh’s Guidelines on Data Management and policies from funding agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the underlying data developed with research awards should also be shared.

One response to this dichotomy has been the appearance of a new type of journal: the data journal. Data journals feature standardized descriptions and links to peer-reviewed datasets and supporting tools. Authors use a template to easily create the description during the submission process. This new publication type has been designated “Data Descriptor” by Nature Publishing. The published data descriptor is often, but not necessarily, associated with a separate journal article. Each publication type generates its own citations.

Data journals have the potential to improve dissemination and discoverability over data repositories because these journals 1) may be indexed in MEDLINE, EMBASE and other important biomedical databases, and 2) after established, could receive an impact factor from Journal Citation Reports.

While data journals promote and facilitate the reuse of datasets by publishing detailed and accurate descriptions, they do not usually host data themselves, but use links to data repositories, eliminating conflicts with funder, institutional, or publisher repository requirements.

Benefits of publishing research data separately include:

  1. Increased data citations
  2. Validation of data
  3. Data preservation services
  4. Reusable data for additional research
  5. Reusable data for teaching
  6. New collaborations

Find out more about each of these current data journals:

For more information about data sharing, see Data Management Planning: Data Sharing in the September 2013 issue of the HSLS Update.

~Andrea Ketchum

What’s Up with UpToDate?

UpToDate is dedicated to providing valid and reliable evidence-based medical information for clinical decision making. This is achieved through continuous publishing and graded recommendations.

Continuous Publishing

It’s not called UpToDate for nothing! UpToDate publishes every business day. The authors and editors scan over 450 medical journals, specialty guidelines, clinical databases, and clinical trials for the most important new medical findings. Here are just a few notable statistics about UpToDate:

  • In July 2014, 953 updates were published and 37 new topics were added;
  • In the first half of 2014, 6,419 updates were published and 109 new topics were added;
  • 192 updates from the second quarter of 2014 are featured in “What’s New”—a small number of the most important updates chosen by UpToDate’s editors (see image below);

UpToDate Whats New

  • UpToDate received 1,537 feedback items for its editors, causing changes to over 500 topics in the first half of 2014.

Every time a topic is reviewed and updated, the date appears directly below the author’s name. Also, references to the literature are listed at the bottom of each topic page.

Graded Recommendations

UpToDate is now using the GRADE approach to classify both the strength of recommendation and the quality of the underlying information. There are now 9,500 graded recommendations, and the process is ongoing. To view a topic’s graded recommendations, simply click on the “Summary and Recommendations” button at the top of the outline (see image below).

UpToDate Topic Outline

Grades have two components: a number (1 or 2) that reflects the strength of the recommendation and a letter (A, B, or C) that reflects the quality of the evidence supporting that recommendation (see image below).

UpToDate Summary Recommendations

For more information on UpToDate’s GRADE system, please direct your browser to the UpToDate interactive tutorial on grading.

*Parts of this article were reprinted from the UpToDate E-mail Expert User Series: “Continuous Publishing” and “Graded Recommendations.”

~ Jill Foust

HSLS Staff News

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


Donna Perkins has joined the Falk Library staff as a main desk assistant.


Melissa Ratajeski, reference librarian, along with co-authors Ahlam Saleh1 and M. Bertolet2, published, “Grey Literature Searching for Health Sciences Systematic Reviews: A Prospective Study of Time Spent and Resources Utilized,” in Evidence Based Library and Information Practice, Vol. 9, No. 3 (2014): 28-50.

1. Arizona Health Sciences Library, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ.

2. Department of Epidemiology, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.


Lydia Collins, consumer health coordinator, NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region, along with Ellen Justice1, presented “Health Information Resources for Cancer Awareness,” at the University of Delaware Library Cancer Awareness Program, in Newark, DE, on October 9, 2014. Collins also presented “More Than a Bandage: Health Information Resources for K-12 Professionals,” on October 13, 2014, at the Berks County School Health Association in Wyomissing, PA; “Evaluating Online Health Information Resources,” on October 24, 2014, at the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Library Association Southwest Chapter in Greensburg, PA; and “Introduction to Your Regional Medical Library & NLM Resources,” on October 30, 2014, at the 2014 Bronx County Centennial Symposium on Health in New York, NY.

1. Community Health Librarian, Junior Board Cancer Resource Library, Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, Newark, DE.

Barbara Epstein, HSLS director, was a participant in a panel discussion at the University of Pittsburgh 2014 Fall Senate Plenary, “Managing Research Data: Challenges & Opportunities,” held in Pittsburgh, PA, on October 23, 2014. The panel responded to the keynote address, “Gearing Up for Date? Institutional Drivers, Challenges and Opportunities.”

Kate Flewelling, outreach coordinator, NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region, presented, “Public Libraries as Public Health Partners,” to the joint conference of Pennsylvania Public Health Association and Office of Rural Health in State College, PA, on October 2, 2014.