Integrating Information Seeking and Management Instruction into the Classroom

A central goal of education is to produce lifelong learners. Lifelong learners require information skills. They are aware of the information ecology of their field. They recognize when they need information, address that need independently, and incorporate new information into their personal knowledge base. Efficiency in identifying and using quality information sources is a critical skill in which librarians excel, and enjoy teaching.

The American Library Association is revising their 2000 Information Literacy Standards for Higher Education and has released drafts of their new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. The scheduled release of the Framework this fall provides an opportunity for librarians and health sciences faculty to revisit integration of information literacy instruction into our curricular programs.

BarbFolb_teachingTeaching faculty often ask HSLS liaison librarians to provide class instruction when they observe evidence that students need more information skills to complete their classwork. Librarians usually deliver instruction through “one-shot” or multiple lectures, or online modules for independent student use. Information literacy assignments can provide opportunities for information skill building, support completion of other class assignments, and build awareness of information literacy as an essential professional skill.

Instruction at the request of the individual professor is good, but doesn’t guarantee all students the opportunity for professional information literacy attainment. Students can begin their capstone project—an essay, research study, thesis, or dissertation—without the independent information skills required for the task. Advisors may refer them to the library for help, which is provided through individual consultation. The Framework calls for “a wider and deeper integration of it (information literacy) within the formal academic curriculum,” which would reduce the burden on students of having to learn these fundamental information skills when they would rather be engaged in higher level analysis and synthesis of information.

HSLS librarians have participated in a series of internal teaching enhancement workshops, and are available to collaborate with you in and out of the classroom in information instruction. Consider how instruction on topics such as finding and managing information, information ethics and legal issues (copyright, plagiarism avoidance), or systematic review search methods could benefit your students, and then contact your library liaison for more information.

~ Barbara Folb

Create Biological Diagrams with ePath3D

Are you interested in illustrating a particular biological pathway, both extra- and intracellularly? Do you want to create an image emphasizing your molecule of interest, including upstream and downstream regulators? Have you become frustrated with the drawing limitations of your current software?

You asked HSLS to provide a resource that allows flexibility with the creation of biological diagrams and we listened. We are pleased to introduce our latest licensed tool, ePath3D. Continue reading

Scientific Data: A New Journal for Formal Descriptions of Datasets

Scientific Data is a new type of journal from Nature Publishing Group. It is an open-access, peer-reviewed, online-only publication for descriptions of scientifically valuable datasets. The journal is intended to help scientists publish, discover, and reuse research data.

Scientific Data’s main article type is the Data Descriptor, which combines traditional narrative content with curated, structured descriptions of research data, including detailed methods and technical analyses supporting data quality. The journal also grants recognition for researchers who may not qualify for authorship on traditional articles.

Scientific Data is open to submissions from a broad range of scientific disciplines, but is focusing initially on datasets from the life, biomedical, and environmental science communities. Authors retain copyright for their Data Descriptor, and may authorize reuse through one of several Creative Commons licenses. Authors are required to pay an article-processing charge.

*Parts of this article were reprinted from the Scientific Data Web site.

Mobile Apps vs. Mobile Web Sites: What’s the Difference?

MobileIf you like to access medical information on your mobile device, then you may be familiar with the UpToDate Mobile App or AccessMedicine Mobile. While both are accessible on a mobile device, did you know that their access points are very different? The UpToDate Mobile App is a mobile application (app) and AccessMedicine Mobile is a Web site. In a nutshell, an app operates separately from a Web site, while a mobile Web site is just a variation of an existing Web site.

Mobile Apps

A mobile app is a software application that you download from the Apple iTunes Store, Google Play Store, or Windows Store to your mobile device. Some apps don’t require Internet access to run since they reside on your mobile device, while others do require Internet access to run or to complete some tasks, like updating information. While some apps are free, others require a small (or sometimes hefty) fee. Mobile apps are popular because they are designed specifically for the small size of mobile devices and provide a user-friendly experience.

Mobile Web Sites

In the past, most Web site pages were static. They did not adjust to the smaller screens of mobile devices and viewing them was difficult without manually resizing and scrolling. Today, mobile Web sites are often built using responsive design. No matter what device you use, the display fits the screen. Mobile Web sites are compatible across devices, regardless of whether the device is made by Apple, Motorola, or Samsung. Unlike mobile apps, there’s no manual updating. Access to mobile Web sites is often free, but some are fee-based.

HSLS Mobile Resources

HSLS databases with mobile apps include UpToDate, First Consult, Micromedex, and STAT!Ref. HSLS databases with mobile Web sites include AccessMedicine, AccessSurgery, CINAHL, and ISI Web of Knowledge.

For more information on HSLS databases with mobile apps and mobile Web sites, see the HSLS Mobile Resources Web site. For questions, call the Falk Library Main Desk at 412-648-8866 or send an e-mail to Ask a Librarian.

~Jill Foust

Highlights from the Regional Medical Library

Renae Barger, Executive Director, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region

HSLS is home to the regional office of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NN/LM MAR). The National Network of Libraries of Medicine program is the core component of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) outreach program and its efforts to reduce health disparities and improve health information literacy. As one of eight regional medical libraries in the country, we work under a five-year, federal contract with NLM to support their efforts to provide all U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improve the public’s access to health information so they can make informed decisions about their health. On April 30, 2014, we completed the third year of our five year contract. Continue reading

HSLS Staff News

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


HSLS welcomes its newest employee, Jason Furente, systems programmer. Furente earned a B.S. degree in Computer Engineering in 2014 from the University of Pittsburgh. He provides server support for the library.

Fran Yarger, associate director for digital library services, attended the Educause 2014 Leading Change Institute, from June 1-6, 2014, in Washington D.C. Yarger was awarded a Leadership Scholarship from the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) to assist with the cost of attendance.


Reference Librarians Michele Klein-Fedyshin and Andrea Ketchum, along with Robert M. Arnold1 and Peter F. Fedyshin2, published “Evaluating the MEDLINE Core Clinical Journals Filter: Data-driven Evidence Assessing Clinical Utility” in the Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, June 6, 2014, doi: 10.1111/jep.12190.

1. Leo H. Creep Chair of Patient Care, Professor of Medicine, Chief, Section of Palliative Care and Medical Ethics, Director, Institute for Doctor–Patient Communication, Medical Director, UPMC Palliative and Supportive Institute, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pa.

2. Department of Radiology, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.


Kate Flewelling, outreach coordinator, NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region, presented “Advanced Tips and Tricks for PubMed,” to the Empire State-Metropolitan New York Chapter of the American Medical Writers Association in New York, N.Y., on June 5, 2014.

Missy Harvey, technology & communication coordinator, NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region, presented “Geeks Bearing Gifts: Unwrapping New Technology Trends,” at the joint State University of New York Library Association (SUNYLA)/NYLA Academic Librarians Conference in Albany, N.Y., on June 11, 2014.


Bryan Fuller, circulation specialist, has left to pursue a degree in geography and cartography at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Fuller joined HSLS in 2003.

Classes July 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. They are also open to UPMC residents and fellows.

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.

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.)


Advanced PowerPoint for Presentations (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Tuesday, July 8 12:30-2:30 p.m.

EndNote Basics (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Thursday, July 17 10 a.m.-noon

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

Wednesday, July 16 9-10:30 a.m.

Painless PubMed* (Falk Library Classroom 1)

Monday, July 7 3-4 p.m.
Tuesday, July 15 1-2 p.m.
Wednesday, July 23 Noon-1 p.m.
Thursday, July 31 8:30-9:30 a.m.

PowerPoint for Conference Posters (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Tuesday, July 29 1-3 p.m.

Prezi for Presentations (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Friday, July 18 1-3 p.m.


Pathway Analysis Tools 1* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, July 9 1-4 p.m.

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

Wednesday, July 23 1-4 p.m.


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