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Enhance Your Reading Experience with InfoBoosters

Infobooster logoHave you ever read a biomedical research paper online and been curious about the expression patterns of the genes listed, or the 3D structure of the protein in question? Perhaps you’re wondering about possible side effects or pharmacogenomic information relevant to the clinical drug study you’re perusing.

As life sciences research has become more interdisciplinary, the scientific papers we read increasingly include genes, proteins, methodologies, and biological concepts outside of our domain of expertise. In order to thoroughly comprehend such articles, it is necessary to learn more about these lesser-known terms. Information is readily available in various molecular databases, but the reading formats (PDF and Web-based) of current journal articles do not provide links capable of accessing these databases directly from the article. The typical method to learn more is to leave the article, go to a separate online database, search for the term, identify a sufficient knowledge source, scan it for the pertinent information, and then return to the original article to continue reading.

To improve upon this inefficient process, HSLS has developed “InfoBoosters.” InfoBoosters are easy to install Web browser widgets that connect digital texts to databases and retrieve relevant information on demand. InfoBoosters directly connect readers to databases such as NextBio, UniProt, and NCBI resources, as well as general information sites such as Wikipedia and


For example, by highlighting a gene term in an article and then clicking on the “GeneExpressions” InfoBooster, a pop-up window will appear displaying expression information for that gene retrieved from NextBio.

We’ve also created combined InfoBoosters, such as “Citations,” that allow you to easily search multiple resources, including Altmetrics and Google Scholar, by both article title, author name, and ORCID ID.  You can even create your own unique or combined InfoBoosters. Application of InfoBoosters will assist readers by revealing information not directly described in the text and potentially fostering the creation of new hypotheses.

We recommend going to the InfoBoosters Web page to discover how to incorporate this exciting new reading tool into your own workflow. Please contact the MolBio Information Services Department with any questions.

~Carrie Iwema and Ansuman Chattopadhyay

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Finding International Literature in PubMed

The overwhelming majority of publications in PubMed are from U.S. authors covering medical practice, training, and research in the United States. However, there are an increasing number of scholarly publications with authorship by practitioners and researchers located outside the United States.

In addition to the United States, there are more than 250 geographic locations listed in the PubMed Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) database. The majority of these locations are indexed to clinical or research papers written in English and authored by individual or corporate authors practicing medicine and conducting medical research in foreign locations.

Searching for international literature in PubMed is challenging. PubMed records include two fields dedicated to information on author affiliation: the “Affiliation” field which uses the suffix [AD] for a single author, or the “Corporate Authors” field which uses the suffix [CN]. Single author affiliation, however, was added exclusively for first authors prior to 2014. This poses a challenge to finding affiliation for collaborating authors on papers published prior to 2014. Additionally, although the presence of a geographic location as a MeSH term or in titles, abstracts, or author keywords points to papers published in that location, it does not guarantee local authorship.

There are two possible search strings for examining the international literature in PubMed. You can copy and paste one of the search strings below into the PubMed search box, replacing “location” with a country of your choice. Neither search string is ideal, searching with both might yield more relevant results.

You can focus both search strings further by adding a topic of interest or by using PubMed filters such as article types, ages, or publication dates, among others.

  1. (“location”[AD] OR “location”[CN] OR “location[PL]) AND English[LA]
    The retrieval for the above search string includes only citations with first author affiliation prior to 2014. It also might help to use a corporate author [CN] or publication place [PL], if present.
  2. (“location”[Mesh] OR “location”[TIAB] OR “location”[OT]) AND English[LA]
    The retrieval for the above search string includes papers about the selected location. Many, but not all will have local authors.

For further information, contact the HSLS Main Desk at 412-648-8866 or Ask a Librarian.

~Ester Saghafi

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Show Off Your Musical Talent, and Win a Memmys Award!

Memmys-LogoThe University of South Carolina School of Medicine is pleased to announce THE 3RD ANNUAL MEMMYS!

This national music video contest seeks student-produced videos from health professional students. The contest is open to any student enrolled in a health professions school such as dental, pharmacy, allopathic, osteopathic, public health, nursing, medical, or allied health.

Entries submitted by the April 15, 2015 deadline are eligible for prize money that will be given to their school’s health sciences library. The first place entry will receive $1,500, second place $1,000, and third place $500.*

Last year’s winners were:

1st place: Harvard Medical School

2nd place: Albert Einstein College of Medicine

3rd place: University of Maryland School of Medicine

Please refer to the Memmys Web site for more information.

*If an entry from Pitt wins, HSLS pledges to host a congratulatory pizza party for the winner(s) and 15 friends.*

~Jill Foust

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Sink Your Teeth into This New Exhibit at Falk Library

Surreal Mouth” by Robin Hutton is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

We typically think of teeth as functional—essential for chewing, speech, structural support, or as part of a great smile. Not so for some artists who instead think of teeth as inspiration for creating works of art ranging from the whimsical to fine art and crafts. A new Falk Library exhibit, Tooth-full Art and Artifacts, displays a variety of toothsome creations featuring incisors, canines, molars, and more. While some of the artwork could excite your sweet tooth, be forewarned that a few pieces just might set your teeth on edge! Continue reading

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Questions Are the Answer: New Cochrane Clinical Answers Database Informs Decision Making

Don’t have time to read lengthy systematic reviews for their patient-related evidence? Try using the new database Cochrane Clinical Answers to inform your patient care decisions. Its question-and-answer format uses PICO (Population, Intervention, Comparison, Outcomes) precision to drill down to relevant topics. Data is gleaned from reviews in the Cochrane Library and updated when revisions occur. Topics range from dental to mental, all ages and most major medical specialties. Some areas are under development as the question repertoire expands.

To access Cochrane Clinical Answers, type Cochrane Clinical Answers into the Pitt Resources Quick Search box on the HSLS home page. This resource can also be found in the HSLS Databases A–Z list.

Cochrane Clinical Answers

Health care practitioners and professionals will find this resource easy to use, data-driven, and actionable. A comparable product might be BMJ’s Clinical Evidence which is also available via HSLS. Consider returning often to Cochrane Clinical Answers for evidence updates and growing subject coverage.

~Michele Klein-Fedyshin

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Falk Library to Host Native Voices Exhibit

Native Voices logoWith over a hundred interviews from individuals all across the United States who are from and/or work for Native communities, Native peoples speak in their own voice about health and illness as part of the exhibit, Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness. Since 2011, the National Library of Medicine has displayed this exhibition on site in Bethesda, Maryland, and now the exhibit is making its way across the nation to the NN/LM regional medical libraries. Falk Library, the NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region headquarters, will host the exhibit from March 17 to May 31, 2015.

The Native Voices exhibit explores how wellness and illness are interconnected with cultural life through five themes: individual, community, nature, tradition, and healing. The fascinating interviews from Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians can be seen and heard on two iPads at the exhibit site. The exhibit is supplemented by online resources such as K-12 lesson plans and a timeline of events in Native history from antiquity to today.

The Native Voices exhibit is open to the general public on the Falk Library upper floor lounge during regular library hours.

~Julia Dahm

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New Web Site Honors Dr. Thomas Starzl

The Official Dr. Thomas E. Starzl Web Site provides a detailed look into the life and influential medical career of Thomas Starzl, MD, PhD. The Web site documents his life story, including his genealogy, childhood, education, and the institutions where he worked and continues to work. It also explores his impact on the field of medicine and specifically examines his work in the areas of neuroscience, cardiac physiology, hepatotropic physiology, transplantation immunology, and surgical innovations. Also included are biographies of colleagues and friends that both influenced Dr. Starzl’s career and whose careers he influenced. The Official Dr. Thomas E. Starzl Web Site presents an informative portrait of a medical pioneer.

The Web site was developed by the Archives Service Center of Pitt’s University Library System, where Dr. Starzl’s papers are being archived and housed. Questions about the Web site or Dr. Starzl’s papers can be directed to the Ask-An-Archivist form.

~Jill Foust

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HSLS Staff News


Carrie Iwema, Molecular Biology information specialist, was elected chair designate of the Medical Library Association’s Continuing Education Committee and was appointed to the Joint Planning Committee for the 2016 Medical Library Association/Canadian Health Library Association/International Clinical Librarian Conference as coordinator of the Lightning Talks.


Missy Harvey, technology and communication coordinator, NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region, presented “Super Searcher: Enhancing Your Online Search Super Powers,” on January 8, 15, and 22, 2015, and “Information Roles in Disaster Management,” on January 14 and 15, 2015. Both presentations were delivered online.

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Classes March 2015

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)

Wednesday, March 18 10 a.m.-noon

Painless PubMed* (Falk Library Classroom 1)

Thursday, March 5 3-4 p.m.
Monday, March 16 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Friday, March 27 9-10 a.m.
Tuesday, March 31 4-5 p.m.

PowerPoint for Conference Posters (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Friday, March 6 12:30-2 p.m.


Microarray Data Analysis* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, March 4 1-3 p.m.

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

Wednesday, March 25 1-3 p.m.


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