A New Spin on Teaching PubMed

FlippedClassroomEach year the library is offered an opportunity to introduce PubMed to first year medical students. As we began planning this year’s session, we decided to use the opportunity to deliver the instruction in a different way. Innovative methods of instruction are often discussed within the library community, one of which is the idea of a “flipped classroom.” A flipped classroom is a model of teaching where the lecture is viewed by students prior to class. Class time is then used for other learning activities.1 According to Youngkin, implementing a flipped classroom in medical education can be more efficient, more flexible, and lead to improved performance.2

We did not want to require a pre-class assignment, so a few liberties were taken with the model. Step-by-step exercises were developed and students were given time to work through them in small groups. Each exercise focused on an important aspect of PubMed. Our goal was to limit the instructor interaction during this time to mirror the individual learning aspect of the model. Once the exercises were complete, students took turns teaching what they had learned to the entire class. This collaborative activity led to an increase in engagement between instructors and students.

Although the flipped classroom model was modified, the experience has been enlightening as we look for new and innovative ways of teaching. For an excellent article about flipped classroom design principles, read Kim’s “The Experience of Three Flipped Classrooms in an Urban University: An Exploration of Design Principles.”

For more information, contact Rose Turner at rlt@pitt.edu.

~Rose Turner

  1. Min Kyu Kim, So Mi Kim, Otto Khera, and Joan Getman, “The Experience of Three Flipped Classrooms in an Urban University: An Exploration of Design Principles.” The Internet and Higher Education, 22: 37-50, 2014.
  2. C. Andrew Youngkin, “The Flipped Classroom: Practices and Opportunities for Health Sciences Librarians.” Medical Reference Services Quarterly 33(4): 367-74, 2014.

Use NCBI’s SciENcv to Generate Your New NIH Biosketch

scienCVThe May 25th deadline for the required change in the NIH biosketch format is rapidly approaching. SciENcv, a new tool from NCBI, will help you quickly generate and manage biosketches for NIH and NSF.

NCBI has added SciENcv to My NCBI, the research management dashboard which can be accessed from the upper right corner of the PubMed home page. When a researcher is logged in to My NCBI using his or her eRA Commons credentials, SciENcv will generate a properly formatted biosketch drawing from that eRA Commons account. For those without eRA Commons accounts, alternative sign-in options are available, such as “University of Pittsburgh” and “ORCID.” Any corrections or additions to the biosketch can be made within SciENcv after the import from the external source is complete. Biosketches can be saved and reused, or customized for future applications.

NCBI’s SciENcv home page features FAQs, a video tutorial, presentations, and other helpful information to help you get started.

Note that it is important to have My Bibliography in your My NCBI account up to date prior to beginning the process, as My Bibliography is the source for all publications data in the Contributions to Science section of the new NIH biosketch. While you may select up to four citations to support each contribution, you may also checkmark the option at the bottom of the section to include a link to your complete list of publications in My Bibliography.

For more information or to arrange for a demonstration of the SciENcv application used for biosketch generation, please contact Andrea Ketchum at ketchum@pitt.edu or 412-648-9757.

~Andrea Ketchum

Sharing Genomic Data: An Overview of NIH Policy

Does your research do all of the following?

  • Generate genomic data, either human or non-human.
  • Produce “large-scale” data, i.e., genome-wide association studies (GWAS), single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) arrays, genome sequence, transcriptomic, epigenomic, and/or gene expression data.
  • Receive funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), either intramural, contract, or grant-based.

If so, NIH policy now requires you to share your data. To learn more, keep reading. Continue reading

HSLS Staff News

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


Kate Flewelling, outreach coordinator, NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region, has been appointed Section Council liaison to the Medical Library Association (MLA) Membership Committee for a three-year term and was also appointed to MLA’s Eliot Prize Jury for a one-year term.

Melissa Ratajeski, reference librarian, has been elected Chapter Council chair-elect of the Medical Library Association’s Chapter Council, starting office in May 2015.


Author names in bold are HSLS-affiliated

B. Click, Reference Librarians A.M. Ketchum and R. Turner, D.C. Whitcomb, G.I. Papachristou, and D. Yadav published “The Role of Apheresis in Hypertriglyceridemia-Induced Acute Pancreatitis: A Systematic Review” in Pancreatology, March 10, 2015.

Lydia Collins, consumer health coordinator, published “Healthy Libraries Develop Healthy Communities: Public Libraries and their Tremendous Efforts to Support the Affordable Care Act” in the Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, March 2015, 19(1): 68-76.

M.A. Ratajeski, reference librarian, along with co-author M.A. Kraft, published “Use of QR Codes to Promote E-Books in Medical Libraries,” and Ratajeski also reviewed Marketing with Social Media: A LITA Guide, edited by Beth C. Thomsett-Scott, both appearing in the Journal of Electronic Resources in Medical Libraries, 2015, 12(1): 11-24 and 92-93, respectively.


Kate Flewelling, outreach coordinator, NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region, presented “Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice” during Nurses’ Day at Cole Memorial Hospital in Coudersport, Pa., on May 6, 2015.

Classes May 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)

Monday, May 11 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

PowerPoint for Conference Posters (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Tuesday, May 12 10-11:30 a.m.

Painless PubMed* (Falk Library Classroom 1)

Thursday, May 7 9-10 a.m.
Monday, May 11 11 a.m.-noon
Friday, May 22 Noon-1 p.m.
Wednesday, May 27 4-5 p.m.


Genome Browsers* (Falk Library Classroom 2)

Wednesday, May 13 1-3 p.m.


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