Should I Publish in This Journal?

Have you ever received an e-mail inviting you to submit an article to a journal you don’t recognize? Or perhaps you have received an invitation to be the editor of an unfamiliar journal. Do you delete these e-mails or does the e-mail invitation spark your interest?


Some things to consider when approached by a journal: Continue reading

Which Data Repository to Choose?

Many journals and funding agencies are requiring researchers to deposit their data in publicly accessible databases or repositories. This not only helps to ensure the long-term accessibility and preservation of the data but also increases its discoverability and reuse.

The number of sustainable online repositories available to host and archive research data may seem overwhelming. Guidance for repository selection is offered below. Also available is the HSLS Data Management Repository Web site. Note: before selecting a repository, researchers should review the deposit directions and policies for the specific repository. Continue reading

“How-To” Talks by Postdocs, Now on YouTube


“‘How-To’ Talks by Postdocs” are a collaboration between the HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service (MBIS), the Center for Postdoctoral Affairs in the Health Sciences, and any postdoc at the University of Pittsburgh conducting biomedical research.

Modeled after the MBIS workshops, instructors teach a 1-2 hour workshop in a computer classroom located in Falk Library. The topic can be ANYTHING related to health sciences, not specifically molecular biology or bioinformatics, as long as the talk is in a “how-to” style rather than a seminar. The MBIS works with postdocs to create a workshop that is a positive teaching experience for the postdoc, as well as instructive to attendees, who range from grad students to fellow postdocs to PIs to lab techs to clinicians. Although taught by postdocs, attendance at the workshops is open to one and all.

Postdoc instructors receive feedback on their teaching, a letter of acknowledgement from the HSLS library director, and an optional digital recording of their session with the opportunity to have it posted on the Pitt HSLS YouTube Channel. Previous “‘How-To’ Talks by Postdocs” that are available for viewing on YouTube include:

Postdocs–don’t miss a great chance to expand your teaching portfolio with this unique opportunity! Request a spot in the next round of “‘How-To’ Talks by Postdocs,” Winter/Spring 2016. Contact MBIS for more information.

~Carrie Iwema

Snapshot — A Day in the Life of a Medical Librarian at HSLS

Unlike the conventional image of the library as a quiet sanctuary, most medical libraries are vibrant venues animated by the importance of in-depth scholarly research occurring there. Have you ever wondered what librarians actually do all day?

My first activity on November 11th was to complete a systematic review project into an EndNote Library culminating weeks of searching multiple databases. The searches retrieved articles on drug therapy for an intractable condition, assimilating evidence available world-wide to find new knowledge.

As I was preparing to send this to the requester, my e-mail pinged with two clinically-related searches from an affiliated physician. I asked the requester to prioritize the topics, so I could research the most important question first.

Continue reading

New Historical Marker Commemorates the Founding of the Medical Library Association

World’s oldest medical library association founded here in 1898 to facilitate access to reliable medical literature for the improvement of health care. Among the US and Canadian founders were George M. Gould, MD; Sir William Osler, MD; and Margaret R. Charlton, librarian.
World’s oldest medical library association founded here in 1898 to facilitate access to reliable medical literature for the improvement of health care. Among the U.S. and Canadian founders were George M. Gould, MD; Sir William Osler, MD; and Margaret R. Charlton, librarian.

Like many travelers, I frequently notice historical markers in small towns, in cities, and on roadsides. When I have time, I love to stop, read the marker and be reminded that history is all around us. Pennsylvania has over 2000 such markers and has a database to find ones in a given location or on a specific topic. On November 4, 2015, I had the unique pleasure of celebrating the unveiling of a new marker in Philadelphia. The marker commemorates the founding of the Medical Library Association (MLA), the national professional association of health sciences library and information professionals.

The marker was the brainchild of June Fulton, a fellow and past president of the Medical Library Association. When I asked Fulton what made her decide to apply for a historical marker, she provided the following explanation. Continue reading

HSLS Staff News

Barbara Epstein
Barbara Epstein


Congratulations to HSLS and NN/LM MAR Director Barbara Epstein who was elected President-Elect of the Medical Library Association. She will assume the position at the conclusion of the association’s annual meeting in May.



Melissa Ratajeski has been appointed to the position of Coordinator of Data Management Services. She will continue to serve as reference librarian and IACUC liaison. Continue reading

Classes January 2016

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. Continue reading