Electronic Lab Notebooks Now Available to Pitt Researchers

ELN What is an electronic lab notebook (ELN), and why use one? Quite simply, ELNs are designed to replace paper lab notebooks that can be damaged, misplaced, or potentially altered. The digital nature of ELNs allows for:

  • Location independence due to cloud storage
  • Saving text, images, links, references, comments, PDFs, and more
  • Searchable entries by keyword, date, or use
  • Secure backup and access
  • Sharing of notebooks among the researcher, primary investigator, and other lab members or collaborators
  • Traceable history of additions and deletions as all versions are saved indefinitely

labarchives-logoThanks to Computing Services and Systems Development (CSSD), Pitt now has an enterprise license for an ELN, LabArchives. After surveying the research community, it was determined that having access to an ELN facilitates researcher interest in improving workflow and data documentation, addresses the University’s legal, regulatory, quality assurance, records management, collaboration, and centralized reporting needs, and is valuable for research data management in general. CSSD has created numerous resources in support of LabArchives:

There are three ways for University of Pittsburgh researchers to access LabArchives:

  • Log in to my.pitt.edu. In the right column click on Electronic Lab Notebooks, which leads to the Web Authentication page. After entering your University Computing Account username and password, you will be directed to LabArchives.
  • Sign in directly from the LabArchives website, select University of Pittsburgh from the partner site login, and enter your information on the Web Authentication page.
  • Download the LabArchives app for iOS or Android to use on your mobile device.

LabArchives also has numerous resources to help users get started creating their lab notebooks:

The Health Sciences Library System Data Management Group is here to assist all University of Pittsburgh researchers with any data management questions, including those regarding ELNs. Additional information is available in the Data Management Guide.

~Carrie Iwema

Director’s Reflections…HSLS Awarded Cooperative Agreement from the National Library of Medicine

Barbara Epstein
HSLS Director bepstein@pitt.edu

We are pleased to announce that, for the second time, HSLS has been chosen to serve as a Regional Medical Library for the Middle Atlantic Region (MAR) of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM).  The NN/LM mission is to ensure access to accurate and up-to-date health information for health professionals, patients, families and the general public. The Network consists of eight regional medical libraries, five National Coordinating Offices, more than 110 resource libraries primarily at medical schools, 2,200 local health sciences libraries and 1,300 public libraries and community-based organizations. The MAR region encompasses the states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware. Continue reading

What’s Cooking? The National Nutrition Research Roadmap

What are appropriate nutritional interventions for chronic-disease prevention?

Can targeted, personalized nutrition enhance health?

What are the most important biological factors that impact food choices?

These are among a host of partially unanswered questions that require new research evidence through collaboration, according to the National Nutrition Research Roadmap 2016-2021: Advancing Nutrition Research to Improve and Sustain Health. Continue reading

HSLS Participation at the Medical Library Association’s Annual Conference

HSLS librarians were active participants in the Medical Library Association’s Annual Meeting held in Toronto, Canada, from May 13-18.

Contributed Papers

Julia Dahm, technology services librarian, presented Clinical eCompanion: Development of a Point-of-Care Information Tool.” Co-authors were Charlie Wessel, head of research initiatives, and John LaDue, head of knowledge integration.

Poster Presentations

Carrie L. Iwema, information specialist in molecular biology, presented “InfoBundles: Using Free, Simple Web Tools to Dramatically Enhance Online Information Retrieval.” Co-authors were Angela Zack, web and application programmer, and Ansuman Chattopadhyay, head of molecular biology information service. Continue reading

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: The First Book on Plastic Surgery

When Italian surgeon, Gaspare Tagliacozzi (1544-1599), published his treatise on nasal reconstruction, De Curtorum Chirurgia per Insitionem (Venice 1597), the work became an immediate bestseller. Though some aspects of plastic surgeries were discussed by earlier authors, it was Tagliacozzi who combined the best medical knowledge of the day with a lifetime of experience perfecting nasal surgery techniques to publish the first book exclusively devoted to plastic surgery. He developed a new method of grafting a flap from an arm instead of the forehead. Unfortunately, Tagliacozzi passed away without leaving any followers to carry on, and his method fell out of fashion.

Plastic surgery was in decline until 1816, when Joseph Constantine Carpue described the “Indian method” of nasal surgery utilizing a median forehead flap. His work, An Account of Two Successful Operations for Restoring a Lost Nose from the Integuments of the Forehead, revived the specialty shaped and characterized by Tagliacozzi two centuries earlier:

“We restore, rebuild, and make whole those parts which nature hath given, but which fortune has taken away. Not so much that it may delight the eye, but that it might buoy up the spirit, and help the mind of the afflicted.”


Falk Library has both of these important texts, but Tagliacozzi’s book is the gem. It has key elements that transform an old book into an object of beauty: attractive font, interesting structure of text underlined by initials and separated by decorative tailpieces, 22 woodcut plates illustrating the treatise and a printer’s mark, printed marginal notes, a bi-color title page, an additional engraved title page, and a beautiful vellum binding. The provenance of this important book is a mystery. The identity of a former owner who left the signature “Doc. Car. Alfieri” cannot be established with certainty at this time. The paper and binding show some signs of aging and stress due to past storage in an overly dry environment. However, considering that this book is more than 400 years old, it still has the power to dazzle the reader with its beauty!

~Gosia Fort

HSLS Staff News

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


Author names in bold are HSLS-affiliated

Cheryl Bernstein, Susan Jarquin, Scott Brancolini, Trent Emerick, Jay Wasan, David Mills, Michele Klein-Fedyshin, research and clinical instruction librarian, and Linda M Hartman, research and instruction librarian, published “The Impact of Long-Term, High Dose Opioid Therapy on Endocrine Function Including Therapy in Adult Patients Receiving Treatment for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain: A Protocol for a Systematic Review” in the PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews, 2016: CRD42016037635.

Andrea Carter, Sonya Borrero, Charles Wessel, head of research initiatives, Donna L. Washington, Bevanne Bean-Mayberry, Jennifer Corbelli, and the VA Women’s Health Disparities Research Workgroup published “Racial and Ethnic Health Care Disparities Among Women in the Veterans Affairs Healthcare System: A Systematic Review” in Women’s Health Issues, April 29, 2016, pii: S1049-3867(16)30001-9.

Jonathon Erlen, history of medicine librarian, published “Latest Dissertations in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology” in History of Science Society Newsletter, May 2010: 1-115.


Presenter name in bold is HSLS-affiliated

Eliana Bonifacino, E. Bimla Schwarz, Hyejo Jun, Charles B. Wessel, head of research initiatives, and Jennifer Corbelli presented the poster, “Effect of Lactation on Maternal Hypertension: A Systematic Review,” at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine in Hollywood, FL, on May 13, 2016.

Classes June 2016

HSLS offers classes on database searching, software applications such as Prezi, bibliographic management, and molecular biology and genetics. 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