Peer Review Week 2016: Innovative Ways to Energize the Review Process

September 19-25 has been designated Peer Review Week 2016 to highlight the importance of the role peer review plays in scholarly communication. This is an excellent time to review new models of peer review resulting from the revolution of electronic publishing. The chart below illustrates the new flexibility in peer review, in both pre- and post-publication. Open review and commentary has become more common, both as a means of speeding up the publication process and encouraging open discussion.

peer review
*Open access

Adapted from A. Fresco-Santalla and T. Hernandex-Perez, “Current and Evolving Models of Peer Review,” The Serials Librarian, 67 (2014): 373–398.

Note that authors publishing in Open Access journals retain copyright to their work, although even some traditional publishers are following that lead and becoming more generous. Check your publisher’s website to confirm current copyright agreements.

Some experiments in peer review include new business models, such as ELife, which is supported by foundations and does not charge publications fees at all. PeerJ has optional memberships starting at $199 which include at least one free publication with a requirement to review one paper. (Scroll down to PeerJ FAQs for details.) These two journals were created by academics who have experienced the publication difficulties of researchers.

Another aspect being examined is reviewer incentives, especially at a time when reviewers are hard to find. Reviewers make large contributions to scholarly efforts, but are generally not rewarded in citations or institutional recognition. New businesses such as Publons are providing a standardized way of tracking reviews to be recorded as a citation for annual faculty reports or CVs. Publons is linked through ORCID and Altmetric to accurately report reviewing statistics for an author.

For those who want to know more about peer review today, see

Wiley Publishers:

The BMJ:

For more information, e-mail Andrea Ketchum at or call 412-648-9757.

Liaison Librarians Work in Partnership with Health Sciences Schools

Liaison librarians provide a communication link between HSLS and the departments and programs in the schools of the health sciences. Liaisons can provide curriculum and information support by teaching students to recognize when information is needed, and providing them with the skills to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively. They also collaborate with faculty on research projects or grants and consult one-on-one on in-depth or specialized topics.

Each of the liaisons listed below provide lectures and hands-on instruction to literally hundreds of students every year. Stop by, call, or e-mail to introduce yourself!

Dental Medicine
Rebecca Abromitis, MLS
Dental Hygiene
Melissa Ratajeski, MLIS, RLAT
Public Health
Barbara Folb, MM, MLS, MPH
Health and Rehabilitation Sciences
Rose Turner, MLIS

Medical Education
Rose Turner, MLIS

Mary Lou Klem, PhD, MLIS
 Mary Lou
Michele Klein Fedyshin, MSLS, BA, BSN, RN

~Nancy Tannery

You Have an ORCID iD, Now What?

You have a new ORCID iD, but what does it do for you? While your ORCID iD streamlines and automates tasks such as manuscript submission, there is so much more it can do! The following three illustrated guides will help you set up accurate searches for your own publications, streamline biosketch production, and introduce you to personalized altmetrics reports. Each guide can be downloaded from the HSLS Scholarly Communication Guide: ORCID@Pitt.

Guide 1: Link to Scopus to automatically download your publications

  1. By linking your ORCID iD to the bibliographic database Scopus, you will enable Scopus to accurately retrieve all your publications (including some you may have forgotten). Follow the instructions to link possible multiple author profiles to produce one Scopus ID for yourself.
  2. The Scopus ID will then be linked to your ORCID iD, and upon your confirmation, your Scopus records will automatically populate your ORCID account. This is a one-time operation after which you may use your ORCID iD rather than your name to search Scopus.

Guide 2: Connect ORCID and eRA Commons to MyNCBI’s SciENcv

  1. Connect both your ORCID and eRA Commons accounts to NCBI’s SciENcv to efficiently produce properly formatted NIH and NSF biosketches. Data stored in each system will be available to draw upon when completing a biosketch using NCBI’s SciENcv.
  2. Your ORCID iD account should be populated with additional information for biosketches, such as education and funding (which ORCID automatically finds for you!).

Guide 3: ImpactStory now summarizes your altmetrics

  1. Display the immediate impact of your work in the news, through social media, and around the world using ImpactStory.
  2. Once your ORCID account is populated, visit ImpactStory for an instant aggregated altmetrics analysis. In how many countries has your work been saved and shared? What was the most interesting Tweet?

For more information about ORCID, please e-mail Andrea Ketchum at or call 412-648-9757.

~Andrea Ketchum

Guiding Principles for Data Management: Is Your Data FAIR?

For the past several years, researchers, funders, publishers, software developers, institutions, and other research stakeholders have been discussing methods for data-sharing and data stewardship on a grand scale, recognizing the need for minimal principles and practices. The FAIR data principles were first formalized in 2014 at a workshop in Leiden, The Netherlands, and are available for comment at the website of Force11.

“FAIR” is an acronym representing data as (1) Findable (2) Accessible (3) Interoperable (4) Re-usable. The four FAIR principles add efficiency and value to research data when it is ready for journal submission with its associated manuscript.

  1. Findable
    • Data should have a unique and persistent identifier at all times;
    • The unique and persistent identifier locates the dataset in a digital space;
    • Data should be distinguished from all other data via metadata;
    • Identifiers for any concept used in a dataset should also be unique and persistent.
  2. Accessible
    • Access can be always obtained by machines and humans with appropriate authorization;
    • Access can be always obtained by machines and humans through an open, free, well-defined protocol;
    • Machines and humans alike can access metadata, even if the data object itself is not available.
  3. Interoperable
    • If metadata is machine-readable, the data object is interoperable;
    • If metadata formats use shared vocabularies, the data object is interoperable.
  4. Re-usable
    • Data objects should be compliant with the first three principles to be re-usable;
    • Metadata should include a clear data usage license permitting reuse;
    • Documentation of software, code, and similar files must be included for accurate reuse;
    • Data objects must be clearly associated with their source (provenance) for proper citation.

With the FAIR Principles, there are now methods to evaluate both data and data repositories:

  • The FAIR Principles provide a method for self-assessment of basic dataset interoperability and usability.
  • The Data Seal of Approval is granted by an international organization to data repositories that meet quality standards via self-assessment.

For data related questions, contact a member of the HSLS Data Management Group.

~Andrea M. Ketchum

HSLS Staff News

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


Kate Flewelling, NN/LM MAR Health Professions Coordinator, was a Fellow at the National Library of Medicine’s Georgia Biomedical Informatics Course from September 11-17, 2016.

Joel Marchewka has joined HSLS as a Web Application Programmer with Digital Library Services. He previously worked at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History where he worked as a Web Experience Specialist.


Author names in bold are HSLS-affiliated

Jonathon Erlen, History of Medicine Librarian, published “New Dissertations” in Nursing History Review, 25: 196, 2017.

K. Khurshid, J. Yabes, P. Weiss, Research and Instruction Librarian, et al. published “Effect of Antihypertensive Medications on the Severity of Obstructive Sleep Apnea: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 12(8):1143-51, August 15, 2016.

Classes September 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

Locate Research Protocols, Techniques, and Methods as Easy as 1, 2, 3

Whether you are looking to validate an experimental protocol used in your lab or to master a new technique, the following three resources can help you locate research protocols, techniques, and methods to meet your needs.

1. The Protocols tab in the search.HSLS.MolBio search box

The library subscribes to a number of experimental protocol resources including Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, Current Protocols, Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE), and SpringerProtocols.

Click on the Protocols tab in the search.HSLS.MolBio search box to quickly search all these resources at once. Results are clustered by major topics based on the query with the option to “remix” the search results to see more subtle topics that did not appear the first time. Continue reading

MobilePrint at Falk Library

Printing from your phone or tablet is a snap using Pitt’s MobilePrint service. MobilePrint is an easy way for Pitt faculty and students to send print jobs to the self-service print stations on campus. From any device or computer, send an email to, with either an attachment or the text you’d like to print in the body of the email. When you swipe your Pitt ID or log in at the print station, you can release your prints.

The first time you use MobilePrint, you’ll be prompted to register via email:


Any email address can be used, and the one-time registration will associate the email you’re using with your Pitt account. Once registered, your first print job will process.

If you’d like to print more than one document, you should attach each document to a separate email. If you’re printing the text in the body of an email, it must be 400 characters or longer.

MobilePrint currently only supports double-sided and black-and-white printing. Very large files, 2MB or greater, may generate an error. For more details on using the MobilePrint service, please visit the CSSD FAQ page.

Two self-service print stations are located in Falk Library: one on the main floor, across from the stairwell, and one on the upper floor, next to the stairwell. If you have questions about using the self-service printers at Falk Library, please stop by the Technology Help Desk on the upper floor, or call 412-648-9109.

~Julia Dahm

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Porterfield on the Eye

The most recent addition to the HSLS rare book collection is a first edition of William Porterfield’s Treatise on the Eye, the Manner and Phaenomena of Vision, published in Edinburgh in 1759.

Porterfield 001

William Porterfield (ca.1696-1771) was a Scottish physician. Like many of his contemporaries he studied in Glasgow and Leiden before he received his MD from Rheims in 1717. Upon his return to Scotland, he was admitted as a Fellow to the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (1721), appointed a professor (1724), and later its president (1748-1750). Not much is known about his private life, nor how and when he became interested in optics, but he is the author of pioneering work on the physiology of the eye. He wrote articles about external (1737) and internal (1738) eye movements and also described the first optometer for measuring the near and far points of vision. However, it was his book, Treatise on the Eye, the Manner and Phaenomena of Vision, that made him an authority on vision. It was praised by ophthalmic historians as one of the most erudite works, far ahead of others of similar scope. Its greatest strength lay in its numerous original experiments and observations about visual physiology. According to Garrison, his Treatise on the Eye, “was the first important British work on the anatomy and physiology of the eye.” (Garrison-Morton 1484.2)

Porterfield also gave us the earliest first hand doctor’s account of phantom limbs after his leg was amputated. He incorporated his phantom limb experiences into his account of sensory function.

This book is a gift from Dr. E. Kenneth Vey, a local physician, former professor in the School of Medicine, and past president of the Pittsburgh Ophthalmology Society. Prior to Vey’s ownership, the “office copy” belonged to other prominent practitioners from the area. The book also bears the stamp of the so called Vattemare’s agency in Paris. Vattemare’s was the international book exchange program established by Library of Congress in 1848. Allexandre Vattemare was the author of the exchange system and the first agent of the Library of Congress.

~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

Jonathon Erlen, history of medicine librarian published “American Indian Dissertation Abstracts” in Indigenous Policy Journal, 28(1): 2016. Co-author was Jay Toth.

Classes August 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

Learn from Biomedical Experts on Demand with HSTalks

hstalksThe Biomedical and Life Sciences Collection from Henry Stewart Talks (HSTalks) is a treasure trove of curated, specially commissioned lectures from world-renowned scientists and clinicians (including Nobel Laureates). These talks are animated, online, audiovisual lectures, case studies, or seminar-style talks covering many basic research and therapeutic subject areas, and are appropriate for researchers from advanced undergraduates to seasoned practitioners.

Over 2,000 talks are easily discoverable by category/therapeutic area, series, or expert.

Categories include:

  • Agriculture & Environmental Sciences
  • Biochemistry
  • Cancer
  • Cell Biology
  • Clinical Medicine
  • Diseases, Disorders, & Treatments
  • Genetics & Epigenetics
  • Immunology
  • Metabolism & Nutrition
  • Methods
  • Microbiology
  • Neurology
  • Omics & Systems Biology
  • Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Reproduction & Development

Therapeutic areas include:

  • Cardiovascular & Metabolic
  • Dermatology
  • Gynecology & Obstetrics
  • Hematology
  • Immunology & Inflammation
  • Infectious Disease
  • Neuroscience
  • Oncology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Oral Health
  • Respiratory Diseases
  • Vaccines

Each subject area lists the number of, and provides access to, relevant lectures, series, and experts. For example, the Genetics & Epigenetics category includes 516 lectures (e.g., “HSV Vectors: Approaches to Treatment of Chronic Pain” by Pitt Professor of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Joseph Glorioso), 40 series (e.g., Cancer Genetics and Gene Transfer & Gene Therapy), and content from 498 experts. The Neuroscience therapeutic area includes 402 lectures (e.g., “Molecular Basis of NMDA Receptor Functional Diversity” by Pitt Professor of Neuroscience, Jon Johnson), 36 series (e.g., Animal Models in Biomedical Research and Nanomedicine), and content from 388 experts.

The HSTalks collection updates monthly with new talks and series. The intent of the talks is not only for personal education, but also for inclusion in classroom teaching, as they are ideally suited for flipped, distance, and blended learning. A one-click embedded feature allows for easy integration into Moodle, Blackboard, and other virtual learning environments. The HSTalks team will even suggest relevant lectures to include if you send them your syllabus. If desired, CME and CPD credits are available.

HSTalks are freely available 24/7 for all Pitt affiliates via the “Videos” tab on the HSLS MolBio homepage, searching PittCat, or directly from the HSTalks website. You will need to use remote access if off campus.

For more information, contact the MolBio Information Services Department.

~Carrie Iwema

Creating a Custom Filter in PubMed

PubMed custom filters allow you to filter any set of search results by criteria that are important to you.

PubMed provides a filter bar on search results pages to limit results by common criteria such as article type, gender, or age. These filters are useful, but customized filters aligned with your research interests can save you time and effort.

A researcher interested in the health of immigrants to the United States, for example, could create a filter for that population group, and add it to any relevant health topic search.

A topic filter can be represented with more than one word or phrase. The trick is to identify the most common words used to describe a topic in journal articles, test them, and add any productive ones to your filter. One approach would be to search for articles with your topic mentioned in the article title, and look for synonyms and subject headings for the topic in the retrieved records.

Using the United States immigrants example, a search was run for immigra*[ti] AND United States. The asterisk is a truncation mark signaling PubMed to retrieve variations on the word root. Many synonyms and variations on the word immigrant were collected and tested.

In the final search, they are connected by OR inside parentheses. AND is used to add United States to the search.

(immigrant* OR immigrat* OR emigrant* OR emigrat* OR emigre* OR migrant* OR migrat* OR undocumented) AND united states

Next you would log in to your My NCBI account, copy and paste your filter into the Filter manager, and then set it to appear with your PubMed search results. There is a short video showing how to add a custom filter to your My NCBI account in the collection of videos on using My NCBI’s features.

Now you can apply the filter to any search that you run. For example, a search for type 2 diabetes retrieves over 129,900 citations. Limiting it with the United States immigrant filter reduced that number to 247 citations.

For assistance creating a search filter, contact your liaison librarian or Ask a Librarian.

~Barb Folb