NLM Director Visits HSLS

Brennan delivers lecturePatricia Flatley Brennan, RN, PhD, Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), visited the University of Pittsburgh on Tuesday, July 17, and presented a talk on “Transforming Data into Knowledge and Knowledge into Health: NLM Strategic Plan, 2017-2027.” Founded in 1836 as the library of the U.S. Army Surgeon General, NLM is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland. Since its founding, it has played a pivotal role in translating biomedical research into practice. NLM is the world’s largest biomedical library and developer of electronic information services. In a single day the NLM delivers, not millions or billions, but trillions of bytes of data to millions of scientists, health professionals and members of the general public. NLM provides access to scientific and health information whenever and wherever it is needed—on scene at emergencies and disasters, in laboratories, health care facilities, libraries, schools, offices, homes, and on the road. Access to NLM resources is quick, convenient, and free of charge to people around the world.

Watch the full recorded lecture by Brennan:

According to Brennan, the NLM’s ten-year plan for biomedical discovery and data-powered health will keep the Library in position to carry out its congressionally-mandated mission and to support the vitally important work of the NIH by creating a future in which data and information transform and accelerate biomedical discovery and improve health and health care. The strategic plan’s focus is on three essential, interdependent goals:

  1. to accelerate discovery and advance health through data-driven research;
  2. to reach more people in more ways through enhanced dissemination and engagement; and
  3. to build a workforce for data-driven research and health.

Brennan emphatically said, “We must become an engine for discovery. We must foster an ecosphere of discovery.”

In conjunction with communicating the ten-year strategic plan, Brennan’s presentation also gave an articulate voice to the All of Us Research Program. The goal of this exciting new NIH initiative is to speed up health research and medical breakthroughs that can lead to new individualized approaches to disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatments, in what is known as precision medicine. To accomplish this objective, a total of one million people nationwide are being invited to come together to create the largest health database of its kind. This diverse database will provide researchers with the information they need to help advance precision medicine and create a healthier future for generations to come.

Brennan pointed out the reality of what has been a “very pale and very male” research infrastructure and underscored the urgent need to replace it with one that reflects a diversity of people, data types, and ways of life. She added that the key to the All of Us program lies in its diversity because the more we know about what makes people unique, the more customized health care can become.

Brennan noted the University of Pittsburgh’s efforts spearheading All of Us Pennsylvania, the initiative’s Pennsylvania arm. Pitt is in the process of enrolling 120,000–150,000 people who will help to form the one million total in the All of Us national database.

Brennan concluded her talk by enthusiastically declaring that, “We’re out to change the world. I don’t have the answer, but I want to be part of the conversation.”

~Donna Perkins


PubMed 2.0 to Arrive December 2018

Many of us use PubMed daily and have grown accustomed to its features and ease of use. Since PubMed’s original release in 1997 enhancements continually occurred with little change to the user interface. However, in December 2018 the National Library of Medicine (NLM) will transition from the current PubMed to a new interface called PubMed 2.0!

So how are we going to get to PubMed 2.0?

PubMed 2.0 release roadmap

In September 2017, NLM released PubMed Labs, an experimental site to test new technologies, features, and directions for PubMed. Continue reading

Data Sharing Statement Policy for Clinical Trials Enacted July 2018

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) is a working group of medical journal editors that makes recommendations for the conduct, reporting, editing, and publication of scholarly work in medical journals. Journals that state they follow the ICMJE recommendations include: Academic Medicine, American Journal of Epidemiology, Cancer Nursing, Chest, Circulation, Immunology & Cell Biology, Journal of Dental Hygiene, and Radiology. 

These recommendations cover a range of topics, including:

  • defining the roles of authors
  • conflicts of interest
  • corrections, retractions, republications and version control, and copyrights
  • advertising
  • clinical trials

As of July 1, 2018, manuscripts submitted to ICMJE journals reporting on the results of clinical trials must include a data sharing statement. Data sharing statements must indicate the following:

  • if individual de-identified participant data will be shared;
  • details of the data that will be shared (inclusion of data dictionaries, study protocol, statistical analysis plan, etc.);
  • when the data will become available and for how long; and
  • by what access criteria data will be shared (including with whom, for what types of analyses, and by what mechanism).

Examples of such statements are available on the ICMJE Website. As noted by Pitt’s Research Conduct and Compliance Office:

“If you have provided information in the Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement module of your study record, you should ensure that this information matches the data sharing statement submitted with the manuscript. Questions should be directed to the journal to which you are submitting.”

Clinical trials that begin enrolling participants on or after January 1, 2019, must include a data sharing plan in the trial’s registration.

Members of HSLS Data Services are available for consult when writing your data sharing statement.

~Melissa Ratajeski

Director, Staff of National Library of Medicine and National Network Coordinating Office Visit HSLS

NLM, NNCO, and HSLS staff
Front row (L-R): Barbara Epstein, Renae Barger, Kate Flewelling, Franda Liu, NNCO Project Scientist, Fran Yarger, Amanda Wilson, Head, NNCO. Back row (L-R): Lisa Boyd, NNCO Project Scientist, Nichelle Midon, NNCO Project Scientist, Renee Bougard, NNCO Project Scientist, John LaDue, Jennifer Jones, Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan, Director, National Library of Medicine, Alan VanBiervliet, Division of Extramural Programs

Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan, Director, National Library of Medicine (NLM) and staff from the NLM National Network Coordinating Office (NNCO) visited HSLS on July 17 and 18. HSLS is one of eight health sciences libraries across the county funded by NLM to serve as a regional medical library for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. Continue reading

HSLS Participates in Pitt’s Health Careers Scholars Academy

Scholars Academy Students

HSLS has a long history of working with the University of Pittsburgh’s Health Career Scholars Academy (UPHCSA). The program began as the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for Health Care in 1991 and became Scholars Academy in 2009. HSLS has participated in the program since its inception. The UPHCSA is a four week summer program that brings together high school students from throughout the United States and Canada who are interested in pursuing careers in the health sciences, particularly medicine. This year brought 198 students to Pitt’s campus.

Each student focuses on one area of health care: global health, geriatric medicine, behavioral health, or public health. In addition to daily lectures and other activities, students visit local health facilities and observe professionals at work. As a part of the program, students are required to complete a research project, which is presented at the end of the program in a poster format.

HSLS librarians were involved on June 25 and July 2. On June 25, the very first day of the UPHCSA, six 1.5 hour class sessions were held. Research & Instruction Librarians taught the students how to use several resources by using a combination of media. The session started with a PowerPoint presentation orienting the students to the library. The students then watched four short videos instructing them on how to: (1) develop a research question; (2) search the PubMed database; (3) search PITTCat, Pitt’s online catalog; and (4) search the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus website. Students worked on practice exercises after viewing the PubMed, PITTCat, and MedlinePlus videos. At the end of the session, team Jeopardy was played to determine how much the students had retained from the class. Students particularly enjoyed playing Jeopardy.

On July 2, four 1.5 hour research sessions were provided to the students. For each session, a Research & Instruction Librarian was available to help students find resources on their topics.

The staff at HSLS always looks forward to our participation in the UPHCSA.

~Jill Foust

Did You Know?

According to the Scopus database, since 1998 HSLS librarians were the authors/co-authors of 130 articles, resulting in 1,392 cited references over the years! And this number does not include articles published recently.

HSLS authors, 130 articles, 1392 cited references

HSLS Research & Instruction Librarian Retired at the End of June

Pat Weiss by retirement cakeResearch & Instruction Librarian Pat Weiss retired at the end of June after 20 years of service. In the mid-nineties, Pat started her graduate studies in library and information science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. After moving to Pittsburgh in 1996, she completed her master of library and information science degree at Pitt. During that time, she also worked part-time at the UPMC unit that eventually become Pitt’s Office of Research, Health Sciences (OORHS). One of her projects at OORHS was developing a class on web-based resources for nurses coordinating clinical trials.

Following a student internship at HSLS, Pat was hired as a reference librarian. She served as HSLS’ liaison to Pitt’s IAIMS program (Integrated Advanced Information Management Systems), then as liaison to the School of Dental Medicine. From 2007 to 2015, she was the HSLS Information Services department’s Reference & Information Technology Librarian.

Pat’s notable accomplishments included the development and launching of FRIP (Faculty Research Interests Project). FRIP allowed authors to identify their research areas using the National Library of Medicine’s Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms associated with their published articles. Pat also led the team that developed HSLS’ chat reference service. In addition, she worked with other librarians to create the popular FlashClass instructional program.

Soon after arriving at HSLS in 1998, Pat became one of the first two HSLS faculty elected to the University Senate. She is proud to have served and also proud that so many HSLS colleagues have since become involved as elected representatives and Senate committee members. She went on to become chair of the Senate Benefits and Welfare committee, Senate Vice President, and co-chair of the Plant Utilization and Planning committee.

Pat’s Twitter profile identifies her as an alto, grandma, and medical librarian. Pat is looking forward to having more time for being an alto and a grandma and also for traveling. As a member of the Smith College Alumnae Chorus, she has traveled to Eastern Europe and Cuba. In 2019, the chorus will do a performing tour in Slovenia. Pat also belongs to the Pittsburgh Threshold Choir, which sings at the bedside of hospice patients. In addition, she volunteers with Beverly’s Birthdays.

We thank Pat for her dedicated service and wish her the very best!

~Jill Foust

HSLS Staff News

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


Michele Klein Fedyshin, Research & Clinical Instruction Librarian, is a co-investigator on the recently announced R21 federal grant: “Meta-Analyses of the Relation of Parent Drinking to Adolescent Drinking,” funded through the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The Principal Investigator is John Donovan, PhD. Tammy Chung, PhD, is also a co-investigator. Both are from the University of Pittsburgh Department of Psychiatry. Continue reading