DistillerSR Systematic Review Software: Users Share Their Experiences

“I consider undertaking a systematic review/meta-analysis an invitation for nightmares… this software makes the process infinitely more doable and accountable.”—DistillerSR User

In 2015, HSLS licensed DistillerSR, a web-based systematic review product, to assist researchers with their systematic review projects. Since HSLS began offering the product to teams that included a primary investigator affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh schools of the health sciences, and an HSLS librarian, over 300 users have registered for accounts and have used it to begin 93 systematic review projects. Continue reading

A Reflection on HSLS Technology Classes

Julia (Jankovic) Dahm, CMC Intern, May 2008

Ten years ago, I was hired as a summer intern with Falk Library’s Computer and Media Center. My main task was to update class content that was affected by the change from Microsoft 2003 to Microsoft 2007. As a recent Pitt graduate about to enter library school, I was eager to take on the challenge of investigating the changes in our software classes and creating sleek, new handouts.

In my current position as Coordinator of Technology Integration Services, a decade of preparing software classes has taught me a lot about how our health sciences community uses these programs and what they hope to get out of the one or two hours I spend showing them the ropes. Continue reading

National Network of Libraries of Medicine Sponsors Virtual Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

McGill University librarians participating in the NNLM Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

Did you know that people consult Wikipedia more often than trusted National Institutes of Health and National Library of Medicine resources to look for health information? Studies even suggest that our healthcare providers and students in health professions turn to Wikipedia for much of their health research. Recognizing this, a group of National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) coordinators recently organized a virtual Wikipedia Edit-a-thon to improve citations and pages on various health topics. Our goal was to work towards making Wikipedia a more reliable evidence-based resource by incorporating citations from trusted resources like PubMed, MedlinePlus, Genetics Home Reference, and the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center. We held a public, virtual training session with a physician and active WikiProject Medicine editor, Dr. James Heilman. Dr. Heilman explained through the importance of providing evidence-based citations to Wikipedia and showed attendees how to add citations, and improve existing content. 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 Atlanta, GA, from May 18-23.

Paper Presentations

Carrie Iwema, Coordinator of Basic Science Services, presented “Creating New Research Services: Library Support for Electronic Lab Notebooks.” Co-author was Melissa Ratajeski, Coordinator of Data Services.

Rose Turner, Research and Instruction Librarian, presented “Exploring the Role of DistillerSR in Successfully Completing Systematic Reviews.” Co-author was Mary Lou Klem, Research and Instruction Librarian.

Lightning Talks

Carrie Iwema, Coordinator of Basic Science Services, presented “Programming for Biology: Learning the Language to Meet the Needs of Biomedical Researchers.” Co-authors were Melissa Ratajeski, Coordinator of Data Services, and Ansuman Chattopadhyay, Assistant Director for Molecular Biology Information Services.

Melissa Ratajeski, Coordinator of Data Services, presented “Leading the Data Discovery Charge: A Cross-Institutional Collaboration to Index Research Data.” Co-authors were Carrie Iwema, Coordinator of Basic Science Services, Joel Marchewka, Web and Application Programmer, Angela Zack, Knowledge Integration Lead, et al.

Special Content Session

Kate Flewelling, NNLM MAR Executive Director, and Elaina Vitale, NNLM MAR Academic Coordinator, presented “Training, Program Ideas, Health Information Resources, Funding,” as part of a special symposium for public librarians.

Other Conference Activities

Barbara Epstein, HSLS director, concluded her year as MLA President by chairing the Board of Directors’ meeting, the MLA Business Meeting, and several other sessions. She also delivered her presidential address, titled “Engaging the Future.”

Michele Klein Fedyshin, Research and Clinical Instruction Librarian, and Andrea Ketchum, Research and Instruction Librarian/Scholarly Communication Liaison, co-chaired the MLA Ad Hoc Committee to Review Core Clinical Journals meeting.

Kate Flewelling, NNLM MAR Executive Director, was elected to the MLA Nominating Committee. Her one year term began at the end of MLA 2018. She also completed a three-year term as Section Council liaison to the Membership Committee.

Carrie Iwema, Coordinator of Basic Science Services, was a panelist for the Data Catalog Collaboration Information Session, and attended committee meetings as the Education Steering Committee liaison to the Education Annual Programming Committee.

Melissa Ratajeski, Coordinator of Data Services, chaired the Chapter Council meeting, attended the MLA Board of Directors’ meeting as a member, and was a panelist on the Data Catalog Collaboration Information Session.

Elaina Vitale, NNLM MAR Academic Coordinator, was appointed to the Broering Hispanic Heritage Grant Jury. Her one-year term began at the end of MLA 2018.

~Jill Foust

AHRQ National Guideline Clearinghouse Guidelines Website to Close

The AHRQ National Guideline Clearinghouse (NGC) website will not be available after July 16, 2018, because federal funding to support this resource was eliminated. AHRQ is soliciting expressions of interest from stakeholders interested in carrying on NGC’s work. It is not clear at this time, however, when or if NGC or a similar resource will be online again. Summaries of new and updated evidence-based clinical practice guidelines will continue to be posted until July 2, 2018. For any questions, please contact Mary.Nix@ahrq.hhs.gov.

NNLM Member Named “Mover and Shaker”

Karen Parry, Information Services Manager, East Brunswick Public Library

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region (NNLM MAR), based at HSLS, has over 1,000 organizational members, including academic and health sciences libraries, public libraries, schools, community-based organizations, and public health departments. In March, a librarian from a National Network of Libraries of Medicine member library was named one of Library Journal’s 50 “changemakers who are transforming what it means to be a librarian.”

Several years ago, Karen Parry, Information Services Manager at the East Brunswick Public Library in New Jersey, started an innovative service at her library. “Just for the Health of It” assists patrons in finding high quality health information and partners with local health care providers and others to provide health programming at the library. In 2017, the East Brunswick Public Library and fellow NNLM members Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Saint Peters University Hospital were recognized by the New Jersey Hospital Association for their effort to provide culturally and linguistically appropriate health information to underserved populations. Continue reading

HSLS Staff News

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


Carrie Iwema has been promoted to Coordinator of Basic Science Services and was renewed for membership in the Academy of Health Information Professionals (AHIP) at the Distinguished Member level.

Julia Reese has joined the HSLS staff as a Library Specialist for the Technology Help Desk. She holds a B.S. degree in Biological Sciences and English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh.


Author names in bold are HSLS-affiliated

M.A. Gebara, N. Siripong, E.A. DiNapoli, R.D. Maree, A. Germain, C.F. Reynolds, J.W. Kasckow, P.M. Weiss, Research and Instruction Librarian, et al., published “Effect of Insomnia Treatments on Depression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” in Depression and Anxiety. May 21, 2018.

A.A. McDonald, B.R.H. Robinson, L. Alarcon, P.L. Bosarge, H. Dorion, E.R. Haut, J. Juern, F. Madbak, S. Reddy, P. Weiss, Research and Instruction Librarian, et al., published “Evaluation and Management of Traumatic Diaphragmatic Injuries: A Practice Management Guideline from the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma” in The Journal Trauma and Acute Care Surgery, April 2, 2018.


Elaina Vitale, Academic Coordinator, NNLM Middle Atlantic Region, presented “Opioid Use Awareness and Health Information Resources” for the Nassau County Library Association in Uniondale, NY, on May 30, 2018.

Classes for June 2018

HSLS Classes

Getting Systematic About Systematic Reviews (webinar), Monday, June 4, 2-3 p.m.

Painless PubMed*, Tuesday, June 12, 8-9 a.m.

PechaKucha Basics for Presentations, Wednesday, June 13, 4-5 p.m.

Electronic Lab Notebooks: Introduction to LabArchives, Thursday, June 14, 12-1 p.m.

EndNote Basics, Tuesday, June 19, 3-5 p.m.

ORCID Author IDs: Boost Your Discoverability, Thursday, June 21, 1-2 p.m.

Introduction to the Pitt Data Catalog, Friday, June 22, 10-11 a.m.

Painless PubMed*, Wednesday, June 27, 3-4 p.m.

PowerPoint for Conference Posters, Thursday, June 28, 12-2 p.m.

Molecular Biology Information Service

Intro to RNA-Seq & CLC Genomics, Wednesday, June 6, 1-4 p.m.

Advanced RNA-Seq & CLC Genomics, Wednesday, June 13, 1-4 p.m.

RNA-Seq & Galaxy, Wednesday, June 27, 1-4 p.m.

Classes are held on the first floor of Falk Library (200 Scaife Hall) in Classroom 1 and Conference Room B, and on the upper floor of the library in Classroom 2. All classes are open to faculty, staff, and students of the University of Pittsburgh. They are also open to UPMC residents and fellows, who will need to show their UPMC IDs.

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.

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