Peruse Preprints, Discover Data, and Access Annotations with Europe PMC

You already conduct literature searches with PubMed and you read free full-text articles from PubMed Central (PMC), so why try Europe PMC? Quite simply, because your current search strategy might not be finding all of the relevant information.

Europe PMC contains over 5 million more abstracts than PubMed. That’s 5 MILLION! This repository provides a single search not only of abstracts and full-text articles, but also biological patents, NHS clinical guidelines, preprints, and more. For useful information and tips on performing searches, see Help using Europe PMC.

Three specific features of note within Europe PMC are: (1) preprint searching, (2) linking to public gene, protein, and chemical compound databases directly from articles, and (3) article annotations via text mining. Continue reading

Your Input Needed: Proposed Provisions for a Future Draft NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is implementing measures to update its 2003 Data Sharing Policy, issuing a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit public input on proposed key provisions that could serve as the foundation for a future NIH policy for data management and sharing.

These provisions include:

  • Definitions related to data management and sharing;
  • A stated purpose to manage, preserve, and make scientific data accessible in a timely manner for appropriate use by the research community and the broader public;
  • The scope and requirements for all intramural and extramural research, funded or supported in whole or in part by NIH, that results in scientific data, regardless of NIH funding level or mechanism;
  • Proposed elements to be addressed in a data management and sharing plan: data types, related tools, software and/or code, data standards, data preservation and access (including timelines), terms for re-use and redistribution, limitations on access, and responsible personnel for data management oversight; and
  • An NIH compliance and enforcement plan that would include review at minimum annually and non-compliance taken into account for future funding or support decisions.

Comments on the proposed key provisions will be accepted electronically through December 10, 2018. Continue reading

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Gautier D’Agoty and His Color Prints, Part 1

The artist, Jacques-Fabien Gautier, later known as Gautier D’Agoty (1717-1785), was a French painter, engraver, and printer who moved to Paris around 1735. In the French capital, he briefly worked as an assistant to Jacob Christoph Le Blon, the inventor of a three-color printing process using red, yellow, and blue plates. After Le Blon’s death in 1741, Gautier not only took over the business, but he also successfully claimed the title of “inventor of color printing.” He secured the royal privilege and funding for his own printing endeavor to prove it. The basis of his claim was that in addition to the three plates of colors used by Le Blon, he introduced a fourth, black plate. He further refined the technique by switching the order in which the colors were applied.

The “Flayed Angel” (also known as the “Anatomical Angel”) comes from Myologie Complete (1746), an anatomical atlas by Gautier D’Agoty. The large color plate (46 cm x 60 cm), printed across two folio leaves, is one of the biggest illustrations in the Falk Library collection. In it, a woman appears alive despite the fact that the dissector pulled away muscles like wings to reveal her spine. This beautiful rendering of a dissected body is one of 20 illustrations produced by this new printing technique, which consisted of a base etching and a mezzotint engraving of a copper or metal plate in which four separate impressions were made from black, red, yellow, and blue plates to give the final image its colors. Continue reading

HSLS Staff News

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

All author and presenter names in bold are HSLS-affiliated


Rose Turner has been promoted to Coordinator of Liaison Services. In this position, she will provide leadership to the library’s established liaison program and will coordinate efforts to develop optimal approaches for integrating research support, instruction, and scholarship activities into the schools of the health sciences.

Elaina Vitale has been promoted to Academic and Data Services Coordinator for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Middle Atlantic Region (NNLM MAR), based at HSLS. This position has an expanded role in aligning NNLM MAR programs for academic libraries with evolving National Library of Medicine initiatives. Continue reading

Classes for November 2018

Basic EndNote, Tuesday, November 6, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Painless PubMed*, Wednesday, November 7, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Pathway Visualization: ePath3D & Cytoscape, Wednesday, November 7, 1-4 p.m.

Excel Techniques for Data Visualization, Friday, November 9, 1-2:30 p.m.

Box for Storing and Sharing Research Data, Tuesday, November 13, 9-10:30 a.m.

Advanced EndNote, Tuesday, November 13, 3-4 p.m.

Showcasing Your Research Impact, Wednesday, November 14, 9-10 a.m.

RNA-Seq & CLC Genomics, Wednesday, November 14, 1-4 p.m.

EndNote for Research Teams, Friday, November 16, 10-11 a.m.

Painless PubMed*, Monday, November 19, 12-1 p.m.

PowerPoint for Conference Posters, Tuesday, November 27, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

PechaKucha Basics for Presentations, Wednesday, November 28, 9-10 a.m.

Gene Regulation, Wednesday, November 28, 1-4 p.m.

Bioinformatics Data Analysis: Options 4 Rigor, Friday, November 30, 12-1 p.m. Continue reading

The Greening of HSLS

Living wall arrangement of plantsRecent visitors to the Health Sciences Library System may have noticed a new feature to the left of the circulation desk: the University of Pittsburgh’s first “living wall.” A living wall (sometimes called a “green wall”) is a vertical arrangement of living plants placed densely together so that the wall itself appears to be made of greenery. Our living wall is composed of three varieties of Epipremnum aureum, or golden pothos, a tough-to-kill tropical vine that can survive the artificial lights and dry conditions of most offices. Over time, the pothos tendrils will twine together to conceal their scaffolding and create a leafy square of jungle.

In a library without windows, the living wall is a welcome reminder of nature. Beyond their beauty, however, indoor plants may provide physical and psychological benefits. A 2014 review found compelling evidence that indoor plants remove volatile organic compounds from the air in laboratory conditions, though their efficacy in actual environments is unclear. Other studies have examined the effects of nearby plants on students’ and office workers’ stress levels, attention, and productivity, with mixed results. In one experiment, having more plants in view and owning more office plants correlated with lower stress, less sick leave taken, and more productivity for Norwegian office workers; however, proximity to plants (not necessarily in view) correlated with more sick leave taken. A 2009 review by the same researchers suggests directions for further research.

If you’re inspired to bring in your own indoor plant, a walk around the HSLS main floor will introduce you to several low-maintenance plants that can thrive in artificial light. Just next to the entrance, across from the circulation desk, an Aglaonema, or Chinese evergreen, shows off its pink and green leaves. Sansevieria, or snake plants, dot the main reading area in clusters of upright sword-shaped leaves, and ZZ plants (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) unfurl their glossy compound leaves from neon green, tightly-packed whorls. Two species of Dracaena resemble palm trees: D. fragrans is tall, D. reflexa is short and spiky. Past the Rare Book Room, a Spathiphyllum or peace lily puts out a creamy white blossom (though technically a spathe, or modified leaf—the flowers are actually the column in its center). All of these plants can survive in an office, although they’ll appreciate as much light as you can give them, and should be taken home for vacations.

If all else fails, you’ll find a truly foolproof office plant all the way down our hallway past Conference Room B: an artificial ficus tree.

~Helenmary Sheridan

New EndNote Classes at HSLS

EndNote LogoJoin HSLS this fall for three new EndNote classes. Basic EndNote is an hour-long introduction to the software that will get you started adding references and using the Cite While You Write feature. Advanced EndNote will cover more in-depth topics, such as adding and editing citation styles, importing references to and from Excel, and using Smart Groups. In the EndNote for Research Teams class, we will discuss sharing libraries and groups, the manuscript matcher tool, and using Cite While You Write on a co-written article using both Word and Google Docs.

We will be using the newly released EndNote X9, which features new options for sharing and new reference types.

For more information and class registration links, visit the Citation Management website.

~Rebekah Miller

Exhibit Kickoff and Speaker Event: Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine

Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries exhibit

Starting on October 15, Falk Library will host the traveling exhibit, Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine. The National Library of Medicine exhibit features six panels that profile the men and women who served as surgeons and nurses during the American Civil War. Their stories reflect how their service as medical providers challenged the prescribed notions of race and gender and pushed the boundaries of the role of African Americans in America. The exhibit and related materials will be on display in the library for six weeks during regular open hours.

To kick off the exhibit, guest speaker Margaret Humphreys, MD, PhD, will present “African Americans in Civil War Medicine,” on Friday, October 26 in Scaife Hall Lecture Room 1. Humphreys is a prominent medical historian on the topics of history of medicine in the American Civil War and history of racial disparities in health and health care in the U.S.

The 3 p.m. lecture will be followed by a reception in the library, where the audience is invited to view the exhibit while enjoying light refreshments. This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Health Sciences Diversity.

For more details, visit the HSLS exhibit event page. Both the exhibit and lecture event are free and open to the public.

~Julia Dahm

Color Printing at Falk Library

Color Printer Falk LibraryBy popular demand, a color printer is now available to Pitt students and faculty at Falk Library. For the first time, color-printing access with your Pitt quota is available outside of the CSSD labs. You can find the new color printer on the library’s upper floor, across from the Technology Help Desk.

Pitt students and faculty receive a $63 printing quota per semester. Color printing is $0.49 per page, while black and white printing is $0.07 per page. Double-sided printing is enabled by default. Continue reading

The National Library of Medicine and National Network of Libraries of Medicine Respond to Opioid Epidemic

Photo of Kate Flewelling
Kate Flewelling
Executive Director, NNLM MAR

Opioid overdoses have increased dramatically in recent years. Millions of people in the United States suffer from substance use disorders. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) have responded with increased online health information resources and training.

National Library of Medicine resources include:

HSLS is home to the NNLM regional office for the Middle Atlantic region (MAR). Many NNLM MAR constituents, especially public libraries, have responded to the crisis with public events and staff training. For example, the Reading Public Library hosted a panel discussion that included the Pennsylvania Physician General, first responders, and a mother who lost a child to the epidemic. After the public event, Lydia Collins, former NNLM MAR staff member, provided training for library staff on health information resources. Continue reading

HSLS Staff News

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


Author name in bold is HSLS-affiliated

A. San-Juan-Rodriguez, T.V. Newman, I. Hernandez, E.C.S. Swart, M. Klein-Fedyshin, Research & Clinical Instruction Librarian, et al., published “Impact of Community Pharmacist-Provided Preventive Services on Clinical, Utilization, and Economic Outcomes: An Umbrella Review” in Preventive Medicine, 115: 145-55, August 23, 2018.


Presenter names in bold are HSLS-affiliated

Michelle Burda, NNLM MAR Education and Health Literacy Coordinator, participated in the first HealthTech Fair at Stony Brook’s Health Sciences Library on September 26, 2018, in Stony Brook, NY; Burda also provided training for the staff and a program for the public at the North Shore Public Library on Long Island, NY, on September 27, 2018; and presented the workshop “Health Outreach & Programming @ Your Library,” at the Delaware/Maryland Library Association meeting.

Veronica Leigh Milliner, NNLM MAR All of Us Community Engagement Coordinator, served as a coordinator for the Allied Media Conference’s Radical Libraries, Archives, and Museums track in Detroit, MI, June 14-17, 2018; presented “Professional Development 101: Get Involved, Get Ahead, Make a Difference” at the American Library Association Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA, June 2018; and began her second term as the Director for the American Library Association’s New Members Round Table. Her term is scheduled throughout April 2019.

Erin Seger, NNLM MAR Health Professions Coordinator, presented “Trusted Resources to Support Transgender Health” at the Mazzoni Center Trans Wellness Conference, in Philadelphia, PA, on August 3, 2018.

Classes for October 2018

HSLS Classes

Photoshop First Look, Thursday, October 4, 9:30-11 a.m.

Painless PubMed*, Wednesday, October 10, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Getting Systematic About Systematic Reviews, Monday, October 15, 10-11 a.m.

Basic Python through Jupyter, Tuesday, October 16, 1-4 p.m.

EndNote Basics, Thursday, October 18, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.

Introduction to the Pitt Data Catalog, Monday, October 22, 2-3 p.m.

Painless PubMed*, Tuesday, October 23, 8-9 a.m.

Trim Down Your Search: Focusing PubMed, Wednesday, October 24, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Wiki-PI & LENS: Web Applications Studying Genes to Functions, Pathways, & Drugs, Thursday, October 25, 2-4 p.m.

Searching for Dollars: Grant Seeking to Support Research, Thursday, October 25, 4-5 p.m.

Advanced PowerPoint for Presentations, Monday, October 29, 1-2:30 p.m.

Crafting a Data Management Plan, Wednesday, October 31, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.

Molecular Biology Information Service

RNA-Seq & CLC Genomics, Wednesday, October 3, 1-4 p.m.

RNA-Seq & Galaxy, Wednesday, October 10, 1-4 p.m.

ChIP-Seq & CLC Genomics, Wednesday, October 24, 1-4 p.m.

ChIP-Seq & Galaxy, Wednesday, October 31, 1-4 p.m. Continue reading

Director’s Reflections…Welcome to HSLS!

Barbara Epstein
HSLS Director

As we enter a new academic year, the staff of the Health Sciences Library System is pleased to welcome new and returning faculty, staff, and students in the six schools of the health sciences: Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Dental Medicine, Public Health, and Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

We offer a wide range of services, collections, and comfortable spaces. Here are some highlights to get you started.

Our website,, functions as our virtual “front door.” Here you can easily find a list of popular resources, services, quick access to print and electronic resources, full-text searching of all of our e-books, A-Z lists of our e-journals and databases, news and announcements, upcoming classes and events, and much, much more. Our collection is very extensive, but if we don’t have something you need, our document delivery service can usually provide it within days at no charge to you. Continue reading

Pitt Resources for Next Gen Sequencing

Do you need…

  • advice on study design or statistical analysis approaches before starting an important project?
  • low or high throughput sequencing of DNA, RNA, single cell, exome, whole genome, microbiome, or biological samples?
  • assistance with analyzing RNA-Seq, ChIP-Seq, variant analysis, or microbiome data?
  • access to software, computing, and data storage?

The University of Pittsburgh has multiple facilities and resources to help investigators with research involving Next Generation Sequencing (NGS). Faculty and staff are available to identify appropriate technology applications, answer questions, and assist with research flow, including referrals to other facilities. Continue reading