Better Data Sharing in Six Simple Steps

I recently attended a workshop from the Data Curation Network, a collaboration of institutions that have developed specific guidelines to help their researchers share research data. Though the workshop was aimed at librarians, the DCN’s process is useful to any researcher preparing data for sharing in a repository. If you are interested in making your research more reproducible, I encourage you to consider these simple steps.

Imagine that you have a dataset—a package of data files, documentation such as codebooks or READMEs, and perhaps analysis code—that you wish to (or are required to) deposit in a repository such as Figshare or OpenNeuro. The files you have probably require some cleanup before you share them with the world, but there may be other actions you can take that would have a big usability payoff for minimal investment. The steps below form the Data Curation Network’s “CURATE” model, paraphrased here but available in full online: Data Curation Network: A Cross-Institutional Staffing Model for Curating Research Data. Continue reading

Feedback Request: Draft NIH Policy for Data Management and Sharing

In a follow-up to last year’s request for input on updates to its 2003 Data Sharing Policy, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is soliciting public feedback on a draft policy for data management and sharing activities related to public access and open science. Regarding the necessity of such a policy, the NIH states:

“Validation and progress in biomedical research—the cornerstone of developing new prevention strategies, treatments, and cures—is dependent on access to scientific data. Sharing scientific data helps validate research results, enables researchers to combine data types to strengthen analyses, facilitates reuse of hard to generate data or data from limited sources, and accelerates ideas for future research inquiries. Central to sharing scientific data is the recognized need to make data as available as possible while ensuring that the privacy and autonomy of research participants are respected, and that confidential/proprietary data are appropriately protected.”

The draft policy would apply to all NIH-funded or conducted research resulting in the generation of scientific data and requires: Continue reading

Books to Curl Up With Over Winter Break

Leisure Reading @ HSLSWhen it’s cold outside, warm up with a good book! The HSLS Leisure Reading Collection has over 200 newly published fiction and nonfiction books. The Leisure Reading Collection is located on the main floor of the library.

Recent best sellers include:

  • Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel by Heather Morris
  • The Guardians by John Grisham
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Other popular books include:

  • 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson
  • All We Ever Wanted: A Novel by Emily Giffin.
  • Beekeeper of Aleppo: A Novel by Christy Lefteri
  • Bitcoin Billionaires: A True Story of Genius, Betrayal, and Redemption by Ben Mezrich
  • Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris
  • Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law by Haben Girma
  • Institute: A Novel by Stephen King
  • My Life as a Rat by Joyce Carol Oates
  • The World That We Knew by Alice Hoffman

You can easily browse the collection, or use PITTCat or the Pitt Resources Quick Search box to locate specific titles. Continue reading

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Early Medical Depictions of Hospitalized “Hysterics and Epileptics”

October was Mental Health Awareness Month at Pitt. The Student Government Board organized multiple activities to raise awareness and send a clear message to those struggling with depression and/or anxiety that “you are not alone.” Looking at the history of mental illness, it is obvious that this caring attitude was frequently not the norm in the past.

One book from our collection that demonstrates this observation is Iconographie Photographique de la Salpêtrière published in Paris in 1877. It is a gem of medical photography, and was created by Désiré-Magloire Bourneville and Paul Regnard, disciples of Jean Martin Charcot.

Book page with French text on left side and image of woman on the right side Continue reading

Falk Library Holiday and Winter Recess Hours

Decorative: HSLS Winter Recess HoursOver Pitt’s winter break, Falk Library will have modified hours:

  • Monday, December 16: 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 17: 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 18: 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Thursday, December 19: 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Friday, December 20: 7 a.m.-4 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 21: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 22: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
  • Monday, December 23-Wednesday, January 1: CLOSED
  • Thursday, January 2: 7 a.m-10 p.m.
  • Friday, January 3: 7 a.m.-10 p.m.
  • Saturday, January 4: Resume regular hours

Any Ask a Librarian questions received over winter recess (December 23-January 1) will be answered during regular library hours on January 2, 2020. Continue reading

HSLS Staff News

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

Names in bold are HSLS-affiliated


Welcome to Mady Engel, Administrative Specialist in the HSLS Director’s Office. Engel replaced Rhoda Ludin who retired on November 1, 2019.


N.C. Ernecoff, D. Check, M. Bannon, L.C. Hanson, J.N. Dionne-Odom, J. Corbelli, M. Klein-Fedyshin, Research and Clinical Instruction Librarian, et al., published “Comparing Specialty and Primary Palliative Care Interventions: Analysis of a Systematic Review” in the Journal of Palliative Medicine, October 23, 2019.

K.D. Mitchell, C.T. Smith, C. Mechling, C.B. Wessel, Head of Research Initiatives, et al. published “A Review of Peripheral Nerve Blocks for Cesarean Delivery Analgesia” in Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine, October 25, 2019. Continue reading

Classes December 2019

Advanced PowerPoint for Presentations, Monday, December 2, 1–3 p.m.

Basic EndNote, Tuesday, December 3, 10–11 a.m.

Bioinformatics Data Analysis: Options 4 Rigor, Tuesday, December 3, 12–1 p.m.

Bulk RNA-Seq, Wednesday, December 4, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Painless PubMed, Thursday, December 5, 10–11 a.m.

Infographics: Sharing Information Visually, Monday, December 9, 10–11 a.m.

Hands-on Git, Tuesday, December 10, 1–4 p.m.

Genetic Variation, Wednesday, December 11, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Share Data with the Pitt Data Catalog, Thursday, December 12, 10:30–11 a.m.

Webinar Viewing and Discussion: Draft NIH Data Management and Sharing Policy, Monday, December 16, 12:30–2:30 p.m.

Continue reading