Core Clinical Journals—Living Up to the Name

When the foundational MEDLINE list of core clinical journals was introduced in 1970, it served as a practical subset of essential, clinically-oriented journals for searchers and librarians. Since then, it has never been comprehensively updated. Two HSLS librarians, Michele Klein-Fedyshin, MSLS, and Andrea Ketchum, MLS, (emeritus), evaluated these journals for their clinical utility in a 2014 study and found it suboptimal. This data-driven study resulted in a Medical Library Association (MLA) committee tasked with revising the Core Clinical Journals (CCJ) filter with Michele and Andrea as co-chairs. With PubMed now containing over 30 million citations for biomedical literature, the need for a clinically-oriented subset has never been greater.

Having no records describing how the initial list originated, Michele and Andrea examined which subjects to cover as the first step. The committee collected data about actual clinical journal use in hospital and health system libraries. Then, using publicly available patient discharge data, they looked at the diagnoses prompting the most hospital admissions and other patient data driving healthcare demand. These two factors, journal usage and patient-driven counts, determined the subjects for the new Core Clinical Journals list. A graduate statistics student at the University of Pittsburgh calculated distributions and a parallel analysis. Thirty-three new subjects were added including anti-infective agents, mental health topics, nephrology, substance-related disorders, and women’s health.

5 individuals working together on a committee
Committee work for Clinical Core Journals chaired by Michele Klein-Fedyshin (front, left) and Andrea Ketchum (back, left)

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UCSC Genome Browser Tutorials: Back to Basics and Exploring SARS-CoV-2

Go to UCSC Genome BrowserFor 20 years, the University of California-Santa Cruz Genome Browser (UCSC Genome Browser) has provided free public access to the human genome assembly and the information it contains via a comprehensive and well-utilized graphical viewing tool. Developed and maintained by the Genome Bioinformatics Group within the UCSC Genomics Institute, it has grown over the years to include a large collection of tools for viewing, analyzing, and downloading data from a broad array of vertebrate and model organism assemblies and annotations.

The UCSC Genome Browser group recently created a three-part video series designed to explain the Browser to new users. Previous videos primarily focused on answering specific task-related questions for experienced users and introducing new features. This new series fills in the background with more basic information. Continue reading

HSLS Social Media Accounts

Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter apps on a phone

In these uncertain times, there is undoubtedly an increased need for readily available information. When visiting a website, a user can become overwhelmed trying to find relevant information in a short amount of time. Social media accounts can be updated quickly and often provide real-time information, like modified operating hours or services that have been moved remotely, newly added resources, or upcoming events. For some people, turning to the social media account of a business, institution, or in this case, the Health Sciences Library System can provide them with quick updates and information without the need to browse an entire website. HSLS has an official presence on Twitter (@HSLSPitt), Instagram (@HSLSPitt), and Facebook (@PittHSLS).

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Micromedex Pediatrics and NeoFax Apps Now Available

The Micromedex Pediatrics and NeoFax Apps can be accessed through the HSLS Mobile Apps website. Both apps contain evidence-based, fully referenced information. The NeoFax App includes neonatal-specific drug information to efficiently and safely manage drug therapy for neonatal patients. The Pediatrics App is a reliable source for drug therapy for pediatric patients.

On the Mobile Apps website, you will find:

  • Instructions on how to create an account in order to access an app
  • Information about app updates and expiration
  • The content included in each app
  • Directions on how to find help
  • Direct links to the Google Play Store and Apple Store for easy app downloads

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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


Carrie Iwema, Coordinator of Basic Science Services, was selected as an ASAPbio Fellow for the term June-November 2020. She is one of 26 global fellows.


Z. Wang, L.E. Pascal, U.R. Chandran, S. Chaparala, Bioinformatics Specialist, et al., published “ELL2 Is Required for the Growth and Survival of AR-Negative Prostate Cancer Cells” in Cancer Management and Research, 2020, 12:4411-4427.

Classes for July 2020

Due to recent University of Pittsburgh restrictions, HSLS will be offering all classes online until further notice.

Gene Regulation, Wednesday, July 1, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Preprints: How, Why, and Should I?, Tuesday, July 7, 2:30–3:30 p.m.

Painless PubMed, Wednesday, July 8, 10–11 a.m.

Explore Data with Simple Tables in Excel, Thursday, July 9, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.

Advanced EndNote, Friday, July 10, 1–2:30 p.m.

Graphic Design with Canva, Monday, July 13, 10–11 a.m.

Basic EndNote for Macs, Tuesday, July 14, 3–4 p.m.

Bulk RNA-Seq., Wednesday, July 15, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Getting Systematic About Systematic Reviews, Thursday, July 16, 1–2 p.m.

Basic EndNote, Friday, July 17, 10–11 a.m.

Get Your Research Published, Monday, July 20, 12–1 p.m.

Visual Abstracts, Tuesday, July 21, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.

Introduction to R, Thursday, July 23, 11 a.m.–1 p.m.

Painless PubMed, Friday, July 24, 10–11 a.m.

Scientific Drawing with Illustrator, Monday, July 27, 2:30–4 p.m.

Command Line Basics, Tuesday, July 28, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Genetic Variation, Wednesday, July 29, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Choosing a Citation Manager, Thursday, July 30, 10–10:30 a.m.

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