COVID-19: HSLS Portals for Data and Molecular Biology Resources

HSLS Data Services and the Molecular Biology Information Service created online portals to help researchers quickly find the information they need to address questions about SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19.

Spikes in a corona formation on the outside of the virus

The Data Management: COVID-19 Research Data guide includes lists of general and clinical repositories. These linked resources are COVID-19-specific portals for sharing, discovering, reusing, and citing COVID-19 data and code.

The HSLS MolBio COVID-19: resources guide includes categories of linked resources: Trending Research Articles, Research Article Collections, Information Hubs, Molecular Data, and Webinars & Videos. Continue reading

New Critical Appraisal Class Offered in June

While critically appraising papers has always been important, a recent increase in both preprints and published research (such as COVID-19-related studies) has made it even more essential to carefully evaluate study claims and methodology. HSLS is now offering “Online Introduction to Critical Appraisal” on Tuesday, June 30, from 1 p.m.-2:30 p.m. See the class description below to learn more.

Introduction to Critical Appraisal

Critical appraisal is an essential skill, one that helps readers detect whether a study’s results are valid and whether they can be applied clinically. This class will cover the basics of critically assessing studies, including study design, methods, bias, and other statistical considerations. Continue reading

Liaison Librarians: Expanding Research and Instruction Support Through Remote Technologies

HSLS liaison librarians are integrated into the schools of the health sciences. Liaison librarians provide instruction as part of the curriculum, guest lectures, and customized orientation sessions; offer recommendations for embedding streaming media and other HSLS resources into course syllabi; collaborate on research projects; provide assistance with researching health and biomedical topics; and offer guidance with scholarly publishing. Liaisons also concentrate on meeting an important research need, such as data science, molecular biology, or IACUC protocol development that spans across the health sciences. Librarians are an integral part of the health sciences community and work closely with faculty and students to support research and scholarship activities.

During COVID-19, HSLS librarians are expanding support to the health sciences. The physical locations of offices may have changed, but through remote technologies, librarians are finding ways to increase collaboration with members of the health sciences community. Faculty have already taken advantage of online consultation services, often opting to schedule a Zoom interaction in place of e-mail correspondence. Recognizing that many within the Pitt community are interested in enhancing professional skills, librarians have not only responded by increasing the number of remote instruction sessions, but have added new topics including: Continue reading

HSLS Streaming Media Resources

Computer screen browsing videosDue the current pandemic, streaming video has taken on a new importance. Now might be an appropriate time to call attention to the HSLS Streaming Media web page. The page currently gives access to well over 10,000 streaming videos—a number which continues to grow daily as providers add new content—plus more than 2,700 (and counting) HSTalks audio interviews with slide presentations. Of particular note during the current pandemic are a pair of special resources about the coronavirus: the JoVE Coronavirus Free Access Resource Center and the HSTalks SARS-CoV-2 Audio Interviews. Both are featured in the top two carousel presentations on the web page. In the case of HSTalks, we continue to add talks of interest related to SARS-CoV-2 as new content becomes available. Continue reading

A New Version of PittCat is Coming Soon

On July 28, 2020, the University will be replacing its more than 20-year-old library catalog. HSLS’s current online catalog, PITTCat for the Health Sciences, along with the University Library System’s (ULS) PITTCat Classic and PITTCat+, will be retired and replaced with a new library discovery service powered by Ex Libris Primo VE. To make the transition easier, the new PittCat will combine both PITTCat+ and PITTCat Classic into one and will be shared between HSLS, ULS, and the Barco Law Library.

The updated PittCat offers a powerful, intuitive search, and unique tools for discovery of content and ideas, as well as streamlined ways to get the material you need, when you need it, in formats that are right for you. In addition to searching the almost 6 million titles in the libraries’ catalogs, this new service will allow patrons to search for millions of full-text articles in subscribed electronic resources, with the ability to limit results to peer-reviewed or open access content, and to filter by publication date, journal, and author. Continue reading

Why Update Your Version of EndNote?

Do you remember the last time you updated your version of EndNote? The newest EndNote version provides various enhancements such as improved performance and cross-compatibility (macOS), fixes to Cite While You Write for in-text citations, and PDF import enhancements. There have also been improvements in finding full text. Another good reason to update is that while EndNote x9.3 can open older EndNote libraries, older versions of EndNote cannot open an EndNote library created in x9.3 or later. This means that you will have difficulties collaborating on projects using a compressed EndNote library as you won’t be able to view the citations. Lastly, many software companies stop providing support for older versions of software. And those of us who work in libraries typically have more current versions so it is difficult to provide assistance as well. Continue reading

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: When the Provenance Matters

Title page of historic book noting its 1654 year of publication Peter Lowe, author of A Discourse of the Whole Art of Chirurgery published in London in 1654, left a significant mark on Scottish medicine by founding the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow, reorganizing the practice of medicine in the same city, and then writing a book that made quite a stir. Contrary to the dominating trend at that time to write scientific books in Latin, this book was written in the vernacular and enjoyed great popularity (four editions in the 17th century). However, even more than its importance to 17th century medicine, are the provenance notes added in the 19th century that make the volume in Falk Library’s rare book collection special and unique.

Three prominent 19th century physicians, Sir John Eric Erichsen, Marcus Beck, and Herbert Seager, owned this book in succession. 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


Tess Wilson, Community Engagement Coordinator, NNLM Middle Atlantic Region, has been named a 2020 Mover and Shaker by Library Journal, for the work she, Lina Bertinelli, Madeline Jarvis, and Kathy Kosinski have done addressing the engagement of younger generations on library boards.


P. Patterson, K.A. Daniel, C. Mountz, T. Caitlin, J.L. Budd, U. Austin, M.D. Hsin, M.D. Weaver, R.L. Turner, Coordinator of Liaison Services, et al., published “Impact of Shift Work on Blood Pressure among Emergency Medical Services Clinicians and Related Shift Workers: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” in Sleep Health, 2020. Continue reading

Classes for June 2020

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

Introduction to Image Editing: Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Monday, June 1, 3–4 p.m.

Introduction to R Hands-On Follow Up Session, Tuesday, June 2, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Electronic Research Notebooks: Introduction to LabArchives, Tuesday, June 2, 12–1 p.m.

Pathway Enrichment Analysis–IPA & MetaCore, Wednesday, June 3, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Introduction to Adobe Photoshop, Thursday, June 4, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Author Workshop: Clinical Focus, Friday, June 5, 10 a.m.–12 p.m.

Author Workshop: Research Focus, Friday, June 5, 1–3 p.m.

Introduction to Adobe Illustrator for Diagrams, Monday, June 8, 10–11:30 a.m.

Advanced PowerPoint for Presentations, Tuesday, June 9, 10–11:30 a.m.

MolBio Hands-On Follow Up Session, Wednesday, June 10, 1–3 p.m.

Painless PubMed, Thursday, June 11, 8–9 a.m.

Basic Python through Jupyter, Friday, June 12, 1–4 p.m.

Basic EndNote, Monday, June 15, 2–3 p.m.

EndNote for Remote Teams, Tuesday, June 16, 10–11:30 a.m.

Single Cell RNA-Seq, Wednesday, June 17, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

Research Metrics and Publication Reports: Showcasing Impact, Thursday, June 18, 11 a.m.–12 p.m.

Beyond Beginner Workshop: Getting Going with Pandas in Python, Friday, June 19, 1–4 p.m.

Introduction to Data Management, Monday, June 22, 9–10 a.m.

Painless PubMed, Tuesday, June 23, 8:30–9:30 a.m.

Virtual Coffee Break: What is DistillerSR?, Tuesday, June 23, 10–10:30 a.m.

MolBio Hands-On Follow Up Session, Wednesday, June 24, 1–3 p.m.

Introduction to Zotero, Monday, June 29, 10–11 a.m.

Continue reading