Looking for Databases beyond PubMed

Sometimes a clinical or research topic is more specialized than general medical sciences. Searching a database beyond PubMed may help discover relevant articles. The Pitt libraries subscribe to an array of databases that cover specialized subjects or health sciences fields. All of the databases below, and more, are available from the HSLS listing of Databases A-Z (you’ll be prompted for Pitt Passport if working remotely). Here are some highlights:

APA PsycINFO: Mental, social and behavioral health sciences inclusion, including psychology and psychiatry, make this resource a good choice for sociological, psych, or addiction queries. It encompasses both journals and books, along with dissertations.

EMBASE: This European-oriented database includes all disciplines of medical and biomedical sciences, but it excels at drug questions. It includes granular indexing for drugs with more drug-related controlled vocabulary terms using EMBASE’s EMTREE thesaurus. “Triplet chemotherapy,” “drug craving,” and “drug comparison” are three examples of drug-specific vocabulary terms not found in PubMed’s MeSH vocabulary. In addition, this would be a good source for conference abstracts and drugs used abroad.

Global Health: An intriguing blend of public health, tropical disease and infectious disease sources. It considers community health and nutrition, yet also includes parasitology, medicinal and poisonous plants, and more. Continue reading

Changing Resources: Transitioning from Scopus to Web of Science

The University libraries will be ending their subscription to the Scopus database on December 31, 2021. This decision was made based on usage statistics and cost-per-use metrics.

Web of Science (WoS), the authoritative and continually updated citation database, is comparable to Scopus. WoS allows you to track prior research and monitor current developments, see who is citing your work, and measure the influence of colleagues’ work.

WoS consists of six databases:

  • Web of Science Core Collection (1945-present)
  • BIOSIS Previews (1969-present)
  • KCI-Korean Journal Database (1980-present)
  • MEDLINE® (1950-present)
  • Russian Science Citation Index (2005-present)
  • SciELO (2002-present)

You can also search all six databases at one time.

Do you want to learn more about what Web of Science offers?

Continue reading

Public Availability of COVID-19 Data

COVID-19 Global Pandemic affecting the world
The ability to view the number of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID-19 has decidedly improved since the first U.S. cases were diagnosed. Non-governmental organizations initially tasked themselves with providing COVID data access using county, state, and U.S. maps (Coronavirus Tracking Center from Johns Hopkins). The COVID Racial Data Tracker was developed a little later to highlight the increased risk of COVID incidence and mortality for people of color.

In January 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the new public-facing COVID Data Tracker, providing access to the most current information, incorporating daily updates, and showing county, state, and national levels using maps with data download options.

The county level map data includes the level of community transmission, cases, deaths, mortality, and more. You can also view a 20-day time-lapse map of community-level transmission by county. The maps can be a little misleading: Nebraska stopped sending COVID data in July; other states reduced the number of weekly reports sent; and several fail to include information such as where patients live, whether they were hospitalized or survived, or even what their race and/or ethnicity is. Consequently, the data may appear in state estimates on the COVID Data Tracker but are not available for other estimates. Continue reading

Featured Workshop: Wikipedia for Health Sciences Students

HSLS offers classes in a wide array of subjects—citation management, database searching, bibliographic management, and more! You can quickly view all Upcoming Classes and Events or sign up to receive the weekly Upcoming HSLS Classes and Workshops email.

Our upcoming featured workshop is Wikipedia for Health Sciences Students. The first workshop in this two-part series will take place on Tuesday, November 2, 2021, 2-3 p.m. The second workshop will take place on Wednesday, November 17, 2021, 1-2:30 p.m.

Register for both sessions*:

Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia known for its abundance of information on a vast range of topics, including biomedical subjects. A vital component of Wikipedia is the community of volunteers who help to create and improve content through a model of open collaboration. Since Wikipedia can be edited by anyone at any time, it has gained a reputation for being an unreliable source of information.

Despite widespread skepticism of its value, studies have shown that the quality of information on Wikipedia is generally similar to other encyclopedias. Further, its health information is extremely widely used by the public, as well as students and professionals: Wikipedia’s biomedical articles are accessed 7 billion times per year, and over 90% of medical students and 50-70% of physicians report using these articles. 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


Ansuman Chattopadhyay, Assistant Director for Molecular Biology Information Services:

Liu Q, Bhuiyan MIH, Liu R, Song S, Begum G, Young CB, Foley LM, Chen F, Hitchens TK, Cao G, Chattopadhyay A, He L, Sun D. Attenuating vascular stenosis-induced astrogliosis preserves white matter integrity and cognitive function. J Neuroinflammation. 2021 Aug 28;18(1):187. doi: 10.1186/s12974-021-02234-8. PMID: 34454529; PMCID: PMC8403348.

Zheng W, D’Aiuto L, Demers MJ, Muralidaran V, Wood JA, Wesesky M, Chattopadhyay A, Nimgaonkar VL. Insights into bioinformatic approaches for repurposing compounds as anti-viral drugs. Antivir Chem Chemother. 2021 Jan-Dec;29:20402066211036822. doi: 10.1177/20402066211036822. PMID: 34463534; PMCID: PMC8411619.

Kelsey Cowles, Research and Instruction Librarian:

Cowles K, Glusker A, Gogan A, Lillich A, Sheppard M, Vitale E, Waltman L, Wilson T, NNLM MAR Community Engagement Coordinator, and Wilson AJ. “Crowdsourcing and Collaboration: Academic Libraries as Partners in NNLM’s #CiteNLM Wikipedia Edit-a-Thons.” In Wikipedia and Academic Libraries: A Global Project, edited by Bridges LM, Pun R, and Arteaga R, 2021. Continue reading

HSLS Liaison Librarians

Liaison librarians are integrated into the departments and programs in the schools of the health sciences and are your link to the many services and resources of the Health Sciences Library System. Liaisons can provide support by designing course-integrated instructional sessions that teach research skills specific to a course or an assignment; customizing classes or presentations on timely, relevant topics such as data management or scholarly communication; collaborating on research projects; and participating on systematic review teams and grant projects. Continue reading

Take Your Data Practices from Good to Best with HSLS Data Services

The HSLS Data Services team is thrilled that Pitt has declared 2021-22 to be the Year of Data and Society, because for us, every day is a day for data. Whether you are embarking on your first research project or have dozens of completed studies under your belt, we are here to help you improve the efficiency and reliability of your data-handling workflows at every step in the research process. We offer consultations, classes, and customized trainings in the following areas:

Research data management

Organizing files, writing documentation, and safely storing datasets are key practices for working with data effectively. They are also required discussion items for data management plans, which will be mandated in all NIH grant applications after January 2023. (Read the official NIH notice.) We recommend our Introduction to Research Data Management workshops especially for new graduate students to set themselves up with good habits from the start, but in-depth consultations are available for any lab, research group, or individual. Continue reading

What Can HSLS MBIS Do for You?

The HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service (MBIS) has a mission: Providing bioinformatics resources via software procurement, implementation, and training to assist biomedical scientists with solving their research questions. Also referred to as “HSLS MolBio,” our service has supported Pitt researchers since 2002. How do we do this?

HSLS MolBio follows a four-facet approach with the following goals:

  1. Identify, procure, and implement commercially licensed bioinformatics software.
  2. Teach hands-on workshops on bioinformatics topics such as bulk/single cell RNA-Seq data analysis, pathway enrichment analysis, and gene expression visualization, using software with a point-and-click graphical user interface that does not require programming experience.
  3. Provide in-person and email consultations on software/databases.
  4. Maintain a web portal providing overall guidance on the access and use of bioinformatics resources and MBIS-created web tools.

Continue reading

The Technology Help Desk Is Open

The Technology Help Desk at Falk Library has reopened to visitors! You can find us at the top of the stairs on the library’s upper floor. Visit the desk to receive help with technology problems, get advice on an upcoming technology project, or request a consultation with a technology services librarian.

The Technology Help Desk also has a wide array of technology equipment available for borrowing. Popular items include portable power outlets, phone and laptop chargers, laptops, and Bluetooth headphones. More specialized equipment is also available to borrow, such as adapter cables, microphones, light therapy boxes, and Microsoft Surface Pros and Pens. With a valid Pitt ID, you can borrow most items for four hours (with online renewal available) and are not restricted to in-library use.

The Technology Help Desk also provides support for Falk Library’s self-service technology. Desktop computers (both PCs and Macs) are located throughout the library’s study space. Continue reading

Historical Collections at HSLS

Historical books open on a tableHow relevant can old medical books be to modern medicine? Not very much? Think again. The Rare Book Room is full of surprises. Until recently, scientists believed that the brain and meninges were devoid of lymphatic vessels. When the presence of the meningeal lymphatic system was accepted in 2015, the follow-up review of historical descriptions of lymphatic vessels uncovered five earlier ones. Thus, in 2018, Paolo Mascagni was posthumously credited with the first discovery of meningeal lymphatic vessels for his description published in 1787. Mascagni’s book is a part of the rare book and special collections, which contain more than 10,500 publications and artifacts dating from 1496 to 1945.

  • This unique collection is only accessible by appointment, but it is quite easy and convenient to schedule a visit by phone or email. We are always happy to accommodate visitors.

The research into medical sciences past is also supported by our circulating history of medicine collection, which includes an additional 10,000 volumes of secondary resources published from 1946 to the present. Continue reading

Measuring Research Impact with the Web of Science and InCites

When embarking on a research assessment project that includes the use of research metrics, it can be overwhelming to know where to begin. With all the databases and new tools available, that provide metrics such as times cited, h-index, and other kinds of indicators, where should you start your research impact analysis?

For projects in the health sciences, the Web of Science (WoS) and InCites Benchmarking & Analytics would be great choices. These resources are available through the library and provide access to an extensive citation network, based upon the journal articles included in WoS. Both tools combined provide metrics to help you analyze research impact at the article, author, journal, and organizational level.

WoS is a multidisciplinary database that goes back to 1945 and was an early adopter of tracking citation data. It contains basic metrics at the article level, such as citation count, and indicators for individual authors. Running a citation report for an author will display metrics such as total papers, total citations, and h-index. Continue reading

Protecting Your EndNote Libraries during the Transition to OneDrive

With the university’s upcoming cloud storage migration, you may be preparing to sync your files to OneDrive. However, before you do so, consider your EndNote libraries. To prevent possible file corruption, EndNote libraries must be stored on a hard drive and not synced to any cloud storage service (including OneDrive).

If you have your EndNote libraries currently stored on the “Desktop” or in the “Documents” folder, you may want to move them to a different location on your computer, such as in their own separate folder (not within Desktop or Documents) on the C drive (C:). If you do not want to move them, then be aware that you should not allow OneDrive to sync whichever location (either Desktop or Documents) contains your EndNote Libraries. Continue reading

Introducing Complete Anatomy

Complete Anatomy is a 3D human anatomy software program that allows you to view different body systems. This interactive resource allows you to rotate, zoom, add or remove layers, add labels, and select sections of the model in order to view detailed information about that structure. It also features real-time muscle movement and an augmented reality mode that simulates an anatomy lab. This resource can be a great way to study human anatomy if you do not have access to the lab or are away from campus.

Radiologic images are also found within Complete Anatomy and include MRIs, CT scans, and angiograms. You can capture images and other screenshots within the tool and save them for future reference.

In addition to the anatomy tools, Complete Anatomy includes over 1,500 videos and several hundred lectures that span across subjects such as anatomy, orthopedics, ophthalmology, cardiology, dentistry, ultrasound, and beyond. This makes it a great study resource for a variety of disciplines. Continue reading

Featured Workshop: Virtual Introduction to HSLS

If you are interested in learning more about our extensive collection of research and information services, educational opportunities and resources, join us on Friday, September 24, at 10 a.m. for a virtual introduction to HSLS. This session is perfect for those who may have missed their school-specific orientation or need a refresher on what we have to offer. Our virtual orientation is open to all affiliates of the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences (Medicine, Dental Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Public Health) and UPMC Residents/Fellows.

At HSLS, we understand the importance of finding quality health information resources to meet your academic needs. As a source for scholarly information and interprofessional collaboration, we aim to provide a wide array of research and information services, educational opportunities, and resources that are beneficial to the health sciences community within the University of Pittsburgh.

This virtual introduction will present a wide array of HSLS educational opportunities. We offer classes and workshops that cover many subjects such as: Continue reading