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


Michele Klein-Fedyshin, Research and Clinical Instruction Librarian:

Pruskowski JA, Patel R, Nguyen K, Scolese C, Klein-Fedyshin M, Brazeau G. A Systematic Review of Palliative Care Content in the Doctor of Pharmacy Curriculum. Am J Pharm Educ. 2021 Jun;85(6):8468. doi: 10.5688/ajpe8468. Epub 2021 Feb 24. PMID: 34315708.

Helenmary Sheridan, Data Services Librarian:

Sheridan H, Dellureficio AJ, Ratajeski MA, Mannheimer S, Wheeler TR. Data Curation through Catalogs: A Repository-Independent Model for Data Discovery. Journal of eScience Librarianship 2021;10(3): e1203. https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2021.1203.

Samuel S, Moore M, Sheridan H, Sorensen C, Patterson B. Touring a Data Curation Network Primer: A Focus on Neuroimaging Data. Journal of eScience Librarianship 2021;10(3): e1204. https://doi.org/10.7191/jeslib.2021.1204. Continue reading

Falk Library Fall Hours

Starting Monday, August 2, Falk Library has expanded our hours, with the Main Desk and Technology Desk available for library visitors.

Library hours:

  • Monday–Thursday: 7 a.m.–midnight
  • Friday: 7 a.m.–10 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9:30 a.m.–10 p.m.
  • Sunday: 11 a.m.–midnight

In addition, the library’s upper floor is fully reopened, providing additional seating and technology options. Research and instruction librarians are onsite to answer questions. HSLS classes will be offered online and in person, and fall classes will soon be listed on the Upcoming HSLS Classes and Events calendar. Continue reading

How Do Predatory Journals End Up in PubMed?

Many of us regularly utilize scholarly databases to locate articles and assume that the journals the content is published in are reputable. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Journals that may have reputability concerns are typically referred to as predatory journals. A 2019 Nature article defines predatory journals as “entities that prioritize self-interest at the expense of scholarship and are characterized by false or misleading information, deviation from best editorial and publication practices, a lack of transparency, and/or the use of aggressive and indiscriminate solicitation practices.”

One of the main ways that these journals end up in PubMed is through research funded by various agencies, including NIH. Research that is federally funded comes with certain requirements to make content available to the public. The NIH public access policy requires researchers to submit final peer-reviewed manuscripts to PubMed Central (PMC). However, NIH does not control where articles are published. This means that if federally funded research is published in a predatory journal, that journal will end up in PMC. Since PubMed contains citations from MEDLINE, PMC, and the NCBI Bookshelf, this content can then end up in PubMed itself. Continue reading

The New 2021 Journal Citation Reports

A new version of Journal Citation Reports (JCR) was recently released and includes a brand-new interface, updated Journal Impact Factors (JIF), and other additional content. JCR is a resource that contains different research metrics for journals indexed in the Web of Science, which can be used for evaluating and comparing a journal’s impact.

Search Journal Citation Reports from the homepage
The updated interface of JCR includes a search by journal name, ISSN, eISSN, category, or keyword.

One noteworthy addition to JCR is a new metric called the Journal Citation Indicator (JCI). Unlike the JIF, the JCI is field-normalized and takes into account the differences of citation patterns across all subjects. For example, you can now use the JCI to compare a genetics journal alongside a physics journal, whereas the JIF should still only be used to compare journals within the same subject area. The JCI is also easy to interpret: the baseline impact for all journals is 1. If the JCI for a journal is 2, that journal would be twice as impactful compared to all other journals. A score of below 1 would indicate that the journal is less impactful than other journals. Continue reading

Share Human Variant Data with New NCBI ClinVar API

Do you work with human genetic variants? Have you sought out relevant publications, clinically significant evidence, and/or publicly available data? Are you ready to contribute to the scientific and patient-care community by sharing your own research output?

You likely already know about and use ClinVar, the go-to resource for the clinical genetics community that aggregates information about genomic variation and its relationship to human health. ClinVar recently reached the significant milestone of including 1 million unique variants in its database. Over 1,800 organizations from 82 countries have submitted almost 1.5 million records in ClinVar, including more than 11,000 curated variants from 14 expert panels.

Now it is easier than ever to reciprocate and be a supportive community member by submitting your human genetic variant data using the new ClinVar Submission API. The workflow for submissions is fast and automated, thanks to a RESTful API—a particular architectural style for an application program interface (API) allowing two software programs to communicate with each other to access and use data. Continue reading

Featured Workshop: Graphic Design with Canva

Female executive working over laptop at her deskHSLS offers classes in a wide array of subjects—molecular biology, 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.

This month’s featured workshop is Graphic Design with Canva. The workshop will take place on Tuesday, August 10, 2021, from 10-11 a.m.

Register for this virtual workshop*

In this workshop, attendees will be introduced to Canva, a free web-based graphic design platform. Participants will learn how to use Canva to craft attention-getting posters, presentations, social media graphics, and more. Attendees of this workshop will learn how to create an account; find free templates, graphics, and stock photos; upload original images; create graphs; and download or print the finished product. Basic elements of design will also be discussed. This class is perfect for those looking to create aesthetically pleasing graphics for presentations, posters, etc., but who have no formal training in graphic design. 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


Members of Data Services are excited to be part of the successful Pitt SEED Grant team for the “Cultivating a Data Science Learning Community” project. This project will address the growing demand for informal data science training across disciplines at Pitt and build the foundation for a sustained learning community. The project will be led by co-PIs Matthew Burton (School of Computing and Information), Gesina Phillips (University Library System), and Melissa Ratajeski, Coordinator of Data Services (Health Sciences Library System), and will include team members from both library systems: Tyrica Terry Kapral and Dominic Bordelon (ULS) and Helenmary Sheridan, Data Services Librarian, and Carrie Iwema, Coordinator of Basic Science Services (HSLS).


Rebekah Miller, Research and Instruction Librarian:

Escobar-Viera CG, Melcher EM, Miller RS, Whitfield DL, Gordon JD, Jacobson DA, Ballard AJ, Rollman BL, Pagoto S. A systematic review of the engagement with social media–delivered interventions for improving health outcomes among sexual and gender minorities. Internet Interv. 2021 Sept;25(100428). doi: 10.1016/j.invent.2021.100428.

Director Spotlight

Renae Barger
Associate Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences Library System

Barbara Epstein announced her retirement as HSLS Director in last month’s issue of the HSLS Update. It is my privilege to call Barbara my friend, colleague, and mentor. As I begin my appointment as Associate Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences Library System, I am grateful for the opportunity to have learned from her example. Her leadership has made a lasting impact on our profession, on HSLS as a leading academic health sciences library, and on me, both personally and professionally.

I am a proud Pitt alumnus, earning a BS from the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, MLIS from the School of Information Sciences, and Masters Certificate from the Department of Biomedical Informatics. I began my career at HSLS in 2002, starting as a trainee in the Library and Biomedical Informatics Trainee Program and continuing as Reference Librarian and Coordinator for Document Delivery Services. I then advanced to Head of Access Services and Assistant Director for Access Services. From 2011 to 2021, I served as Executive Director and then Program Lead for the Network of the National Library of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region, building a highly regarded program that was recognized regionally and nationally for innovative health information outreach. Continue reading

Options for Publishing Research Protocols

Typically if a researcher is asked what they think of when they hear the word “publication,” a “traditional” research journal article likely comes to mind. However, if the entire research workflow is considered, there are many research outputs that could be published including articles, preprints, protocols, datasets, and software. (We are defining “published” simply as “disseminated,” although terms such as “shared” or “posted” may be more appropriate depending on the output.)

The number of venues for publishing these outputs is growing and includes data repositories and preprint servers like DRYAD and medRxiv. New journals such as the Journal of Open Source Software (JOSS) and Scientific Data have been founded specifically to allow these research outputs to be recognized within the scholarly system. In addition, expanded publication types are now offered by established journals like PLOS ONE, which introduced Lab and Study Protocol types in early 2021.

This article will provide options for publishing research protocols, however the Where Should I Publish? Guide linked on the left of the Scholarly Communication Guide also compares options for other research outputs. Continue reading

Meet Your Match: Finding ‘omics Analysis Resources Using the HSLS Database/Tools Search

Wouldn’t it make your research life much easier if you had “the perfect tool” to help you analyze your ‘omics data? Sure, you could certainly use (or develop) your programming skills to create your own. However, before you go to all that effort, why not check to see if such a resource already exists?

Many different sources continually release new web-based resources for freely available bioinformatics software and biological databases, so it can be a challenge to locate them. The HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service (HSLS MolBio) has provided shortcuts to access such resources for years, and we recently updated our Database/Tools Search engine. Located in the middle of the HSLS MolBio homepage, use the prominent search bar to find molecular databases and software tools with a combined search of the Online Bioinformatics Resource Collection (OBRC), Nucleic Acids Research (NAR) Database/Web Server issues, and an HSLS MolBio-generated filtered PubMed search. Let us explore each of these sources. Continue reading

Photoshop and Illustrator Apps for iPad

After Photoshop was created for the iPad in 2019, Adobe also launched Illustrator for the iPad in 2020. Both programs have been a gold standard for desktop image editing, while the new versions for iPad have come to fulfill their own niche. Both apps require an Adobe license for access. Pitt faculty and students can register to license Adobe Software through Pitt IT. This perk is available at no cost for students’ coursework or for personal use by faculty.

Both the Photoshop app and Illustrator app are compatible with iPads that use iPadOS 13.1 and later. You can open PSD or AI files through Adobe cloud storage and continue working on your projects like you would using a computer. Both applications use the same tools (with some limitations) as their desktop counterparts. Continue reading

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Medal of Andreas Vesalius

Profile of person on a medalHave you ever looked at the HSLS collection of medical and scientific medals? Numismatic materials, including medals, coins, and tokens are not typical resources in a medical library. The first medals were produced in Italy in the 15th century. They were based on Roman coins, cast in bronze, and usually had portraits of emperors. The earliest medal in our collection is the Caracalla Medal. It was struck in Venice, Italy in 1466. Over the centuries, the techniques changed and new metals were used in production with later medals being cast or struck in silver or gold. By the 19th century, the medallic art became a recognizable new art form taught as a separate subject in art schools. Books and French transcription on a medalMedals, unlike coins, or at times tokens, are not monetary instruments. They are frequently used to commemorate people, events, or things. As a perfect medium, and due to their permanence, they pass along information about past events and man’s achievements to future generations.

The Andreas Vesalius medal, slightly bigger than an American silver dollar, is a typical commemorative medal. 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


Renae Barger was appointed Associate Vice Chancellor for the Health Sciences Library System. Since 2017, Renae served as HSLS Associate Director of Research, Instruction, and Clinical Information Services and was the Program Lead of the Network of the National Library of Medicine, Middle Atlantic Region. Please also see “Director Spotlight” in this issue.

Helenmary Sheridan, Data Services Librarian, was appointed to the RDAP (Research Data Access & Preservation) Education and Resources Committee for a one-year term, starting in July 2021.

Continue reading


I am retiring as HSLS Library Director, effective July 1, 2021. Except for two years away*, I have been at Pitt in one role or another since 1969: first as an undergraduate, then as a “personal librarian” to the chair of psychiatry, next as Librarian and Library Director at Western Psychiatric Institute & Clinic (now UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital), and finally as Associate Director, Interim Director, and Director of HSLS. If you prick my finger, I bleed blue and gold. I have had a wonderful career, and have appreciated the opportunities that I have enjoyed at Pitt. I cherish the friendship, collegiality, and expertise of our HSLS staff and the Pitt community, and I am enormously proud of our accomplishments as a leading health sciences library on the national scene. Continue reading