Tracking down Techniques: Finding Research Methods Using the HSLS Protocols Search

Did you just join a new research group and need to figure out how to perform the standard lab protocols? Does your new research project require you to learn an unfamiliar technique? Are you reviewing a paper and want to check on variations of its experimental methodology?

Between the influx of new technology, plethora of scientific papers and tools, and limited time, it can be challenging to discover potential lab techniques that support your research goals. The HSLS Molecular Biology Information Service (HSLS MolBio) has provided shortcuts to access such resources for years, and we recently updated our Protocols Search engine. Located in the middle of the HSLS MolBio homepage, use the prominent search bar to find experimental methods and protocols with a combined search of Springer Nature Experiments,, and a filtered Europe PMC search. Continue reading

Statistical Consulting Services at the University of Pittsburgh

HSLS receives several inquiries each semester related to statistics training. Although we do not have a statistician on staff, we do partner with the Department of Biostatistics to offer classes on R and programming. We also work with groups on campus that offer statistical consulting services to the Pitt health sciences community. If you are looking for consultations or training on statistical methods and study design, the following list (updated Dec. 2021)* may be useful.

Readers take note: most of these groups have a waitlist for services. Contact your chosen center early to have the best chance of meeting your deadlines!

Organization: Biostatistics, Epidemiology, & Research Design (BERD) Core
What do they do:
Offers statistical and study design consultations, and workshop-based/one-on-one trainings.
Who can use their services:
All University of Pittsburgh researchers, including faculty, fellows, and medical students; medical residents working closely with a Pitt faculty member can receive indirect support. Junior investigators receive priority.
Is there a cost?: No cost for up to ten hours of support per project; support beyond 10 hours per project can be discussed based on availability.
Submit a contact request through the CTSI Research Requests + Service Tracking Portal

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Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Discovering Unexpected Attributes of Old Books

4 microscope plates with annotationsWhen I selected Alfred Donné’s Cours de microscopie complémentaire des études médicales, anatomie microscopique et physiologie des fluides de l’économie: atlas exécuté d’après nature au microscope-daguerréotype (Paris: J.B. Baillière, 1845) as the next feature for the Treasures from the Rare Book Room series, I was certain it would be solely about the book’s novel illustrations. It turned out that this book has a link to Abraham Lincoln!

When this book appeared in print, the daguerreotype was cutting-edge technology. This was a new process for photographic images and was introduced to the public in 1839. However, French bacteriologist and physician Alfred Donné immediately recognized the usefulness of photography in microscopic observations. In 1840, he produced the first images under the microscope using this technique. Continue reading

Featured Workshop: Choosing a Citation Manager

HSLS classes and workshops have been scheduled for the 2022 spring semester. We have a full lineup of classes including data management, bioinformatics software, visual design, and more! You can quickly view all Upcoming Classes and Events or sign up to receive the weekly Upcoming HSLS Classes and Workshops email.

Featured workshop of the month: Choosing a Citation Manager

Wednesday, January 26, 2022, noon-12:30 p.m.

Register for this virtual workshop*

Anyone familiar with academic writing can attest to how time-consuming it can be to manually manage and format citations. Citation managers are tools that help you to collect and organize references. These tools also help format citations and create bibliographies for dissertations, theses, and other writing projects.

With so many citation management options available, it can be overwhelming to decide which program to choose. This 30-minute class will briefly introduce participants to three frequently utilized citation managers: EndNote, Sciwheel, and Zotero. 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


Congratulations to Tristan Lucchetti who has been promoted to Assistant Director for Administrative Operations.


Dahm JJ, Assistant Director for Technology Integration and Fulfillment Services, Reese JG, Technology Integration Services Administrator. Sharing electronically and accessibly in library-led instruction. J Med Libr Assoc. 2021 Oct 1;109(4):690-692. doi: 10.5195/jmla.2021.1361. PMID: 34858106; PMCID: PMC8608205.

Brick R, Turner R, Assistant Director for Liaison Services and Instruction, Bender C, Douglas M, Eilers R, Ferguson R, Leland N, Lyons KD, Toto P, Skidmore E. Impact of non-pharmacological interventions on activity limitations and participation restrictions in older breast cancer survivors: A scoping review. J Geriatr Oncol. 2021 Sep 28:S1879-4068(21)00211-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jgo.2021.09.010. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34598902.