Skin of Color Representation in eBooks

Jordan Lamb, a medical student in the Clinical Scientist Training Program at Pitt Med, worked with HSLS librarians to locate and purchase several dermatology eBooks featuring skin of color, following a curriculum audit at the School of Medicine. After reviewing the lecture slides presented in Pitt Med’s first- and second-year classes, she found that “the majority of images in all courses, not just for dermatology, were of white skin.” Presentation of skin conditions (for example, psoriasis) can differ significantly on white skin (typically red patches) and on brown or black skin (typically purple patches). Lamb explained, “A lack of representation of all skin colors leads to a knowledge gap for students. Physicians are also less confident with diagnosing skin disease presenting on brown or black skin.”

A goal of her research project is to provide resources to instructors at the School of Medicine that can be used to increase the diversity of skin color representation in the curriculum. In studies like “Representations of Race and Skin Tone in Medical Textbook Imagery,” analysis shows that most of the images in “mainstream” dermatology and medical school textbooks are of white skin. However, the skin of color textbooks identified by Lamb expertly display skin conditions on brown and black skin. Lamb’s Visual Learning Equity: Resource Guide shares access information for HSLS eBooks as well as other free galleries of images on publicly available websites. Two examples of eBooks accessible at Pitt are “Taylor and Kelly’s Dermatology for Skin of Color” and “Atlas of Black Skin.”

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What’s New with Zotero?

In March, the free citation manager Zotero released its latest update—Zotero 6. If you are new to Zotero, then this is the version you will download from; if you already have Zotero on your computer, you will want to update it soon. Simply open Zotero on your desktop, and then go to “Edit” – “Check for Updates…” and follow the on-screen instructions to update to Zotero 6. Once you have updated to Zotero 6, you will also need to reinstall the Microsoft Word add-in. This can be done by opening Zotero again, going to “Edit” – “Preferences” – “Cite” – “Word Processors,” and then clicking on “Reinstall Microsoft Word Add-in.”

The largest change from previous versions of Zotero is the addition of a built-in PDF reader. Users will now be able to read and annotate PDFs without leaving Zotero. For more information on the update, check out the Zotero blog or view the complete changelog to see everything that is different between Zotero 5 and Zotero 6.

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Featured Workshop: Introduction to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

HSLS offers classes in a wide array of subjects—instructional and visual design, molecular biology, literature searching, 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: Introduction to Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator

Monday, May 16, 2022, 2-3 p.m.

Register for this virtual workshop*

Photoshop and Illustrator are premier programs for editing images and are widely used across many industries and disciplines. Although other software programs are available for figure creation and research-specific image projects, Photoshop and Illustrator provide many helpful and unique functions for use in the health sciences. Eligible students and faculty may also qualify for Pitt IT-provided Adobe Creative Cloud access.

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PubMed Central’s New Website Design

If you have used PubMed Central (PMC) recently, you might have noticed that it looks a bit different. In March 2022, PMC launched a new, modernized version of their website. This update was to improve navigation and article viewing and to provide consistency between features in PMC and PubMed.

PubMed Central is an archive of freely available biomedical and life sciences journal articles. It contains full-text manuscripts deposited by authors as part of their compliance with NIH or other institutions’ public access policies, as well as journal articles deposited directly by publishers.

When you view an article in PMC, you can now quickly see what other articles in PMC are citing it, link to data availability statements or supplementary materials associated with the article, and find similar articles in PubMed. Additional tools allow you to easily generate a formatted citation of the article, share a link to it on social media, or save it to your Favorites collection in My NCBI. Additional information on these and other new features can be found in the PMC User Guide and the Quick Guide to Updated Article View. Continue reading

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Willis and His Seminal Works

Thomas Willis (1621-1675) was a successful English physician, professor of natural sciences at Oxford, and a founding member of the Royal Society. He was an example of a physician who, instead of embracing classical authority, chose to study things based on direct observations. He was also the first to argue that research into the anatomy of the brain was the necessary foundation to speculations about the mind. Falk Library owns his work “Opera Omnia,” published in 1682 in Amsterdam by Henricus Wetstein.

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HSLS Staff News

The HSLS Staff News section includes recent HSLS presentations, publications, staff changes, staff promotions, degrees earned, and more.


Kelsey Cowles, Research and Instruction Librarian, presented Citizen Science: Transforming Scientific Research Through Public Participation. April 1, 2022. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Year of Data & Society invited lecture.


Ansuman Chattopadhyay, Program Director for Molecular Biology Information Services, co-authored the article:

Ferrari R, Cong G, Chattopadhyay A, Xie B, Assaf E, Morder K, Calderon MJ, Watkins SC, Sachdev U. Attenuated cell-cycle division protein 2 and elevated mitotic roles of polo-like kinase 1 characterize deficient myoblast fusion in peripheral arterial disease. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2022 Apr 3;609:163-168. doi: 10.1016/j.bbrc.2022.03.161. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 35436627.

Michele Klein Fedyshin, Research and Clinical Instruction Librarian, was acknowledged for substantive literature searches supporting the book chapter:

American Psychiatric Association. (2022). “Bipolar and Related Disorders.” In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-5-TR).

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