New Feature in PubMed: Proximity Searching

At the end of 2022, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) added proximity search capabilities to PubMed. With proximity search, users can search for two terms appearing within a specified distance from each other in any order in the [Title] or [Title/Abstract] fields. The format for using proximity searching is “search terms”[Field:~n], where n is the maximum number of words that may appear between the search terms.

History and Search Details for two searches. The first is “addiction treatment”[title/abstract], which yielded 3,233 results; the second is “addiction treatment”[title/abstract:~3], which yielded 6,677 results.
In a search that does not take advantage of proximity searching, putting terms in quotations will ensure that the terms appear exactly as written. For example, “addiction treatment”[Title/Abstract] will only retrieve articles that contain the exact phrase “addiction treatment” in the title and/or abstract. However, if you instead search for “addiction treatment”[Title/Abstract:~3], the search will still return results with the exact phrase “addiction treatment,” but also “addiction and treatment,” “treatment for addiction,” “treatment of opioid addiction,” “treatment of substance addiction,” and more! Continue reading

Create a Big Screen Anywhere with HSLS’s New Circulating Mini Projectors

HSLS now has two AAXA P7 Mini LED Projectors available for borrowing. Though the P7 mini projector fits in the palm of your hand and weighs just 1.48 pounds, it remains powerful, projecting images at 1080p and up to 120 inches in screen size. These mini projectors can be taken anywhere on campus and are a great option if you’re presenting in a non-traditional space, such as a showcase/presentation hall or a meeting room without display technology. Continue reading

Featured Workshop on Evaluating Journals: Discovering Where to Publish

“Evaluating Journals: Discovering Where to Publish” is offered as an online session:

Tuesday, January 24, 2023, 1-2 p.m.

Register for Evaluating Journals: Discovering Where to Publish*

This session will cover a wide range of publishing topics to help you find a relevant and reputable journal to publish your work. Learn how to put your article manuscript into a framework, using tools to find journals based on your publishing preferences and funder requirements. Evaluate journals based upon best practices and ethical publishing standards to avoid predatory journals.
Continue reading

Talk With Us About AR/VR in Health Sciences Education

Are you interested in using augmented reality (AR) and/or virtual reality (VR) for health sciences education? HSLS is seeking members of the Pitt health sciences community to join our discussion of AR/VR for use in health sciences education.

If interested, please provide your contact information to us via the AR/VR in Health Sciences Education form.

Virtual Reality at HSLS

The Virtual Reality LearnSpace at Falk Library provides cutting-edge VR technology to the Pitt community. Continue reading

NIH Preprint Pilot Accelerates and Expands Discovery of Research Results

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) announced on December 14, 2022, that the first phase of the NIH Preprint Pilot, a project of NLM, has been successful in accelerating and expanding broad discovery of publicly funded research results relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. The pilot’s first phase added to PubMed Central (PMC) more than 3,300 preprint records reporting on the results of NIH-funded COVID-19 research and made citations discoverable in PubMed.

Preprints are complete and public drafts of scientific articles that have not yet been peer reviewed. Their use in communicating the results of biomedical research surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NIH Preprint Pilot builds on the role of PMC as a repository for peer-reviewed articles supported by NIH under the NIH Public Access Policy. Continue reading

Exam Master and Other Exam Prep Tools

Did you know that HSLS licenses Exam Master, an online test preparation tool for the NCLEX-RN®, USMLE®, NBDE, NAPLEX, PANCE/PANRE, and medical specialty board exams? However, many new test prep tools and apps are available, and the library is evaluating what exam study solutions will best support our students. Your input is needed! Please join our focus group to evaluate exam prep tools in relation to your area of interest or study. All faculty, staff, and students in the health sciences are welcome to join by submitting their information in the Exam Prep Tools form.

Treasures from the Rare Book Room: Showing Some Love for Facsimiles

Falk Library has recently acquired facsimiles of two interesting medical manuscripts from the 14th century. Manuscripts, as unique objects, present a collecting challenge to both libraries and their patrons. Unlike books printed in multiple copies, manuscripts can only be in one geographic location—no matter who owns them. It is therefore impossible for other libraries to even dream of having the same manuscript. Since they can be so unreachable, the patrons who want to see and study manuscripts face barriers to access them, as well. Facsimiles—print books that are exact replicas of the originals—give patrons access not only to the intellectual content of the text, but also to the look and feel of the original manuscript. To libraries, facsimiles are a more affordable way of enriching the scope of their collections.

A page of the Chirurgia Albucasis facsimile showing miniature illustrations and gilded initial letters.

Falk Library’s two newest acquisitions are two surgical texts from the Middle Ages: Codex Vindobonensis and Manuscript Sloane.

Codex Vindobonensis SN 2641, Chirurgia Albucasis, the illuminated manuscript held by Österreichische Nationalbibliothek in Vienna, was created in southern Italy in the second quarter of the 14th century. It was written earlier, in the ninth century, by Abu’l Qasim Halaf ibn Abbas al-Zahrawi (the court physician to the Caliph al-Hakam II), as part of his monumental thirty-volume medical encyclopedia. Only the parts on surgery in Al-Zahrawi’s encyclopedia were translated from Arabic to Latin by Gerard of Cremona in the 12th century. Continue reading

HSLS Staff News

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


Helena VonVille, Research and Instruction Librarian, co-authored the article:

Hoffman BL, Hoffman R, VonVille HM, et al. Characterizing the Influence of Television Health Entertainment Narratives in Lay Populations: A Scoping Review. American Journal of Health Promotion. 2022;0(0). doi:10.1177/08901171221141080


Melissa Ratajeski, Assistant Director for Data and Publishing Services, co-presented the training session:

Carder, J. & Ratajeski, M.A. (2022, December). Conducting and Reviewing 3Rs Literature Searches for Animal Use Protocol. On-Demand Session presented at Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research (PRIM&R) Annual Conference.