Science Journals tracking you

March 29th, 2017 by Steven Dunlap

Image of a hand tracking a lock on a digital glass board

A new post, Reader Privacy for Research Journals is Getting Worse, on the Go to Hellman blog describes how journals, peer-reviewed and published by major publishers, track your web use with cookies to direct advertising to you. Some publishers, such as Oxford, employ secure (https) connections. Others do not. According to an earlier post a sampling of 20 titles revealed that medical journals are among the worst in respects to privacy. Hellman points out that this technology can also obtain competitive intelligence, using trackers “to find clues about their research direction.”

Repeal & Replace Watch

March 14th, 2017 by Steven Dunlap

Kaiser Health News Logo

Repeal & Replace Watch from the Kaiser Health News site tracks “the new administration’s plans to revamp the health care system. With analysis, explanation, investigation and data, Repeal & Replace Watch follows the new politics of health care.” For a non-partisan, fact-based primer on the most recent legislative effort see the post: Say What? Fact-Checking The Chatter Around The GOP Health Bill.

Publishing Research Data

March 3rd, 2017 by Steven Dunlap

Wooden loetter blocks spelling Data resting on the open book

We find publishing research data becoming increasingly prevalent. Springer Nature recently updated their research data policies, which probably impacts many authors at the School of Medicine. To learn more about these policies and to see a list of Springer Nature journals that have adopted one of these policies we suggest researchers take a look at Springer’s Research Data Policy Types.

Photo courtesy of Janneke Staaks.

Open Access Update

March 1st, 2017 by Steven Dunlap

GATES FOUNDATION AND AAAS Starting January 1, 2017 all Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded research published will be accessible immediately upon publication. The Foundation has formed a partnership with The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) to ensure open access to research funded by the Gates Foundation and published in the Science family of journals.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation started an Open Access Policy for articles published from funded research in 2015. At first, the Foundation allowed the publishers to make the articles exclusive to subscribers (called an embargo) for up to 12 months. But now that the 2-year transition period has ended all research published has to have full open access terms. The Foundation will “pay reasonable fees required by a publisher to effect publication on these terms.”

The partnership with the AAAS will facilitate grantees publishing in journals such as Science, Science Translational Medicine, Science Signaling, Science Advances, Science Immunology or Science Robotics.

Featured Data Sets

February 22nd, 2017 by Steven Dunlap

Project Tycho from the University of Pittsburgh provides free data sets on diseases.
Science Magazine, editorial Feb 17 2017:
“Analyses of these data revealed that vaccine development and systematic vaccination programs have led to dramatic reductions in the number of cases.” — Data in Public Health, by Jeremy Berg

  • Contains information corresponding to nearly 88 million cases
  • Includes all available city and state notifiable disease data from 1888 to 2011, mostly from hard-copy sources
  • ∼100 million cases of serious childhood diseases have been prevented through vaccination programs
  • Tycho open to interested parties without restriction

Altmetric Top 100 Articles of 2016

January 11th, 2017 by Steven Dunlap


Altmetrics, an alternative to impact factor and traditional ranking to evaluate journals, has published its list of top 100 articles of 2016, ranked based on “conversations” about the article in social media (Twitter, FaceBook, etc.), news, YouTube, as well as post-publication reviews.

Looking over this list you will find that 15 out of the top 20 articles cover medicine or medically related research. Most striking, the actor/comedian Robin Williams suffered from Lewy Body Dementia, a diagnosis that forensic pathologists made after his death. And not surprisingly, the top article for 2016 was President Obama’s United States Health Care Reform : Progress to Date and Next Steps appearing in JAMA. Occupying the number 2 spot on this list Medical error—the third leading cause of death in the US should be worth reading as well.

The Altmetrics “donut” (illustrated above) provides a color-coded “at a glance” picture showing in what sort of media a given mention of the article appeared, in addition to the total conversations given in the center. Click on the donut in Altmetrics for a given article (or the one above) to see the break-down of how many mentions in which category.

The Career Center for the School of Medicine moved its library online and into Lane

September 14th, 2016 by Steven Dunlap


The Graduate Careers Collection found a new home in the “Duck Room” of Lane Library over the summer. We are working with the Career Center to migrate as many titles as possible to e-books. But some titles are not available in electronic format,  including one of the most popular titles in the collection:

Career Opportunities in Biotechnology and Drug Development.
Toby Freedman.

We have books on all career-related topics, such as professional development and job-searching. We also have numerous books on different industries and sectors, such as academic jobs, biotech business, entrepreneurship, management consulting, medical careers, law, banking and finance, science communications, science policy, and many more!

The School of Medicine Career Center and its services can help you find the right books for your needs.

Stop by and browse the collection. Or, you can use the Portal Page for the Collection online.

VisualDX trial July-August

July 6th, 2016 by Steven Dunlap

VisualDX logo

From July 1 to August 31, 2016 use trial access to VisualDX to build or expand your differential diagnosis. VisualDx, originally focused on dermatology, has expanded this year to include infectious diseases and general medical diagnoses. Please Give us your feedback, both good and bad in the coming days and weeks. How can it be improved?

Please consult Using images from VisualDX  before using any images.

VisualDX images integrated into UpToDate are highlighted with an orange VDx icon VDx icon smal 1l in UpToDate search results or in the References section of the UpToDate topic. Try searching ‘varicella’ to see the integration.

Use VisualDX to

  • Enter patient symptoms and findings to build a differential diagnosis.
  • Search a diagnosis to access disease images and clinical information.
  • Search by medication to view medication-induced eruptions.
  • Search by country to focus retrieval for travel-related illnesses.

Improve your skills via VisualDx tutorials:

VisualDX runs on browsers, Apple mobile devices or Androids. The database has trouble with IE7 but all other browsers including IE8 should work. To obtain the mobile app:

  1. Open a browser, go to
  2. Click on the button near the bottom center “Get the Mobile App.”
  3. Click on the link on the right “Create a personal VisualDX account.”
  4. Fill in the online form to create your account.
  5. Search for VisualDX in the App Store or Google Play on your mobile device.
  6. Download the App.
  7. Enter the user name and password you created for your account.

Do you want Lane Library to subscribe to VisualDX? Please tell us why or why not.

Aliso Canyon Natural Gas (Methane) Leak

February 9th, 2016 by Steven Dunlap

Several California, local, and federal agencies are responding to the natural gas leak at the Southern California Gas Company Aliso Canyon Facility that is affecting the Porter Ranch neighborhood in Los Angeles. The National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Research Center (NLM
Disaster Health) provides information on public health aspects of chemical incidents for the benefit of health professionals and volunteers who may be responding to an incident and for people living in or concerned about an affected region.

The USHHS Disaster Information Management Research Center produced a PDF information update with links to web resources including

  • Local, state, federal and international agencies and organizations
  • Database searches for the health information issues around the incidents
  • Health Information on Chemical Components of the Leak

Lead in the Flint, Michigan Water System – Info Resources

February 8th, 2016 by Steven Dunlap

Several Michigan, local, and federal agencies are responding to the presence of lead in the drinking water in Flint, Michigan. The National Library of Medicine Specialized Information Services Division (NLM SIS) provides information on the medical and public health aspects of chemical incidents for health professionals, policy makers, and volunteers who may be responding to an incident and for people living in or concerned about the affected region. The information below about health effects of lead and safe drinking water is from the National Library of Medicine resources including the Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB); ChemIDplus, Tox Town, and MedlinePlus as well as from other federal agencies, local agencies, and other authoritative sources.

The USHHS Disaster Information Management Research Center produced a PDF guide with links to web resources including

  • Local, state, federal and international agencies and organizations
  • Database searches for the health information issues around the incidents
  • Social media resources for situational awareness

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