What we talked about in 2010

Just before we head into the New Year's long weekend (FYI: we'll be open 7:45am – 5:50pm on New Year's Eve, closed on New Year's Day, and open noon – 11:50pm on January 2), here's a Wordle cloud created from 2010 blog posts:

ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 30 11.38 

Boy, do we ever talk about EndNote a lot! My New Year's resolution: make some of those little words like "genome", "promoter", "transcription" get a lot bigger next year!

UCSC Genome Browser, ENCODE and Galaxy Workshops

ScreenHunter_01 Dec. 27 11.28 
Does the image above look more like a bunch of lines and boxes than an information-rich representation of genomic data? Have you been looking for an effective way to find and interpret information from genome sequencing projects and other research? Or, are you already an experienced user of the UCSC Genome Browser, looking to take your queries to the next level with Galaxy? The Library is happy to announce a day-long series of workshops to help get you the skills and information you need. These workshops are sponsored by the UCSC Genome Bioinformatics group and the Galaxy team at Penn State, and presented by trainers from OpenHelix (whose suite of fantastic bioinformatics tutorials we recently started subscribing to). The workshops will be on Monday, January 10, 2011, and the schedule is:

9:00 – 10:30 UCSC Genome Browser: OpenHelix Introduction
10:40 – noon UCSC Genome Browser: Advanced Topics by OpenHelix
1:30 – 2:30 UCSC Genome Browser: ENCODE data
2:40 - 4:00 Galaxy: An OpenHelix Introduction

Also consider attending the 1:00 – 1:30 presentation, A Wordl Tour of Genome Resources, which will give you an overview of the many other resources out there for genomic information, and how to find the best one for your needs.

To register for any or all of the above workshops, visit the Library classes page at http://librarycf.mssm.edu/levy/classes/ or call x43990.

Copyright and the New Year

The beginning of each year heralds a little known but fascinating event:  a new set of Copyright symbol works that have been covered by copyright for many years enter the public domain.  This means that on January 1, 2011 the works of authors who died in 1940 – including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Nathanial West, Emma Goldman and Leon Trotsky – will become free of copyright protection and will now be owned by everyone.  They can be shared online or in courses without restriction or they can be used as a base to create a whole new work.  To learn more about Public Domain Day, as it is known, go to this website:  http://publicdomainday.org/2011.

The most basic purpose of copyright is to encourage authors to create new works by allowing them certain rights so that they may exclusively benefit from their efforts.  (The same applies to patents and trademark coverage.)  Copyright in this country started in 1790 and at first it lasted for a term of 28 years.  With the Copyright Term Extension Act in 1998, authors' rights now last for 70 years after their deaths.  This change was urged in part due to the impending loss of copyright to some famous corporate icons, including Mickey Mouse and Pooh. 

Copyright is vested in all expression at the point of its being put into a fixed medium, e.g. on paper, in a sound file, on a canvas or in a digital document. Facts and titles cannot be copyrighted, only an individual's version of the idea.  This allows many people to write a book about the same topic or paint the same scene.  Each one of us is a copyright owner, as are corporations and governments, except for the federal government, which puts most of its work into the public domain from the beginning.  (Which is a nice perk for us.)  Sometimes a condition of publication is to cede your copyright interest in an article to the journal that will review and publish it.  This locking up and selling of copyrighted material has led to the creation of the Creative Commons license and other efforts to keep information unrestricted.

Clearly, copyright is a very complex issue. One thing that we know for sure is it does, in fact, end.  So for now, celebrate January 1st with something that is newly in the public domain.  As you read it, smile and think, 'Hey, I own this!'

For those who want a handy reference guide to copyright ownership, look here:  http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/resources/publicdomain.cfm#Footnote_1

For general information of copyright, try Wikipedia:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright#Public_domain.  For a discussion of how copyright has grown, check out the Wikipedia entry on the Copyright Term Extension Act http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_Term_Extension_Act.

Happy Holidays! Winter Break Hours

You may have already noticed that library hours are slightly different this week and next due to the winter break. From December 19 through January 1, hours are:

Sunday noon – 7:50 pm
Monday 7:45 am – 7:50 pm
Tuesday 7:45 am – 7:50 pm
Wednesday 7:45 am – 7:50 pm
Thursday 7:45 am – 5:50 pm
Friday 7:45 am – 5:50 pm
Saturday CLOSED

On Sunday, January 2, the Library will be open from noon till 11:50 pm.


Embase, a Major Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Database, Now Available from Levy Library

EmbaseWe are very pleased to report the addition of Embase to our growing collection of resources supporting Mount Sinai's initiatives in translational research and evidence-based medicine. Embase, the online version of the print index Excerpta Medica, is an international biomedical and pharmacological database that covers the journal and conference literature. It has significant strengths in the areas of pharmaceutics, pharmacy and toxicology; occupational health; environmental health; alternative medicine; biotechnology; and occupational and environmental health. Embase covers over 7,000 journals, over 25% of which are not in MEDLINE.

Embase is known for its timely, in-depth indexing using Emtree, a hierarchically ordered controlled thesaurus. Emtree, like the MeSH vocabulary used to index MEDLINE, provides a consistent description of biomedical terminology. Emtree is noted for its rich vocabulary for drugs and chemicals, facilitating discovery of reports on drug combinations, adverse drug reactions, medical devices and trade names, drug trade names across the globe, and clinical studies and trials.

Because Embase covers journals not in MEDLINE, and because the Emtree indexing language offers additional avenues to identify reports on biomedical topics, Ebmase is usually needed for comprehensive literature searches, systematic reviews and meta-analyses. In particular, The Cochrane Handbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions recommends that Cochrane review teams search MEDLINE, Embase and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) to ensure that as many relevant studies as possible are identified.

Our version of Embase is delivered on the OvidSP platform. To access EMBASE, connect both on- and off-campus from the link on Levy Library's Databases page, and select it from the list of Frequently Used Databases at the top. Or, link directly to Embase here.

We're planning workshops on using Embase early next year, so stay tuned to our postings of upcoming classes. In the meantime, OvidSP offers detailed information about searching EMBASE on their platform here. And as always, we encourage you to Ask a Librarian.

Levy Library Online, Status 2010: All Issues of the Top 5 General Interest Medical Journals Now Available

Photo Everything’s online? Well, not yet; it can be especially difficult to obtain older journal articles online. As we said way back in 2007, though, the Levy Library makes every effort to license journal backfiles as publishers produce them. And this year we reached a new landmark in our transition from print to digital: as of December 2010, the Levy Library offers every issue of the top five general interest medical journals online, all back to volume 1, number 1.

Levy Library Online, Status 2010 

List2 Dec 10, 4 51 53 PM 
Digitization of journal backfiles is occurring even more quickly than we had anticipated. We were able to provide all of BMJ and JAMA in the spring of 2009, and then Annals of Internal Medicine came online that summer. In November this year, we licensed the NEJM archives, and in December, The Lancet. We'll continue to license journal backfiles for core titles as they become available, and we're also making it a priority to build our e-book collection. We can't wait to report on Levy Library Online, Status 2011.

Image credit: Typing with the keypad on a laptop. In: Wellcome Images [Internet]. London: Wellcome Library, London [cited 2010 December 10]. Available from: http://images.wellcome.ac.uk/indexplus/obf_images/cd/b2/0f1d6d811397a356f229e7a5ca84.jpg

The Lancet’s Complete Backfiles Now Online from Levy Library

LancetLevy Library is pleased to report that The Mount Sinai community now has online access in PDF format to every issue of The Lancet. The Lancet has been published weekly since its foundation in 1823; our new backfile includes 390,000 articles written prior to 1995, all augmented with HTML abstracts and reference linking.

The Lancet is, of course, one of the world’s most highly cited medical journals, and it is noted in particular for a philosophy of reform that dates to its foundation. As per TheLancet.com About Us page, “The Lancet has…aimed to combine publication of the best medical science in the world with a zeal to counter the forces that undermine the values of medicine, be they political, social, or commercial”. It is unaffiliated with any medical or scientific organizations, making it “an independent and authoritative voice in global medicine”.

The Lancet backfile, like the NEJM archive, will support Mount Sinai’s ongoing research programs through its reports of clinical findings and investigational methods in landmark studies, and it will enrich current reviews by offering historical context to new findings and trends in medical practice. Among the classic articles which can now be retrieved online are “On the antiseptic principle in the practice of surgery” by Joseph Lister (1867) “An address on the repression of war experience” by W H R Rivers (1918) and “Penicillin as a chemotherapeutic agent” by E Chain and H W Florey (1940).

The best way to access The Lancet articles written before 1900 is through the Levy Library E-Journals database, linked from the Levy Library homepage, or directly here. Search the E-Journals database for the title, and then search or browse the journal on its SciVerse/Science Direct platform. You can also access articles through the Library’s full-text linking services in databases such as the Web of Science, which covers The Lancet as far back as 1900, and MEDLINE/PubMed, which includes citations from 1945 forward.

From The Archives: Dr. Arthur Sohval and the Ciba Collection of Medical Illustrations

Sohval Blog - Sketch Sohval Blog - Page Proof 

Above: pencil sketch by Dr. Arthur Sohval (left); page proof of final illustrations by Dr. Frank Netter (right)


In 1963, the editors of the Ciba Collection of Medical Illustrations asked distinguished Mount Sinai endocrinologist Dr. Arthur Sohval to contribute text and demonstrative illustrations to the Collection. Dr. Sohval, who specialized in disorders of the human reproductive system, was responsible for entries on infertility and on the pathogenesis of sex-chromosomal abnormalities.

The above images show the initial design and page proofs for the entry on “Diagnostic Studies in Female Infertility.”  Dr. Sohval’s initial design suggestions were rendered in paint by the celebrated medical illustrator Dr. Frank Netter, whose signature can be seen to the right of the uterine diagram in the upper right hand column. The X-Ray plates in the final illustration come from Dr. Sohval’s files.

These images have been scanned from the Dr. Arthur Sohval Papers in the Mount Sinai Archives. In addition to the records of Dr. Sohval’s work on the Ciba Collection, this collection includes a wide array of research notes and draft manuscripts that document Dr. Sohval’s long career as an endocrinologist and his pioneering work in electron microscopy. A native of New York City, Dr. Sohval was associated throughout his career with The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

The Arthur Sohval Papers are just one of the many manuscript collections in the Mount Sinai Archives that document Mount Sinai’s rich history. More information is available at the Archives website. – Nicholas Webb

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sweet-potato-casserole-l The Library will be closed on Thursday for Thanksgiving Day, and open shorter hours (7:45 am till 7:50 pm) on Wednesday. Regular hours will resume on Black Friday, so instead of shopping you can come get journal articles for all your friends and relatives! (Errr, as long as you don't violate our usage restrictions).

Some seasonal suggestions:

Mergenhagen KA, Sherman O. Elevated International Normalized Ratio after concurrent ingestion of cranberry sauce and warfarin. Am J Health Syst Pharm 2008;65(22):2113-6

Drobatz KJ, Syring R, Reineke E, Meadows C. Association of holidays, full moon, Friday the 13th, day of week, time of day, day of week, and time of year on case distribution in an urban referral small animal emergency clinic. J Vet Emerg Crit Care 2009;19(5):479-83
(Good Thanksgiving news for Fido in this one!)

Dalloul RA et al. Multi-platform next-generation sequencing of the domestic turkey (Meleagris gallopavo): genome assembly and analysis. PLoS Biol 2010;8(9):pii: e1000475.

Ovesen L. Marshmallow–a unique food. Eur J Cancer Prev 2000;9(1):69-70

Rounds on a Gastrointestinal Ward in 1951

Rounds GI 1951 

Rounds are a tradition in medical education: junior doctors present cases and senior doctors expound on them in such a way as to be instructive.  The residents learn, and hopefully the patient benefits by this meeting of the minds. 

The image above shows a combined Department of Medicine and Surgery rounds on a gastrointestinal ward of The Mount Sinai Hospital in 1951.  Such an event would never happen today, primarily for logistical reasons.  And what an event it was, with GI pioneers from both medicine and surgery scattered around the room! 

The man standing in the center in the gray suit with his back to us is Surgeon Ralph Colp. Medicine’s Albert Cornell is the man in the dark suit to Colp’s left.  The man left of center with his hand on his chin is Dr. Burrill B. Crohn, who in 1932 described Crohn’s disease with two surgical colleagues.  Standing next to Crohn in the lab coat is Franklin Hollander, Ph.D., a researcher hired by the Dept. of Surgery to help in basic research in GI disease.  The doctors are grouped around the light box holding the x-rays (with the house staff in short, white coats) and the nurses on the left.  Note that all the Attendings here were on the voluntary staff.  There were very few full-time physicians at Mount Sinai at this time.  The woman in the darker coat on the left is probably a social worker.  The woman in a white coat and no cap may be a dietician.

This is just one of thousands of images in the Mount Sinai Archives.  To see more, search the Image Database found on the Archives' website:  http://mssm-archives.mssm.edu/dbtw-wpd/MtS/