Levy Librarians present at NAHSL 2016, visit Yale Medical Library

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

On Monday, October 24, Librarians Rebecca Shows, MLIS & Robin O’Hanlon, MIS presented a poster at the North Atlantic Health System Libraries (NAHSL) 2016 conference in New Haven, CT. Their poster focused on strategies for making PubMed instruction more engaging and fun for medical students.

OHanlon & Shows_Rethinking PubMed Instruction_NAHSL 2016

Rebecca Shows & Robin O'Hanlon at NAHSL 2016

Rebecca Shows & Robin O’Hanlon at NAHSL 2016

Rebecca & Robin got a behind the scenes tour of the Cushing Center at the Harvey Cushing/John Hay Whitney Medical Library at Yale University. The Cushing Center features a collection of 55o human brains, preserved by neuoroscience pioneer and Yale alum Harvey Cushing. The tour was given by Re


Brain specimens on display at the Cushing Center.

A piece of steak signed by Ivan Pavlov for Dr. Cushing in 1929.

A piece of steak signed by Ivan Pavlov for Dr. Cushing in 1929.

The tour was given by Yale Librarian Melissa Funaro, a colleague of Rebecca’s from an evidence based-practice institute for medical librarians which took place in Colorado earlier this year.

Are researchers reading the journals they publish in?: A case study of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Scientists

By: Gali Halevi, Levy Library, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, gali.halevi@mssm.edu

Judit Bar-Ilan, Department of Information Science, Bar-Ilan University, Judit.Bar-Ilan@biu.ac.il

publishing wordle

The process of scientific publishing is comprised of several stages, one of which is a review of the literature.  In order to establish the novelty of scientific discoveries and to contextualize results, a literature review is included in each publication. Prior to publishing a new article, researchers must be familiar with prior works upon which they establish their new contribution. Usage behavior has been studied throughout the years and correlations were found between usage and citations. In order to gain an in-depth understanding of how scientists use journals it is becoming important to also consider which journals they publish in and whether these two factors correlate. Usage can be measured by documents’ views, downloads and shares on reference managers, social media platforms and other metrics. Usage and publications correlations can inform researchers’ information behavior, collection development and trends in emerging topics and areas.

In this study we examined Mount Sinai researchers encompassing the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Mount Sinai’s multidisciplinary Institutes have 34 academic departments focusing on collaborative research, clinical activities, and education. The Mount Sinai Health System includes more than 7,000 physicians and scientists and over 600 postdoctoral fellows.

All of Mount Sinai research publications studies were associated with “The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai” as the affiliation. Using Scopus, we searched for “The Icahn School of Medicine” in the affiliation search field.  Overall, Scopus retrieved 3,052 documents assigned to “Icahn School of Medicine” scientists. We limited the search to only articles, which resulted in 2,260 publications in 2015. We used the “analyze results” function in Scopus which allows downloading the list of top journals and subject areas in the set. Overall, Scopus retrieved 160 journals in which Icahn School of Medicine scientists published and 1072 articles in 2015. Using Serial Solutions, a platform which tracks usage per journal, we retrieved usage counts per each of the 160 journals.  2015 usage for 144 journals was tracked by Serial Solutions and included in our dataset. Since Serial Solutions does not differentiate between HTML views and PDF downloads, “usage” in this study is referred to as the overall views/downloads per each journal.

Our datasets, therefore, top 31 journals, 971 articles published by Icahn School of Medicine scientists and 730,989 downloads/views of articles of these journals in 2015.

Our results show that when comparing the two sets of ‘highest journals published in” and “highest journals used.” There are only 7 titles that appear in both. As can be seen in Figure 1, highly used journals are not necessarily the most published in and vice versa.

Figure 1 Top-journals both in publications and in usage

Figure 1 Top-journals both in publications and in usage

There was no Spearman correlation between the number of articles published in a journal and it’s JIF (Journal Impact Factor). The lowest JIF of the papers with 10 or more articles is 3.234, and the highest 55.873, where the weighted average is 10.02. There was no significant Spearman correlation between usage and JIFs either, but the r was at least somewhat meaningful (r=.401, p>.099). See figure 2.

Figure 2: correlations between JIF and Number of publications

Figure 2: correlations between JIF and Number of publications

The data also shows that 37% of the articles in our dataset were published in the top journals by Mount Sinai researchers. Overall, the weighted average JIFs of the top-used journals is much higher on average (33.88) than the weighted average JIF of the top-journals published in (10.02).

In our case, we could not find correlations between the journals that are most used to the ones that are most published in. Out of the 31 unique titles, only 7 could be found in both sets of highly used and highly published in journals. We also could not find correlations between the numbers of articles published in specific journals and their JIF, or a correlation between the highly used journals and their JIF. Therefore, it will be difficult to use this method as a collection development tool without further insight into publications and usage selections.

While most scientists aim to publish in high JIF journals, the motivation behind their reading selections and the relationship between the journals they read and the journals they publish in is still unclear. Further research should include interviews with top published scientists in order to better understand the relationship between their reading selection and their selection of journals they publish in.


http://www.creatomatic.co.uk. (n.d.). About. Retrieved from https://www.projectcounter.org/about/

Maflahi, N., & Thelwall, M. (2016). When are readership counts as useful as citation counts? Scopus versus Mendeley for LIS journals. Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology, 67(1), 191–199.in publications and in usage

Research Impact: Beyond h-Index – Seminar Reflections

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

On Tuesday, September 16 2016, Levy Library hosted a half day seminar,”Research Impact: Beyond h-Index.” The seminar sought to highlight issues surrounding research impact and evaluation, including shifting paradigms in the realm of traditional research metrics (i.e,. h-Index, Impact Factor) and alternative metrics, also known as “Altmetrics.” Lively discussion, engaging speakers, and an interactive ImpactClinic resulted in a successful event. Thanks to all who attended!

Dr. Marta Filizola, PhD, Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Marta Filizola, PhD, Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Gali Halevi, PhD, MLS, Director, Levy Library, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Gali Halevi, PhD, MLS, Director, Levy Library, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Dr. Joshua Drew, PhD, Lecturer and Director MA in Conversation Biology Program, Columbia University

Dr. Joshua Drew, PhD, Lecturer and Director MA in Conversation Biology Program, Columbia University

Research Impact_Andrea1

Andrea Michalek, Founder & President, Plum Analytics


ImpactClinic participants had the opportunity to meet with librarians for help with their research impact needs

If you want more information on traditional research metrics, like h-Index & Impact Factor or want to learn more about altmetrics, our PlumX initiative, or signing up for an ORCID ID, contact us at refdesk@mssm.edu

Chief Director Gali Halevi Presents at Israeli Information Specialists Forum on Library Marketing

By Gali Halevi, PhD, MLS

On Tuesday, September 7, 2016, Chief Director Gali Halevi, PhD, MLS presented a workshop at the Israeli Information Specialists in High-Tech in Tel-Aviv, Israel. Organized by two leading Israeli information specialists, Inbar Yasur and Sarit Haim, the workshop focused on content marketing strategies for libraries.


In an era where library budgets and staffing levels are suffering, creating a strategic marketing approach to communicate the value of the library is crucial. Regardless of the type of library; whether public, academic, research or medical, strategic marketing principles can serve to increase service awareness and showcase staff expertise.  In addition, channels to create revenue streams were discussed and presented.  The workshop demonstrated the Levy Library’s approach to marketing by sharing our activities on all levels of patron engagement across departments and institutions at Mount Sinai.

The audience was diverse and was comprised of medical, academic, corporate librarians and information specialists, which resulted in lively and dynamic discussion. Considering the differences is regulatory guidelines and social media use between Israel and the USA, the workshop covered practical approaches for content marketing deployment.

The workshop was a great success with overwhelmingly positive feedback from the attendees. As a former Information Specialist in Israel, it was a great honor for Dr. Halevi to run the workshop, share experiences and contribute to the promotion of libraries in Israel.


The workshop slides can be downloaded through SlideShare:  http://www.slideshare.net/galih5/increasing-the-value-of-the-library-through-content-marketing

Article in the Spotlight

By Barnaby Nicolas, MSIS

In our monthly “Article Spotlight” series, we’re showcasing achievements of Mount Sinai faculty and researchers using Altmetrics. This month, we’re looking at an article co-written by Dr. Pamela Sklar, MD, Professor, Psychiatry, Professor, Genetics & Genomics Sciences, Professor, Neuroscience, at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The article examines the use of shared data to provide insights into genetic-variant penetrance.

Citation: Minikel EV, Vallabh SM, Lek M, Estrada K, Samocha KE, Sathirapongsasuti JF, et al. Quantifying prion disease penetrance using large population control cohorts. Science Translational Medicine. 2016;8(322):322ra9.

Article Summary: This study analyzes vast amounts of shared data—from the Exome Aggregation Consortium and the 23andMe database—to provide insights into genetic-variant penetrance and possible treatment approaches for a rare, fatal genetic prion disease. This study was analysis was conducted by a patient-turned-scientist joined with a large bioinformatics team.


BACKGROUND: No longer just buzz words, “patient empowerment” and “data sharing” are enabling breakthrough research on rare genetic diseases. Although more than 100,000 genetic variants are believed to drive disease in humans, little is known about penetrance—the probability that a mutation will actually cause disease in the carrier. This conundrum persists because small sample sizes breed imperfect alliance estimates between mutations and disease risk. More than 100,000 genetic variants are reported to cause Mendelian disease in humans, but the penetrance-the probability that a carrier of the purported disease-causing genotype will indeed develop the disease-is generally unknown. The researchers assessed the impact of variants in the prion protein gene (PRNP) on the risk of prion disease by analyzing 16,025 prion disease cases, 60,706 population control exomes, and 531,575 individuals genotyped by 23andMe Inc. They found that missense variants in PRNP previously reported to be pathogenic are at least 30 times more common in the population than expected on the basis of genetic prion disease prevalence. Although some of this excess can be attributed to benign variants falsely assigned as pathogenic, other variants have genuine effects on disease susceptibility but confer lifetime risks ranging from <0.1 to ~100%. We also show that truncating variants in PRNP have position-dependent effects, with true loss-of-function alleles found in healthy older individuals, a finding that supports the safety of therapeutic suppression of prion protein expression.

URL to this article on Plum X

Dr. Sklar’s profile

Inaugural Medical Education/AIT Annual Retreat – Collaborate to Innovate

By Gali Halevi, PhD, MLS

The Inaugural Medical Education/AIT Annual Retreat was organized to order to develop innovative products and services to Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (ISMMS) students and faculty. The retreat took place in an offsite location with15 Medical Education, Library, Instructional Design and IT leaders. Overall, the retreat proved to be a successful, fruitful, and exciting day. For 6 hours, participants exchanged ideas potential collaborations, debated feasibility, benefits and risks, and enjoyed sharing their expertise in different areas of medical education.


While enjoying an unofficial and relaxing setting, professional hierarchies disappeared and allowed participants to discuss ideas openly and creatively. Projects ranging from arts and humanities focused activities, to original research, to productivity and assessment systems were brought forth for discussion. At the end of the day, the group came up with 10 projects, each assigned with a leadership team that will be responsible for development and execution. In addition, the team came up with a cross-organizational communications plan to ensure maximum impact.

Now proved to be a successful endeavor, the retreat will become an annual event which will strengthen relationships and allow for innovation going forward.


Participants in the Inaugural MedEd/AIT Annual Retreat: Collaborate to Innovate












Twitter – An Underused Tool for Book Marketing?

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS and Dr. Gali Halevi, MLS, PhD

With over 320 million active monthly users and magnitude of 350K tweets per minute[i], Twitter is  a powerful marketing tool used by 65.8% of US companies[ii]. Yet, it would appear that  book publishers, at least in the academic arena, are not leveraging Twitter as a marketing tool.


Image credit: http://alanrinzler.com/2011/03/strategic-tweeting-for-authors/

In order to determine the extent to which academic and scientific books are mentioned in Twitter, we examined Ebrary, a multidisciplinary eBooks database from ProQuest. We uploaded 71,443 eBooks ISBNs numbers from the Levy Library’s Ebrary collection in April 2016 to PLUMx Metrics Dashboard, an altmetics platform . PLUMx Metrics dashboard tracks metrics from over 30 sources, including Twitter and is able to track over 20 different types of outputs, from articles and books to videos by using unique identifiers such as web links, DOI or ISBN.

For this analysis, we chose books that have at least 10 Twitter mentions. Out of the 71,443 books measured, only 39 academic or scientific books have 10 or more Twitter mentions. As can be seen from figure 1, history books received the most Twitter mentions in the past 10 years, followed by semantics and economics.


In most cases Twitter mentions last at least 2 year after publication,  meaning that conversations around their content last for a significant amount of time (see figure 2). Considering that academic and scientific books issue new editions quite often, Twitter can be used to instill interest in current editions until new ones are published.


As books remain an important source of academic and scientific information, their use can be enhanced by using Twitter as a marketing tool. Creating conversation around mentions, their content can be discussed through Twitter by the academic community.  There are several studies that show how scientists use Twitter[iii-v] including mentioning publications, conference presentations, and engaging in scientific discussions. There is no reason books should not be included as a topic for academic discussion on Twitter. Indeed, publishers and authors of scientific books should work to drive Twitter interactions and discussions on books, which can in turn lead to enhanced research impact and visibility.



[i] https://www.brandwatch.com/2016/05/44-twitter-stats-2016/

[ii] http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Facebook-Twitter-Remain-Top-Social-Networks-Used-by-US-Companies/1013290

[iii] https://www.brandwatch.com/2016/05/44-twitter-stats-2016/

[iv] http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Facebook-Twitter-Remain-Top-Social-Networks-Used-by-US-Companies/1013290

[v] http://blogs.plos.org/thestudentblog/2016/08/09/social-media-for-ecrs-serious-scientists-can-and-do-use-twitter/

Register now for Lessons in Scientific Publishing Nexus Course – Fall 2016

Interested in writing and publishing, but feeling intimidated by the process?  We invite you to register for Lessons in Scientific Publishing, a new Nexus Learning course being offered this Fall.  This course is designed to teach students to navigate the process of researching, writing, and publishing scholarly articles.

From the course description:

“Being published in high quality, reputable journals and ensuring high impact in both traditional and alternative metrics is essential to a successful career today in science and medicine. The aims of this course are to familiarize students with the processes of writing and publishing scientific papers and to learn how to create a professional online presence that will allow their work to be noticed and cited. The course offers ISMMS students the opportunity to become adept in the processes of research organization, article submission and peer-review as well as creating and maintaining online presence to promote their work and their achievements. This course is an ideal option for students interested in research and publishing.”

For more information, contact course coordinator Rachel Pinotti (rachel.pinotti@mssm.edu) and visit the Lessons in Scientific Publishing course page in the Nexus Learning course catalog

Lessons in Scientific Publishing flyer #2 - Fall 2016_RP Edits

A Full House for our Social Media for Scientists Workshops

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

On July 28 and August 4, 2016, Levy Library, in collaboration with the Mount Sinai Marketing and Communications Department, offered 90 minute workshops on Social Media for Scientists. The workshops developed out of conversations between Dr. Marta Filizola, PhD, Dean, (Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Professor, Neuroscience, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai), and Dr. Gali Halevi, PhD, MLS, (Chief Director, Levy Library). The workshop explored topics including traditional scientific metrics (h-Index, Impact Factor), Altmetrics platforms (PlumX), scientist specific public profiles and identifiers (ORCID ID, Research Gate), plus an examination of how scientists can maximize effectiveness of non-scientific social media platforms (Twitter, LinkedIn, Slideshare, YouTube).

Check out the Social Media for Scientists Workshop Work Book, which provides an overview of all topics covered in the workshop, including tactics and strategies for busy scientists who want to leverage social media to increase the impact of their own work and strengthen their professional networks.

Dr. Gali Halevi explaining the PlumX platform.

Dr. Gali Halevi explaining the PlumX platform

Social Media for Scientists

SMS Gabriel

Gabriel J. Bershadscky, Creative Director, Marketing and Communications Department, explaining the evolution of the Mount Sinai brand.

Levy Librarian Robin O'Hanlon, MIS discussing Twitter usage among scientific communities.

Levy Librarian Robin O’Hanlon, MIS discussing Twitter usage among scientific communities.