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. Miriam Mered, MD, PhD, Professor, Oncological Sciences and Professor, Medicine, Hematology and Medical Oncology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Citation: Naik S, Bouladoux N, Linehan JL, Han SJ, Harrison OJ, Merad M, et al. Commensal-dendritic-cell interaction specifies a unique protective skin immune signature. Nature. 2015;520(7545):104-8.


Article Summary: This study examine the nature of the antigen presenting cells involved in the dialogue between the immune system and skin commensals. The researchers find that defined skin commensal bacteria elicit a dermal dendritic-cell-dependent, long-lasting and commensal-specific CD8+ T-cell response, while preserving tissue homeostasis. The CD8+ T cells are shown to enhance innate protection against a fungal pathogen.

BACKGROUND: The skin represents the primary interface between the host and the environment. This organ is also home to trillions of microorganisms that play an important role in tissue homeostasis and local immunity. Skin microbial communities are highly diverse and can be remodelled over time or in response to environmental challenges. How, in the context of this complexity, individual commensal microorganisms may differentially modulate skin immunity and the consequences of these responses for tissue physiology remains unclear. Here we show that defined commensals dominantly affect skin immunity and identify the cellular mediators involved in this specification. In particular, colonization with Staphylococcus epidermidis induces IL-17A(+) CD8(+) T cells that home to the epidermis, enhance innate barrier immunity and limit pathogen invasion. Commensal-specific T-cell responses result from the coordinated action of skin-resident dendritic cell subsets and are not associated with inflammation, revealing that tissue-resident cells are poised to sense and respond to alterations in microbial communities. This interaction may represent an evolutionary means by which the skin immune system uses fluctuating commensal signals to calibrate barrier immunity and provide heterologous protection against invasive pathogens. These findings reveal that the skin immune landscape is a highly dynamic environment that can be rapidly and specifically remodelled by encounters with defined commensals, findings that have profound implications for our understanding of tissue-specific immunity and pathologies.

URL to this article on PlumX

Dr. Merad’s profile

Be Smart – Protect Your Login Info

Part of the way the Levy Library support the educational, research and patient care activities of the faculty, students and staff of the Mount Sinai Medical Centers is by providing access to high quality electronic biomedical information resources, such as eJournals like The Lancet, The New England Journal of Medicine and Nature.


In order to access library resources, our users must use the same network ID credentials they use to access resources that contain not only protected health information (i.e., EPIC), but also sensitive personal information (i.e., webmail, Sinai Central). It might be tempting to share network ID credentials with non-affiliated colleagues or friends, but these credentials with unauthorized users puts our relationships with service providers at risk and may result in access to resources being terminated. That means that one person violating our license terms could potentially create major repercussions for the rest of the health system. If a licensing agreement is violated, the publisher may remove the Mount Sinai community’s access to their journals and books.  Publishers price access to their content by the number of users and usage. Sharing passwords increases usage costs beyond what the library can pay, resulting in subscription cuts and unfilled requests. Additionally, sharing network ID credentials with unauthorized users is a direct violation of Mount Sinai IT Policy (IT Policy # 7 for Password Usage) and may result in disciplinary action. 

Remember, be smart – protect your login info!

Social Media for Scientists – Register now!

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

We want you to join us for Social Media for Scientists!


This interactive, 90 minute workshop is open to all Mount Sinai Health System employees. If you’re a scientist, work with scientists, or just want to develop a better understanding of social media, this workshop is for you!

Sessions will be taught by Dr. Gali Halevi, MLS, PhD and Robin O’Hanlon, MIS.

Register here –


Complete Medical Board Specialties now available through Board Vitals

Levy Library is pleased to announce that we have secured access to the complete Medical Board Specialties available through Board Vitals.  This resource is available across the Mount Sinai Health System to residents and faculty at any MSHS site, including affiliates.


In addition, Board Vitals includes CME and MOC (maintenance of certification) credits for practicing physicians who need to meet these requirements. There is also an administrative function for program directors who want to create and email exams for their residents or track usage.

To access Board Vitals, library users should go directly to:

  • If you are off-campus, you will be asked to sign into the Library using their network credentials.
  • A free registration to Board Vitals is then required using a Mount Sinai email address.  (Currently, one of the following domains must be used:;;;

Residency and program directors can also have administrative access to track resident usage and use an exam creating feature where they can create and email exams out to residents, etc. Should any directors be interested in this, they should register for Board Vitals first and then email

Additional general information about Board Vitals is available here:

For more information and for a complete list of current specialties included in our new access, please email


Hostos Community College students visit Levy Library

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

On Friday, June 10, Hostos Community College students participating in a Summer Research Institute visited Levy Library. Instructor and HCC Librarian Lisa Tappeiner decided to schedule the trip for her students in order to expose them to the innovative research taking place at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and to learn the basics of a key biomedical research resource, PubMed.


HCC Students pictured with Levy Librarian Robin O’Hanlon (front row, middle)

First, the HCC students met with ISMMS Medical Students Anthony Bui (1st Year) and Kamini Doobay (4th Year). The medical students shared their experience on doing research and life as a medical student. Both students emphasized the importance of finding strong mentors. In addition to their MDs, Kamini and Anthony are both pursuing Masters in Science in Clinical Research through the Clinical Research Education Program.


Next, students were treated to a presentation by Medical Illustrators Jill Gregory, MFA, CFI (Manager, Academic Illustration) and Christopher Smith, MA (Academic Medical Illustrator). Jill & Chris shared how their unique service services the education and research needs of ISMMS.

Hostos Visit1

Students then were giving a PubMed Basics lesson by Levy Librarian Robin O’Hanlon, MIS.

The visit ended with a trip to Dr. Scott Russo’s neuroscience lab. Post Doctoral Fellow Catherine Menard gave a tour of the lab and explained how the team at Dr. Russo’s lab uses a combination of transgenic mice, immune cell transplantation, optogenetics/electrophysiology, viral mediated gene transfer, behavioral models and molecular methods to understand how the brain and body adapts to stress to control pathological behaviors in depression and anxiety. HCC students even got a peak at a high powered confocal microscope.


Thanks to all who made this visit a success!


Chief Director Gali Halevi reflects on her first year at Levy Library

Interview by Tamika Young, Library Assistant

We went “Behind the Desk” to talk with Levy Library’s Chief Director, Gali Halevi, MLS, PhD. Gali has been with us for one year and has made some wonderful changes and improvements here at Levy Library. We sat down with her to get an inside look on what it’s like to keep the wheels at Levy Library spinning.


Where did you work before joining the team at Levy Library?

Prior to joining the Levy Library, I worked for the scientific publisher Elsevier, for almost 11 years. When I first joined Elsevier, I was appointed as a library relations manager. My job was to visit with academic and scientific libraries around the world and train the librarians and their constituents on Elsevier products and platforms. The years I spent traveling both nationally and internationally, gave me the opportunity to learn how academic and scientific libraries in different parts of the world operate. During these years I learned about library services to faculty, students and scientists and the role of the library as an educator and information provider. In the last 5 years at Elsevier, I joined a newly formed department focusing on “Research Evaluation and Metrics”. Our job was to not only educate scientists and academic administrators about research evaluation methods, but also to develop new, more accurate measures and metrics. This part of my tenure enabled me to better understand the academic promotion and tenure processes and develop metrics to evaluate scientific output and progress. At the Levy Library I put everything I learned into practice. From education, engagement and scientific evaluation – our activities are the product of years of practice on a global scale.

Tell us about your responsibilities here at Levy Library.

First and foremost I’m responsible for a team of library staff who have different tasks and roles that are crucial for the smooth operation of the library. It is my job to understand their strengths, interests and passions and direct those to the appropriate functions in the library. Second, I’m responsible for the library’s collection and ensuring we provide the best journals, books and other scientific materials to our students, faculty and clinicians while providing on-site and off-site access 24/7. In addition, I’m responsible for offering high-quality education in several areas including the use of library resources for research and study, evidence-based patient care and others.

What do you like about working here?

I spent most of my career in corporate environments and while I enjoyed them very much, my passion always laid in the academic world and especially in research. This job is unique whereas it isn’t fully academic. As a fast moving, top of the line hospital and substantive research institution with a Medical and Graduate school, Mount Sinai is special as it embodies different types of institutions; academic, research and business. Serving different communities and working in these fast moving environments provides stimulation and interesting daily work.

What challenges have you faced since taking over as library director?

The biggest challenge I faced was bringing together the library team and creating an environment of collaboration and care. It took me some time to know everyone, understand their areas of interests and their aspirations. It was only after I spent time with each of the team members that I really understood where their interests were and how to accommodate them accordingly. I do believe that today the library team members work for the most part in areas that they are interested in.

One of core values of the Information Technology Department, which Levy Library is a part of, is innovative thinking. How does that factor into your leadership here at the library?

I always try to look at old challenges and problems with an open mind and come up with innovative ways to solve them. However, I believe that innovative thinking is not only reserved to solving problems. Coming up with new ideas regarding users’ engagement, educational opportunities and adding value to the institution all fall within innovative thinking. This type of innovative culture in the library brought forth our “Research Insider” seminars, our “Mindful Medicine” workshops and wonderful students’ events. We constantly look for ways to come up with new paths, approaches and ideas that will benefit our users.

What is your vision for the future of Levy Library?
I would like the library to become “mission critical” especially on the research front. Traditionally, libraries are perceived as a place to come and read, study and sometimes… sleep. What I would like is to turn Levy Library into a leader in the institution’s research and development mission supporting our faculty and scientists in achieving their goals and becoming the ultimate leaders in their fields. By implementing Plum analytics and educating our leaders about research metrics, I hope we will become leaders in this area. In addition, I would like to make our library into a publisher. Today, many libraries take leading roles as publishers in their own institutions. One of my goals for 2017 is to have our own Open Access journal which will publish high quality research in the area of library science.

Is there anything you would like to add?

We have many channels through which we broadcast activities and content. Find us as Levy_Library on Twitter, Facebook, Snap Chat and YouTube and of course our website.


Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to allow us Behind the Desk. Happy one year anniversary!


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 by Dr. George Nitzburg, PhD, Clinical Psychology, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Citation: Nitzburg  GC, Russo M, Cuesta-Diaz A, Ospina L, Shanahan M, Perez-Rodriguez M, et al. Coping strategies and real-world functioning in bipolar disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders. 2016;198:185-8

Article Summary: This recent study by Nitzburg et al. (2016) examined coping in 92 affectively-stable bipolar outpatients and found that the maladaptive strategies of “giving up” and “self-criticism” significantly predicted real-world disability levels, suggesting defeatist beliefs may impair functioning in bipolar disorder.


BACKGROUND: Bipolar patients encounter significant life adversity, which has contributed to bipolar disorder being a leading cause of disability worldwide. Studies suggest BD patients have more maladaptive coping strategies, some of which can impact their illness course. Yet research on which coping strategies most influence disability is lacking. Such research could inform cognitive-behavioral targets to improve functional outcomes. Thus, Nitzburg et al. (2016) studied the relations between coping strategies and real-world functioning in 92 affectively-stable BD outpatients. The study comprehensively measured not only coping strategies and real-world disability, but also current bipolar symptoms, bipolar illness chronicity, and neurocognitive functioning. Their results found that maladaptive coping significantly predicted disability while adaptive coping did not. More specifically, behavioral disengagement (i.e. giving up) and self-blame were uniquely predictive of real-world disability, even after controlling for age, sex, illness chronicity, current symptoms, and neurocognitive functioning. Their findings suggest that giving up and self-blame are significant predictors of real-world functioning beyond sub-threshold depressive symptoms. These results also suggest bipolar disorder may follow of downward spiral similar to that recently identified in schizophrenia, where bipolar patients’ initial deficits (cognitive, social and otherwise) can result in negative experiences that lead to defeatist beliefs about their capacity to productively engage in activities, which in turn may contribute to a worsening of bipolar illness and further strengthening of defeatist beliefs. In addition to mood-stabilizers, cognitive-behavioral interventions targeting defeatist and self-critical beliefs may serve as critical early interventions that can help prevent such downward spirals into disability.

URL to this article on PlumX

Dr. Nitzburg’s profile


Levy Library Director has article published in Journal of Informetrics

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

Dr. Gali Halevi, MLS, PhD recently has an article entitled “A new methodology for comparing Google Scholar and Scopus” published in Journal of Informetrics. Dr. Halevi published this article with two co-authors, Dr. Henk F. Moed, PhD (Senior Scientific Advisor, Elsevier) and Dr. Judit Bar-Ilan, PhD (Professor, Bar Ilan University).

In the article, a new methodology is proposed for comparing Google Scholar (GS) with other citation indexes. Article highlights include:

  • A new methodology is proposed for comparing Google Scholar (GS) with Scopus, focusing on indexing speed and duplicate citation counts.
  • The ratio of GS over Scopus citation varies across subject fields between 1.0 and 4.0, and is for Open Access journals higher than for other journals.
  • The linear correlation between GS and Scopus citation counts at the article level is high: Pearson’s R is in the range of 0.8–0.9.
  • A median Scopus indexing delay of two months compared to GS is largely due to missing cited references in articles in press in Scopus.
  • Double citation counts in GS due to multiple versions of the same document occurs in less than 2% of cases.


Fig. 1 Process of data collection per journal.

The article can be read in its entirety here (subscription fees apply) –


Moed, H. F., Bar-Ilan, J., & Halevi, G. (2016). A new methodology for comparing google scholar and scopus. Journal of Informetrics, 10(2), 533-551. doi:

Levy Librarian Barnaby Nicolas presents at SUNY Global Center

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

On Friday, May 6, Levy Librarian Barnaby Nicolas, MSIS gave a presentation entitled “The Complexity of Measuring Books’ Impact” at the SUNY Global Center on the Upper East Side of Manhattan to a group of publishing professionals.

Barnaby SUNY Global Center

The presentation revealed that books are often captured in Altmetric measures such as social media, views, and downloads. There’s no single measure that can capture the impact of books. It’s important for publishers to utilize social media to raise awareness of their books (including text books).

Slide 4

Slide 3

Barnaby collaborated on the presentation with Levy Library Director Gali Halevi, MLS, PhD.

Watch a short video to learn more about PLUM Analytics at Mount Sinai.

Narrative Medicine: A Workshop for Providers and Students

By Robin O’Hanlon, MIS

On Tuesday, April 26 2016, Levy Library hosted Narrative Medicine: A Workshop for Providers and Students. Open to all members of Mount Sinai Health System community, this workshop introduced MSHS providers and students to the practice of Narrative Medicine. Attendees examined the personal, professional, and relational benefits of Narrative Medicine practice.

nm workshop pic 1

Feedback for the workshop was very positive, with attendees proclaiming “The workshop was splendid, especially the mix of people who attended. So much more interesting than if it had been all med students in my class” and “[the workshop] was perfect. The readings were great and so was the writing exercise, and the intro/background was so informative.”


M. Alex Macy talks with Dr. Rafael de la Hoz

The workshop was led by two leaders in the field of Narrative Medicine – Faye Reiff-Pasarew, MD  and M. Alex Macy.  Dr. Feiff-Pasarew is an Academic Hospitalist at Mount Sinai and the director of the Humanism in Medicine Program within the Department of Hospital Medicine.  She received her BA from Brown University in 2005, her MD from the University of California, San Francisco Medical School in 2011, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai in 2014.  She produces “The Art of Medicine Podcast,” which explores topics in the medical humanities and is available on iTunes.  She also developed and teaches the Narrative Medicine elective within the Icahn School of Medicine.

Faye photo

M. Alex Macy is a Coordinator of Graduate & Undergraduate Medical Education at Medical Education. In her last role at The Early Alzheimer’s Foundation, Inc., she designed and facilitated weekly workshops for persons with early onset Dementia/Alzheimer’s to maximize concentration and stimulate neural networks associated with short- and long-term memory through art, literature, body movement and discussion. Prior to that she facilitated Narrative Medicine workshops for House Staff at NYC Lutheran Medical Center. After completing her BS in Microbiology at Oregon State she relocated to NYC to pursue a MS in Narrative Medicine at Columbia.

Alex photo

Levy Library would like to thank Alex & Faye for their dedication to make the narrative medicine workshop a success. Please contact us at if you would be interested in attending similar workshops in the future.