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. Jonathan Halperin, MD, Professor, Medicine, Cardiology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. The article examines the use of digoxin to treat atrial fibrillation.

Citation: Washam JB, Stevens SR, Lokhnygina Y, Halperin JL, Breithardt G, Singer DE, et al. Digoxin use in patients with atrial fibrillation and adverse cardiovascular outcomes: a retrospective analysis of the Rivaroxaban Once Daily Oral Direct Factor Xa Inhibition Compared with Vitamin K Antagonism for Prevention of Stroke and Embolism Trial in Atrial Fibrillation (ROCKET AF). The Lancet.385(9985):2363-70.

Halperin article

Article Summary: This study examines the use and outcomes of digoxin in patients. Digoxin treatment was associated with a significant increase in all-cause mortality, vascular death, and sudden death in patients with AF. This association was independent of other measured prognostic factors, and although residual confounding could account for these results, these data show the possibility of digoxin having these effects. The researchers find that a randomised trial of digoxin in treatment of AF patients with and without heart failure is needed.

BACKGROUND: Atrial fi brillation (AF) is the most common arrhythmia encountered in clinical practice, estimated to currently affect more than 30 million people worldwide. It is associated with increased risk of stroke, heart failure, cognitive impairment, and death, and complicates management of other disorders. Digoxin is a widely used drug for ventricular rate control in patients with atrial fi brillation (AF), despite a scarcity of randomised trial data. The researchers studied the use and outcomes of digoxin in patients in the Rivaroxaban Once Daily Oral Direct Factor Xa Inhibition Compared with Vitamin K Antagonism for Prevention of Stroke and Embolism

Trial in Atrial Fibrillation (ROCKET AF). For this retrospective analysis, the authors included and classifi ed patients from ROCKET AF on the basis of digoxin use at baseline and during the study. Patients in ROCKET AF were recruited from 45 countries and had AF and risk factors putting them at moderate-to-high risk of stroke, with or without heart failure. The researchers used Cox proportional hazards regression models adjusted for baseline characteristics and drugs to investigate the association of digoxin with all-cause mortality, vascular death, and sudden death. ROCKET AF was registered with, number NCT00403767. In 14,171 randomly assigned patients, digoxin was used at baseline in 5239 (37%). Patients given digoxin were more likely to be female (42% vs 38%) and have a history of heart failure (73% vs 56%), diabetes (43% vs 38%), and persistent AF (88% vs 77%; p<0·0001 for each comparison). After adjustment, digoxin was associated with increased all-cause mortality, vascular death, and sudden death.

URL to this article on Plum X

Dr. Halperin’s profile

Levy Library now offers NEJM Resident 360

NEJM Resident 360 is here to make life easier for busy Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai residents. This resource offers clinical content targeted specifically to residents’ needs, guidance in career decisions, and a way to connect with peers. Features such as Rotation Prep help residents solidify their foundational medical knowledge with materials that have been written and curated by a team of physician experts, fellows, and residents, and mapped to 14 common residency rotations in internal medicine.  Each rotation includes brief topic overviews, links to landmark clinical trials and review articles from NEJM and other highly-respected sources, and a selection of test questions from NEJM Knowledge+.


To access NEJM Resident360, visit our databases page. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai residents must create a personal account to NEJM Resident 360 while on campus. If you’re off campus, you can create an account through our NEJM eJournal subscription.

If you are an Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai resident and you have created a Resident 360 account previously at another institution and want to maintain your current account, you can simply login to their personal 360 account while on campus networks at Mount Sinai Hospital Mount Sinai Beth Israel to get access to the institutional modules that are included in t subscription.

Contact with any questions.

The Complexity of Measuring the Impact of Books: Article in Publishing Research Quarterly · June 2016

By Gali Halevi, MLS, PhD, Barnaby Nicolas, MSIS, Judit Bar-Ilan, PhD


Libraries have been looking for ways to measure the value of their collections for decades. Discovering the amount of downloads, citations and views of journal articles are some of the major methods used by librarians to define how much their collection are used by patrons and whether or not they should keep them. Altmetrics, mainly the ability to track the social impact of scientific artefacts via networks, introduced a new dimension to these evaluations. Nowadays, scientific impact can be measured via traditional metrics such as citations but also via alternate metrics such as downloads, views, clicks and so forth.

That being said, studying the scientific and social impact of books still remains a challenge. The main reason is that books vary in format, content and genre. Books not only adhere to disciplinary or multidisciplinary foci, but also differ in categorical type and targeted audiences. Within the general classification of books into “Fiction” or Non-fiction” classes, books also display a complex categorical structure which includes genres (i.e. science, drama, history) and types (i.e. encyclopedia, dictionary, text book).

In addition, while many platforms can track the number of citations, downloads and views of single chapters of scientific and text books, hardly any can track altmetrics or offer a book-level aggregation of such impact.

Our study endeavored to discover whether there are scholarly evaluation metrics that can be applied to a wide range of books’ types and contents. We analyzed over 70,000 books and collected various metrics per each title including traditional and altmetrics measures. Our results show that books display different impact in each of the measurements and vary by types and content. There isn’t one measure that captures the impact of books across the board.

Therefore, we concluded that books should be evaluated by types and contents while using different measures per each.  We believe that in order to capture the scientific impact of books, it will be important to use a variety of measures. Furthermore, in light of our analysis, we recommend using both traditional metrics such as citations and reviews as well as altmetrics such as social media mentions, downloads, reads and views. Using platforms such as PLUMx can assist in capturing such metrics.

We also recommend creating topic – related books data sets as well as type-related ones. In this manner, the evaluator can track different metrics around topics and types and compare them better. For example, a library looking to evaluate its books collection should create data sets of text books around a specific discipline and benchmark them against.

Full article DOI: 10.1007/s12109-016-9464-5

Image credit:

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!