Department Blog

Health Sciences Libraries

NCBI Discovery Workshops @ UC Davis Library [Webinar Edition]

November 15th, 2013 by Amy Studer
Image:  Light Helix by BloodLight
The UC Davis Library is pleased to announce:

2013 NCBI Discovery Workshops @ UC Davis Library [Webinar Edition]

The workshops will focus on the following areas:

1.      Sequences, Genomes, and Maps:  December 17, 2013 from 12:30-2:30pm PT
2.      Proteins, Domains, and StructuresDecember 18, 2013 from 12:30-2:30pm PT
3.      NCBI BLAST ServicesDecember 19, 2013 from 12:30-2:30pm PT
4.      Human Variation and Disease GenesDecember 20, 2013 from 12:30-2:30pm PT

You are welcome to register for one or more workshops, each emphasizing different sets of NCBI resources.  Specific examples will be used to highlight important features of the resources and tools under study and to demonstrate how to accomplish common tasks.  Electronic copies of detailed handouts for each session will provide step-by-step instructions and additional information about each example.

All workshops are taught by NCBI staff and will consist of 1.5 hours of instruction followed by a Q & A period.

Due to the US Government sequester, the workshop instructors will not be able to present in person at UC Davis, as in previous years.  Instead, you are invited to attend all sessions via webinar, using your own computer or perhaps collaborating with your department or research group to view together.

NCBI Discovery Workshops Website:

Questions?  Contact or

Image credit: Light Helix by BloodLight.  License:  CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

SciENcv – Science Experts Network

November 7th, 2013 by Mary Wood

Availability of a Test (Beta) Version of the Science Experts Network (SciENcv)

NIH Notice, NOT-OD-13-114sciencecv_logo_a1
Release Date: September 17, 2013

This new electronic system will enable researchers to easily assemble the information (including expertise, employment, education and professional accomplishments) to populate an NIH biographical sketch (biosketch).  Initially, the goal of SciENcv is to reduce the burden associated with creating and maintaining federal biosketches while accommodating the need to describe scientific contributions.

NIH launched a test version of Science Experts Network (SciENcv) which allows users to create an online professional profile to share with others.  In addition, the SciENcv profile allows users to note their ORCID IDs. ORCID provides a persistent and unique author identifier number for authors. For more information on ORCID, see FAQs.

Users are encouraged to test SciENcv and provide feedback. To create a SciENcv profile, users should sign in to My NCBI.  A SciENcv profile will be automatically populated with information stored in an NIH Biographical Sketch for eRA Commons account holders who have linked their eRA account to My NCBI.

SciENcv is a cooperative project by academic research institutions and federal agencies that participate in the Federal Demonstration Partnership. An interagency workgroup with representatives from NIH, NSF, the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Smithsonian developed the concept. SciENcv is closely connected to the STAR METRICS program.

The Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae project
My NCBI Help: SciENcv
My NCBI Curriculum Vitae Web Application: SciENcv

PubMed Relevancy Sort

November 5th, 2013 by Amy Studer

PubMed now includes a new relevance sort option.

The “Relevance” sort option is available from the “Display Settings” menu under the “Sort by” selections.  Initially, easy access to relevance sort will also be provided under a “New feature” discovery tool (see red boxes on image).

The relevance sort order for search results is based on an algorithm that analyzes each PubMed citation that includes the search terms. For each search query, “weight” is calculated for citations depending on how many search terms are found and in which fields they are found. In addition, recently-published articles are given a somewhat higher weight for sorting.

PubMed Relevancy

For additional information, please visit the NLM Technical Bulletin.

This blog entry was adapted from NewsBits Blog from NN/LM Pacific Southwest Region, October 23, 2013.

Wildfire smoke effects

October 25th, 2013 by Mary Wood

In light of yesterday’s release of the NRDC report, Wildfire Smoke Affects Communities Distant from Deadly Flames,

and the ongoing wildfires in Australia,

and as an addendum to the US Forest Service site Effects of Smoke Exposure on Firefighter Health,

linked here are PubMed citations to current research on the topic of wildland fire smoke and health:

wildland firefighters  ;  firefighter smoke exposure  ;  wildfire smoke adverse effects


Whitewater-Baldy, Gila National Forest, NM
(AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service, Mark Pater)



Hazard Mapping System Fire and Smoke Product, NOAA

Related UC research

UCD Air Quality Research Center
UC Davis experts: Wildfires
UC Cooperative Extension
UC Forest research and outreach: wildfire




Previous blog posts
Fields and Forests in Flames
Wildland Fire Air Quality & Health
Wildland Fire Season


PubMed Commons

October 23rd, 2013 by Mary Wood

PubMed Commons is a system that enables researchers to share their opinions about scientific publications. Researchers can comment on any publication indexed by PubMed, and read the comments of others. PubMed Commons is a forum for open and constructive criticism and discussion of scientific issues. It will thrive with high quality interchange from the scientific community.

PubMed Commons is currently in a closed pilot testing phase, which means that only invited participants can add and view comments in PubMed.


How to Join PubMed Commons
For the current pilot testing phase there is a limited facility for joining that may work for you. Several organizations have provided lists of approved author e-mail addresses. If you are included on the list, you can request an invitation to join. Additional options for joining will be provided in future releases.

In order to complete the process you will also need to have a My NCBI account.

Currently, author information has been compiled from:
NIH extramural programs
NIH intramural programs
Wellcome Trust


PubMed Commons:  Frequently asked questions
..such as  Why can’t I see any comments in PubMed?


VPN app for Android Phones and iPhones or iPad

September 26th, 2013 by Bruce Abbott

Junos Pulse is a VPN app for iPhones or iPads and Android devices. Use Junos Pulse to log into the UC Davis network using either wifi or your telecommunication provider’s services. You will have network access to resources such as online journals and books, and other licensed resources, including UpToDate.

Junos Pulse is free. You may have network charges from your telecommunication provider, depending on your service plan. It may be downloaded from ITunes or from Android app providers.

How to install and use the client on Android (4.3)
How to install and use the client on iPhone (iOS 7)

Systematic Reviews of Animal Studies

September 24th, 2013 by Mary Wood

Citation: Hooijmans CR, Ritskes-Hoitinga M (2013)
Progress in Using Systematic Reviews of Animal Studies to Improve Translational Research.
PLoS Med 10(7): e1001482. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001482
…We summarize developments since 2002, focusing on the scientific rationale for systematic reviews of animal studies and the limitations and pitfalls. Moreover, we suggest further improvements in animal research to maximise its contribution to evidence-based translational research.
Authors spoke on same topic at recent Cochrane Colloquium: “Synergy of systematic reviews of animal and clinical studies: towards evidence-based translational medicine”.  (program/abstracts)

Trial for PolicyMap until November 30, 2013

September 24th, 2013 by Bruce Abbott

The library is offering a trial to PolicyMap–a mapping and data tool until November 30, 2013. Please evaluate it and compare it to our existing subscription to Social Explorer.

Access it directly here:

Here’s a bit of info on Policy Map:

PolicyMap is an online (no software installation needed) US national data and mapping tool and analytics platform with varied applications for college students and faculty. It is used in undergraduate and graduate curriculums and research related to social sciences, urban studies, real estate and housing analysis, community and economic development, public administration, public health, policy and political science, education, business, economics, statistics, and geography, among others. In the academic environment, PolicyMap enables students to concentrate on their subject matter rather than having to spend time learning a GIS tool. PolicyMap is web-based and geared toward users who may not be GIS experts but want to be able to analyze large amounts of data quickly and produce maps, tables, charts and reports with a minimal learning curve for the application itself.

Please send any comments to

NIH Medical Research Scholars Program

September 23rd, 2013 by Mary Wood

NIH Medical Research Scholars Program Accepting Applications

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medical Research Scholars Program (MRSP) for 2014–2015 will begin accepting applications on Oct. 1. The MRSP is a yearlong, mentored research training program for qualified medical, dental, and veterinary students in basic, clinical, or translational research at the main NIH campus in Bethesda, Md. The application deadline is Jan. 15, 2014.


Changes to Library Account Logins

September 17th, 2013 by Ferguson Mitchell

As part of the Library’s response to the campus initiative to remove barcodes from the new AggieCards, students, staff and faculty can now also use their Kerberos ID and passphrase to log into their library account via the My Account links on the left bar of the Library home page.  For older cards, both the 14 digit barcode numbers and 9 digit account numbers will work from the Other Accounts and Proxies login page.  Please consult the Account FAQ for additional information.