Author Archive

iPad Mania

Apple iPadIn June 2012, the Plummer Library launched an iPad lending program for Rochester-based employees and students. We initially started with 5 iPads and quickly acquired 5 more when more than 200 requests were submitted within the first two days. (more…)

January 31, 2013 at 11:11 am

Applying a Little Common Sense to Your Search Results

Recently I was asked to perform a literature search looking for studies on off-hours care for acute myocardial infarction and stroke.  Off-hours care means care during non-normal working hours like nights, weekends, and holidays. (more…)

January 31, 2013 at 11:05 am

What’s your reference question?

I received this question from one of our oncologists:

“We  are coming out with a new book, The Mayo Clinic Breast Cancer Book. There is one mystery for which I need expert detective help.  In our original book on women’s cancers [Mayo Clinic Guide To Women’s Cancers], we had a figure on p 41 showing a metastatic cell entering a lymph node.  This originally was published in the NEJM as “an image” – I can’t remember the name of the series that they used to run but they would show specific pictures.  We want to include this figure in the new book, but I need a better citation than simply NEJM and I don’t have the original. Is there any way that you might be able to find this for us?”

My first step was to look at the figure on page 41. I found a copy of the book at our Cancer Education Center. The legend for that particular figure read “Metastatic breast cancer occurs when breast cancer cells spread to other parts of the body. The cells use lymphatic vessels and blood vessels as a means of travel to other areas. This microscopic image shows cancer cells (see arrow) entering a lymph node through a lymphatic channel.  Reprinted with permission from the New England Journal of Medicine.”

My second step was to log into Medline. This is what I knew for sure: the article would have been published before 2005 since that was the copyright date of the book, and that  it was published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). I figured that it was part of the NEJM Images in Clinical Medicine series. My initial search in Medline was “New England Journal of Medicine.jn” + “Images Clinical Medicine.ti” (jn refers to “journal name” and ti refers to “title”– as in words in the title of the article). I limited the search between 1960-2005, which resulted in 795 hits. To narrow the search, I started adding keywords based on the text supplied in the legend. I figured that the image may not have anything to do with breast cancer, so I tried variations of lymphatic vessels or blood vessels or lymph nodes or lymphatic channel. None of those resulted in the image I was looking for. This now meant doing what we librarians call “hand searching” — or more appropriately “scroll searching”– as I would have to scroll through 795 references to find that nugget.

I could have scrolled through the titles of the 795 Medline citations, but I chose to go to the NEJM’s web site where I could also limit to “Images in Clinic Medicine” between 1960-2005. The advantage to this option was that the images were displayed next to the references, and I knew what image I was looking for.  With a little perseverance, I found the image: A Metastasis Caught in the Act in volume 335, page 1733, December 5, 1996!

Why didn’t I find it in Medline? It’s there — I found it when I had all the information from NEJM: Brat DJ, Hruban RH. Images in clinical medicine. A metastasis caught in the act. N Engl J Med. 1996 Dec 5;335(23):1733. PubMed PMID: 8929265. The one keyword I didn’t use was metastasis (or a truncation of metastasis), which was a big oversight on my part since it was one of the keywords in the figure’s legend. Why didn’t any of my keywords find the reference even though they are in the text of the article? There are no abstracts associated with the articles in the Images in Clinical Medicine series.  So, unless  my keywords were in the article title or the subject headings, I wouldn’t find the reference. Although I wasn’t thorough with my search strategy, it led me to play with the NEJM web site and discover the bonus of having the images display alongside the reference.


August 6, 2012 at 3:05 pm

A Conversation with Pat Erwin

Pat Erwin is an icon in the Plummer Library. She has been on staff for 40 years, and has been Head of the Reference Department for the last 30 years. Mark Flaherty from Media Support Services sat down with Pat to record her memories of her first days at Mayo Clinic, and to hear her thoughts on how life has changed in the library. Here are some excerpts from his interview: (more…)

April 26, 2012 at 8:40 am 3 comments

New LibGuides

Check out these new LibGuides (all links are Mayo Clinic only):

Anatomical Models and Bones: Need a torso or a spine to study from? This guide gives you an idea of what’s available at two Rochester libraries: the Learning Resource Center (Mitchell 119) or the Venables Health Sciences Library (Siebens 10).

Disabilities: This subject guide provides information for healthcare providers who have patients with physical disabilities. You’ll find links to webcasts and videos, books, journal articles, practice guidelines and both internal and external web sites.

Engineering Resources: Use this guide to find biomedical, industrial and software engineering information through the Library and on the Web. There are links to patent information, technical standards and regulatory resources.

Library Jargon: Ever wonder what ILL, EDD, Celsus or Current Awareness mean? Check out the Library Jargon guide to libraryspeak.

Ann Farrell
Reference Librarian

April 26, 2012 at 8:35 am

Top eJournals in 2011

At the end of the year it’s customary to publish lists of the top movies, top books,  top news stories, top apps–you get the idea. So, what were the top electronic journals used at Mayo in 2011? We turned to our electronic resources librarian, Kelly Arp, who keeps a finger on the pulse of Mayo Clinic Libraries electronic journals. Here is the list of the top ten journals based on the number of articles downloaded from the publishers’ websites:

  1. New England Journal of Medicine: 166,729
  2. Circulation: 51,535
  3. Nature: 39,375
  4. JAMA: 39,108
  5. Journal of Biological Chemistry: 36,221
  6. Blood: 34,355
  7. Journal of Clinical Oncology: 33,017
  8. Chest: 31,687
  9. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: 26,564
  10. Journal of the American College of Cardiology: 25,434

January 30, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Lunch & Learn: Mobile apps @ the Library!

Bring your lunch, and learn about library-related mobile apps like Micromedex, ScienceDirect and EBSCOhost. We’ll be using an iPad to show you how these apps work, but they are available for the Android too. (If you have a mobile device, bring it along!)
Date: March 27, 2012
Time: Noon – 1:00
Location: Cypercafe, Plummer 11, Rochester
Questions? Contact Ann Farrell ( / (77)4-1407)

January 30, 2012 at 1:10 pm

New History of Medicine Exhibit

In 1950 Mayo Clinic Library accepted a bequest consisting of the library of the late Boyd T. Williams, M.D., of Hudson, Wisconsin. Doctor Williams had collected extensively, and claimed to have one of the country’s largest libraries on cancer and tumor disease.  Although there appears to be no professional relationship between Williams and Mayo Clinic or the Mayo brothers, he surely knew of the Clinic and perhaps wanted his collection to permanently reside in a place where it might be used by researchers and clinicians.

This exhibit highlights some of the books from the Williams Collection and an accompanying handout describes a man as complex and baffling as the disease he sought to cure. For more information, see Boyd T. Williams Exhibit (Mayo intranet only) or visit the exhibit at the History of Medicine Library, Plummer 15-07. The History of Medicine Library is open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Monday – Friday.  Or call Hilary Lane at 284-3676 to arrange a visit.

Hilary Lane
Coordinator, History of Medicine Library

January 30, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Library All Sites: 2011

Mayo Clinic Libraries held its 15th Annual Library All Sites meeting from September 26-28, 2011. This year’s theme was “We are the Links to Solutions and Innovation” with a focus on Mayo’s research shield. (more…)

October 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Digital Image Databases — An Update

Back in 2006, I wrote an article for this newsletter on web-based digital image databases and also created a web page that lists many image web sites.  In the ensuing years some of the web sites have disappeared and others have emerged. Here are a few that I have added to the subject guide on images: (more…)

August 3, 2011 at 11:13 am

Mobile Apps

EBSCOhost now has an app for the iPhone/iPod Touch (one is being developed for the Android).  You can do basic searching, limit your searches, save searches and articles, email articles, set preferences and access both HTML and PDF full text articles.  To use the databases via Mayo’s access, click on the link “EBSCOhost iPhone/iPod Touch Application” at the bottom of an EBSCO database.  Enter your Mayo email address and EBSCO will send you the instructions, key and link to the app store.  You won’t need to enter a username / password. One caveat is that if you save a search via your mobile app, it won’t be available in your saved searches from your desktop computer (and vice versa).
Another iPhone app is SciVerse Scopus from Elsevier. For this app, you will need an account with Scopus, and you will have to log in with your username, password and Mayo email address the first time you access the app. The same caveat applies with this app– saved searches/alerts do not sync between your iPhone and desktop. Full-text articles are not available, but you can email links to articles for later use.
For Android users, try the EBSCOhost mobile site or scan the QR code with your smartphone (you’ll need a QR code reader app). Contact the library for the username and password to access the mobile site.
QR code - EBSCOmobile.

Be sure to check out the Library’s subject guide to Mobile apps: (Mayo Clinic only)

August 3, 2011 at 11:10 am

National Academies Press: All PDF Books Free to Download

Per the National Academies Press, as of June 2, 2011, all PDF versions of their books (more than 4000 titles) can be downloaded free of charge by anyone– for personal use only. Titles include:

August 3, 2011 at 11:08 am

Best Places to Study

The majority opinion might be that there is no need to go the library anymore since everything is online– you can sit in your office and access the New England Journal of Medicine or search the CINAHL database. Or you can stay in your pajamas at home and read your favorite newspaper online.  As convenient and as comfortable as that may be, the Mayo libraries find that many of our users prefer the library as a place to study and reflect.  (more…)

April 28, 2011 at 3:42 pm

Customizing the Mayo Library Page

The Library website default view of databases and e-journals can be customized using the My Library Homepage application. Do you have favorite databases or e-journals that you access from the Mayo Library web site?  Would you prefer to see your favorite databases and e-journals rather than the default view selected by the Library? You can do that by creating your own library home page, and customizing it with your favorite resources.  Watch this short video to learn how you can customize your library page:

Ann Farrell
Plummer Library

February 10, 2011 at 3:07 pm

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