Archive for Lee Vucovich

New! EndNote Manuscript Matcher

Are you planning to finish a journal article or two this summer? Are you curious about which is the ideal journal to publish your work?

EndNote’s new manuscript matcher tool will generate some best-fit journals for your manuscript.

  • Simply enter your titles and abstract.  For better results, put the references in your manuscript into an EndNote group and select it.
  • EndNote uses patented algorithms based on Web of Science to generate a list of suggested publication with key metrics like JCR Impact factor.

Click on the image below to watch a short video demonstration and explanation of Manuscript Matcher.


If you have EndNote, you can access Manuscript Matcher through your EndNote online account. If you do not, you can create a free EndNote Basic account.

If you have questions, Ask a Librarian. We are happy to help!

Meet Browzine™ Turn your tablet into your e-reader!

Keep up to date with your scholarly reading with Browzine™, a new way of browsing and reading your favorite journals from many major publishers on your iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Android Tablet or Android phone. BrowZine is free. All licensed content is provided via UAB Libraries.



Get started in two EASY steps:

1.  Download the free Browzine app for your device.

2. When installed, choose University of Alabama at Birmingham as your university library. Use your Blazer ID/password when prompted.


Why use Browzine?

  • to scan the complete tables of contents of scholarly journals and read articles optimized for mobile devices
  •  to get one-click from journal tables of content to the PDFs of the articles you want to read
    • save specific articles for later reference and offline reading
    • create a bookshelf of your favorite journals for easy, fast access
  • to receive on screen notifications when new issues of your favorite journals are published

Other features:BrowZine_Article_Export_Options_iOS

  • Find journals by searching or browsing a title list, or by using a Browzine bookshelf chosen by subject.
  • Annotate or print articles by opening them in your favorite apps like Good Reader or iAnnotate.


Altmetrics: What is the Buzz about Your Article?

Last week, I saw that Altmetric, a company that measures article level metrics, published their list of the 2014 Top 100 articles.  Here are two examples:

Example 2 Example 3

These are the papers that received the most attention online during 2014 from mainstream news, blogs, social media including Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube, and Mendeley, and review sites like F1000. They cover a wide range of topics from serious science to those with imaginative titles.

What do you think of the top 100?

Are you curious about the buzz generated by your recent article?

Altimetric offers a free bookmarklet for your browser toolbar that will provide a detailed analysis of article level metrics for any article. Just grab it to install and go to a journal article page and click on the “Altmetric it” icon.

bookmarklet image 1

Here is the Altmetric report for a recent study (published in Sept. 2014.) Notice the details available to show you who is talking about your work. (Click on an image to enlarge it.)


SA 2







Intrigued?  Learn more about Altmetrics

“Altmetrics” is an emerging category of impact measurement premised upon the value of “alternative metrics,” or metrics based distinctly on the opportunities offered by the 21st century digital environment according to the ACRL. Frequently presented as a supplemental measure to traditional citation counts and impact factors, it measures the immediate attention generated by a publication and combined with traditional citation counts, journal impact factors, and H-indexes, offers a richer view of the impact of scholarly research.  There are several studies that measure the correlation between early attention to an article and later citation counts.

You may have seen article level metrics on journal article pages from a growing number of publishers, including some PLOS, Nature, Wiley, and Springer journals. Many of these journals include article downloads and page views as well.  Scopus offers Altmetric data in the right sidebar on the article record, allowing you to see both citing articles and article mentions.

Of course there are limitations to the use of these metrics and legitimate concerns about their validity and importance.  To address these issues, NISO (the National Information Standards Organization) has undertaken an initiative to explore, identify, and advance standards and/or best practices related to alt metrics, and has published a draft white paper for public comment.

To learn more about alternative metrics and their use, start here:

Altmetrics: A Manifesto – Jason Priem, Dario Taraborelli, Paul Groth, Cameron Neylon

Altmetrics: A 21st-Century Solution to Determining Research Quality – Stacey Konkiel

 Keeping Up With… Altmetrics – Chin Roemer and Rachel Borchardt.

Almost Painless Biosketches

sciencv logois an online tool that assists researchers in creating and formatting biographical sketches needed for federally funded research. Because it generates reference lists from My NCBI and imports grant information from eRA Commons, it is fast!  Save your templates to modify and update later.

Formatted Biosketch

  • Developed by NCBI (NIH) for the SciENcv interagency working group: DOD,DOE, EPA, NIH, NSF, USDA
  • Used to create, save and maintain multiple NIH biosketches for grant applications and annual reports. Includes template for NIH Biosketch now, and NSF is to be added Fall, 2014.

This video from NIH demonstrates the features of SciENcv.  Prefer to read? See these detailed instructions.  Or check out this guide to get started working with My NCBI.



I love my iPad Mini

I’ll admit it.  When Apple first announced the iPad mini, I was skeptical. Why would anyone want one, since the iPhone and iPad did everything so well and the iPhone is so portable?  Then I learned the mini fits in a doctor’s white coat pocket. And that the new mini has (almost) all the features of the iPad Air. So when offered the opportunity to upgrade from my iPad 2, I chose the new Mini with Retina Display and I could not be happier with it.

The size feels exactly right.

new coat size

To learn specifics about the features of the new mini, start withone of these comprehensive reviews from my favorite sites:

Why I like the iPad mini

  • It is small enough to carry in a large pocket or small purse, but has the functions I need to work productively as well as the apps for personal use that I also have on my phone
  • I have a case with keyboard for when needed for writing and email
  • Webpages open in the full site view, not the mobile view, so there is a full range of options for using them

The LHL Website in Both Views





Working with PDFS

Most people in academia need their tablet to work well with PDF files so they can easily find, read, annotate and store papers.  The smaller size works very well for these tasks in part because of the sharpness of the retinal display. The tablet fits easily in my hand for reading or sits upright in its case on a desk. If the PDF print is tiny, a pinch magnifies the screen.

  • From the LHL website, you can search in PubMed, CINAHL or Scopus to find articles. Many other UAB resources offer apps or mobile sites.
  • There are many apps that store and open PDFs.  I often use GoodReader because it has an excellent set of annotation tools.

Screenshot of an Annotated PDF on the Mini



  • Most PDF apps allow you to upload the finished PDF to Dropbox, email it to yourself to save storage on your phone, or open it in another app, like Papers or EndNote.  I use the EndNote app ($) because it syncs with my other computers. A recent upgrade added a robust set of annotation tools to EndNote as well.

Screenshot of an EndNote Library


Share your experience with using tablets for clinical care or research in the comments below.

Just for Fun: Google Chromecast

I was surprised at Christmas to receive a gift I had no idea I needed- Google Chromecast.  Now I wonder why everyone isn’t getting one!


Chromecast is a $35.00 dongle that allows you to stream content from your computer, iPad or Smartphone to your television.  Simply plug it into your HDMI port, set it to work with your wireless, and begin sending videos.  You’ll use your smartphone instead of a remote.

Currently, Chromecast works best with the apps it has partnered with, including Netflix, Pandora, HuluPlus , Google Play, You Tube (and others).

photo[1] photo

To watch these videos, open the free Chromecast app on your phone, choose the app you want to watch (in this case Netflix), pick your video and it will stream to your TV and play. Notice you can start, pause, advance and control volume from your phone.  Your TV screen looks like this:


You can use your smartphone for other things while it is streaming.  Hopefully, Google will continue to partner with the popular content providers!

Although my television is fairly new, it is not a “smart TV.”  To watch Netflix or You Tube before Chromecast,  I went through a complicated process with a PS3, involving multiple remotes and seeming endless system updates etc.  It simply was not worth the time.   This is seamless!  But what if you want to watch other streaming content, like Amazon Instant Video?

To do this, you install an extension to the Chrome Browser on your laptop and use it to “Cast.”  Learn how here.


Click on the “cast” icon to stream as shown above.  Your computer (unlike a smartphone) will play as you cast, but you still control everything, including volume, via the computer. Video quality does depend on your laptop (newer is better) and your wireless connection.  I used a 2011 Macbook Pro (OS 10.9.1) and Charter Internet.

In my tests, Amazon Instant Video streamed perfectly. Chromecast is also a good way to watch an episode of a show you may have missed if it is available online. I “casted” episodes of Modern Family (ABC), Frontline (PBS), and 30 for 30 (ESPN) found on the network websites.  It took them a couple of minutes to load and then the quality was fine.

Chromecast is portable. You can move it to any TV on your wireless system that has an HDMI port.  We use a Roku on our older television.  It is more expensive, the set up was complicated, and it requires yet one more remote with our system, but it works fine for Amazon Instant Video, Netflix and more (not HD quality) for older setups.

PubMed Commons

Would you like to see a discussion by other scientists about new findings when you read a paper abstract?  Do you wish you could join in the discussion?  Do you enjoy the commentary and letters to the editor sections of journals and newspapers?  If so, read on…


PubMed Commons

PubMed Commons is a new service that will allow researchers to post comment on specific papers in PubMed. It is designed to be a forum that will encourage constructive criticism and high quality discussions that may enhance understanding and spark collaborations.  The screenshot below shows how the discussion displays in PubMed’s abstract view. (Click to enlarge image.)


During the time the Commons is a pilot project, participation is via invitation. If you are an author with a paper in PubMed and have eRA Commons credentials, you can invite yourself. Learn how to join PubMed Commons here.

You will need to have a My NCBI account and log into it when using PubMed.  That will allow you  to both see and post comments. To see all articles with comments on a specific topic, add AND has_user_comments[sb]  to your PubMed search.  Learn more about your My NCBI account here.

According to the NCBI, comments from the first few days after the site went live included “critique or pointed to other studies or reviews with the potential to change people’s interpretations or conclusions. Some authors posted corrections or changed their own conclusions in the light of others’ subsequent work. Authors also used PubMed Commons to update people on their work – including links to databases that have moved, providing contextual information and backstories as well as new, relevant work.

Many PubMed Commons participants took the opportunity to add links to relevant papers and data, sometimes in the non-PubMed academic literature or data repositories – including complete datasets, data re-analyses, blog posts and full text pre-prints of the article.”

PubMed Commons can be viewed as another tool in an emerging field sometimes labeled “post-publication peer-review.”  Two other options for reading commentary and adding your views to the discussion on published articles follow:

  • UAB licenses Faculty of 1000 which uses experts to identify and comment on noteworthy articles.
  • PubPeer is a free website striving to create an online community for discussion of scientific papers organized into a searchable online database.  PubPeer has released a browser plugin so users can identify articles with comments when searching PubMed.

Where PubMed Commons has requirements for the people posting commentary, PubPeer encourages anonymity.  Each has strong reasons for its requirements. If you are interested in these issues, both Nature News and Retraction Watch have discussed the PubMed Commons initiative.

Ipad/iphone Apps for Reading the Current Literature

Keeping up with the literature in your field is necessary, but can be time-consuming!

This post is about 3 different, but similar, FREE apps that are designed to make the process much easier. Each has included the UAB proxy server in its options, so you will be able to link to the full text PDFS in a click for many articles that UAB licenses. Which one(s) you use is really a matter of personal preference. The apps are Docwise, Docphin, and Read (by QxMD.) You download them at the iTunes App Store.

All 3 of them feature:

  • An easy-to-use interface.
  • Settings to choose the journals to display whose current issues you want to read.
  • Searches to find a specific article, or articles on a topic (keyword searches.)
  • Once the topic is found, the ability to set alerts and topic updates so all new articles will be identified when published.
  • Can have email updates when new articles meeting your criteria are published.
  • One click sharing through Social Media such as Twitter.
  • The ability to favorite a PDF so you can read it when you are offline or traveling.
  • Easy access to the full text article for most UAB holdings (after you set  automatic log in with your Blazer ID and password.)
  • Please note:  These links work very well for content UAB licenses directly from the publisher, but may not work for content purchased from other vendors and will not work for unlicensed content that is not freely available.
    • The app developers work with the publishers and Lister Hill Library simply provides the proxy settings.  Often it is not clear why full text is not displayed, but the library cannot do anything about it.  We can help you get any articles need, though.  Simply Ask a Librarian.
    • Still, for a great many journals, this process is fast and nearly seamless.

Docwise   Read Review    Read Review

Docwise includes a customizable news feed from sources including CDC, FDA, Forbes, Time,  Washington Post, CNN, Medscape and more.   If you want to be able to scan current medical news in the same app as literature, this is very useful.

Click on the images to enlarge them.

Docwise_journal docwise_topic

Docphin:  Read Review  Read Review

Docphin includes a section on landmark articles, by speciality.  The app covers approximately 250 carefully selected journals. News from feeds chosen by Docphin, and including some Twitter feeds, is aggregated into the Medstream feature.

docphin Medstream Docphin journals


Ckick on the images to enlarge them.

Read by QXMD  Read Review   Read Review

Read allows you to choose to follow specialties, journals, collections and keyword searches.  It aggregates and highlights important articles under the “Featured” tab, although it is not clear how these are chosen.

Read_list Read


Tech Tools for Dog Owners

On May 1, Hand-in-Paws is bringing their therapy dogs to Lister Hill Library to provide stress relief to student studying for finals. In this post, dog owners will find some fun and useful technology tools to keep yourself and your dog safe, happy, and healthy.

* Tagg is a GPS pet pet tracker that attaches to your dog’s collar.  It allows you to track your dog’s location and activity level from your smartphone or computer. The apps are free, but the tracker and service are not, of course. If your dog gets out, Tagg will send you both an email and a text so you can go get him. It even includes directions to his current location. You can generate charts of your dog’s minute-by-minute activity level, too.


* An inexpensive option is the PetHub QR coded dog tag. Scanning the tag links to an online profile page about your dog with your contact information and also generates directions to where he is found.  Additional services are available.

* iCam is an iOS tool that lets you watch your dog in real time while you are away.  You can use the app to monitor live streams of video and audio feeds generated from multiple webcams. Now you will know what your dog actually does while you are at work.

*You love to walk your dog, right? Like the fitness app, MapMyRun, MapMyDogwalk uses the GPS on your phone to track and map your walk and save metrics including distance, pace, speed, calories, and more. Save your data online to see maps and your workout history and connect with others. (iOS and Android.)


*Be prepared while you are out and about. The Pet First Aid iOS app (limited features for Android at this time) contains articles, videos and detailed instructions on how to care for your dog or cat in an emergency. Yo can also save information including their vaccinations,  veterinarian contact info, medications, allergies & conditions, and any other notes about your pet’s health.

* Ready to play?  Try the Go Go Dog Pals remote-controlled critters. ($$$) Customization kits will soon be available too. Watch video here.

* My personal favorite tech tool is iRobot’s  Roomba vacuum cleaning robot. ($$$) Depending on the model, you can program Roomba to clean your floors while you are at work, or set it loose when you leave for your walk. It will vacuum up that annoying dog hair and fur from all types of floors so you don’t need to deal with it daily. And it’s fun to watch.

* Coming soon.  Watch for FitBark, the FitBit for dogs. Clip the Fitbark to your dog’s collar, and use the FitBark mobile app, launching on iOS in Spring 2013 (Android is in the works) to see charts and data on your dog’s daily activity and sleep patterns. (See Pat’s post on FitBit here.)

Thanks to the Mashable Blog for several of the ideas in this post. The authors frequently post about our canine friends.

ReadCube: Manage your Research Literature

Are you looking for a simple tool to organize your PDFs and facilitate your writing process?

ReadCube is a free app for Windows and Mac computers developed to help researchers quickly navigate research literature, and organize their PDFS to facilitate their writing.  (Similar free tools include Zotero and Mendeley Desktop.)

Read Cube Video

Use ReadCube to organize your PDF Collection. Import a file of PDFs and ReadCube will fetch the metadata from PubMed and Google Scholar for the citations.  Export individual or groups of citations directly to EndNote (or as a RIS file for other managers, like Zotero) to create bibliographies.


You can highlight, annotate, and tag  each PDF in your PDF library.  These comments are fully searchable.

tools annotate add notesSearch PubMed and/or Google Scholar directly in ReadCube.  Download the articles (if free or licensed by UAB) in one click. Be sure to set your preferences to UAB. Note the links to related articles and forward citations in the record in your library.





Other features include personalized article recommendations based on the PDFs in your library and the ability to automatically find supplemental material for a growing number of articles.

ReadCube is snazzy and simple to use. It seemed to find bibliographic information for most of the articles I added quite quickly and working with PDFS was straightforward and simple. There are other reference managers available that have similar functions available. Similar products you may want to review, depending on your needs, include:

EndNote X6 

Zotero: See the LHL Guide to Zotero,  Organize your zotero Library

Mendeley Desktop