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In Plain Sight

RefWorks’ Write-n-Cite Problems with Mac OS Mavericks

In Plain Sight - Mon, 2014-04-07 17:00

If you’re a Mac RefWorks user, and are thinking of upgrading to  Apple’s new Mavericks version of the X operating system, you should be aware that Write-n-Cite is not compatible with OS X10.9.

According to the RefWorks Facebook page, currently, Write-n-Cite only works with OS X up to 10.6.

Without Write-n-Cite functioning you can still format a bibliography using the One Line/ Cite method.



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New feature in PubMed: Clinical trials link to Systematic Reviews which cite them

In Plain Sight - Wed, 2014-04-02 12:25

If your PubMed search turns up a clinical trial, you may see a box linking to systematic reviews which have cited that trial. Not every clinical trial or systematic review in PubMed is included (yet). For now the National Library of Medicine is working on getting each of the 31,000 plus systematic reviews included in PubMed Health linked to the trials they cited.

Screen shot from PubMed

From the PubMed Health website: “PubMed Health provides information for consumers and clinicians on prevention and treatment of diseases and conditions.

PubMed Health specializes in reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports. Clinical effectiveness research finds answers to the question “What works?” in medical and health care.”

For more information about this new feature, see

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RefWorks Flow: A Free Document Management Tool

In Plain Sight - Mon, 2014-03-31 11:21

Looking for an alternative to Mendeley and Zotero? You’re a RefWorks user but want a tool that’s better suited to collaboration and document management?  You might want to take a look at RefWorks Flow.












Launched in 2013 Flow is designed to help researchers discover, store, and organize academic articles, citations, and metadata downloaded from electronic databases. and collaborate with other researchers. This cloud-based tool facilitates collaboration by allowing group annotation of articles, sharing of datasets, and group editing of draft documents.

Any student or faculty member with a verifiable academic email address can sign up for a free account, which offers 2GB of cloud storage, and the participation of up to 10 collaborators per project.

View a short online tutorial.

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Looking for Health and Medical Statistics?

In Plain Sight - Mon, 2014-03-17 13:48

People are often surprised how difficult it can be to find health and medical statistics. Data collection in the United States is a fairly recent activity and it was not until 1956 that Congress enacted legislation to establish the US National Health Survey in order to collect statistics on disease, injury, impairment, disability, and other health related topics. Data collection and analysis at a national level takes time to compile, so  it is often difficult to find data for the most recent years.

To help you locate statistical information the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has published a new subject guide. It is not designed to be exhaustive but is intended as a pointer to major information sources.

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ChemSpider: A Free Source of Online Chemistry Information

In Plain Sight - Mon, 2014-03-10 13:51

Looking for chemistry information? ChemSpider, from the UK’s Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), is a free online chemical database offering access to information on almost 25 million unique chemical compounds. Data is obtained from over 400 online sources. ChemSpider  is more than a database, however,  as it asks chemists to participate in data enhancement and curation.








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PubMed Commons: A System for Commenting on Articles in PubMed

In Plain Sight - Wed, 2014-02-19 17:21

Last  October the NCBI launched the pilot phase of a program called PubMed Commons, designed to allow users to comment on published abstracts on the PubMed website.

PubMed Commons enables authors to share opinions and information about scientific publications in PubMed. All authors of publications in PubMed are eligible to become members. Members play a pivotal role in ensuring that PubMed Commons remains a forum for open constructive criticism and discussion of scientific issues. They can comment on any publication in PubMed, rate the helpfulness of comments, and invite other eligible authors to join.

More information.

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Updates on RefWorks and EndNote

In Plain Sight - Thu, 2014-01-16 14:11

I posted important information about EndNote and RefWorks in the final months of 2013. In case you missed them here are links to the posts:

RefWorks Users No Longer Required to Enter Group Code When Logging in to RefWorks Account.

What’s Desktop EndNote? EndNote Web? Online EndNote? EndNote Basic? – I’m Confused!



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Elsevier gets Scrutinized for Take-Down Notices

In Plain Sight - Fri, 2013-12-20 15:28

This post was updated on December 21, 2013.

When it comes to public relations, the publisher Elsevier seems to be its own worst enemy. They’ve recently issued take-down notices to commercial sites such as and to several universities, where authors have posted the final, published version of their journal articles from Elsevier journals. is social networking and research sharing site for scholars, similar to Mendeley and ResearchGate. Because Elsevier is so prominent in the field – they publish well over 2,000 scholarly journals, many of which are top tier – when they do things, they do it big. And people pay attention to what they do.

image credit: flickr user SuperFantastic

So, no surprise that the library and academic community has been been abuzz with news about this recent round of takedown notices. Several popular news sources have written about it – including the Chronicle of Higher Education, Washington Post, and TechCrunch.

To be fair, Elsevier does allow authors to post the final version of their manuscript, before the publisher has typeset and copyedited it, immediately after publication (there is an embargo period for authors at an institution like UC with an open access policy, but that’s a whole other story). This version, but not the final PDF from Elsevier’s site, can be posted on author websites and OA institutional repositories. What they’re objecting to is the final version being posted. Many publishers have a similar policy and are doing the same kind of scanning for unauthorized versions of articles that have been posted, so Elsevier is not the only publisher that issues notices.

To date, no requests have been received at UCSF, however some of our sister UC campuses have gotten notices. See this Office of Scholarly Communication information page to find out more.

Why so much coverage of this round of  notices? I think it’s because social media sites like Mendeley (which is now owned by Elsevier) and have become so popular with researchers, and because academics are coming around to the idea that their own scholarly writings should be openly accessible. Elsevier and other publishers that insist on authors transferring their copyrights are starting to seem backwards and old-school. To me, this is progress!

Perhaps the best nugget from the WaPo piece is this quote from Peter Suber of Harvard University, from the Comments section:

“Here are a few extra details on the situation at Harvard. All the takedown notices were for papers posted to faculty web sites. None were for papers in DASH, Harvard’s open-access repository. All were for published editions. None were for the authors’ final peer-reviewed manuscripts. For papers covered by the Harvard OA policies, Harvard faculty have a lawful alternative, even for papers published in non-OA journals.

Speaking personally: Authors can’t blame Elsevier enforcing the rights they gave it. Those upset or angry with Elsevier should submit future work to a different publisher.”

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