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September 19 – 23 is National Postdoc Appreciation Week (or NPAW, which is a great acronym).

Last year, Tufts had ~190 postdocs working in a variety of disciplines in Boston, Grafton and Medford.  Almost half of those postdocs were here on the Health Sciences Campus, so chances are you know a postdoc!  Take this opportunity to thank them for their tireless hard work and dedication to research.


Post contributed by Laura Pavlech

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MEDLINE computer with Medical Subject Headings book, circa 1974 Image source:  U.S. National Library of Medicine Digital Collections

MEDLINE computer with Medical Subject Headings book, circa 1974
Image source: U.S. National Library of Medicine Digital Collections

Now an indispensable resource, it is hard to believe that PubMed is only 20 years old. First released in January 1996, PubMed was initially an experimental database. One year later, the word ‘experimental’ was dropped and, at a Capitol Hill press conference on June 26, 1997, free web access to MEDLINE through PubMed was officially announced. The press conference featured a demonstration of PubMed by then Vice President Al Gore (anyone remember him?) and a variety of stories from peoples whose lives had been affected by access to MEDLINE (Press Release – Free MEDLINE).

Prior to the launch of PubMed, users had to register and pay to search MEDLINE. Approximately 2 million PubMed searches were executed during the month of June 1997. In April 2015, 3.5 million searches per day were performed in PubMed. PubMed has come a long way over the past 20 years, and will continue to change in the upcoming years (PubMed Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary).


Post contributed by Laura Pavlech

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It’s Bike Week! May 14 – May 22, 2016
Post by Amy Lapidow


May 14 – May 22, 2016 is Bike Week here in MA. The only state to have such!

What happens on bike week? Events to promote human powered transportation, including a free breakfast at City Hall on Friday!  Find an event near you at:

Interested in a road race, to watch or to participate? . There is an event calendar with everything you need to know (including the route), plus links to websites and registration information.

Not into racing, just want to know where there are bike routes? Try subscribe for current info, or get free access to vintage cue sheets.

It can be dangerous to bike in the city. I know I do it everyday. Learn the rules and be safe:  or

Don’t have a bike? Not to worry, rent one!  There is a hubway station at the Chinatown gate and across from The New England School of Law at Stuart and Charles St. South. The first 30 mins are FREE!

Want discounts for riding a bike? Get a sticker for your helmet at:

We’re celebrating Bike Week here at Hirsh too. If you stop by the Library Service Desk and show us your helmet this Wednesday 5/18, we’ll give you a granola bar!

Get out and ride!



COS Easter Vigil 100403_006

This Sunday is the great feast of Easter, the high point of the Christian calendar (nb: Eastern Orthodox Christians will celebrate Easter on Sunday, May 1). Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and ends the season of Lent, which began on February 10.

The final week of Lent is called “Holy Week” and the three days preceding Easter are referred to the “Holy Triduum,”  which consists of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Holy Saturday. These three days  which recount the final three days of Jesus’ life are marked by Christians around the world by religious observances, fasting,  pilgrimages, and acts of repentance.

Ending this intense period of devotion is the  Great Vigil on the eve of Easter. Christian communities around the world celebrate Easter Sunday with grand religious processions, the giving of small gifts, and feasts with family and friends. If you are celebrating Easter, we wish a  most joyous feast!

Learn more about the “Holy Week” and Easter:


Image credit: Calvin Institute of Christian Worship via Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0.


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Monday, February 22nd marks the beginning of Fair Use Week, a time to celebrate the balance in copyright law that addresses freedom of speech and accelerates advancement in education, the arts, science – you name it!

If you use other people’s work, such as images, and/or create content yourself, fair use is an important aspect of copyright law you should know about.  Before you add those images, tables, and figures to your next paper or load those excerpts up on TUSK and Trunk or post that content to your website, consider whether or not copyright law allows it.  Fair use may just be the reason you can.

But how do you know??  Never fear, Hirsh Health Sciences Library is here to help!  We provide information about fair use, including the factors to weigh when determining if you can reuse a work.  You can also send us your specific questions for some guidance on making a decision.

Lastly, join us for a workshop on using images next week.  We’ll survey and search image collections licensed by Tufts and in the public domain.  We will also discuss options for storage, display, and citing sources.  The session will be repeated.  Attend in Sackler 510, either on Wednesday, February 24, 2016, 4-5pm or Friday, February 26, 2016, 9-10am.

Post contributed by Judy Rabinowitz


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Having begun this Monday (February 8), celebrations marking Year of the Monkey will continue for the next two weeks. Often referred to as “Chinese New Year”, the Lunar New Year is celebrated throughout Asia. In Vietnam, Lunar New Year is celebrate as Tết.

Animals from the Chinese zodiac are associated with each new year.. This year is the Year of the Monkey. The Chinese zodiac has a 12 year cycle, so the next  Year of the Monkey will be in 2028.

Fireworks, feasts, family reunions and parades are some of the well-known festivities associated with the Lunar New Year. However, there are a great many traditions associated with the Lunar New Year that are centuries old, such as the hanging of traditional ‘new years’ poems, cleaning the home, the receiving new clothes and getting one’s haircut.

If you are celebrating Lunar New Year, we wish safe travels and  much joy and prosperity this year! 恭贺新禧  Happy New Year!

Learn more about Lunar New Year:

Lunar New Year 2016: Facts, Dates, And Ancient Traditions (Huffington Post)

Stories about Chinese New Year (

Lunar New Year in pictures (


Photo credit: Poa Mosyuen, used with permission under Creative Commons license

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By now you have probably heard that Punxsutawney Phil, that most famous of Pennsylvanian marmots, did not see his shadow, foretelling an early spring this year. Lucky us!

Aside from wresting a fat, sleepy rodent from his burrow, there are other traditions associated with this day…including eating groundhog! They are not a threatened species, and are generally considered to be pest animals, especially to gardeners. So maybe it is not shocking that when chef and food writer (and farmer) Ian Knauer found his vegetable beds decimated by a groundhog, he decided to eat the culprit, an event chronicled in his book The Farm, accompanied by a recipe for Groundhog Cacciatore.

I think I will stick to a different Groundhog Day treat, this adorable groundhog-shaped Groundhog Day Cake from CakeSpy!

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For those of you not already familiar, MeSH or Medical Subject Headings are the standard terms used to describe biomedical topics in PubMed. Basically, a staff person at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) tags each article with the appropriate MeSH based on what the article is about. The great thing is you don’t have to worry about spelling variations, conjugation, or even synonyms with MeSH. If the article is about the concept, the NLM staffer will tag it with the right MeSH, even if the exact words used in the text are different.
So what made the list of new MeSH for 2016? Well, a few were surprising, such as the term Grandparents. How was that not already in there? Considering Antelope has been a MeSH since 1991, why did it take this long to add Giraffe? And, is it really that often that Legendary Creatures comes up in the biomedical literature that it deserves its own heading?
Well, check the list out yourself. Just keep in mind, these MeSH are brand-spanking new, so don’t expect to get a lot of articles tagged with them just yet–most are not retroactive.


Post contributed by Judy Rabinowitz

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All of us at the Hirsh Health Sciences Library would like to wish everyone good cheer and relaxation as this term and year come to a close. Happy Holidays!


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In case you’ve been buried under exams and course work, Halloween is this Saturday! And as an added bonus, Sunday, November 1st marks the end of Daylight Savings, which means an extra hour to sleep!

So, what are you doing this Halloween? Are you dressing up? Giving out treats? Partying? Have a date with the living dead (aka, a fellow grad student 🙂 )?

Well, however you choose to celebrate, the Hirsh Library wishes you a spooky and safe Halloween!

For a treat, check out these awesome videos from the American Dental Association. And oh yeah –BOO!



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