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No, it’s not a spiffy button that you wear, it’s a neat bookmarlet that allows for the collection of information about paywalls standing in the way of research. The button was dreamed up by Medsin-UK and the Right to Research Coalition (Washington DC), as a way to gather information about how frequently and where researchers are running into paywalls, as well as to try and provide the user with an open access version of the blocked content.  From the “About” page for the project:

Every day people around the world such as doctors, scientists, students and patients are denied access to the research they need. With the power of the internet, the results of academic research should be available to all.  It’s time to showcase the impact of paywalls and help people get the research they need. That’s where Open Access Button comes in.

The Open Access Button is a browser plugin that allows people to report when they hit a paywall and cannot access a research article. Head to to sign up for your very own Button and start using it.

Vision for the Button:

“A fair and just world in which access to research is a reality for all”

Mission of the Button:

  1. A tool for advocates detailing quantitative and qualitative information about the lack of access to scientific literature

  2. A tool for the public and professionals to more easily access scientific literature within the current system

  3. Creation of a platform for further innovation.

Sign up for your very own button HERE and be a part of the Open Access movement.




In honor of Thanksgiving, we have set out to describe the ‘evidence’ behind the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Enjoy…

Cranberry Sauce
Cranberries for preventing urinary tract infections.
Jepson RG, Williams G, Craig JC.
Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 2012 Oct 17
Findings:  “…cranberry juice cannot currently be recommended for the prevention of UTIs”
Bottom line:  Well, cranberries are still pretty tasty.


Stuffing and Mashed Potatoes
Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.
Noto H, Goto A, Tsujimoto T, Noda M.
PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e55030. Epub 2013 Jan 25.
Findings: “Low-carbohydrate diets were associated with a significantly higher risk of all-cause mortality and they were not significantly associated with a risk of CVD mortality and incidence.”
Bottom line: Eat the stuffing.


Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Ooi CP, Loke SC.
Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 2012 Feb 15
Findings: “There is insufficient evidence to recommend sweet potato [as a therapy] for type 2 diabetes mellitus.”
Bottom line: Sweet potatoes are still very good for you if you have type 2 diabetes (but leave the marshmallows off the top, capesh!).

and, of course…

Does Turkey Make you Sleepy?
Ballantyne, C.
Scientific American. November 21, 2007
Findings: Goble, goble, zzzzzzzzzzz…..

Bottom line:  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Contributed by Research & Instruction Librarian, Amy LaVertu.


In yesterday’s post, we mentioned that the White House OSTP recently issued a memo mandating public access to federally funded research, including the related data sets.  So what’s so great about open data anyway?

Ensuring open access to the data behind the literature will play a key role in seeing that the scholarly communication system evolves in a way that supports the needs of scholars and the academic enterprise as a whole.”   -SPARC: Open Data

According to Dan Gezelter, of The OpenScience Project, Open Science encompasses four fundamental goals:

  • Transparency in experimental methodology, observation, and collection of data
  • Public availability and reusability of scientific data
  • Public accessibility and transparency of scientific communication
  • Using web-based tools to facilitate scientific collaboration

 -e-Science Portal for New England Librarians: Open Science


And what about the humanities?

  • As reported in an article from Inside Higher Education, many humanists see tagged, linked open data as the way to provide for cross-disciplinary research
  • Using open data would increase the relevance of cross-disciplinary research to broader communities, including the general public
  • The ability to use open data from various fields would open up new avenues of research and collaboration within the humanities and beyond

We hope you had a great Open Access Week! Visit the Scholarly Communication at Tufts website for the latest news on open access, author’s rights, and copyright.


Seal_of_the_Executive_Office_of_the_President_of_the_United_StatesIn February 2013, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a memo directing major federal funding agencies to develop plans to make the published results and digital data sets of federally funded research freely available to the public within one year of publication.  Agencies with R&D budgets of more than $100 million, including NIH, NSF, NEH, USAid, among others are impacted.  This directive dovetails with the recent bipartisan public access bill FASTR introduced into both the House and Senate.  It is also in line with the mandate already in place by NIH, but expands to include data, not just journal articles.  (Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post about open data!)

The exact details of how this will roll out are still forthcoming, but, rest assured, various groups at Tufts are monitoring developments.  We are looking forward to working with our researchers to comply with the federal requirements as they are established.

The Hirsh Health Sciences Library fondly remembers Peter Ofner, who died on Friday, May 24, 2013.

candle in remembrance

Dr. Ofner was one of 10,000 children rescued from Nazi Germany under the mission known as the Kindertransport, escaping to safety in Sweden. He was later reunited with his parents in England, where his father became headmaster of St. Bee’s School in Northumbria.

Dr. Ofner was an Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Urology at Tufts University School of Medicine; an adjunct Lecturer of Toxicology at Harvard School of Public Health; and Director of the Steroid Biochemistry Lab at Lemuel Shattuck Hospital. He was also a longtime PBL facilitator and great friend of the Library.

A search of Web of Knowledge yielded 38 articles published while he was at Tufts, mostly on steroids and sex hormones.

Please see his obituary in the Boston Globe

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In celebration of National Poetry month, the Academy of American Poets is celebrating Poem in Your Pocket Day on April 18th.

poem in your pocket day from

HHSL is getting into the spirit with a poetry contest on our Facebook page! Here are the details:
  • Post an original, 12 line or less poem (haikus are great options!) about life on the Boston Campus in response to our Facebook post before 5pm on April 18th
  • Please include your email address!
  • A winner will be chosen and contacted via email on Friday the 19th
  • Winner gets to check out 2 overnight books from the library
  • The winner will also have their poem featured on our blog and Facebook pages

Click here to like us on Facebook!