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Keeping Up with New Discoveries through My Journal Shelf

Scientific innovation often relies on the ability to quickly spot new advances and hot topics in interdisciplinary areas. But it can be a challenge to sift through the vast literature for relevant findings, resources, approaches, and methodologies. How can anyone possibly keep up with current advances in multiple disciplines?

journals with covers showing displayed on bookshelves

Enter My Journal Shelf, a virtual library shelf chock-full of your favorite biomedical journals. It’s a publicly accessible, simple-to-use, and researcher-friendly Web tool that allows you to efficiently browse and search the latest biomedical journals as soon as they’re published. My Journal Shelf started out as a collaborative pilot project between the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Division of Intramural Research and NIAID’s Office of Cyber Infrastructure and Computational Biology (OCICB). It was led by senior investigator Michael Lenardo and me (I’m a project manager in OCICB). Now the project is available to everyone at NIH.

Cover images of the most recent issues (updated nightly) of NIH e-access journals are displayed and are linked to their table of contents on the publishers’ Web sites. Users can get a snapshot of highlighted research featured on the journal covers. The journals on the shelf are based on the preferences of NIH researchers and only include those for which permission is granted by the publishers. NIAID is working with additional journal publishers and the NIH Library subscription team to add other covers to the shelf.

Users can customize their profiles to include favorite journals, search-term lists, and more. Integration with the NIH remote access to subscribed e-access literature and iPad compatibility enables anytime, anywhere access. The PubMed search tool allows uses to perform keyword searches of current articles so all citations from the most recent issues can be filtered by the search criteria. Retrieved citations are linked to PubMed abstracts.

NIH researchers can login using NIH credentials to customize My Journal Shelf: Create a personalized shelf (favorites) by selecting a subset of the journals available; store a personalized search-term profile so you can perform repeated searches easily; choose whether to search all journals displayed or a combination of one or more journals; select whether to have retrieved citations sent—via e-mail or computer download—in either a human-readable format or for use in a reference-manager program such as EndNote.

Journals that include articles that match one researcher-specified favorite search term can be automatically searched and flagged on the researcher’s favorites shelf. Journals that have been updated since the researcher last logged in are also highlighted on the shelf. Authentication also allows users to remotely access full-text articles via the NIH library’s proxy servers for remote access.

So what are you waiting for? See for yourself how great this tool is at My Journal Shelf (


June 2–August 29, 2014

Need to print something in three dimensions (3-D)? Participate in a free 3-D–printing pilot program through the NIH Library’s Technology Sandbox (, a new collaborative space in Building 10 offering NIH staff an opportunity to share and explore new technologies, including NIH-developed applications and projects. During the pilot, NIH staff will have access to a Makerbot Replicator 2 and a Sense 3-D scanner. Before printing, you will be required to attend a 30-minute orientation. Printed models must be related to your NIH work or research. In addition, you will be asked to complete a post-print evaluation. The goal of this pilot is to allow NIH staff the opportunity to explore 3-D printing and to assess the need for this service at NIH. Have questions or need more information? E-mail the NIH Library Technology Sandbox Team at


In May, the NIH Library will open a new collaborative space in Building 10 called the “Technology Sandbox,” a creative digital commons for the NIH and HHS communities to explore, develop, and share new technology.

 The Sandbox is located on the first floor of the library and divided into three activity zones: Collaboration Zone, featuring two pods, each equipped with a PC, plasma screen, headphone sockets, and a whiteboard; Information Zone, offering reference and circulation services, a place to reserve the collaboration pods and other technology, and staff who can provide technology consultations; and “Storefront,” an area to explore innovative hardware and software projects developed at the NIH, including a Makerbot 3-D printer, Apple and Android devices, and bioinformatics workstations. For more information contact