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Tech Tips: Home

A monthly feature of tech tools the LRC uses or recommends.


Tech Tips are a monthly feature from the LRC's staff highlighting technology tools we find practical, interesting, or engaging.

Sometimes Tech Tips will be useful for work, teaching, or researching. Other times Tech Tips may be something a user wants to use in his or her day-to-day, personal life.

Tech Tips 2017

What is Google Keep? Think "post-its" via the web and as an app. You can use it to take notes, make lists, attach images and audio, as well as to create reminders. Notes can be labeled and color-coded for additional organization.

Why would I want to use Google Keep? It's an easy to use tool that allows you to stay on top of current tasks, set future reminders and to quickly pin interesting links (e.g., articles, images, etc.). In addition, the "Collaborate" feature enables you to share notes and reminders with others.

How do I use Google Keep? You can add it to your bookmarks, and download the app (Android and iOS). It syncs across your devices so that you are always working with the current set of notes, tasks, etc.

How do I access Google Keep?

What is PubMed's Best Match? The default in PubMed is to display the most recent citations first. You can change the sort from 'Most Recent' to 'Best Match' to view the most relevant results first. This relevancy ranking lists citations based on where search terms appear in the title or abstract and how closely they appear together. In addition, recently-published articles are given a somewhat higher weight for sorting.

To learn more about how this PubMed algorithm works, click here

Why use this feature? This feature is most useful for searches that yield a high number of results (a few hundred or several thousand) and you are not sure how further refine, e.g., date, age, etc.

January 2017 Tech Tip: Access Medicine

What is Access Medicine? This online reference and practice resource provides access to more than 85 medical textbooks, thousands of images, an integrated drug database, diagnostic tools, patient education, and more. 

Who might use Access Medicine? This resource is helpful for both faculty and students.

  • Faculty can educate students and residents with interactive patient safety modules, case files, and self-assessment, and easily download images to PowerPoint for their own lectures.
  • Students can use this resource to expand background knowledge with thousands of self-assessment question and review the many patient cases. In addition, there are more than 250 procedural videos and animations, images, cases, and diagnostic tools.

Where do I find Access Medicine? Via the LRC website. To access this resource, follow the steps below:

  1. In the 'Search Our Collections' box, click on the ER tab.
  2. Enter Access Medicine in the search box and click Search.
  3. To the right, click on the Access Medicine link to open the resource. Note: If this is a tool you will use often, at this point Save to Favorites.

Other/similar resources: Access Emergency Medicine and Access Surgery

Tech Tips - 2016

What is √ThruUSU? √ThruUSU is a special, tiny program called a bookmarklet that can be added by you to the Bookmarks (Favorites) Bar of most browsers. Once installed, when you see a journal article web page that might be in our collection, click on the √ThruUSU bookmarklet. Your page will be reloaded through the LRC's proxy system so that publishers will recognize that you are entitled to access through our library's subscriptions. Just enter your ER username and password (or SSO or CAC) and help yourself to accessible content.

  • NOTE: Of course, LRC doesn't subscribe to everything. If you use the √ThruUSU bookmarklet and the journal still rejects your request for full text, you can submit a request for an Interlibrary-Loan through our established protocols.

Why would I want to use √ThruUSU? Discovery of online published literature in your field doesn't always begin with logging into your library's system and running a search. Perhaps you receive a Table of Contents newsletter from an important online journal or a colleague sends you a link to a new article. This is where √ThruUSU can help.

How do I use it? To install the bookmarklet using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, or Chrome, click on this link and follow the instructions on that page.

​CheckThruUSU was inspired by the "Reload via NYUHSL" bookmarklet featured by the NYU Health Sciences Library.

What is Grammarly? A free writing app to ensure everything you type makes sense and is mistake-free. You can add the Grammarly app to Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. The app will automatically check your spelling and grammar on your emails, social media (e.g., Facebook), Google Docs, and most anywhere else you write on the web.

  • The Grammarly Premium is a paid upgrade that includes additional writing features to improve your writing further and includes Grammarly for Microsoft Office.

Why would I want to use Grammarly? It keeps you from making embarrassing mistakes with your writing, especially emails. It is designed to give you feedback to help improve your writing. Once you set up an account, you will receive weekly emails with personalized insights and performance stats. Other features include:

  • Contextual spelling checker detects correctly spelled words used in the wrong context. You can stop worrying about misusing homophones like lose/loose, affect/effect, lie/lay, there/their/they’re, and many other commonly confused words.
  • Fixes hundreds of complex grammatical errors, including subject-verb agreement, article use, and modifier placement, to name just a few.

How do I use Grammarly? You can add the free browser extension to Chrome, Safari or Firefox to your browser.

How do I access Grammarly?

Quick and easy method for extracting media files from a PowerPoint Presentation

Have you ever wished that you could easily extract all of the images from a PowerPoint presentation? I had always done this by going to each slide to copy and paste one image at a time. It works but is very time-consuming, especially with presentations that have lots of pictures and several movie or sound files.

Follow this tip, the next time you need to move or capture images, etc. from a PowerPoint presentation:

  1. First, make a copy of your original file (to safeguard from damaging your original file).
  2. From the copy, replace the .pptx extension with the .zip extension.
    • On a PC, go to Windows Explorer or Finder and change the extension.
    • On a Mac, you may need to open (right-click) the "Get Info" window to change the extension.
  3. Next, open the ZIP file and you should see all the images, movies, etc.
    • On a Mac, the images, etc. are placed in the "media" folder.

What is Safari Books Online? Offers online access to top books in technology and business. Also includes videos and more recently, video training programs (Learning Paths) in business, data, design, programming and more.

Who might use Safari Books Online? Anyone who is looking to know more about business, technology, or programming.

How do access Safari Books Online and get the mobile app (iOS and Android)? First, it is free to .mil and users. 

  • Go to Safari Books Online (you will be prompted to log in with your LRC username/password).
  • Next, click Register Now to create a Safari Online account. Once you create your account, go to the What's New section to download the Safari To Go mobile app. Enjoy reading!

May 2016 - NIH Manuscript Submission System

What is the NIH Manuscript Submission System? This online tool enables you to submit peer-reviewed manuscripts into PubMed Central (PMC) in support of the NIH Public Access Policy. In January 2015, the NIH Manuscript Submission System was redesigned to improve the submission process.

What's new? Last month, NCBI released a helpful tutorial to walk you through the process, see below. Or, you can go to the NIHMS Overview page to read more about the process.

April 2016 - WHO Zika app

What is the Zika App? A free app from the World Health Organization that's designed to provide up-to-date information on the Zika virus and its suspected complications.

Why would I want to download the app? The Zika app was developed for health care providers and responders treating patients with Zika virus, and can also be used by the general public. The app provides information on Zika virus diseases, microcephaly, and its suspected complications. You will be able to download technical guides and resources, follow current research and development, and more.​ Click here to learn more about the Zika app and additional information available from WHO.

What platforms is it available on?

CDC Mobile Activities

Did you know the CDC offers more than 25 mobile apps designed for both the general public and healthcare providers? These apps are available for iOS, Android and Windows 8. Below is a highlight of some of the apps that are specific to health care providers and clinicians. To view the full listing of CDC apps, click here.

CDC App Description Platform
Blast Injury

This app provides current medical and healthcare systems information to aide healthcare providers and public health workers in the preparation, response, and management of injuries resulting from terrorist bombing events.



FastStats provides quick access to up-to-date health statistics. You can search by topic, bookmark information, highlight and annotate text. You can also share via Facebook and Twitter. iOS, Android

Influenza for Health Care Providers

This app is designed specifically for use by clinicians and other health care providers. You can locate the latest CDC recommendations, view national flu activity, and more.  iOS, Android


February 2016 - Data Visualization Tools

Anyone preparing a class or presentation will benefit from the article, 14 Data Visualization Tools to Tell Better Stories with Numbers by marketing executive, Rob Peterson, posted on the website, In his review, he groups the visualization tools by categories:

  • Pie, Line and Bar Charts
  • Mapping
  • Timelines
  • Infographics
  • Multipurpose

Where's the article?

January 2016 - Print Friendly

What is Print Friendly? A free tool that allows you to quickly and easily print only what you want from a website -- no more wasted space, paper or ink.

Why would I want to use Print Friendly?

  • Print Preview feature optimizes and display content for print
  • Edit feature allows you to remove images or text to print only what you want.
  • Print or Save as PDF option

How do I use Print Friendly? You can add a bookmarklet to your browser -- just drag the button to browser's toolbar. There's also the option to add a button to your website to provide a "print friendly" option.

How do I access Print Friendly?​

Tech Tips - 2015

December 2015 - The Noun Project

What is The Noun Project? The noun project is an online repository of simple graphics and icons (clip art) that can be used to visually communicate concepts.

Who might use The Noun Project? Anyone who needs to communicate a message!

Where do I find The Noun Project?  To learn more about The Noun Project, please visit

What are Alternative to the Noun Project? There are many! The LRC has a resource guide for sources of medical images.

November 2015 - Google's standalone web apps for Docs, Sheets and Slides.

What are Google's Docs, Sheets and Slides apps? These apps are very similar to Microsoft's Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The main difference is that all documents, spreadsheets and presentations live on the Internet -- allowing you to edit, use and present as long as you have an Internet access.

Who might use these apps? Think collaboration! Creating documents via Google allows you to easily share documents with a group; allowing them to review or edit the document. In addition, since all documents created in Google are automatically saved online, you can access them anywhere and anytime with an Internet connection.

How do I access and view the templates? If you click on the links above, you can view the templates for each app. However, to quickly access them via your Gmail account, see image above.

October 2015 -iHealthBeat

What isiHealthBeat? free, daily, multimedia news service that provides timely information about the impact of technology on health care. The website is open to all and includes a responsive web design for mobile devices, sharing and republish tools, and a fresh approach to real-time publishing.

Who might use iHealthBeat? Healthcare professionals and decision makers that want to stay current with the latest in technology's impact on health care.

Does this new resource cover military and veteran health? Yes. To search for news items specific to military and veteran health, click on "advance search" (under the search box) and click on Topic to select "Military Health IT" or "Veteran Health."

How do I access iHealthBeat?​

September 2015 - Haz-Map®

What is Haz-Map? Haz-Map is an occupational health database designed for health and safety professionals and for consumers seeking information about the health effects of exposure to chemicals and biological agents.

  • The main links in Haz-Map are between chemicals and occupational diseases, in which causality has been established based on current scientific evidence.
  • Haz-Map shows diseases linked to each agent and agents linked to each disease.
  • You can browse by categories of jobs, diseases, or agents, or by adverse effects.

Who might use Haz-Map? Healthcare professionals and consumers that want to learn more about the links between jobs and hazardous tasks with occupational diseases and their symptoms, and other non-occupational diseases such as hobbies.

What other databases might you suggest? Haz-Map is a product of the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program. Visit this website to learn more about the additional toxicological and environmental databases.

How do I access Haz-Map?

August 2015 - "Undo Send" from Gmail






What is Undo Send? Undo send is an add on for Gmail (including USU's google mail tool) that places a delay of five through thirty seconds on messages after the "Send" button is clicked. During the delay, the user may elect to recall the message, returning it to draft form.

Who might use Undo Send? Almost everyone who uses email has experienced a time when they misspelled a word, used the wrong title when addressing another person, missed essential information, or used an unintentionally gruff tone. Undo send allows you a few seconds to reconsider a message.

What are similar products to Gmail's Undo Send? Outlook also offers an email delay service, though it is more difficult to configure.

How do I activate Undo Send? Instructions for gmail can be found here. The option is available in Outlook as "delayed delivery."


July 2015 - iMedicalApps

What is iMedicalApps? iMedicalApps is a tech review blog that reviews new medical apps. iMedicalApps describes strengths and weaknesses of many new smartphone apps, scenarios in which they could be used, and who might benefit from the app.

Who might use iMedicalApps? Medical students, teachers, and practicioners.

Where do I find iMedicalApps?  To learn more about iMedicalApps, please visit

June 2015 - Jing

What is Jing? Jing is a free tool that allows you to capture screen shots or create videos (up to 5 minutes), and share. Once you download and install Jing, the "sunburst" sits in the upper corner of your screen. It's ready the next time you need to quickly capture a screenshot or record your actions. In addition, with Jing's editing tools you can add arrows and text, and frame or highlight specific areas.

Who might use Jing? Jing is a great tool for anyone who may need to capture a screenshot or records online steps. Perhaps, you would like to capture an image for an upcoming presentation or to quickly share a screenshot via email -- there are many uses! It works on both Mac and PCs.

Where do I find Jing? Visit the Jing website at

Other Notes: Check with your computer administrator before installing Jing on your work machine. Jing is free.

May 2015

What are site blocking apps? They are apps designed to improve concentration and focus by allowing users to control or limit the amount of time spent (wasted) on social media or surfing the Internet.

Who might use one of these apps? Anyone (ok, most of us) who are easily distracted, even with looming assignments or project deadlines. Let's face it, it's more fun to pin recipes to Pinterest , "like" a comment on Facebook or retweet on Twitter than it is to write that 20-page paper. These distractions steal time and keep you from actually getting work done.

Here are a few apps that may work for you:

Downloadable Apps

  • SelfControl– A free Mac OS X app that lets you block your own access to distracting websites, email, or specific websites. This app allows you to set a period of time to block and add sites to a blacklist. You won’t be able to access those sites until your timer expires – even if you restart your computer or delete the application.
  • ColdTurkey – A free Windows app for blocking social media sites and websites for scheduled periods of time. The Basic version is free; Pro version is $14.99.

Browser Extensions

  • LeechBlock – is a Firefox extension that allows you to input websites you consider the most time-consuming. Once selected, you can set time constraints for each site or category of sites. You will also be able to see how much time is spent on specific sites.
  • StayFocusd – a Chrome extension that allows you to restrict or limit the amount of time you can spend on certain websites. You can block specific sites.

Where can I find more apps? Click here for a Google search on site blocking apps.

April 2015 - SciENcv



What is SciENcv? Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae (SciENcv) is an application that helps researchers create professional profiles in official biographical sketch formats for the the application of federal funds. In addition, SciENcv profiles include ORCID iD.

Who might use SciENcv? Researchers submitting NIH or other federal grant applications. SciENcv now includes the new NIH biographical sketch format that researchers will be required to employ starting May 25, 2015. Researchers are encouraged to use the new format for upcoming grant submissions. 

Where do I learn more about SciENcv? Click here to learn more about SciENcv.

March 2015 - PubMed for Handhelds

What is PubMed for Handhelds (PubMed4Hh)? PubMed for Handhelds, available as both an App and a website, helps health professionals leverage PubMed. The tool provides PICO-structured searches, journal abstracts, TBLs ("the bottom line" summaries), and access to Clinical Queries .

Both the site and apps are free and provided by the National Library of Medicine.

Who might use PubMed for Handhelds? Anyone who needs to search the medical literature while on the go!

What are similar products to PubMed for Handhelds? PubMed Mobile also provides access to PubMed, but it does not have the same search filters that PubMed4Hh provides.

Where do I find PubMed for Handhelds? To learn more about PubMed for Handhelds, please visit

February 2015 - Haiku Deck

What is Haiku Deck? Haiku Deck provides an easy way to create captivating, yet simple presentations. It features a library of more than 35 million free images to use as backgrounds, and elegant font themes and layouts that you won’t find in PowerPoint. Presentations can be projected, shared, posted, or embedded on a website or blog.

While this site is free, you will need to create an account. You have the option to keep your presentations private or public.

Who might use Haiku Deck? You, especially if you are expected to give a presentation in the near future.

What are similar products to Haiku Deck? Of course, there’s always Microsoft PowerPoint. You may also consider using Google Slides via your Google Drive.

Where do I find Haiku Deck? To learn more about Haiku Deck, please visit

January 2015 - Open - i

Open i logo

What is Open-i? Open-i is a service of the National Library of Medicine that assists users searching for images (including charts, graphs, clinical images, etc.) from the open source literature, and biomedical image collections. Searchers may use text queries and even query images. Open-i provides access to over 1.6 million images from about 580,000 PubMedCentral articles and 7,470 chest x-rays with 3,955 radiology reports.

Who might use Open-i? Researchers, Students, and Educators will find Open-i useful.

What are similar products to Open-i? There are many options for finding open-access images, though most still require that the user verify any useage restrictions. To learn more, please visit the LRC's research guide at

Where do I find Open-i?  To learn more about Open-i, please visit

Tech Tips - 2014

December 2014 - PubMed Commons

PubMed Commons Logo

What is PubMed Commons? PubMed Commons is an online forum where authors of articles published on PubMed may discuss other publications in PubMed. PubMed Commons is intended to be a source of constructive criticism and a medium for scientific discussion.

Who might use PubMed Commons? Any author of an article that has been published in PubMed.

What are similar products to PubMed Commons? Faculty of 1000 also provides discussion of scientific articles. Unlike PubMed Commons, however, articles are selected and reviewed by "faculty" who have been vetted by the database. Faculty of 1000 can be found in the "Featured Resources" area when logged into the LRC's Website.

Where do I find PubMed Commons?  To learn more about PubMed Commons, please visit

November 2014 - ORCID


What is ORCID? ORCID is a free, non-profit resource. It allows a researcher to enter their current name and any other names they may have published under. Researchers can also claim name variants or even misspellings that may have been used in a conference or journal. Within their profile, researchers can record their research activities. Publishers and grant-issuing institutions may use ORCID to identify authors who submit manuscripts or proposals. ORCID syncs with various other researcher profiling applications, such as PIVOT, to provide updated information on a researcher's activities.

Who might use ORCID? ORCID is an important resource for any and every researcher.

What are similar products to ORCID? ResearcherID is another popular author identification tool. ORCID and ResearcherID can be linked to each other, so that a researcher does not have to re-create a profile in each system. For more information on this integration, please visit

Where do I find ORCID?  To learn more about ORCID, please visit

October 2014 - PIVOT

What is PIVOT? PIVOT is a tool for discovering funding opportunities and research collaborations. Not only is it populated with simple profiles of USU faculty, but these users can claim their profiles and populate them with their qualifications, C.V. and publications. PIVOT can send automatic notifications to users when a funding opportunity matches their interests, or connect them with collaborators.

Who might use PIVOT? PIVOT is an excellent tool for those who are looking for funding opportunities.

Where do I find PIVOT? The USU Office of Research has acquired access to the PIVOT product, with a site license that covers all USU faculty, staff, and students. The Office of Research links to PIVOT at To create an account, please denote your affiliation to "Uniformed Services University" by using your USUHS email address (.edu or .mil) when creating a user account on PIVOT.

Other notes: To learn more about PIVOT, please visit

September 2014 - ReadCube

What is ReadCube? ReadCube is a tool for organizing and managing research literature, particularly PDFs. PDFs may be imported directly from a website, and PDFs that have already been downloaded to the user's computer are labeled with relevant information (e.g. Author, Title, Year, Journal Title). Articles may be grouped together in "lists" and PDFs may be highlighted, commented on, and shared with other ReadCube users. ReadCube has a built-in citation tool, or PDFs and their associated records can be exported to a more robust citation manager such as EndNote or ProCite.

Who might use Readcube? ReadCube is a great tool for people who need to read and manage many research articles. Fans of citation managers like EndNote might find that ReadCube is a better platform for digesting electronic articles without sacrificing the citation power of their normal citation manager software.

Where do I find Read Cube? Visit the ReadCube website at

Other Notes: Check with your computer administrator before installing ReadCube on your work machine. The basic features of ReadCube are free, but cloud storage and online syncing requires a small monthly subscription.

August 2014 - Boomerang

What is Boomerang? Boomerang is a gmail plug-in that allows users to manage when messages are sent (including setting up emails to be sent at a future date), schedule re-occuring annoucement e-mails, ensure messages are followed-up on, and send a reminder if a message is not responded in a given time frame.

Who might use Boomerang? Boomerang is a great tool for people who rely heavily upon email to manage projects and groups. If someone doesn't respond to you, the message is returned to your inbox so you can follow up on it. If you read a message but aren't ready to respond (perhaps needing another day to gather information, or to consider your response) Boomerang will remind you after a certain amount of time. Boomerang's also useful for people who do long-term planning: you can compose messages when the thoughts are fresh in your mind to be sent later, or set up a re-occuring notice to be sent out on a certain schedule.

How does the LRC Staff Use Boomerang? The LRC uses boomerang to send "letters to our future selves." When we teach a class that we only offer once a year (perhaps for a particular instructor or course), we'll make notes about what we felt worked best and needed the most improvement for the next year. We schedule the message to arrive 11 months later, when we begin to review our teaching materials. We are not yet integrating the other features, but will in the future.

Where do I find Boomerang? Visit the Boomerang website at

Other Notes: Boomerang is not owned by Google. Check with your computer administrator before installing Boomerang on your work machine.

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