Infoboosters for molecular biology, genetics and fun

If you’re a frequent user of molecular biology or genetics databases, Infoboosters might simplify your research.

Infoboosters are browser bookmarklets for web-based tools like the NCBI databases, developed at the University of Pittsburgh.  Highlight a term on a webpage, then click a database bookmarklet to automatically search for that term.

For example, choose a term in a PubMed abstract and click the GeneInfo bookmarklet.  Results pop up in a new window.

Search PubMed term in Gene

Click to view


To install Infoboosters , display your browser’s bookmarks/favorites toolbar.*  Then drag the bookmarklet from the Infoboosters page to your browser’s bookmarks/favorites toolbar.


Create Your Own

You can even create your own bookmarklet for any website where search results include the term you searched as part of the URL.  Use the online tool to make one for IMBD, Twitter or your own favorite site.

For example, here’s a bookmarklet to search the Penn Vet website:

Install Find@PennVet bookmarklet

*Display bookmarks toolbar instructions:  Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari

Equine Veterinary Journal App for iPads


Equine Veterinary Journal (EVJ) now offers an app for iPads that allows you to download recent journal issues (Sept 2013-2014) to your Apple Newsstand.

Penn faculty, staff, and students can download the EVJ app through Penn’s subscription by following the Institutional Access instructions:EVJ

  1. Register for a Wiley Online Library account
  2. Access the Wiley Online Library from Penn’s network, and log in.
  3. Visit the roaming access section of “My Profile” and click “Activate Roaming Access.”
  4. Download the app from the iTune Apps store.
  5. Use your Wiley Online Library account to “Log In” to the app (see Logging in to the App section for instructions)

Once your account is set up and the app is downloaded, you will be able to access EVJ for 3 months.  However, you will need to re-activate your roaming access from Penn’s network every 3 months to continue accessing EVJ content.

The app includes “Early View” articles but currently provides access to back issues of the journal only from 2013-2014.   You can save articles or entire issues for offline reading.  Each article presents its figures and any supplementary information in the sidebar, but supplementary files are not labeled so each must be opened to determine its content.  The search function is limited to searching within an article rather than across issues.  

Although the app has some limitations, users that rely heavily on this journal will find the app useful.

Compatibility to date: Requires iOS 5.1 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch; optimized for iPhone 5.

View this and other vet-related mobile apps on the library’s Vet Apps webpage.

Real-Time Audience Participation App


Poll Everywhere is a free online tool that allows you to poll your audience in real-time and get instant results. Ask a question during a presentation or lecture and your audience can respond via text message, via Twitter, or on their tablet or smart phone. The results of your poll are downloadable and can be shown instantly on the web or uploaded live into your PowerPoint presentation. Poll options include:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Open-Ended
  • Clickable Images
  • Discourse

The basic account (free) allows for unlimited polling and up to 40 votes per poll. If you have a larger audience or want more advanced polling options, you can sign up for an upgraded account. Check out the WIC LibGuide to learn more. Happy polling!

Thanks to VMD Technology for introducing us to this great resource.

NEW: Online Veterinary Anatomy Museum

Image Credit: Online Veterinary Anatomy MuseumThe Online Veterinary Anatomy Museum (OVAM) is a free, online collection of veterinary anatomy resources. Led by the Royal Veterinary College, the museum was created “to promote free sharing of peer reviewed content” that would enable students to avoid the often dubious content found through an internet search.

Using a wide variety of digital resources from participating vet schools in the United Kingdom, Europe, India, Australia, New Guinea, and New Zealand, the collection was built with the help of student e-curators working under the supervision of academic experts. Visitors to the museum can browse the collection by:

  • Body Region: abdomen, head, neck, pelvic limb, pelvis, spine and tail, thoracic limb, and thorax
  • Body System: alimentary, cardiovascular, endocrine, integumentary, lymphoreticular, musculoskeletal, nervous, reproductive, respiratory, urinary, and special senses
  • Species: cat, dog, bird, horse, cattle, and other

Visit OVAM’s website to learn more.  You can also visit their sister project, WikiVet, to view more learning resources or to find out how you can contribute to the museum’s growing collection. Android users can also download the WikiVet app onto your smartphone.

Browzine app for scholarly journals

Browzine vet titlesBrowzine is an app for tablets and iPhone* that can simplify online reading of scholarly journals. Once installed with your Penn credentials, it provides the full text of journals in a browsable table-of-contents format.

Journals are arranged on virtual bookshelves by subject matter. Find veterinary journals under Biomedical and Health Sciences –>Veterinary Medicine (currently 70 journals listed). Within the subject they are ‘shelved’ in categories — from Comparative and Laboratory Animal Medicine to Veterinary Toxicology and Pharmacology.  Thousands of biomedical journals like Nature, Cell, Science, etc. can also be found in Penn’s Browzine library.

Tap to add your favorite journals to your Bookshelf.  When you open the app you’ll see notifications of the number of articles that you’ve not seen.  You can save up to 500 articles for reading offline and download citations to Zotero, Mendeley, or RefWorks.  Note that saving articles can take a while so don’t leave the app until you are sure the file is downloaded, or save it to Evernote, iBooks or another program to read when not on a wifi connection.

As its name implies, Browzine is built for browsing and can only search journal titles – not article titles or full texBrowzine save featurest.

Supported devices: *iPhone [update 6/27/14], Android Smartphones [update 10/14/14], iPad (2 or later); Google Nexus; Samsung Galaxy; Kindle Fire HD
Watch an Introduction to BrowZine video to learn more.

Penn users, log in here to download and begin using Browzine.

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