Archive for November, 2011

Elmer Belt, Leonardo da Vinci, Earl Warren, and the UCLA School of Medicine

Friday, November 18th, 2011

In 1961, Los Angeles urologist, bibliophile, and UCLA School of Medicine mover-and-shaker Dr. Elmer Belt (1893-1980) donated to UCLA his magnificent collection of books and  materials about Leonardo da Vinci and the Italian Renaissance.  Elmer Belt, Collector of Ideas, a fiftieth anniversary tribute to the collector and his Elmer Belt Library of Vinciana, is on display in the lobby gallery of the Department of Special Collections (Charles E. Young Library, A-level) through January 6.

Elmer Belt, M.D. (1893-1980) was one of a growing number of local boosters who wanted to see UCLA form a medical school, after it moved to the Westwood campus and began granting graduate degrees. He reported meeting with continued resistance from Robert Gordon Sproul, president of the University of California from 1930 to 1958.  A sea-change came when Belt treated Governor Earl Warren as a patient. After hearing an impassioned pitch in the Belt Urological Group’s consultation offices, Warren took out his notebook and wrote his own prescription to his doctor:

“He said, ‘Now, there are ten things you have to do.’ So he wrote down one to ten on this sheet of paper, and he wrote after each one of them what he wanted me to do. The first was to select an assemblyman to introduce the [medical school appropriations] bill, ‘one that you can depend on.’ And the last was, ‘Come and stand behind me when I sign this.’” (Quotation from Surgeon and Bibliophile, Esther de Vécsey’s 1974-75 oral history interview with Dr. Belt.)

A black and white version of the official photograph, above, appeared in the Los Angeles Times on 20 February 1946 with the caption: “Gov. Warren signs bill providing $7,000,000 for medical school at Los Angeles campus of University of California. Looking on, from left, Speaker [Charles] Lyon of State Assembly; Dr. Elmer Belt of Los Angeles; James Corley, controller of the University; Assemblyman Phil Davis of Westwood, where campus is located; and State Sen. [Jack] Tunney.”

The newspaper quoted Governor Warren: “I don’t know of any appropriation bill before me that would give me more satisfaction to sign than this one. … I believe we can do as much good for the people of the State in this manner as any way of spending the money.”

Now known as the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, the medical school opened its doors to classes in 1951 and is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year.

 <submitted by Russell Johnson, History & Special Collections for the Sciences>

In the News: Goodbye Smoke!

Thursday, November 17th, 2011


Today, in concert with the 36th annual Great American Smokeout, UCLA hospitals and health science campuses are becoming smoke-free environments, according to an announcement by UCLA Health System.

A mini-exhibit in the Biomedical Library (main floor) echoes the Smokeout theme with original century-old documents from the Anti-Cigarette League of America. The League, founded in 1890 by Woman’s Christian Temperance Union member Lucy Page Gaston, campaigned for smoking bans in public places as well as bans against the manufacture, sale, possession, and use of cigarettes. Gaston maintained that cigarette smoking was especially threatening to the young, hence the slogan, “Save the Boy”.  The League’s influence waned as the fight for alcohol prohibition became more prominent. Anti-cigarette and anti-smoking laws were repealed by states following World War I, with Kansas finally changing its legislation in 1927.

<submitted by Russell A. Johnson>

CITE IT RIGHT: Citing Email and Email List-serve Messages and Personal Communications

Monday, November 7th, 2011

This is the eleventh and final installment in a series of blog posts about AMA style, which is designed to impart the basic rules for AMA citation style for different types of sources. This week our focus is the different AMA styles for email and email Listserve messages and personal communications. To learn more about AMA style and this blog series, please see the first post.

Citing Email and Email List-serve Messages

Email in running text:


In running text after the sentence quoted (name of author of email, their highest degree, e-mail communication, date).


There have been no subsequent reports of toxic reactions in the exposed groups (Mary Jones, MD, e-mail communication, March 29, 2004).

Email List-serve message in running text:


Sentence from running text (name of author of email, their highest degree, name of list-serve, date).


The AIDS Committee of AIDSinfo is releasing new information on AIDS treatments (Dr. Smith, MD, AIDSinfo At-a-Glance, November 4, 2011).

Email list-serve thread cited in running text:


Title. (Name of list-serve) listserve discussion. Date. URL. Accessed date.


How to prepare for earthquakes. DISASTR-OUTREACH-LIB listserve discussion. November 1-3, 2011. Accessed November 4, 2011.

Please see AMA Manual of Style 3.15.9 for further details and examples.

Citing Personal Communications

Personal communications should not be included in the list of references. 

Instead, cite within text always giving the date; whether the communication was oral or in writing; and the person’s highest degree or source of authority, as follows:


In a conversation with Name, MD* (date)…

According to a letter from Name, MD* in date…


In a conversation with Dr. Jones, MD (November 3, 2011)…

According to the pharmacist (L.M. James, oral communication, October 30, 2011), the drug will be available by prescription next year.

 *Some journals like JAMA require written permission from the person quoted when using their unpublished communications.

See AMA Manual of Style 3.13.9 for further details and examples.

<submitted by Catherine Madsen>

Searching PubMed: MeSH

Friday, November 4th, 2011

This is the third in a series of blog posts on PubMed search techniques. Previous posts have gone over what happens with a basic search and using the advanced search and limits options. This post is about search using MeSH. Future posts will discuss other options, such as searching subsets and the features offered through MyNCBI accounts, such as filters.

In the previous PubMed entries, you may have noticed the term MeSH getting thrown around a lot. MeSH is an abbreviation of Medical Subject Headings. MeSH is a set of terms used by experts to index items on the same subjects by standard terms so that you don’t miss anything on a subject because you searched for one term when some authors were using a synonym (for example, heart attack instead of myocardial infarction). On the other hand, in order to use these subject headings, you have to be able to find the right word. Fortunately, as discussed in the article on basic searching, PubMed is really good at finding MeSH terms for you. But in some cases, you’ll want to search MeSH yourself.


CITE IT RIGHT: Citing Software or Software Manuals, Databases and Legal References

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

This is the tenth in a series of blog posts about AMA style, which is designed to impart the basic rules for AMA citation style for different types of sources. This week our focus is the different AMA styles for citing software or software manuals, databases and legal references. To learn more about AMA style and this blog series, please see the first post.

Citing Software (Online) or Software Manuals (Print)

For software online:


Name of Computer Program [computer program]. Version if available. Location of publisher (City, State or City, Country): Publisher Name; date (year).


Java for Bioinformatics and Biomedical Applications [computer program]. New York, NY: Springer; 2007.

See AMA Manual of Style 3.15.6 for more information and examples.

For print software manuals cite as for books in print:


Author(s) (Last name, first and middle initials). Title. Location of publisher (City, State or City, Country): Publisher Name; date (year).


Peters, P.J. Biostatistical Programs in BASIC Language for Time-Shared Computers.  Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press; 1971.

See AMA Manual of Style 3.15.7 for more information and examples.

Citing Online Databases


Author(s) (Last name, first and middle initials). Title of database. Location of publisher (City, State or City, Country): Publisher Name; date (year of publication). URL.  (Updated date if available). Accessed date.


Sloan, A. P. and Kettering, C.F. Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Database. New York, NY: Sloan-Kettering Institute; 2011. October 20, 2011.

See AMA Manual of Style 3.15.8 for more information and examples.

Citing Legal References Online and in Print

Legal citation formats are very complex so please refer to the AMA Manual of Style 3.16 for specific rules for different sources such as court cases, law journals and other legislative materials as well a link The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation for complete details including citation styles in different jurisdictions.

Use the same format for both print and online with the addition of the URL and accessed date for the online format.

Check this blog post next week for the correct AMA citation style for email or List-serve messages and personal communications.

<submitted by Catherine Madsen>