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Now that the fall season is here, check out Healthy Living @ Himmelfarb’s October calendar to discover a variety of activities both indoors and outdoors.

Find information on all of these activities on Healthy Living @ Himmelfarb’s October calendar!

Himmelfarb Library is allowing most books in the reserves collection to check out for a week. Reserves books are located behind the Circulation Desk and most titles directly support classroom learning and board study. In addition, some materials that were previously on reserves have been moved to the basement level stacks and now checkout for three weeks and are eligible for up to two renewals.

You can check the location of physical materials in Health Information @ Himmelfarb search tool. Change the default search from Online Access to Himmelfarb Catalog as shown below.  

Materials supporting the first and second year MD program are available in a collection that can be browsed and searched

When you’ve located a title you want to borrow, click the title to open the full record and then check under Locations to see where copies are located and if they’re currently available to check out. Courtyard pickup services are available to Himmelfarb patrons that do not currently have access to the physical library.

By signing in, you’ll see the option to request Courtyard pickup services as shown below.

Faculty are encouraged to make as many materials available to students in electronic form as possible. See more information on Himmelfarb’s reserves services for faculty or contact for assistance.


Now that Summer is over, there is no better time to prepare for colder temperatures on the way! That’s right, it’s time to break out those sweatshirts and scarves, to go on long walks to see the changing colors of the foliage. Let’s not forget that it is also a prime time to look forward to the bountiful opportunities that the end of Summer’s harvest has to offer us. 

With colder temps in the forecast it can be too difficult to resist comfort foods. What better time to challenge yourself to indulge those guilty pleasures while eating healthy? 

Cooking Light has a slideshow of forty recipes that are filled with vitamins and autumnal vibes! I don’t know about you, but their Chicken and Gnocchi soup certainly has my attention. 

Want to try something new? The American Heart Association has a Sweet Potato Nacho recipe that is not only low in salt and calories, but has an excellent source of protein and fiber! Not only that, but the cost per serving is under $2.00 as well. Talk about a way to eat healthy, while not breaking the bank. 

If you are abiding by a vegan diet, there are plenty of recipes for you also. What could be more autumnal than a set of Roasted Pumpkin Lasagna Boats? Or even a Butternut Squash Risotto? Both offer not only a promise in flavor but in presentation as well! Me? I can’t wait to try this Vegetarian Chili recipe. 

Lastly, a meal is not complete without a dessert! These Hasselback Apples give a new definition to apple pie. Don’t even get me started these Warm Spiced Cran-Pom Toddies that would be perfect on the coldest of days. For the non alcoholic version, simply substitute the rum with some hot apple cider. Want to impress your roommates or family? You can also try these Poached Pears that would compliment any autumnal dish. 

Whether you are local, or far away, attending campus from home, we wish you a safe and happy Autumn season and can’t wait to see you back on campus. 

Peer Review Week2020 marks the sixth annual celebration of Peer Review Week! The goal of this annual event is to acknowledge the importance that the peer review process plays in helping to maintain scientific quality. Peer review can be the most thankless part of the scholarly communications lifecycle--for reviewers it can be time-consuming but likewise entail minimal recognition. However, peer review is also central to helping ensure that things such as study design, data integrity, and the interpretation of results are clearly vetted. Consequently, peer review weeks strives to showcase the work of editors and reviewers, advance best practices, and highlight the latest applications.


This year’s Peer Review Week theme is “Trust in Peer Review” and the objective is to underscore why peer review is central to the process of creating trust worthy content. As a result of the COVID-19 crisis, 2020 saw the rapid growth of preprint servers such as medRxiv, bioRxiv, and others. While the growth of preprint servers has helped to expedite the transmission of scientific information, the rapid rise in the dissemination of content prior to the peer reviewed process has likewise resulted in a greater potential for error. What will the relationship between preprints and peer-reviewed publications look like going forward? This will likely be one of the biggest questions in scholarly communications for 2021 and beyond. 


Looking for some ways that you can help to celebrate Peer Review Week September 21st-September 25th? 

  • Teach a student how to structure an effective review. 
  • Recommend a younger colleague as a reviewer. 
  • Track your work as a peer reviewer through your publons or ORCID iD  researcher profile. 
  • Or just finalize the review that has been sitting on your desk. 


Happy Peer Review Week! 

Effective immediately, the Himmelfarb Library Documents2Go Interlibrary Loan service will ship books directly to your home!  What this means is that if we do not have the book that you need, we will borrow it  from another university library; once we receive the book, we will ship it to you at any location within the United States. 

How to request a book through Documents2Go:

  • Visit Documents2Go then login to our Documents2Go service with your NetID and password.
    • Example: If your email is, your username would be: jdoe, and your password would be the same as your GW email password. Do NOT include ‘’ in your username. 
  • Designate if you are looking for an article or a book, and then provide as much information as you are able to better assist us in finding exactly what you are looking for.

What to expect, how long will it take?:

These types of requests can take some time as we need to first find a library that is willing to send their copy of the book to us and then wait to receive it.  The timing is also dependent on the shipping service the lending library uses, such as USPS, FedEx, or UPS. Shipping from the lending library to Himmelfarb can take 1-2 weeks, and then an additional week or so for us to send it to your location. Please allow roughly 3 weeks for us to get the book to you from the time you create your request. We highly recommend requesting materials well before you need them. 

What will it cost me?

We will send these books to you free of charge, however if you want us to send an ILL book to your location, we ask that you pay return costs associated with shipping the book back to the Himmelfarb Library, and that you accept financial responsibility for any lost or damaged books. Once your request arrives to us, you will receive an email asking you to accept these responsibilities, along with a link to provide your shipping information so that we can send the book promptly to you. 

Can I request Himmelfarb to mail me a book the library already owns?

Absolutely. If you would like us to check out and send one of our books to you, please fill out the shipping form here:

If you have any additional questions do not hesitate to contact our Interlibrary Loan department at

PDF downloadWe recently noticed an issue with displaying some journal article PDFs and contacted the vendor.
We learned that the issue was not vendor-related, but was caused by the browser.  If you experience issues in accessing PDFs via Chrome, please try an alternate browser (e.g. Firefox, Edge, Safari, etc.).
As always if you run into issues with any resources in our collection, please let us know as soon as possible.

Fall starts next week and the Metropolitan DC area contains many parks, hiking trails and outdoor activities to help you enjoy the cooler weather and fall foliage. Here is a quick list of local parks, orchards and trails that are the perfect places to explore, while we continue to practice social distancing guidelines. 

Green Springs Gardens: Located in Alexandria, Virginia just off of Little River Turnpike, Green Springs Gardens is a great place to visit on a sunny day. Walk along the paved pathways that lead to several different ponds, enjoy the blooming flowers or pop into the gift shop. There’s plenty of open space, so you can keep your distance from others, while enjoying some fresh air. (Bonus: if you’re an artist, Green Spring Gardens is an excellent place to draw or paint!)

Roosevelt Island: Nestled between Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia, Roosevelt Island sits on the Potomac River and offers excellent views of Rosslyn and Georgetown. There are three hiking trails that run around or through the island. Placards contain information on the history of the island, the wildlife in the area and President Theodore Roosevelt’s connection to the park. If you’re lucky, you may even cross paths with a deer, rabbit or other local critter. Roosevelt Island is a great way to spend a cool fall morning or afternoon!

Scotts Run Nature Preserve: Interested in a more rigorous hike? Drive down Georgetown Pike to Scotts Run Nature Preserve. Boasting seven marked trails with various degrees of difficulty, the preserve brings you closer to nature. You can choose a trail that leads to the bluffs overlooking the Potomac River, walk and observe the wildflowers that grow in the area or sit on the craggy rocks and dip your feet in the flowing streams. One day is not enough to fully explore Scotts Run, so be sure to make multiple trips while you can. 

Apple/Pumpkin Picking: No fall is complete without a visit to a local apple orchard or pumpkin patch and luckily there are plenty of farms in the surrounding area.  Cox Farms will open up their Drive-Through Market next week and will offer goods such as apple cider, apple cider doughnuts, fresh produce and other treats available for pick up. The market will run through November 2nd, so there’s plenty of time to place an order. Great Country Farms in Bluemont, Virginia is now open for apple picking and their pumpkin patch will open later this month. Though the farm is open every day for apple picking, you must purchase tickets to visit during the weekend. This year’s apple picking season will feel different with farms and orchards implementing social distancing and mask guidelines. Be sure you read and understand the rules before making a trip for some freshly picked apples!

Whether you're a hiker on the hunt for the next challenging trail, a baker in need of some fresh fruit for your favorite holiday treats or just a student in need of a quick respite, there are countless ways to socially distance and enjoy this fall!

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, research papers have been fast-tracked to publication. The pandemic has necessitated significant shifts in the scholarly publishing model that have resulted in research being made available at record speeds and, for most major publishers, available at no cost. Preprints have become mainstream. While many see these as positive changes, there is a darker side to this shift in scholarly publishing.

Predatory journals, known for their lack of peer review and willingness to publish any article written by someone able to pay the required Article Processing Charges (APCs), have been largely forgotten during the COVID-19 pandemic. Predatory journals are known for their promises of “rapid” publication. But in the time of COVID-19, quick publication has become the norm even among legitimate and highly respected journals. This has led to questions about the quality of peer review and has led to frequent retractions of COVID-19 related articles. 

In a recent article published in The Journal of Academic Librarianship, Teixeria da Silva (2020) states that “the risks to the scholarly community, academic publishing and ultimately public health are at stake when exploitative and predatory publishing are left unchallenged.” Academics and the media alike are reading, discussing and trusting content that has not undergone a rigorous peer review process. “If one considers that this explosion in literature is directly affecting human lives and public health, astute academics need to be able to sift through pro-preprint propaganda, as well as poorly conducted peer review and editorial processing in peer reviewed journals, in order to be able to distinguish valid from invalid research” (Teixeria da Silva, 2020). 

A recent study of predatory publishing in the COVID-19 era analyzed the prevalence of COVID-19-related articles published in known predatory journals. Between January and May 2020, the study found 350 articles were published in 109 predatory journals, and five of these journals were indexed in PubMed/MEDLINE (Vervoort & Shrime, 2020). The study estimated that the amount of money spent to cover APCs for these articles totaled $33,807.41 (Vervoort & Shrime, 2020). 

Vervoort and Shrime (2020) highlighted three major concerns about predatory journals in light of the pandemic:

  1. "Loss of potential valuable biomedical and epidemiological information."
  2. "Spread of misinformation with potentially harmful or negligent consequences."
  3. "Money earned off of unknowing authors in times where many scientists and clinicians have taken pay cuts."

Retraction Watch highlighted a sting article entitled “SARS-CoV-2 was Unexpectedly Deadlier than Push-scooters: Could Hydroxychloroquine be the Unique Solution?” by authors claiming to be from “The Institute for Quick and Dirty Science” in Switzerland. The goal of this sting article was “to highlight a concerning paper in the Asian Journal of Medicine and Health, which they and others suspect of being a predatory publication” (Marcus, 2020). The “concerning paper” included among its authors several hydroxychloroquine partisans, and contains “errors of analysis, raises regulatory questions and sometimes misunderstand the appropriate terms” (Marcus, 2020). 

The authors of the paper in question had claimed that their article was “proof of the efficacy of HCQ,” and that the journal in which it was published was “as serious as the Lancet” (Marcus, 2020). In an effort to prove that this same journal would indeed publish anything as long as the APC has been paid, the sting article authors set out to write and publish a bogus article in this journal. The article was indeed published! Although it has since been retracted due to “serious scientific fraud,” it would not have been published at all had any real peer review taken place prior to publication.

While there is a real need for legitimate research to be published quickly in order to increase our knowledge about COVID-19, authors and readers alike should remember that predatory journals have not taken time off during the pandemic. “The academic community has the duty to respond to these deeply perverse practices, and thereby protect fellow researchers and combat misinformation” (Vervoort & Shrime, 2020). 



Marcus, A. (2020). Hydroxychloroquine, push-scooters, and COVID-19: A journal gets stung and swiftly reacts. Retraction Watch,

Teixeira da Silva. (2020). An alert to COVID-19 literature in predatory publishing venues. The Journal of Academic Librarianship. (46)5.

Vervoort, D., Ma, X., & Shrime, M. (2020). Money down the drain: predatory publishing in the COVID-19 era. Canadian Journal of Public Health.

Would you like to borrow materials parcel of booksfrom Himmelfarb Library, but can’t access the building? Himmelfarb now offers Ross Hall Courtyard Pickup as well as a new Shipping service!

How will this work?  For items that you’d like to pick-up, you simply locate your item(s) via the Health Information @ Himmelfarb Catalog searchHI@H catalog screenshotNOTE: select Himmelfarb Catalog from the drop-down menu in order to search physical books and media and login to Health Info @ Himmelfarb so you're offered the pick-up and shipping options.  Then click on the Delivery Request Formdelivery request form link screenshot link and complete the form. Wait for an email letting you know that your item is ready.  You can pick your item(s) up during our available hours; simply call just before you arrive in the Ross Hall Courtyard and we will bring your item(s) out to you.  Remember to bring your GWorld Card for pickup; please don't enter Ross Hall or use the 24th St. loading dock.

Shipping requests work similarly: locate your item(s) via the Health Information @ Himmelfarb Catalog search, then complete the Delivery Request form (soon to be linked right from Health Info @ Himmelfarb) and provide your mailing address.  We will send the item(s) out to you and they should arrive in 7 days.  When you return your item, you ship them back to Himmelfarb (USPS + insurance recommended).

To learn more about Courtyard Service and Shipping Service, consult our new Borrow from Himmelfarb guide which includes policies, renewals and holds information, and FAQs.

If you have questions, please contact the Circulation Desk at (202) 994-2962.

Scholarly Publishing in Early CareerLinda Werling, Ph.D. who currently teaches in GW’s MD and PA curricula, has a distinguished record writing scientific articles and advising students who are writing up their own work for publication.

Linda WerlingDr. Werling is the author of 61 peer-reviewed publications in scientific journals.  She has also authored 10 invited chapter and reviews, as well as 75 abstracts for presentations at national and international meetings.  She has served as a reviewer for 13 journals, and was on the editorial board of Synapse for 13 years.

Dr. Werling taught scientific writing for 10 years to graduate students at GWU.  She encouraged her own PhD students to publish their work, resulting in solid predoctoral publication records for all of them.  She has served on many PhD dissertation committees, and enjoyed assisting them in preparing clear and concise accounts of their research projects.

Given her impressive background as both an author and as a mentor, we asked her what advice she would give to young researchers as they think about publishing their own work.

Here’s what she had to say:

1.  Choose the right journal for submission

    • Make sure your work fits with the type of article the journal publishes.  What kind of journal do you and your labmates read?  You want your work to have the best exposure to the right audience.
    • Choose a high quality journal, and have backup journals in mind in case your paper is not accepted by your first choice.



  • Make sure you organize and format your submission in strict compliance with journal specifications.  Journals receive a lot of submissions.  There is no reason to have your work rejected because you did not carefully follow guidelines.
  • Provide figures as specified by the guide to authors.
  • Be sure to organize your reference list according to journal specifications.  There are lots of programs that can store all your references and tailor their format for you for various journals’ requirements.
  • Construct a cover letter that tells why you believe your work is suitable for that particular journal, and (very briefly) what your major findings are.


3.  Tell a story

  • Give sufficient background for the reader to understand why you did the work. This usually goes into the section called Introduction.
  • Make figures and illustrations you plan to include, and lay them out in order
  • Use the figures as a roadmap to describe what you found.  In this way, the results section of the paper can almost write itself.
  • Use the Discussion to place your findings in the broader context of the field.  Do not use this section to simply reiterate your results; explain what they mean in advancing knowledge in the area of research.
  • Cite original sources for literature referenced.  Do not assume that the authors of a paper you have read have cited the source work correctly.


4.  Proofread for content, spelling, grammar and syntax

  • Also ask your colleagues to read the paper.  It is advisable to choose readers both directly involved in your field, as well as scientists who are in a different field.  What may seem very clear to you or your advisor may not be as clear to another researcher.  Considering the critiques of others will ensure your work can be understood by a more general scientific audience
  • Have a thick skin.  If you ask for critiques, understand that your colleagues are doing you a favor.  (You can return the favor by reading their drafts.)


5.  When you receive an editorial decision, revise accordingly

  • Again, have a thick skin.  Your response should not be argumentative.  This rarely will be received favorably by the reviewers or the editor.  Thank the reviewers for their helpful comments, even when you may not feel they were all that helpful. You may need to rewrite to be more clear, or you may need to do additional experiments.  If you disagree with the reviewers’ advice, you may certainly rebut, but go gently.
  • If you cannot meet the reviewers’ expectations, or your submission is rejected outright, revise for submission to another journal.  Don’t give up.  Writing and publishing is a learning experience.


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