Remembering Dr. Paul Farmer

Paul Farmer, MDDr. Paul Farmer, co-founder and chief strategist at Partners in Health, died yesterday in Rwanda at the age of 62 (NYT Obituary).

His work in Haiti began while he was a student at Harvard Medical School:

“Even as Farmer was studying for his medical degree, he essentially lived in Haiti amid extremely low-income farmers who didn’t even have access to dependable electricity, let alone health care. Farmer was determined to change that.” (NPR).

I can’t do his accomplishments justice, but to quote author, John Green (Washington Post):

“Here is what I want you to know about Paul Farmer: He simply did not accept the idea that inequality of health-care access is natural or inevitable. Because of his belief, and because of the nonprofit health organization Partners in Health that he co-founded, millions of people in some of the poorest nations on Earth are alive today.”

We have many of his books in our collection, including:

The library also has his biography, Paul Farmer: Servant to the Poor, as well as Partner to the poor : a Paul Farmer reader.

You may also wish to watch Bending the Arc, a documentary (also available on Netflix) “the story of Partners In Health’s origins and how founders influenced international movements at the center of some of the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises”.

If you are interested in reading one of his books for an upcoming IHS Library Book Club, please email


What exactly is “Preprint”?
As you read several news publications you may come across the term “Preprint”.  What exactly does that mean and what does a preprint article entail?

A preprint article is a version of a manuscript that is published on an open-access preprint server.  This kind of manuscript is published before any peer-review process.  They are generally published electronically and can be located on publicly available databases or preprint servers.

One reason a group of researchers may choose to do a preprint submission is because of the length of submitting an article through the traditional publication process can take a while.  Preprint allows for the dissemination of information at a faster pace.  Generally, the authors will still seek to have their work published in a peer-reviewed journal at a later date.

Skipping over the peer-review process may seem unconventional but there are some benefits to preprint.  Preprint allows you showcase to your colleagues where your interests lie, as well as establish early claims to your research findings.  Preprints are the fastest way that a researcher can disseminate their knowledge and research and start scholarly conversations.  Since most are located on an open access platform anyone can read them without paying which increases their accessibility and outreach.

It is important to keep in mind that while preprints may be scholarly, they have yet to be formally peer reviewed.  While some preprint servers may have a simple peer review process to determine that the content is legitimate, they don’t necessarily check on the reliability or accuracy of the information.  It is still best to be cautious when reading a preprint paper and to use your best judgement.

Did you know that we have our own Seton Hall Google Custom search for preprints?! A custom search will search multiple preprint servers simultaneously, including,, Preprints with The Lancet,,, and

Preprint Servers Custom Search

If you have any further questions regarding preprint documents reach out to your librarian!

— Kyle Downey

PMIDs, DOIs, and PMCIDs Oh My!

Let’s take a moment to demystify these commonly used acronyms. They are all unique identifiers for an article (like a barcode), which can be used to easily link to or find an article online. The following article has 3 different identifiers assigned to it.

Adeli, Seyed-Hasan et al. “Spirituality in medical education and COVID-19.” The clinical teacher vol. 18,4 (2021): 372-373.

A PMID (such as PMID:33465823) is a unique numerical identifier for an article in PubMed. You will notice every article included in PubMed has a PMID under the citation/abstract. You can search this number in PubMed or in the search box on the IHS Library Homepage to go straight to that particular article.

The International DOI Foundation assigns a unique alphanumeric string to content online known as a Digital Object Identifier or DOI. Most publishers give their articles DOIs because it is the best way to provide links to articles that are persistent or permalinks.

When available, you will also see DOIs included with the citation data in PubMed. In order to “resolve” these DOIs, or make them usable links, simply add before the DOIs. Thus, an article with a DOI of 10.1111/tct.13331 can be linked by using

Finally, PMCIDs are simply unique identifiers for articles that are included in PubMed Central (PMC). PMC8013884. These numbers will be preceded by PMC first.