The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) took a giant step forward in enabling the public to obtain results of government-funded research. HHS released a comprehensive set of plans outlining how its agencies will expand access to the results of scientific research for the public. These plans were developed in response to a White House Office of Science and Technology (OSTP) memorandum that directed federal research agencies to increase access to peer-reviewed scientific publications and digital data developed by researchers.
Within HHS, five of the largest research funding agencies developed plans in accordance with HHS’s common approach to Public Access: National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). These plans build on our existing Open Government goals of increasing transparency, collaboration and participation, and lowering barriers to accessing health information.
Our plans expand upon an NIH requirement that investigators make any peer-reviewed publications resulting from their NIH-funded research available to the public within 12 months of publication. The centerpiece of the effort is PubMed Central (PMC), a free full-text archive of the biomedical and life sciences journal literature, supported by the National Library of Medicine.
HHS’ Public Access Plan Details
HHS’s public access plans are expanding access to research results in two key domains: peer-reviewed publications and digital data.
Peer-reviewed Publications – We are expanding the types of peer-reviewed articles that will be required to be deposited into PMC. Researchers funded by NIH, CDC, FDA, AHRQ and ASPR will be required to submit their publications into PMC within 12 months of their publication. The addition of these agencies will increase the corpus of available research to include new topics such as: comparative effectiveness, emergency preparedness, public health, environmental health, and toxicological research.
Digital Data - We are also requiring that the data produced by researchers be made publically accessible in a digital format. At a minimum, the data underlying publications will need to be available at the time of publication. As part of this effort, our agencies will require that investigators submit data management plans outlining how their data will be managed and shared as part of their initial research proposals.
View HHS’s public access plans.
Impact of Greater Access to Health Information
Given that health information is one of the most highly sought after types of information on the web, the impact of successful implementation of our public access plans is likely to be significant. We anticipate our public access efforts will augment the over 3 million papers that are currently available to the public through PMC. Our requirements will add to this repository an estimated 110,000 peer-reviewed scholarly articles authored by HHS-funded researchers each year. This is just the tip of the iceberg. As a result of the partnerships we have established with many of the leading scientific publishers, additional journal articles are being voluntarily added to PMC. As the contents of PMC grow and diversify, we anticipate that it will create yet more opportunities for new connections to be made among disparate fields of scientific inquiry, and new types of knowledge and insights that can benefit health and healthcare. We expect it will allow for faster dissemination of research results into products, services and clinical practices that can improve healthcare.
We expect the new requirements for data sharing will be highly impactful, not only in terms of follow-on research that can be enabled, but also for ensuring the integrity of the scientific enterprise through allowing others to confirm the reproducibility of any published experiment. By ensuring that all publicly released research data is provided in open, machine-readable formats that can easily be accessed for computational analysis and machine-learning, it is our hope that we can help realize the promise of ‘big data’ in medicine and healthcare.
Next Steps for Public Access
A major focus over the coming year will be the policy development processes necessary to turn these plans into practice. Several agencies, such as FDA, AHRQ and ASPR, will be developing public access policies for the first time. Other agencies, such as NIH and CDC, will be updating existing policies. In parallel with the policy development efforts, we will be working to integrate new partners into PMC, which will include new segments of the publishing and research communities.
Over the next year, we will continue our efforts to explore how we can develop the infrastructure necessary to support data linkages across HHS, and facilitate the public’s ability to locate and access data published by our funded researchers. Outreach and communications to our partners, both internal and external, will be critical to the success of our public access efforts. We look forward to working together with all of the stakeholders to increase the usability of health research funded by HHS, and to creating an information ecosystem that will catalyze improvements in health and healthcare for all Americans.
The NCBI homepage has six new buttons on it: Submit, Download, Learn, Develop, Analyze, and Research. Each of these leads to an action page devoted to a particular set of services. These action pages allow easy access to the pages and resources you need to complete tasks. For instance, you can: Find information about the Entrez API; Find an upcoming NCBI webinar, Find an NCBI tool that designs PCR primers, and much more! On the new action pages, you’ll also see six categories in the header: Literature, Health, Genomes, Genes, Proteins, and Chemicals. These category pages highlight useful databases, tools and resources for each of the topics all in one place.
Also included is a blue Feedback button on the left side of the Download, Learn, Develop, and Analyze pages so that you can send comments to NCBI. More information about the new homepage will be released on NCBI News and to the blog, NCBI Insights.
As announced in the Federal Register, the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is now available. Individuals are encouraged to submit written comments to the federal government on the Advisory Report. Written comments will be accepted online through midnight EDT on April 8, 2015.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages individuals to eat a healthful diet — one that focuses on foods and beverages that help achieve and maintain a healthy weight, promote health, and prevent chronic disease. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) jointly publish the Dietary Guidelines every 5 years. HHS and USDA will host a public oral comment meeting on March 24, 2015. Meeting registration is now open, and the meeting agenda is available. Please direct all media inquiries to ASHMedia@hhs.gov or call (202) 205-0143.
This week on National Public Radio’s (NPR) All Things Considered was a story of what happened when Dr. Nancy Hardt, an OB-GYN, used data from Medicaid birth records to see where children were born into poverty in Gainesville, FL to try and identify ways to intervene and prevent poor childhood health outcomes. She was surprised to see a 1 square mile high-density ‘hot spot’ of births in dark blue appear in her map above. Dr. Hardt was encouraged to share her map with Sheriff Sadie Darnell, who pulled out a map of her own of Gainesville.
Sheriff Darnell’s map showed an exact overlay with the ‘hot spot’ on Dr. Hardt’s map of the highest crime rates in the city. By visiting the area they identified many things in the community that were barriers to good health including hunger, substandard housing, and a lack of medical care facilities – the closest location for uninsured patients was a 2 hour bus ride each way to the county health department. You’ll want to check out the rest of A Sheriff and A Doctor Team Up to Map Childhood Trauma to learn more about a mobile health clinic, what data from additional maps showed, and other steps they have taken since to help improve health outcomes for the community.
This story is the latest from the NPR series What Shapes Health, which was inspired in response to a recent Robert Wood Johnson Foundation poll about what beliefs and concerns Americans have regarding health. You can read an overview and download the full report of their results at http://www.rwjf.org/en/library/research/2015/01/what-shapes-health.html.
Date / Time: Wednesday, March 11th / 1 – 2 pm (ET)
Where: Online / No Registration Required
Summary: Audience: Anyone involved in Resource Sharing. This class will provide an in-depth look into DOCLINE Routing Tables. Participants will learn about using their Borrowing Preferences, brief explanation of copyright compliance, editing Routing Tables, M/A/N Map, setting up Lending Options, and more! A collaborative project of coordinators in the Greater Midwest, Middle Atlantic, MidContinental, and Pacific Northwest regions. 1 MLA CE.
Presenter: Missy Harvey, Technology & Communication Coordinator, NN/LM MAR
Date / Time: March 23rd and 30th / 2 – 3:30 pm (ET)
Summary: Audience: Health Professionals, Information Professionals. This class is a fun, fast-paced, and informative update on today’s hottest technology trends. Content will be presented with a “can-do” focus intended to encourage participants to investigate at least one technology for implementation in their institution. 4 MLA CEs.
Physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, or other providers practicing in community health centers and primary care practices are invited to participate in a Health Sciences Library System (HSLS), University of Pittsburgh study.
The purpose of this study is to validate whether or not a web-based clinical information tool provides access to free relevant information that can be used at the point-of-care.
For this reason, the study needs primary care providers working in community-based or primary care settings to individually volunteer for one month to use a website to answer their day-to-day patient care questions. The use of the web-based clinical information tool will take place where the provider currently uses the Internet to do this task. At the end of the month, these providers will be asked to complete an online questionnaire about their perception of the site. This questionnaire will take about 10 minutes to complete.
Primary care providers willing to participate in this validation study will receive an email containing directions on how to access the site, a short video about the site, and other instructional information for the study.
Web analytic software will be used to monitor the use of the site through collecting and analyzing non-identifiable usage information. Non-identifiable usage information includes search feature usage, keywords used in search, and time spent on the site.
There are no foreseeable risks associated with using this website or with completion of the online questionnaire. All references to study participant names, and any other identifiable data, will be kept anonymous if used in any report, presentation, or publication.
Participation is voluntary, and participants may withdraw from the study at any time.
After completion of the study and the questionnaire, each participant will receive a $500 stipend in a prepaid debit card, along with instructions on how to activate the card.
Whether or not you choose to participate in this study will have no effect on your relationship with NN/LM MAR or with the Health Sciences Library System, University of Pittsburgh.
If you have any questions or wish to participate, contact Charlie Wessel, Principal Investigator, by phone at (412) 648-8730 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charles B. Wessel, M.L.S.
Head of Research & Reference Initiatives
Health Sciences Library System
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
We are pleased to announce the new issue of our newsletter, The MAReport. We have a nice range of topics in this issue. We want to highlight the interesting “Member Spotlight” article by Valli Hoski.
As of Friday, February 27, the National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus resource is no longer providing a library of interactive tutorials from the Patient Education Institute. The Anatomy and Surgery videos remain available.
This decision is based on trends NLM has observed from users, and the desire to provide information that most closely aligns with user needs. NLM welcomes feedback about how MedlinePlus information should be presented and what type of content is missing. Feel free to send suggestions or comments through the Contact Us form.
Check out the March issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:
- Be a Partner in Clinical Research: Help Others, Help Yourself
Did you know that you can participate in clinical research? Whether you’re healthy or sick, young or old, male or female, you’re probably eligible to participate in some type of clinical study. Maybe you or a loved one has an illness, and you’d like to help scientists find a treatment or cure. If you’re healthy, you can help researchers learn more about how the body works or how sickness can be prevented.
- Better Check Your Bowels: Screening for Colon and Rectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death nationwide. But it can usually be cured when caught early. Screening tests like colonoscopy can save lives by catching problems before symptoms even appear, when treatments might work best.
- Are You at Risk for Alcohol-Medication Interactions?
Many people may be both drinking alcohol and taking prescription drugs that interact with alcohol, according to an NIH-funded study. The finding highlights the need to talk with a health care professional about the risks of drinking alcohol while taking prescription medications.
- Measles: Preventable with Vaccines
Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus. It starts with a fever, followed by a cough, runny nose, and red eyes. A rash of tiny, red spots then breaks out and spreads. Measles can be especially dangerous to children under 5 years old. It can lead to pneumonia, swelling of the brain, and even death. The good news is that measles can be prevented by getting a vaccine.
NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!