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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

How far back do citations go in TOXLINE?

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Training Materials for PubMed, MeSH, My NCBI, and LinkOut

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Do you teach others about PubMed? Did you know that the National Library of Medicine has a resource page of PubMed instructional materials? The next time you’re building a class or helping a user, instead of reinventing the wheel (or the tutorial), check to see if one already exists. The resources on this page include pamphlets, handouts, slides, and videos and can be reused and adapted for your own training.

Screen capture table of MeSH materials on linked PubMed Instructional materials page

Have an idea for a different topic or format? You can contact NLM (see the link on the above website) or the NTC.

Icebreakers and Openers

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Group with tablet computer

Should you start your classes with an icebreaker? Or an opener? And what’s the difference?

I think of icebreakers as a way to create a comfortable and safe atmosphere for the class or a way for participants to learn a bit about who is sharing the class experience with them. An icebreaker is typically not tied to the content of the course and can be especially useful if the class is going to meet several times or work in teams or small groups.

An opener, on the other hand, is relevant to the content and allows for a bit of networking. I like to start classes with openers because they send a message that there will be active participation in the class and prime the participants to start thinking about the subject of the training. As an opener, you might ask participants something such as:

  • What question do you most want answered about X today?
  • What barriers have you encountered in using X?
  • What do you most often use X to do?
  • What would you do if X happened?
  • What’s your favorite tip for X?

In eliciting responses, you might have your participants jot down their responses first and then share with a neighbor. You might have them write on a sticky note and post it in a shared space and highlight some of the answers together.

There are many ways to engage you participants with an opener, but remember that it should be connected to the content of the session.

Share your best ideas for openers with us on Facebook or Twitter (@nnlmntc)!

Sort by Relevance in PubMed

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

In October 2013, PubMed added a new Display Settings option to sort your search results by relevance. Learn more about this feature in this 2-minute video.

You can read about this change in the NLM Technical Bulletin.


Monday, November 4th, 2013

Join the NTC in Tulsa, OK for PubMed for Trainers in January 2014 at the University of Oklahoma Schusterman Library. You can register at:

Two Upcoming Changes in PubMed

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

The most recent article added to the National Library of Medicine’s Technical Bulletin outlines 2 new features in PubMed.

1) A Download history link will be added to the PubMed, MeSH and NLM Catalog Advanced page History feature. This will download as a .csv file. (Click on the image to make it larger)


2) The search bar that includes a drop-down list of all the databases will be updated to show the last four databases searched at the top of the pull-down database menu. The alphabetic list with all the databases will also include the recently searched databases.  (Click on the image to make it larger)


Read the article online at:

PubMed for Librarians – Customization – My NCBI

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

This recording covers the advantages of creating a My NCBI account, managing and manipulating your My NCBI page content using the features and options available in My NCBI. This session also identifies and differentiates between available filters on PubMed’s filter sidebar, and covers creating a custom filter.

Sometimes the audio and video portions of the recording are out of sync. If the slides don’t seem to match up with what the presenter is saying, close your browser window and reload the recording. This may fix the problem.

New PubReader for PMC (PubMed Central)

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

PMC has launched PubReader, an alternative web presentation that offers a more reader-friendly view of the articles in PMC. Designed for enhancing the readability of PMC journal articles on tablet and other small screen devices, PubReader can also be used on desktops, laptops and from multiple web browsers.

About the reader:

Supported devices and browsers:

Give it a try:

You Have 15 Minutes

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

From the American Evaluation Association’s Potent Presentation Initiative (p2i): “How does one construct a logical and emotional message in the length (15 minutes) of a typical conference presentation?” Read about flipping the report. Put the good stuff at the beginning (of your 15 minutes). Why make the audience wait?

Using Games to Engage Learners

Friday, July 6th, 2012

Have you thought about using games as part of your teaching strategy?  “Games, Gamification, and the Quest for Learner Engagement” is an interesting article by Karl M. Kapp that discusses the advantages and drawbacks of games in instructional settings.  The article defines “gamification” as “the solution for incorporating the engaging aspects of games into the larger curriculum of an organization is the application of the concept of gamification. Gamification is using game-based mechanics, aesthetics, and game thinking to engage people, motivate action, promote learning, and solve problems.”   He points out that games give students the “freedom to fail” as well as building interest.

Building games can be time consuming and difficult, but one possibility is to use an online Game Builder to experiment with using games as a teaching activity.  One example is available at WISC-Online.