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New Affordable Care Act Resources For Libraries For The New Year

As we enter 2014, individuals continue to learn about new health insurance options available to them as part of the Affordable Care Act.  WebJunction has compiled some resources intended to support libraries as they develop their own priorities for responding to patron inquiries in this area:

For region-specific information regarding the Affordable Care Act, visit the site we have linked from our home page:

ALA Online Workshop – Getting Started With Open Access

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific NW Region, will be hosting a 90 minute webcast on Wednesday, January 15, 11:30 AM at Health Sciences Library, Classroom C. Presented by the American Library Association,  Getting Started with Open Access is designed to teach participants to recognize foundational aspects of new publishing models, learn techniques to teach other what you know, and engage in emerging open publishing practices in your own library. Join is!

Copyright for Educators

k12copylaw_tweetchat_FINALThe American Library Association (ALA) is hosting a free Twitter chat on Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 3:00 to 4:00 PM Pacific Time. Participants will have the opportunity to have their questions about the use of copyrighted materials in schools answered by copyright expert and author Carrie Russel, by signing into Twitter and using the hashtag #k12copylaw. Learn more about Twitter chats and hastags here. You may use Twitter as usual for the chat, but a tool like is helpful. The interactive social media event will be co-hosted by AASA: The School Superintendents Association, the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

Russell, who is also the director of the American Library Association’s Program on Public Access to Information, will offer guidance on legal ways for principals, superintendents, teachers and librarians to provide materials to students. She will discuss common scenarios encountered in schools, including using digital works, music, and students’ use of material from the Internet. Participants will learn about Fair Use, Copyright Law in the Digital Age, and more.  For more information, see the ALA Washington Office blog, “District Dispatch.”

Research data lost to the sands of time

A study published online yesterday in Current Biology found that the availability of research study data diminishes with each passing year following study publication.  The authors, from the University of British Columbia, looked at 516 articles published between 1991 and 2011 and first attempted to locate the e-mail addresses of study authors and contact them.  For the e-mail addresses that led to successful contact with an author, they then asked for the study data.  When making their requests, they said that the data was needed for a reproducibility study.  In the discussion section, the authors noted that they may have had a higher success rate in receiving data if they had instead indicated the purpose was for an important medical or conservation project and offered co-auothorship in the resultant paper.

The researchers found that for every year that had passed since the paper’s publication date, the odds of finding an email address that led to contact with a study author decreased by 7% and that the odds of turning up the data reduced by 17% per year.  The authors report that while some of the data sets were truly lost others fell more into the category of “unavailable,” since they existed, but solely on inaccessible media (think Jaz disk).  These findings will not come as a shock to those who have worked in a research lab.  This publication does put some tangible numbers behind the underlying message of NYU Health Sciences Library’s excellent dramatic portrayal of an instance of inaccessible data.  The authors conclude by suggesting that a solution to this problem moving forward can be found in more journals requiring the deposit of data into a public archive upon publication.  I would also suggest that academic institutions can take a role by establishing policies supporting research data preservation alongside providing a data repository.

It is worth noting that the authors of this paper published their study data on Dryad.

PubMed Commons Project

PubMed Commons, a new feature of PubMed which allows commenting on articles, is now live. All authors of publications cited in PubMed are eligible to participate. They can comment on any article in PubMed, rate the helpfulness of comments, and invite other authors cited in PubMed to join. Links to other articles can be embedded in the comments, using a PubMed ID number. You can also set up alerts for articles with comments using your MyNCBI account. Those who are not authors can still view the comments on articles, and there is a new filter available called Reader Comments, which can be applied to search results. It’s also possible to view all the comments in PubMed (433 at this writing): Find all PubMed Citations with comments. We hope that PubMed Commons will lead to open communication and enhance the scholarly record. To participate, see How to Join PubMed Commons. Follow PubMed Commons on Twitter here, and read the PubMed Commons blog for additional information.


Funding Opportunity: ALA Online Workshop – Getting Started with Open Access

The American Library Association presents a 90-minute online workshop,Getting Started with Open Access: Workshop instructors will provide you with tools, techniques, and advice on how to successfully engage with emerging open publishing practices in your own library.

The National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Pacific Northwest Region (NN/LM PNR) will offer funding for group or individual viewings for PNR Network members. This event will be hosted through Webex. Further technical information is available at the ALA TechSource FAQ page.

Please contact  Patricia Devine at by Thursday, December 30 if you are an NN/LM Pacific Northwest Region Network Member (or would like to become a member) interested in hosting the webcast for your institution and your local colleagues (or yourself). Please include:

  1. A brief description of how you will promote the event in your area.
  2. Estimated attendance.
  3. A room to host the webcast.

Site participants will be selected based on geographic location, accessibility, and the potential number of attendees.

PNR will also be hosting the webcast at the University of Washington Health Sciences Library. Free registration details will be announced in an upcoming Dragonfly article in addition to the other funded webcast locations.