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Call for Applications: 2016-2017 NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program

The Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries (AAHSL) has announced the 2016-2017 year of the leadership program jointly sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and AAHSL. The NLM/AAHSL Leadership Fellows Program, which focuses on preparing emerging leaders for the position of library director in academic health sciences libraries, is accepting applications through July 22, 2016. Fellows will have the opportunity to experience another library environment and to work closely with a mentor and collaboratively with other fellows and mentors. The multi-faceted program takes advantage of flexible scheduling and an online learning community. Candidates with a strong interest in pursuing a directorship in academic health sciences libraries and with leadership experience in academic health sciences libraries, hospital libraries, or other library-related settings are encouraged to apply.

The Leadership Fellows Program has been remarkably successful in helping to move well prepared leaders into AAHSL directors’ positions. Seventy-two fellows and 59 different mentors have participated in the program from 2002-2016. To date, 28 fellows have received director appointments and over 50% have been promoted to director or other positions of higher responsibility. The program brochure, which includes information on program design, schedule, and application process, is now available. More information about the program is available from Carol Jenkins, Program Director, AAHSL Future Leadership Committee.

Redesigned FTP Site for MeSH Downloads

The Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) FTP download site has been updated to include separate directories for each release year of MeSH. The FTP directories include:

  • A single directory for earlier files from 1999-2010.
  • The yearly release directories from 2011 to the latest full release which occurs in November of the preceding year.
  • The directory “MESH_FILES” with the latest release files that are updated every morning Monday – Friday.
  • File names ending with .nt and .ttl extensions that are for the MeSH RDF format.

Hopefully making these archive copies more readily available to the public will be useful for anyone interested in studying the history of MeSH terminology as it has progressed over the years. Distributed MeSH files are freely available to the public with agreement to NLM’s Memorandum of Understanding. For further information and illustrations, refer to the NLM Technical Bulletin.

National Library of Medicine Flags Incorrect Pesticide Toxicity Values

International Toxicity Estimates for Risk (ITER) is part of the National Library of Medicine’s Toxicology Data Network (TOXNET) and is compiled by Toxicology Excellence for Risk Assessment (TERA). It provides comparison charts of international risk assessment information and explains differences in risk values derived by different organizations. ITER provides chemical toxicity values or cancer classifications from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Health Canada, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), NSF International, US EPA Integrated Risk Information System (IRIS), Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), and other Independent Peer Reviewed Values (IPRV). Chemical toxicity values in ITER are estimated to protect the general population assuming daily exposures to environmental chemicals for a lifetime. The TERA Center and the NLM provide periodic updates to keep the database as current as possible.

The US EPA IRIS chemical toxicity values (RfDs or RfCs) are considered by many to be a “gold standard of toxicity values.” However, up to 187 pesticide chemical toxicity values are currently incorrect, either for the RfD/RfC, for the cancer classifications, or both. ITER/TOXNET has added an alert flag for the IRIS pesticide toxicity values to ensure that users can access the more current pesticide toxicity value developed by the US EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP).

NLM Resources for National Safety Month 2016

June is National Safety Month. Check out the following resources from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) for reliable heath and safety information. The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) at NLM provides access to disaster and chemical safety resources for all age groups and populations, and MedlinePlus provides overviews of basic first aid skills:

  • Emergency and Disaster Preparedness for Special Populations – Access links to trustworthy disaster preparedness information for a wide range of populations, including different age groups, cultural and ethnic groups, and groups with specific health conditions.
  • Disaster Lit – Search a curated collection of links to disaster medicine and public health documents.
  • Haz-Map – Learn how to avoid workplace accidents by searching Haz-Map for diseases and other risks associated with specific jobs.
  • Household Products Database – Protect yourself, children, and pets from dangerous health effects for a wide range of household products, such as personal care, pet care, and arts & crafts products.
  • MedlinePlus – Read about First Aid resources, such as CPR, choking, drug abuse first aid, and creating a sling.

NIH Issues Single IRB Policy to Streamline Reviews of Multi-Site Research

Accelerating clinical research studies benefits researchers, research participants, and all who stand to gain from research results. Today, the time it takes to go from a sound research idea to the launch of a new, multi-site clinical research study is too long. A major contributor to the delay is that too many institutional review boards (IRBs) are reviewing the protocol and consent documents for the same study, often with no added benefit in terms of the protections for research participants. To address this bottleneck, NIH has issued a new policy to streamline the review process for NIH-funded, multi-site clinical research studies in the United States. The NIH Policy on the Use of a Single Institutional Review Board (IRB) for Multi-Site Research sets the expectation that all sites participating in multi-site studies involving non-exempt human subjects research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will use a single Institutional Review Board (sIRB) to conduct the ethical review required by the Department of Health and Human Services regulations for the Protection of Human Subjects.

IRBs play a critical role in reviewing and approving studies involving human research participants. IRBs evaluate the potential benefits of research and risks to participants. In the past, most clinical research studies were carried out at single institutions. Now studies are increasingly conducted at multiple sites to help increase the number and diversity of the participants, improve operational efficiencies, and accelerate the generation of research results. However, for the majority of multi-site studies, the IRB at each participating site continues to conduct an independent review. This review adds time, but generally does not meaningfully enhance protections for the participants. This new NIH policy seeks to end duplicative reviews that slow down the start of the research.

NIH will support applicant and awardee institutions as they implement the new policy with guidance and resources, such as a model authorization agreement that lays out the roles and responsibilities of each signatory, and a model communication plan that identifies which documents are to be completed, and when. You can learn more about the process that NIH followed to come to this final policy, including gathering public feedback, by visiting the Office of Clinical Research and Bioethics Policy (OCRBP) web site.

New OMH Webinar Series: Fighting Hepatitis and HIV Co-infection in Minority Communities

Hepatitis and HIV co-infection is a major concern among many racial and ethnic minority groups in the U.S. Prevention and education efforts are hindered by many challenges, including stigma, language barriers, cultural competency and knowledge among providers, and access to services in hard-to-reach communities. The HHS Office of Minority Health Resource Center kicks off a new five-part webinar series on June 24 designed to help health professionals, agencies and clinics get past these challenges and address the rising rates of hepatitis and HIV co-infection in their communities. The series examines the current state of hepatitis and HIV among minority groups, as well as best practices for culturally and linguistically appropriate testing and outreach efforts.

Register now for the first webinar on June 24, 11:00 am to 12:00 pm PDT, Innovative Strategies for Addressing Hep C in Indian Country. To be notified of dates and agendas for all webinars in the series, sign up for OMH email updates.

PubMed Display Changes

Several new changes have been implemented for PubMed displays:

  • A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) link when available will be added to the end of each PubMed abstract display.
  • The “Items per page” selection will be removed from the top of the results page because it is infrequently used by searchers. The selection will still be available at the bottom of the results page.
  • To change the default “items per page” for all results consider using the My NCBI “Result display preferences” option.

For illustrations of the changes and sample display screens, visit the NLM Technical Bulletin.

Six Lab Exercises for Creating Community Health Maps!

Learn how to use free and low cost mapping tools to create community health maps through a series of six lab exercises available at the NLM’s Community Health Maps blog. The lab exercises cover the entire Community Health Mapping Workflow from field data collection through online data presentation. For each of the six labs, an instructional PDF document and a Zip file of data to be used for each exercise are available for downloading. The topics for the six labs include:

  • Lab 1 – Field Data Collection (with either iOS or Android)
  • Lab 2 – Bringing Field Data into QGIS
  • Lab 3 – Combining Field Data with other Organizational Data
  • Lab 4 – Basic Spatial Analysis
  • Lab 5 – Cartography with QGIS
  • Lab 6 – Data Visualization With CartoDB

NAS Food Literacy Workshop Summary Available

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board recently published the workshop summary from Food Literacy: How Do Communications and Marketing Impact Consumer Knowledge, Skills, and Behavior? This workshop from September, 2015, discussed various aspects of food literacy including:

  • the role of consumer education, communication, and health literacy with respect to food safety, nutrition, and other health matters;
  • how scientific information is communicated; and
  • how food literacy can be strengthened through communication tools and strategies.

June 2016 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Illustration of cat looking out from a windowCheck out the June 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:

  • Complementary Approaches for Depression
    Depression affects about 1 in 10 U.S. adults. Standard therapies, including antidepressants and some types of psychotherapy, are often effective. Many people also turn to complementary health approaches, some of which haven’t been thoroughly tested for depression.
  • Featured Website: Prescription Drug Abuse
    Each day, 44 people in the U.S. die from an overdose of prescription drugs. Learn how prescription drugs like opioids, sleep and anxiety medications, and stimulants affect the brain and body. Protect yourself and your loved ones from prescription drug abuse.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Additionally, you can get trusted, up-to-date health information from NIH News in Health added directly to your site via NIH content syndication. 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!