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.
The American Evaluation Association (AEA) just concluded a week-long blog theme about qualitative evaluation. Following are some highlights to consider using in your own assessment efforts:
- The Role of Context: the authors of this entry previously shared five high quality elements of qualitative evaluation, and this entry referenced them while emphasizing the need for evaluators to understand what role setting, relationships, and other context factors play in data as well.
- Purposeful Sampling: a great explanation on why to avoid convenience sampling (interviewing people because they happen to be around) and using caution with your qualitative evaluation terminology to consider not using the word ‘sampling’ due to peoples’ association of it with random probability.
- Interviewing People who are Challenging: establishing rapport leads to good qualitative data, but what does an interviewer do if there seems to be conflict with the interviewee? Details about how to manage your own feelings and approach with a curious mindset are very helpful!
- Asking Stupid Questions: this example from a bilingual HIV/AIDS training is especially insightful about the importance of clarifying sexual terms, putting aside concerns the evaluator may have about looking ‘stupid,’ and outcomes that led to deeper engagement and discussion from the group.
- Practical Qualitative Analysis: many helpful tips and lessons shared, including the reminder of being sure to group our participants’ responses that answer the same question together even if these replies come from different parts of the survey or interview.
- Providing Descriptions: sometimes there are concerns expressed that evaluation is ‘only looking at the negative,’ and by including full details about your qualitative inquiry collection and analysis as an additional resource or appendix you can help explain the steps of the process that otherwise may not be evident.
Apple recently made its “iWork for iCloud” app suite available to all users at no cost, even those without an Apple device. iWork for iCloud is web-only access and features web versions of Pages, Numbers, and Keynote for creating documents, spreadsheets and presentations. To access this trio of productivity apps, you will need to create an Apple ID on iCloud.com, if you don’t already have one. Sign-up is free and includes 1GB of free storage for saving documents.
To create an Apple ID:
- Go to iCloud.com.
- Click Create Apple ID.
- Fill out the required account information including your email address, a strong password, and security questions.
- Verify your email address by entering the 6-digit code that Apple sends you.
- Accept the iCloud Terms of Service.
iCloud.com supports recent versions of Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and Internet Explorer. Learn more about the system requirements for iCloud.
The Friends of the National Library of Medicine is seeking nominations for this year’s Michael E. DeBakey Library Services Outreach Award.
- Nominees must be currently employed as a health sciences librarian and have worked in such a position for at least five years immediately preceding the award.
- Nominations may be made for contributions by the librarian as demonstrated by excellence and achievement in leadership, publications, teaching, research, special projects, or any combination of these.
- Nomination must be made in writing and include the following information:
- Official nomination form
- Five page description of the nominee’s achievements
- Current resume or curriculum vitae
- Additional information (no more than 5 pages double-spaced) that would assist the jury in the evaluation of the nomination and selection of the recipient
- Self-nominations are accepted and encouraged.
- Nominations must be received by June 1, and can be submitted via mail, email or fax.
Information professionals who either serve medical/health sciences clientele or have job functions within a medical/health sciences environment are invited to participate in a research study entitled Challenges, Barriers, and Outcomes of Health Sciences Information Professional Involvement in Systematic Reviews, being conducted by librarians at the University of Arizona Health Sciences Library. The aim of this study is to gain a better understanding of the experience, challenges, and outcomes of information professionals’ participation in systematic reviews. The online survey will ask questions about experience, challenges, barriers, and outcomes related to supporting and conducting systematic reviews. No prior experience with systematic reviews is necessary to participate in the study. The survey will take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete, and will be open through March 27, 2015. The study results will be presented as a poster at MLA 2015.
Do you know any stories about people using NLM resources to find out something interesting, forge a new path, or improve their lives in a unique or dramatic way? Or, more simply, have you ever found just the right information at just the right time, for yourself or for a patron? For this year’s theater presentations at the Medical Library Association annual meeting in Austin, TX, NLM staff members who develop the resources are interested in teaming with the librarians who use them. They are interested in stories (great and small) about any NLM resource, but especially:
- Health Services Research Resources on Comparative Effectiveness, Patient Centered Outcomes, Health Technology Assessment
- DIMRC and other disaster resources
- BIBFRAME and Linked Data
- History of Medicine social media (e.g., Circulating Now)
- PubMed Central
- PubMed Health
Anyone interested in sharing their story should contact Kate Majewski at NLM.
The National Library of Medicine is currently assessing and redesigning the Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce website. PHPartners is a collaboration of U.S. government agencies, public health organizations, and health sciences libraries which provides timely, convenient access to selected public health resources on the Internet. To better serve and understand the needs of audiences, volunteers are being recruited for surveys and usability testing, involving participation in seven 15-30 minute sessions spread over a 12-16 month period. You are not required to participate in all seven sessions. Anyone interested in participating in the testing should complete an online form by March 5. Your feedback is invaluable to the improvement of the PHPartners.org website!
National Library of Medicine Deputy Director Betsy Humphreys has announced a special program and reception to be held on Monday, March 30, on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD, to celebrate the contributions of NLM Director Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD, on the occasion of his retirement. The public is invited. RSVPs are due by Monday, March 16. Also, anyone is invited to share stories, words of gratitude and humor, photos, or any combination thereof, for a memory book parting gift for Dr. and Mrs. Lindberg. Submissions should be composed on an 8 ½” x 11” sheet of paper and e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or hand delivered or mailed to Mary Miller, NLM Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL), Building 38, Room 2S15F, MSC 3812, Bethesda, MD 20894, by Monday, March 16.
Cindy Olney, PhD, Acting Assistant Director of the NN/LM Outreach Evaluation Resource Center (OERC), is presenting the online training opportunity Mapping an Outreach Project, a series of four one-hour online sessions with the potential for up to 8 CEUs, beginning February 24. This webinar series is designed for anyone who wants to garner support, financial or otherwise, for a new project or service, and will be especially useful for anyone planning to submit an outreach award proposal. You will learn how assessment and evaluation are effective tools for project planning and proposal writing. Community assessment allows you to gather compelling information about the need and viability of your project. It also helps you build relationships with potential partners. Adding evaluation methods to your program plan helps you “begin with the end in mind,” making desired results the centerpiece of your project proposal. After completing this series, participants will be able to do the following:
- How people adopt new ideas. Know the factors that influence people to adopt new ideas and technology so you can choose the best strategies for your project. (Part 1)
- Meeting the Community through Community Assessment. Gather community information that is most effective for planning your project. (Part 2)
- Planning Outcomes-Based Outreach Programs. Use a project-planning tool that allows you to logically link resources and activities to desired results. (Part 3)
- Adding Evaluation to Your Plan and Next Steps: Proposal Writing. Incorporate evaluation into your project and understand how your plan can be expanded into a full proposal. (Part 4)
The webinars will be held February 24, February 26, March 3, and March 5, all from 10-11 a.m. PST. They will be recorded for those unable to attend the live sessions. One MLA CEU will be awarded per live or recorded webinar attended (1-4 CEUs). Up to four extra CEUs can be earned for a four-part homework assignment. All webinars must be viewed and homework completed and sent to the instructor by Thursday, March 12. Registration is available for any or all of the sessions.
PubMed subject filter strategies are reviewed each year to determine if modifications are necessary. Modifications may include revisions due to changes in Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) vocabulary or MEDLINE journals, adding or deleting terms, and changing parts of a strategy to optimize retrieval. The following subset strategies were recently revised: