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Archive for 2013

New Project Announced for Collecting Health Data for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Populations!

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have launched the first-ever, large-scale national health survey to collect detailed health information for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) households; the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander National Health Interview Survey. The information will be collected through the National Health Interview Survey, which is conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, and is the nation’s largest in-person, household health survey. Never before has there been a study of this scale to assess the health needs of NHPIs, and this type of survey has long been called for by the NHPI community. This important effort will help improve understanding of the health concerns faced by this community and to identify areas of opportunity for the federal government to better address these concerns.

The Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders National Health Interview Survey will include a sample of approximately 4,000 households. Data collection for the survey begins in February 2014 and findings will be available in the summer of 2015. The data will help public health researchers to produce reports on a wide range of important health indicators for the Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander population. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders comprise just 0.4% of the total U.S. population, which makes it difficult to include them in sufficient numbers in most national population-based health surveys. The lack of reliable health data for this population has made it difficult to assess their health status and health care utilization. However, the available data for this population indicates that they experience significant health disparities when compared to other groups, such as lower utilization of health care services and higher rates of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and obesity.

What’s New for 2014 MeSH

Three hundred four (304) new MeSH Headings were added in 2014. Forty-eight (48) MeSH Headings were either changed or deleted and replaced with more up-to-date terminology. Three new publication types have been introduced for 2014 MeSH:

  • Dataset: This publication type is defined as “An organized collection of values stored permanently in a formalized manner suitable for communication, interpretation, or processing.” This publication type will not be used in combination with any other publication type as it is not to be used for journal articles that contain or produce datasets as part of the publication (including Supplemental Materials). Rather, it will be used on citations to items that are stand-alone descriptions of the metadata of a particular dataset.
  • Observational Study: The scope note defines this publication type as “A clinical study in which participants may receive diagnostic, therapeutic, or other types of interventions, but the investigator does not assign participants to specific interventions (as in an interventional study).” This publication type should not be confused with the MeSH Heading “Observation” which is used for a scientific method. There is a related new MeSH Heading “Observational Studies as Topic,” which is used for general design, methodology, economies, etc. of observational studies.
  • Pragmatic Clinical Trial: This publication type refers to “Randomized clinical trials that compare interventions in clinical settings and which look at a range of effectiveness outcomes and impacts.” There is a related new MeSH Heading, “Pragmatic Clinical Trial as Topic,” which is used for general design, methodology, economics, etc. of pragmatic clinical trials.

Additional details are available by consulting the 2014 online Introduction to MeSH and the NLM Technical Bulletin.

NLM Releases Digitized Collection of Its Publications and Productions

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has announced a new addition to its Digital Collections: over 400 NLM publications and productions dating from the 1860s to the 1990s. This new digital collection encompasses all printed monographic publications produced by NLM and its earlier incarnation as the Library of the Surgeon General’s Office. The collection also includes nearly three dozen audiovisual productions produced by the NLM during the past six decades, as well as publications of the NLM’s institutional and historical “sister,” the Army Medical Museum, which is today the National Museum of Health and Medicine. In the early 1920s, the Library of the Surgeon General’s Office was renamed the Army Medical Library, and it was housed with the Army Medical Museum until the 1950s when the institutions were physically separated as they are today.  They continue to share a common goal of collecting, preserving, and providing knowledge about the past, present, and future of biomedicine and health care.

Among the variety of materials in this collection; including books, catalogs, indexes, prospectuses, policy statements, planning documents, ephemera, and technical reports; are dozens of historical gems, including:

  • the first printed catalogs of the Army Medical Museum and the Library of the Surgeon General’s Office in 1863 and 1864, both published during the Civil War;
  • a 1963 pamphlet introducing MEDLARS, the Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System, which represented the birth of electronic storage and retrieval of indexed medical literature;
  • all 61 volumes of the Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office, originally published from 1880 to 1961, representing one of the monuments of the Library’s longstanding, systematic indexing of the medical literature. The release of these digitized volumes follows on the NLM earlier this year releasing the Extensible Markup Language (XML) data from the IndexCat database, to help open this key resource in the history of medicine and science to new uses and users;
  • Dream Anatomy, the illustrated 2006 catalogue based on the National Library of Medicine’s milestone Dream Anatomy exhibition;
  • a 1994 video entitled, “NLM and the Internet,” which gives a very early look at the Internet promoting the use of Gopher files servers and Mosaic, one of the earliest web browsers first created in 1992.

Institute for Research Design in Librarianship: June 16-26 in Los Angeles

The Institute for Research Design in Librarianship is a great opportunity for an academic librarian who is interested in conducting research. Research and evaluation are not necessarily identical, although they do employ many of the same methods and are closely related. This Institute is open to academic librarians from all over the country. If your proposal is accepted, your attendance at the Institute will be paid for, as will your travel, lodging, and food expenses. Proposals are due by February 1, 2014. Details are available at the Institute’s Prepare Your Proposal web site. Applicants accepted to the program will be notified by March 1, 2014. The Institute is particularly interested in applicants who have identified a real-world research question and/or opportunity.

The William H. Hannon Library has received a three-year grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to offer a nine-day continuing education opportunity for academic and research librarians. Each year 21 librarians will receive instruction in research design and a full year of support to complete a research project at their home institutions. The summer Institute for Research Design in Librarianship (IRDL) is supplemented with pre-institute learning activities and a personal learning network that provides ongoing mentoring. The institutes will be held on the campus of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

NIH Big Data to Knowledge Initiative Announces Funding Opportunity

The NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative has released a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) to support a U24 resource award for Development of an NIH BD2K Data Discovery Index Coordination Consortium. The purpose of this FOA is to create a consortium to begin development of an NIH Data Discovery Index (DDI) to allow discovery, access, and citation of biomedical data. Letters of intent to apply are due by February 6, 2014, and completed applications are due by March 6, 2014. Budgets are limited to $2,000,000 in direct costs per year but must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project. The maximum project period is three years.

As part of the NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K) initiative, the DDI seeks to fulfill the recommendation from the Data and Informatics Working Group (DIWG) Report to the Advisory Council to the Director to “Promote Data Sharing Through Central and Federated Catalogues.” The awardee in response to this FOA will constitute a DDI Coordination Consortium (DDICC, U24) to conduct outreach, fund small pilot projects, manage communication with stakeholders, constitute and coordinate Task Forces to study relevant questions related to access, discoverability, citation for all biomedical data and assure community engagement in the development, testing, and validation of an NIH DDI. Part of this effort will be to assemble a user interface (website) through which the results of development and testing of models for an NIH DDI may be communicated.

DOCLINE Tip of the Month: E-Pub Ahead of Print

Tugger the DOCLINE Mascot

What is e-pub ahead of print? It means that the article is being listed electronically on the publisher’s web site in advance of the journal release. It may not be available to your library until the print version of the journal is published. Borrowers in DOCLINE requesting e-pub ahead of print material should remember to choose “Electronic” under “Fill from Physical Format” on the Delivery and Routing portion of the Routing Instructions screen. DOCLINE will automatically default requests to “fill from electronic format” for Epub ahead of print articles if every article on the DOCLINE Citation page is Epub ahead of print. If multiple articles are requested at once with a mix of epub and non-epub status, DOCLINE will default to fill from “Any format” for all citations. The NLM DOCLINE team recommends ordering epub ahead of print citations together in a batch to optimize the routing of the requests.

Lenders in DOCLINE may receive requests for e-pub ahead of print articles but may not be able to fill them. Those who subscribe to the electronic copy but whose license prohibits interlibrary loan for the specific request due to a condition of the license agreement (e.g., delivery method, time embargo, etc.), should update the request as Not Filled for the reason “LIC – License Restriction.” In other words, use LIC in those cases where you would have been able to provide ILL from a subscription under copyright law, but not under your publisher’s license restrictions. The rejection reason of “Lacking” indicates that the title is owned, but the lender is missing the requested issue. Lacking should only be used when missing back issues, and not the latest issue(s). If you only subscribe to the print copy and have not yet received the issue being requested, you should update the request as Not Filled for the reason “NYR – Not Yet Received.”

Make sure to update DOCLINE with the most accurate rejection reason. The NLM DOCLINE team reviews the system-wide statistics to help determine what is working in the system, and what areas may benefit from changes. For a list of definitions for all rejection reasons, see the DOCLINE Online Help and search for “rejection reasons.” You can also go to the DOCLINE FAQ page.

Apply to Attend the Winter 2014 Online Class “Fundamentals of Bioinformatics and Searching”

Health science librarians in the United States are invited to participate in the next offering of the online bioinformatics training course, Fundamentals of Bioinformatics and Searching, sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, NLM Training Center (NTC). This rigorous course provides basic knowledge and skills for librarians interested in helping patrons use online molecular databases and tools from the NCBI. Attending this course will improve your ability to initiate or extend bioinformatics services at your institution. Prior knowledge of molecular biology and genetics is not required. This course is a prerequisite for the face-to-face workshop, Librarian’s Guide to NCBI.

The major goal of this course is to provide an introduction to bioinformatics theory and practice in support of developing and implementing library-based bioinformatics products and services. This material is essential for decision-making and implementation of these programs, particularly instructional and reference services. The course encompasses visualizing bioinformatics end-user practice, places a strong emphasis on hands-on acquisition of NCBI search competencies, and a working molecular biology vocabulary, through self-paced hands-on exercises. This course is offered online (asynchronous) from February 10 – March 21, 2014. The course format includes video lectures, readings, a molecular vocabulary exercise, an NCBI discovery exercise, and other hands-on exercises. The instructor is Diane Rein, Ph.D., MLS, Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology Liaison from the Health Science Library, University at Buffalo.

Due to limited enrollment, interested participants are required to complete an application form. The deadline for completing the application is January 10, 2014; participants will be notified of acceptance on January 22, 2014. The course is offered at no cost to participants. Participants who complete all assignments and the course evaluation by the due dates within the course will receive fifteen hours of MLA CE credit. No partial CE credit is granted. Participants who complete the required coursework and earn full continuing education credit will be eligible to apply to attend the five-day Librarian’s Guide that will be offered in April 2014 if they so choose.

Visit the Fundamentals of Bioinformatics and Searching webpage for more information and to apply. If you have any questions, e-mail the course organizers.

New AHRQ Tool to Assess Patient Education Materials!

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) has just released a new tool to help professionals choose more understandable and actionable materials; the Patient Education Materials Assessment Tool (PEMAT). Patient educational materials, such as brochures, medical instructions, and audiovisual aids, are often complex and lack clear information about what the patient should do. AHRQ’s PEMAT and User’s Guide provides a systematic method to evaluate and compare the understandability and actionability of patient education materials. By selecting health materials that score better on the PEMAT, you can be more confident that people of varying levels of health literacy will be able to process and explain key messages, and identify what they can do based on the information presented.

Additional tools for improving health literacy are available from AHRQ’s website, including:

Directory of Health Organizations Online (DIRLINE) Retires!

Due to a changing technical and budgetary environment, the NLM Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) is longer adding, updating or maintaining records in Directory of Health Organizations Online (DIRLINE). DIRLINE was the National Library of Medicine’s online database containing location and descriptive information about a wide variety of information resources including organizations, research resources, projects, and databases concerned with health and biomedicine.

As of October 1st, 2013, and for the following fiscal year, DIRLINE is searchable but the records are marked as “archived.” SIS expects to retire DIRLINE at the end of 2014. These changes do not affect Health Hotlines.

December 2013 Issue of NIH News in Health is Now Available!

Illustration of human silhouettes, of different sizes and shapes, atop a background of the DNA double-helix.Check out the December issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research:

Personalized Medicine: Matching Treatments to Your Genes
You’re one of a kind. Wouldn’t it be nice if treatments and preventive care could be designed just for you, matched to your unique set of genes?

A Burning Issue: Handling Household Burns
Accidental burns can occur just about anywhere in your home, and they’re not always caused by fire. Take steps to prevent household burns, and learn how to treat them properly to avoid lasting problems.

Health Capsules:

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!