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Archive for 2014

Terrence Sejnowski to Give the 2014 Joseph Leiter NLM/MLA Lecture, June 12, 2014

Terrence Sejnowski, PhD, will give the 2014 Joseph Leiter NLM/Medical Library Association (MLA) Lecture, “The BRAIN Initiative: Connecting the Dots,” on Thursday, June 12, 2014, at 10:00 am PDT at the National Library of Medicine. The lecture will be recorded and broadcast live on the Web. Dr. Sejnowski is a pioneer in computational neuroscience and his goal is to understand the principles that link brain to behavior. His laboratory uses both experimental and modeling techniques to study the biophysical properties of synapses and neurons and the population dynamics of large networks of neurons. New computational models and new analytical tools have been developed to understand how the brain represents the world and how new representations are formed through learning algorithms for changing the synaptic strengths of connections between neurons. By studying how the resulting computer simulations can perform operations that resemble the activities of the hippocampus, Dr. Sejnowski hopes to gain new knowledge of how the human brain is capable of learning and storing memories. This knowledge ultimately may provide medical specialists with critical clues to combating Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders that rob people of the critical ability to remember faces, names, places and events.

Dr. Sejnowski is an Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and holds the Francis Crick Chair at The Salk Institute for Biological Studies. He is also a Professor of Biology at the University of California, San Diego, where he is co-director of the Institute for Neural Computation and co-director of the Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center. He has published over 400 scientific papers and 12 books, including The Computational Brain, with Patricia Churchland. He is a member of the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and the National Academy of Engineering, one of only 13 living persons to be a member of all 3 national academies. Dr. Sejnowski was instrumental in shaping the BRAIN Initiative that was announced from the White House on April 2, 2013, and serves on the Advisory Committee to the Director of NIH for the BRAIN Initiative.

NLM and Wellcome Library Establish Agreement to Make 150 Years of Biomedical Journals Freely Available Online!

Representatives of the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the Wellcome Trust recently signed a memorandum of understanding to work together to make thousands of complete back issues of historically-significant biomedical journals freely available online. The terms of the MOU include a donation of £750,000 ($1.2 million) to the NLM that will support coordination of the three-year project to scan original materials from NLM’s collection at the article level, and Wellcome’s work to secure copyright clearances and permissions for electronic deposit from publishers. NLM will undertake conservation of the original material to ensure its preservation for future generations. Key journals charting the development of modern medicine over the last 150 years will be digitized in their entirety and made available on the National Institutes of Health life sciences repository PubMed Central (PMC) and its European counterpart, Europe PMC. The project builds on the Medical Journal Backfiles Digitization Project (2004-2010) and will contribute substantially to the current PMC archive of over 3 million articles from medical journals.

Part of the project will concentrate on mental health journals, supporting a major archive digitization program also being undertaken by the Wellcome Trust. Journals to be digitized include Mental Health, Mental Hygiene, and the Journal of Psychological Medicine and Mental Pathology. Other journals have been selected for their general relevance, such as the Indian Medical Gazette, the British and Foreign Medico-Chirurgical Review and the Transactions of the Epidemiology Society of London. In addition to images and searchable text, NLM will also create article-level citations for PubMed. Digitization is expected to start in late 2014 and to be completed by 2017. Material will be added to PMC and Europe PMC as it is digitized.

The Wellcome Library is one of the world’s leading libraries of medical history, housing 2.5 million items of extraordinary range and diversity, and a growing collection of contemporary biomedical information resources relating to consumer health, popular science, biomedical ethics and the public understanding of science. The Wellcome Library is part of the Wellcome Trust, a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust’s breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.

DOCLINE Quarterly Statistical Reports Now Available!

NLM has released the following DOCLINE quarterly statistical reports for January-March 2014:

  • Summary DOCLINE Borrower Statistics (Reports 1-1A, 1-11A, 1-1AT)
  • Summary DOCLINE Lender Statistics (Report 1-1B)
  • Detailed DOCLINE Borrower Statistics (Reports 1-2A, 1-22A)
  • Detailed DOCLINE Lender Statistics (Report 1-2B)
  • Resource Library Quarterly Report – Fill Rate (Report 2-14)
  • Loansome Doc Detailed Lender Statistics (Report 5-1A)
  • Loansome Doc Throughput Report (Report 5-1B)

Please note: Reports 1-11A, 1-1AT, and 1-22A are only distributed to libraries that have entered requests in DOCLINE for other libraries. Report 2-14 is only distributed to resource libraries.

DOCLINE statistical reports are available by going to Requests, then Reports in the DOCLINE menu. Instructions for downloading and printing reports may be found in the “Request Reports” section of the online manual (click the Help link at the top of the DOCLINE screen) or in the Reports section of DOCLINE’s FAQ page.

NLM Symposium on May 14, “The National Library of Medicine, 1984-2014: Voyaging to the Future”

On May 14, 2014, the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the Friends of the NLM, and the Medical Library Association are co-sponsoring a symposium The National Library of Medicine, 1984-2014: Voyaging to the Future, to be held at the Natcher Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. The purpose of the symposium is to review the influence of NLM’s long range planning over the past 30 years; to reflect on key factors that contributed to successes and setbacks; and to consider opportunities for the future, all as background for the next NLM long range planning effort, to commence in 2015. The symposium is free, but registration is required. A preliminary program is also available. The symposium will be available for remote simultaneous viewing and also archived for future viewing.

In conjunction with this event, NLM is collecting written recollections and images reflecting the Library’s impacts over the last 30 years, as well as ideas for future opportunities and directions. Anyone who has advised and worked with/for NLM and/or benefited from its programs and services is encouraged to submit contributions to a moderated blog, which will be accessible beginning May 1, 2014.

New SurveyMonkey Mobile App Available!

SurveyMonkey recently launched a mobile app for the iPad and iPhone, providing the ability to create, send, and monitor surveys from a phone or tablet device. The app is free, although you need a SurveyMonkey account to use it. With the new app, there’s no longer a need to rely on a computer to design and manage surveys. The app also allows convenient viewing of data from any location with Internet access. Another notable benefit is that the analytic reports are optimized for mobile devices and are easy to read on small screens. Although there is not yet an Android app, all SurveyMonkey pages and surveys are optimized for any mobile device, so surveys are easy to take regardless of the operating system used.

New NCBI Bookshelf Item: The Art and Politics of Science, a Memoir

Dr. Harold Varmus’ memoir, The Art and Politics of Science, chronicles his path from a graduate student in English literature at Harvard to co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for cellular origin of retroviral oncogenes, to director of the National Institutes of Health, to President and CEO of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. The memoir is now freely available on the NCBI Bookshelf:

The Art and Politics of Science, by Dr. Harold Varmus. There are sections on PubMed: Virtues and Limitations and journal publishing from Chapter 15, Science Publishing and Science Libraries in the Internet Age.

NLM Value Set Authority Center Publishes Annual Update for 2014

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Value Set Authority Center (VSAC), in collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), has published the annual update for the 2014 Eligible Hospital Clinical Quality Measure (CQM) Value Sets. The update includes revised value sets to address deleted and remapped codes in the latest terminology versions, as well as new codes for addressing CQM logic corrections and clarifications. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updates these electronic reporting specifications annually to ensure that the specifications align with current clinical guidelines and terminologies, and that they remain relevant and actionable within the clinical care setting.

The VSAC offers a Downloadable Resource Table, accessible from the Download tab on the VSAC Web page, that provides prepackaged downloads for the most recently updated and released 2014 CQM Value Sets, as well as for previously released versions. Access to the Value Set Authority Center requires a free Unified Medical Language System® Metathesaurus License. NLM also provides the Data Element Catalog that identifies data element names (value set names) required for capture in electronic health record technology certified under the 2014 Edition of the ONC Standards and Certification Criteria. The NLM update of the VSAC coincides with the CMS posting of the official updated 2014 Eligible Hospital Clinical Quality Measures (eCQMs).

The following additional resources are available to help health care providers and vendors navigate the 2014 CQMs:

Maximizing Questionnaire Response Rates

The American Medical Association has specific recommendations for its authors about questionnaire response rates included in the JAMA Instructions for Authors. One of the guidelines is that survey studies should have sufficient response rates (generally at least 60%) and appropriate characterization of nonresponders to ensure that nonresponse bias does not threaten the validity of the findings. However, response rates to questionnaires have been declining over the past 20 years, as reported by the Pew Research Center in The Problem of Declining Response Rates. Fortunately, suggestions about increasing questionnaire response rates are available in two recent AEA365 blog posts that are open access:

Additional useful advice, such as making questionnaires short, personalizing your mailings, and sending full reminder packs to nonrespondents, is included in this open access article: Sahlqvist S, et al., “Effect of questionnaire length, personalisation and reminder type on response rate to a complex postal survey: randomised controlled trial.” BMC Medical Research Methodology 2011, 11:62.

MedlinePlus Connect now Supports ICD-10-CM!

MedlinePlus ConnectMedlinePlus Connect now supports queries using ICD-10-CM codes. Upon receiving a problem code request with an ICD-10-CM code, MedlinePlus Connect returns relevant, patient-friendly health information from MedlinePlus, Genetics Home Reference, and other reliable health resources. MedlinePlus Connect will continue to support ICD-9-CM and SNOMED CT codes for problem code requests.

Learn more on the MedlinePlus Connect Web application documentation and Web service documentation webpages!

April 2014 Issue of NIH News in Health is Now Available!

Cartoon of a “No-Smoking” sign in an open outdoor area, with nearby people enjoying a picnic lunch.Check out the April 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:

  • Stamp Out Smoking: Tobacco-Free Living
    Most of us know that smoking is unhealthy. So why do so many people still do it? The answers are complex. Researchers have found effective ways to help people quit smoking—or prevent them from starting in the first place. The tricky part is putting these tools to use. We can all take steps to help stamp out smoking.
  • The Sting of Shingles: Vaccine, Treatments Reduce Risks
    If you’ve ever had chickenpox, you may be at risk for a painful disease called shingles as you grow older. Shingles is a sometimes-agonizing skin rash and nerve disease that’s caused by a virus. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent shingles or ease its serious effects.
  • Nurse Staffing Affects Patient Safety
    Having well-educated nurses with fewer patients to care for can help reduce hospital deaths, a new study suggests. The findings can help hospitals make informed decisions about staff schedules and hiring.
  • Featured Website: Understanding Health News
    News stories about complementary approaches to health can sometimes be misleading. They might lack key details, or they may be confusing or conflicting. This site can help you assess news stories about complementary health approaches, so you can make informed decisions about your health.

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!