Archive for the ‘General’ Category
NIH’s public access policy ensures that the results of NIH-funded research are accessible to everyone, for the benefit of advancing science and improving human health. On a typical weekday, over 700,000 users retrieve more than 1.5 million papers on PubMed Central (PMC), the host archive for the public access policy. Since the policy was implemented in 2008, much attention has focused on outreach to the grantee community. This strategy, along with the research community’s shared commitment to making public the results of NIH-supported research, has resulted in a high level of compliance. However, public access is a statutory requirement, and improved compliance is still needed.
New guidelines (NOT-OD-12-160) have been issued, announcing that in spring 2013, at the earliest, NIH will delay processing of non-competing continuation grant awards, if publications arising from that award are not in compliance with the NIH public access policy. Once publications are in compliance, awards will go forward. This change will take effect in tandem with NIH requiring the use of the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPRs) for all Streamlined Non-competing Award Process (SNAP) and Fellowship awards, also in the spring of 2013.
These changes are being announced several months in advance of implementation, to give awardees as much time as possible to comply with the policy. Awardees should be strongly encouraged to comply with the public access policy. Recent enhancements to My NCBI allow awardees to associate papers with their awards, and track public access compliance. Additional helpful resources, including frequently asked questions about the public access policy, are available on the web site.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is accepting applications for its 2013-14 Associate Fellowship program, a one-year training program designed for recent MLS graduates and early-career librarians. All U.S. and Canadian citizens who will have earned a MLS or equivalent degree in library/information science from an ALA-accredited school by August 2013 are eligible to apply. Priority is given to U.S. citizens. Applications and additional information are available on the NLM web site. The application deadline is February 1, 2013. Between 4 and 7 fellows will be selected for the program.
In the first half of the fellowship year, a formal curriculum offers exposure to library operations, research and development, intramural and extramural research, development and lifecycle of NLM’s web-based products and services, and the extensive outreach and education program reaching consumers, special populations, health professionals and librarians. In the second half of the year, Associate Fellows have the opportunity to choose projects based on real-world problems proposed by library divisions, and work with librarians and library staff over a 6-7 month period. Successful projects have led to peer-reviewed publications, and to services that have become a regular part of library operations.
The September through August program also offers professional development and an introduction to the wider world of health sciences librarianship that may include:
- Supported attendance at national professional conferences, often including the Medical Library Association’s annual meeting, the American Medical Informatics Association annual meeting and others
- Additional brown bags, seminars, field trips and learning opportunities available on the National Institutes of Health campus
- Opportunities to meet and interact with senior management at the National Library of Medicine
- Experienced preceptors from National Library of Medicine staff
- Potential to compete for a second-year fellowship at a health sciences library in the United States
The Fellowship offers:
- A stipend equivalent to a U.S. Civil Service salary at the GS-9 level ($51,630 in 2012)
- Additional financial support for the purchase of health insurance
- Some relocation funding
Stuart Nelson, M.D., has retired as Head of NLM’s MeSH Section in Library Operations. Dr. John Kilbourne is now the acting head of the MeSH Section. Dr. Kilbourne received his M.D. degree from the University of Illinois College of Medicine and practiced Family Medicine near Chicago. He worked as a clinical editor and implementation trainer for the SNOMED CT clinical vocabulary before joining the NLM in 2005 to work on RxNorm.
The National Library of Medicine will soon seek applicants for the Head of the MeSH Section. The head of MeSH is responsible for the content of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), RxNorm, and the Unified Medical Language System (UMLS) Metathesaurus; managing DailyMed, and overseeing a full-time staff of 10. The job will be posted soon on the NLM Jobs Opportunities web page. All qualified applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. As a medical officer position at the GS15, the position requires a Doctor of Medicine or Doctor of Osteopathy, has a salary range of $123,758-$155,500, and may be eligible for a Physician’s Compensation Allowance.
The Division of Public Programs at the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities funds humanities projects that are intended for broad public audiences at museums, libraries, historic sites, and other historical and cultural organizations. New application guidelines and detailed instructions are now posted on the NEH Web site for America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations: Planning Grants. The next receipt deadline is January 9, 2013, for projects beginning in August, 2013. Planning grants support the early stages of project development, including consultation with scholars, refinement of humanities themes, preliminary design, and audience evaluation.
Grants support interpretive exhibitions, reading or film discussion series, historic site interpretations, lecture series and symposia, and digital projects. NEH especially encourages projects that offer multiple formats and make creative use of new technology to deliver humanities content. In the last five competitions, this grant program received an average of 80 applications. An average of seven awards were made per competition, for a funding ratio of 9 percent.
LiverTox is a freely available website that provides up-to-date, comprehensive, and unbiased information about drug-induced liver injury caused by prescription and nonprescription drugs, herbals, and dietary supplements. The LiverTox website provides a comprehensive resource for physicians and their patients, and for clinical academicians and researchers to identify basic and clinical questions to be answered, and to chart optimal ways to diagnose and control drug-induced liver injury.
LiverTox provides a searchable database of about 700 medications available in the United States. Over the next few years, another 300 drugs will be added. Drug-induced liver injury is the leading cause of acute liver failure in this country. Some drugs directly damage the liver, while others cause damage indirectly or by an allergic reaction. LiverTox is a joint effort within the National Institutes of Health (NIH), involving the Liver Disease Research Branch of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), and the Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) of NLM.
LiverTox has three major components:
- Introduction and overview of drug induced liver injury;
- Specific drug records that provide concise data on the hepatotoxicity of medications, herbals and dietary supplements; and
- Case submission registry that allows users to provide comments about the LiverTox database, and submit clinical cases to the LiverTox website and U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s MedWatch program, used to monitor product safety.
LiverTox developers work with outside experts in drug-induced liver disease, as well as with specialists in arthritis, cancer, diabetes, infectious diseases, and other conditions. The finished website has also been reviewed by FDA and pharmaceutical industry experts on liver-related complications. The database will be updated regularly with information about drug-induced liver injury, as well as with new drugs and concepts. For more information about LiverTox, visit the About Us section.
The National Library of Medicine has announced the release of a new Turning the Pages virtual book on its Web site, or via iPad App. The new project features selections from The Anatomy of an Horse, by Andrew Snape, farrier to King Charles II of England, and a self-described member of a dynasty of royal farriers stretching back over two centuries. Printed in London in 1683, The Anatomy of an Horse is one of the most comprehensive and beautifully illustrated books about horses published in seventeenth-century Britain. It contains numerous engravings of horses, mainly on the dissecting table, including the digestive system, heart, brain, musculature and the skeleton. Turning the Pages features a selection of these images curated by NLM staff.
Farriers were generally blacksmiths whose primary duty was making shoes for horses and applying them to the animals’ feet, but they often took on other tasks in horse care as well, including treating illnesses such as the glanders (a common equine sinus infection), the botts (a parasite), or lameness. They also applied surgical remedies for horses such as purgatives and bloodletting. Farriers were usually illiterate tradespeople, who learned their craft through an apprenticeship and “practiced” in the military’s cavalry, on a gentleman’s estate, or in a village or town. Until the prevalence of the automobile, horses were some of the most important animals to humans, providing transportation, battle power, and heft. Horses were often the most valuable possession of a middle class family, and were considered a powerful symbol of prestige among the wealthy, nobility, and gentry.
Launched at the NLM in 2001, Turning the Pages is part of an ongoing collaboration between research engineers at the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, and curators and historians at the NLM’s History of Medicine Division, to help make its rare and unique history of medicine materials widely available to the public. The NLM holds one of the world’s largest collections of early books relating to veterinary medicine dating before the year 1800.
The History of Medicine Division (HMD) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) is planning a major update of its IndexCat database, the online version of the Index Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General’s Office. You are invited to take part in a brief survey so NLM/HMD can better understand your current use of IndexCat and what new features you would wish this resource to offer in the future. The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/IndexCat.
If you are not familiar with IndexCat, please take a moment to explore it. IndexCat contains over 4.5 million references to over 3.7 million bibliographic items, dating from over five centuries, and covering subjects of the basic sciences, scientific research, civilian and military medicine, public health, and hospital administration. A wide range of materials can be discovered through IndexCat, including books, journal articles, dissertations, pamphlets, reports, newspaper clippings, case studies, obituary notices, letters, and portraits, as well as rare books and manuscripts. Recently, two new collections, involving medieval scientific English and Latin texts, were made available through IndexCat. Opening a new frontier in historical research, these additional collections encompass over 42,000 records of incipits, or the beginning words of a medieval manuscript or early printed book. IndexCat users can search incipit data by manuscript, library, author/translator, title, subject, date and other information.
The IndexCat user survey has been approved by the National Library of Medicine’s Survey Review process and responses will be anonymous. This survey will remain open until October 15, 2012.
Data dashboards provide a mechanism to use visualization, rather than words, to get a quick overview of progress made towards programmatic goals, and to engage stakeholders in the evaluation process. To use data dashboards effectively, it is important to define the user group(s) involved and to select recognizable metrics from trusted sources. There are a variety of resources available to assist with producing dashboards for web sites, blogs, etc., including Juice Analytics, Tableau Software, and Google Analytics. After registering with Juice Analytics, one resource to consider is a white paper listed in the “Visualization Resources” category, called A Guide to Creating Dashboards People Love to Use. Once established, data dashboards can monitor the progress of a program, communicate progress to stakeholders, and provide early signs of problems that may be arising.
To get an idea of a final product, a good example to view is the Health IT Dashboard showing the implementation of the Regional Extension Center (REC) Cooperative Agreement Program, coordinated by the federal Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC). The REC program is funded to provide technical assistance for EHR implementation to 100,000 primary care providers, through 62 nationwide sites. The dashboard charts the enrollment of primary care providers in this program, and monitors their efforts to become meaningful users of electronic health records (EHRs). Dashboards could be a colorful, visual way for you to show what you do to benefit the overall institution!
NLM’s ALTBIB portal has been updated. ALTBIB provides access to PubMed/MEDLINE citations relevant to alternatives to the use of live vertebrates in biomedical research and testing. Many of the citations provide access to free full text of the article. The site’s topics and subtopics are aligned with current approaches. For example, information is provided on in silico, in vitro, and improved (refined) animal testing methods. Strategies which incorporate validated methods and other approaches are also covered.
ALTBIB also provides access to animal alternatives news sources, such as the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods (ICCVAM). The portal has an extensive collection of links to key organizations providing information on alternatives to animal testing. ALTBIB provides access to ICCVAM’s “International Acceptance of Alternative Methods, 1998-2012” and “U.S. and International Milestones in Alternative Test Method Development and Evaluations.”
In addition to the topic area PubMed searches, the ALTBIB portal includes a searchable bibliographic collection on alternatives to animal testing. This collection provides citations from published articles, books, book chapters, and technical reports published from 1980 to 2000. The bibliography features citations concerning methods, tests, assays, and procedures that may prove useful in establishing alternatives to the use of intact vertebrates. The ALTBIB bibliographic collection has not been updated since 2001, when the preformulated searches of PubMed were substituted for collecting a formal bibliography.
National Library of Medicine Acting Associate Director for Library Operations, Joyce Backus, has announced the appointment of Loren Frant to serve as deputy chief of the Public Services Division (PSD), and Kenneth Koyle to serve as deputy chief of the History of Medicine Division (HMD). Ms. Frant came to NLM as an Associate Fellow in 2004. Following her Associate year, she accepted a position in PSD’s Reference and Web Services Section as a systems librarian, where she led a team of librarians delivering Web site redesigns and database improvements. Ms. Frant served as the technical lead for MedlinePlus, and was then appointed head of the Health Information Products Unit (HIPU), a position she held until her selection as deputy chief. As the head of the HIPU Unit, Ms. Frant led all MedlinePlus strategic decisions and directed the operations for a suite of important products and services, including MedlinePlus, MedlinePlus en español, MedlinePlus Web services, and she was key to the successful launch of MedlinePlus Connect in November 2010.
Mr. Koyle is a retired Army officer, with more than 25 years of service. Since 2010, he has served as deputy chief of the US Army Medical Department’s Center of History and Heritage (AMEDD) at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. In this capacity, he has been the executive officer of the Center, and the sole active duty historian in the Army Medical Department, responsible with the chief of the Center for supervision of an 18-person staff of history, archives, and museum personnel, and administration of a $2.1 million annual budget, as well as historical research in support of AMEDD and the Office of the Surgeon General. Prior to his tenure at AMEDD, Mr. Koyle was a medical history fellow at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, where he received his master’s degree in history. He holds a second master’s degree in adult education from Penn State University.