Skip all navigation and go to page content
NN/LM Home About PSR | Contact PSR | Feedback |Site Map | Help | Bookmark and Share

Archive for the ‘NLM Resources’ Category

NLM Toxicology and Environmental Health Resource Update: ChemIDplus Interfaces

The National Library of Medicine’s ChemIDplus Lite and ChemIDplus Advanced interfaces have been enhanced with the following features:

  • Valid chemical names and CAS RN completions are displayed as the user types in the search box. If no data are found, suggestions are provided.
  • The ChemIDplus Registry Number field now includes the FDA UNII code.
  • The InChIKey is now directly searchable. It can be used for the interchange of structural data and as input for search engines such as Google.
  • The ChemIDplus Formula field now accepts molecular formulas with spaces between elements and their counts and without the hyphens previously required.

Examples of these new features may be viewed at the ChemIDplus Help pages. ChemIDplus is a free, web search system that provides access to the structure and nomenclature authority files used for the identification of chemical substances cited in National Library of Medicine (NLM) databases, including the TOXNET® system. ChemIDplus also has structure searching and direct links to resources at NLM, federal agencies, U.S states, and scientific sites. The database contains more than 400,000 chemical records, of which over 300,000 include chemical structures.

Climate Change and the Health of Americans: Information Resources from NLM

The July 2015 issue of The Nation’s Health features a cover story on the link between climate change and health, new U.S. government initiatives aimed at protecting communities from the health impacts of climate change, and the effort to reframe climate change as an urgent public health issue. These initiatives are meant to help Americans understand climate change as not just an environmental issue, but also an important health issue.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides many sources of information to assist health professionals with the knowledge and resources they need to assess who is most vulnerable to the health effects of climate change, and teach patients how to minimize the impacts. The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) Arctic Health website is a central source for information on diverse aspects of the Arctic environment and the health of northern peoples. The site gives access to evaluated health information from hundreds of local, state, national, and international agencies, as well as from professional societies and universities. For example, the Arctic Health Climate Change page provides links to websites, publications, and multimedia presentations covering the impacts of climate change on the health, activities, and well-being of people in the Arctic. It includes climate-change observations from both the scientific-research and the traditional-knowledge points of view.

The SIS Environmental Health and Toxicology website features Enviro-Health Links – Climate Change and Human Health. This page provides a wealth of environmental health-related web resources from the U.S. government and other trusted sources focused on climate change and health. Resources include links to information about specific impacts on agriculture, extreme weather, general health, infectious disease, population displacement, preparedness and security, and water quality and scarcity. In addition to topic-related searches of NLM resources, the page offers overview materials, glossaries, information on law, policy, and regulation, links to blogs, news, podcasts and video, and educational material such as the NLM’s Environmental Health Student Portal.

Directory of History of Medicine Collections

One of the National Library of Medicine’s most versatile online historical resources is an interactive tool for locating history of medicine collections worldwide: the Directory of History of Medicine Collections. The Directory connects scholars with literature, artifacts, and unique collections in medical history and allows travelers and explorers to discover medical libraries, archives, and museums nearby and around the world. The first edition of the Directory was established in 1990 with 32 initial entries. Each year thereafter, the number of collections continued to grow, and today it contains more than 200 and growing. In 2001, the printed Directory was adapted for the Web, bringing direct access to this resource to the world. The types of collections listed in the Directory range from single subject specialties to those with a general history of medicine coverage.

The Directory underwent a major transformation in 2010 with the development of a fully keyword searchable database. And recently, an interactive map has been added, which links users to collections geographically. Now you can locate collections on the map by selecting the continent from the pull-down menu. You can also drag the map to see what collections are represented internationally. On June 9 a one-hour webinar presentation with the features of the Directory was hosted by the NN/LM Middle Atlantic Region. The session will be publicly archived for future viewing.

NLM Partners with ALA to Travel “Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness” Exhibit

The National Library of Medicine has announced a partnership with the American Library Association (ALA) through which ALA’s Public Programs Office will manage a national tour of a traveling adaptation of Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness to America’s libraries and other Native-serving cultural institutions beginning in 2016. Four copies of the traveling exhibition will tour nationally for four years to dozens of sites around the country. The current tour of Native Voices: Native Peoples’ Concepts of Health and Illness to pilot sites and Regional Medical Libraries around the country will conclude in December 2015, making way for the ALA-managed national tour in 2016. As a project partner, the ALA Public Programs Office will create a project website for librarians, recruit applications from sites nationwide, manage the peer-reviewed application process, select venues for the exhibition tour in consultation with NLM, plan online training sessions for participating libraries, coordinate exhibition shipping, and manage the four-year tour to host venues. The ALA website will complement current NLM online resources. Additional information about NLM’s partnership with ALA, including details of the site-selection process, will be available later this year.

The exhibition explores the interconnectedness of wellness, illness, and cultural life for Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. Visitors discover how Native concepts of health and illness are closely tied to the concepts of community, spirit, and the land. Stories examine both past and present, and show how the determinants of health for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians are tied to community, the land, and spirit. Speaking in their own voices, Native People tell how individual and community wellness were affected during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Individual stories show how epidemics, federal legislation, the loss of land, and the inhibition of culture affect the health of Native individuals and communities today. The exhibition also presents a contemporary story about renaissance, recovery, and self-determination, and how the Native Peoples of the United States use traditional and Western methods to enhance wellness. The online version of the Native Voices exhibition includes interviews, lesson plans, a timeline of Native Peoples’ health that chronicles the survival and resurgence of traditional ways to promote well-being, and career-planning and educational resources.

NLM Request for Comments: Discontinuation of Artificial Subject Strings for Cataloging Records

NLM has been recording geographic locations and publications types in the MARC21 fields 651 and 655 respectively since 1999 to match indexing practices in subject assignment. This differs from LC’s practice of putting geographic locations in 650 $z and publication types in 650 $v. In 1999, 80% of medical libraries responding to the announcement of this practice being adopted at NLM, indicated that subjects in this format would be difficult to incorporate in their OPAC. NLM therefore continued to provide a specially programmed output with a traditional subject string of 650 $a $x $z $v for subscribers to Catfile. In 2005, NLM once again surveyed the community and proposed discontinuing the special programming to create traditional subject strings and to distribute records as they appear in LocatorPlus. At that time, a small majority of libraries were in favor of such a proposal; however, those who were opposed were very passionate about the issue and made some compelling arguments for keeping the strings. NLM made some minor changes to the record distribution programs at that time to ease some of the complexities its catalogers had been encountering in trying to code subjects for proper output, but continued to output traditional subject strings.

NLM now believes that the environment has changed enough to once again propose discontinuing the practice of creating artificial subject strings for subscribers to Catfile. Rather than traditional OPACs, many libraries are using discovery systems that search across different input streams and provide faceted searching options, and the library community is planning to make much more use of linked data, particularly with the future adoption of BIBFRAME. Long subject strings do not work well in a linked data environment, and many libraries are breaking up the traditional LCSH subject string into its component parts using the FAST vocabulary. MeSH has recently been released in RDF triples that correspond to data in 650 $a and $x, 651 or 655 fields. NLM believes the time is now appropriate to stop creating artificial subject strings and distribute NLM records exactly as they appear in the LocatorPlus database, which would mean that libraries that take copy from both NLM and OCLC would not have to edit one form or another to have consistency in their catalogs.

NLM is asking the medical library community for comments regarding what the effect would be on your institution if NLM were to discontinue distributing its MARC cataloging bibliographic records with artificially reconstructed subject strings. Records in MARC format would continue to have MeSH headings combined with the appropriate topical subheadings (650 $a $x), but geographic locations, and publication types would be carried in separate fields in the record, rather than as subfields of the MeSH heading. This would mean that records distributed to bibliographic utilities and other licensees would be identical to the records in LocatorPlus.

Please send your comments by August 31, 2015 to Diane Boehr, Head, Cataloging and Metadata Management Section at NLM. NLM will announce the final decision on whether or not to implement this change by September 30, 2015. Any changes to distribution files will not occur until calendar year 2016.

Example of current practice:

In NLM database:
650 22 $a Cross Cultural Comparison
650 22  $a Health Policy

Subject strings created for distribution:
650 22 $a Cross Cultural Comparison $z Africa $v Congresses
650 22 $a Health Policy $z Caribbean Region $v Congresses

Toxicology and Environmental Health Resource Update: LiverTox

Many medications have the potential to cause liver injury. The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) LiverTox is an evidence-based resource that provides guidance to consumers, patients, and healthcare providers about the potential for prescription and nonprescription drugs, herbals and dietary supplements to cause damage to this critical organ. It assists physicians regarding the diagnosis and management of this important cause of liver disease. LiverTox represents a collaborative effort by medical and scientific specialists to provide a central repository of clinical information in support of clinical and basic research on the prevention and control of drug induced liver injury. It also includes a case registry that enables scientific analysis and better characterization of the clinical patterns of that injury.

NLM Launches “Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature,” a New Traveling Exhibition

Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature logoThe National Library of Medicine has announced the launch of a new traveling exhibition and an online adaptation of Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature.

In 1816, Mary Shelley conceived a story that would pose profound questions about individual and societal responsibility for others, and serve as a metaphor for apprehensions about scientific advancement. Victor Frankenstein, a scientist obsessed with creating life, succeeds in his endeavor. But while Frankenstein’s creature can think and feel, he is monstrous to the eye. Spurned by all, the embittered creature turns into a savage killer. Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature explores the power of the Frankenstein story to expose hidden fears of science and technology—both in the original novel and shaped into new forms, such as plays, films, and comics. Captivating audiences for 200 years, as scientists have gained new knowledge, the Frankenstein story remains like a warning beacon, throwing its unsettling beam upon human efforts to penetrate the secrets of nature.

The online exhibition features resources for educators and students, including lesson plans developed by classroom teachers for middle and high school classes, and a higher education module developed by scholars for undergraduate and graduate students and instructors. The traveling banner exhibition is available for booking now. Please visit traveling exhibition services for more information about Frankenstein: Penetrating the Secrets of Nature.

New Issues of NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine and NIH MedlinePlus Salud Now Available!

Spring 2015 Cover of NIH MedlinePlus the MagazineThe Spring 2015 issue of NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine is now available online! The issue featuring actress Jennifer Esposito, includes features on celiac disease, hearing loss, glaucoma, diseases and vaccinations, seasonal allergies, and more!

Additionally, the Winter 2014 issue of NIH MedlinePlus Salud is also now available online! The issue featuring singer Gilberto Santa Rosa, includes features on diabetes, lupus, COPD, and more!

NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine and NIH MedlinePlus Salud are free, trusted consumer guides to the vast array of authoritative online health and medical information at MedlinePlus.gov (español). These magazines present the best in reliable, up-to-date health information, showcase the latest breakthroughs from NIH-supported research, and features people from all walks of life talking about how they’ve handled their health challenges. NIH MedlinePlus Salud is a bilingual publication, with articles in both English and Spanish.

Both magazines are available online in HTML and PDF format. Free print subscriptions are also available for US addresses.

Guide to Choosing NLM Environmental Health and Toxicology Resources

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Environmental Health and Toxicology Portal provides a starting point for finding reliable information on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases. The NLM Toxicology Information Decision Guide can help with selection of the right resource for a particular need. Visit the database table for expanded descriptions and sample records for some of these resources.

NLM Theater Presentations at MLA 2015

The NLM exhibit booth at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association in Austin, TX, featured theater presentations to bring users up-to-date on several NLM products and services. The presentation recordings are captioned and accessible from the NLM Distance Education Program Resources page. The presentations include:

Note: To listen to the voice recordings and view the captions you may need the latest version of Flash® Player (download for free from the Adobe Web site). To maximize the presentation, use the Full Screen button. For more information, go to the NLM Technical Bulletin page.