Archive for the ‘NLM Resources’ Category
November 2013 marks 25 years that the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has been providing access to biomedical and genomic information to advance science and health. Established in 1988 as a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NCBI has grown into a leading source for public biomedical databases, software tools for analyzing molecular and genomic data, and research in computational biology. NCBI’s resources rank among the most heavily used government web sites in the United States, with approximately 3 million users every day.
In recognition of NCBI’s achievements, an awards and recognition program was held November 1 on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. At that event Tony Hey, PhD, Vice President of Microsoft Research, presented NCBI Director David Lipman, MD, with the Jim Gray eScience Award. Named for Jim Gray, a technical fellow for Microsoft Research and an A.M. Turing Award winner who disappeared at sea in 2007, the annual award recognizes researchers who have made outstanding contributions to the field of data-intensive computing and made “science easier for scientists,” according to Microsoft.
Gray was very familiar with the work of NCBI. He was a member of the NLM Board of Regents in 2006 and met a number of times with Dr. Lipman, NCBI Information Engineering Branch Chief Jim Ostell, PhD, and other staff to discuss issues such as organization of and access to biomedical literature and data. His interest in NCBI’s work is evidenced by his final lecture, in January 2007, in which he highlighted the importance of NCBI/NLM biomedical literature databases like PubMed and PubMed Central, genomic databases such as GenBank, and NCBI’s Entrez system for searching across these and many other databases. An edited version of Gray’s lecture can be read in The Fourth Paradigm, available on Microsoft Research’s web site.
The NCBI awards program also featured presentations by Sir Richard Roberts, PhD, chief scientific officer of New England Biolabs, who provided the keynote address, entitled “A personal recollection of GenBank and NCBI.” NLM Director Donald A.B. Lindberg, MD, recounted the planning process that led to the formation of NCBI, and NIH Deputy Director for Intramural Research Michael M. Gottesman, MD, provided introductory remarks for the awards ceremony. Dr. Lipman closed the event by recognizing the dedicated and hard-working staff of NCBI who have enabled the progress that has transpired over the last 25 years.
The National Library of Medicine has released an enhancement to MedlinePlus Connect, NLM’s service for patient portals and electronic health record (EHR) systems. MedlinePlus Connect makes it easy for EHRs to link to targeted information for patients from MedlinePlus, using their existing coding for diagnoses (problem codes), medications, and laboratory test results.
The latest enhancement provides responses to one code system for problems, SNOMED CT, to information from NLM’s Genetics Home Reference (GHR) web site. GHR is the NLM’s web site for consumer information about genetic conditions and the genes or chromosomes related to those conditions.
With this new enhancement, MedlinePlus Connect can respond to requests for information related to SNOMED CT codes with information from MedlinePlus and from GHR. Currently this feature is available only for English SNOMED CT requests.
The National Library of Medicine Library has announced the enhancement of In His Own Words: Martin Cummings and the NLM, a digital edition of selected speeches and articles by the man who served as its director from 1964 to 1983. During his tenure, Dr. Cummings guided NLM into the computer age and significantly broadened its mission. Originally launched in February 2012, In His Own Words now includes Dr. Cummings’ annual Congressional appropriations testimonies, along with commentary provided by Dr. Cummings through interviews with Dr. Cheryl Dee of San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science and Florida State University School of Library and Information Services. These enhancements document Dr. Cummings’s opinion that the testimonies and commentaries together offer the most valuable window into NLM’s program development from the 1960s to the 1980s. Reflecting on his testimonies, and the subsequent question and answer sessions defending them, Dr. Cummings’s commentary provides contextual insight on significant turning points in the Library’s history and the political personalities that influenced them.
Martin Marc Cummings, MD (1920–2011), was a medical educator, physician, scientific administrator and medical librarian. Highly respected in all of these disciplines, he made significant contributions to medical informatics and librarianship. As a whole, In His Own Words represents the NLM’s ongoing commitment to collecting materials related to its institutional history and programmatic impact—as part of the NLM Archives—as well as to digitizing these collections and making them widely available for the benefit of researchers, educators, and students.
PubMed now includes a new relevance sort option! The “Relevance” sort option is available from the “Display Settings” menu under the “Sort by” selections. The relevance sort order for search results is based on an algorithm that analyzes each PubMed citation that includes the search terms. For each search query, “weight” is calculated for citations depending on how many search terms are found and in which fields they are found. In addition, recently-published articles are given a somewhat higher weight for sorting.
Easy access to the relevance sort will also initially be provided under a “New feature” discovery tool:
Users may either choose “Relevance” from the “Display Settings Sort by” menu or click the “Sort by Relevance” link in the New Feature discovery tool. For additional information, please visit the NLM Technical Bulletin.
NCBI has released PubMed Commons, currently in pilot phase, which is a system that enables researchers to share their opinions about scientific publications. Researchers can comment on any publication indexed by PubMed, and read the comments of others. PubMed Commons is a forum for open and constructive criticism and discussion of scientific issues. It will thrive with high quality interchange from the scientific community. PubMed Commons is currently in a closed pilot testing phase, which means that only invited participants can add and view comments in PubMed.
For the current pilot testing phase there is a limited facility for joining that may work for you. Several organizations have provided lists of approved author e-mail addresses. If you are included on the list, you can request an invitation to join. Additional options for joining will be provided in future releases.
For additional information, visit the NCBI Insights blog.
The National Library of Medicine has announced the completion of its third collaborative digitization project with Gale/Cengage Learning’s Archives Unbound service. Narcotic Addiction and Mental Health: The Clinical Papers of Lawrence Kolb Sr., a searchable online collection of 15,000 images drawn from the personal and professional papers of a pioneer in the medical approach to narcotics addiction treatment, and in public health research and treatment of mental illness, is now freely available within the NLM’s History of Medicine reading room and via local libraries with subscriptions to Archives Unbound.
The National Library of Medicine’s previous collaborations with Archives Unbound, completed in 2012, include AIDS Crisis: Records of the National Commission on Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, 1983–1994 and Development of Environmental Health Policy: Pope A. Lawrence Papers 1924–1983. The newly-digitized Kolb collection deals chiefly with the subjects of drug addiction, alcoholism, juvenile delinquency, and mental health. Although parts of the collection were not digitized due to the patient privacy, privacy of Kolb’s coworkers, and copyright concerns around specific documents, the entire collection is available to researchers at the National Library of Medicine. The complete finding aid for the Kolb papers is available free from the National Library of Medicine, and researchers are cordially invited to visit the Library to consult the collection directly.
Dr. Lawrence Kolb was born in Galesville, Maryland, on February 20, 1881, and graduated from the University of Maryland medical school in 1908. The next year he was commissioned an Assistant Surgeon in the Public Health Service. From 1913 to 1919, he was stationed at the Ellis Island, New York Immigration Station, specializing in the mental disease and illness of incoming immigrants. During this same period, he also developed a program for the study and treatment of post-World War I patients suffering from war-caused neuroses. In 1923, Dr. Kolb came to Washington, D.C. and spent five years studying drug addiction and its relationship to crime. He was one of the first to advocate treating drug addicts as patients, not criminals. By 1934, Dr. Kolb was an international expert in the study of psychiatry and narcotics, and was appointed head of the Public Health Service Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky to lead the U.S. government’s first experimental unit for treating drug addicts. His final duty station was as Chief of the Public Health Service Mental Hygiene Division from 1938–1944. He was promoted to Assistant Surgeon General in 1942. His work there, along with that of Dr. Thomas Parran, led to the creation of the National Institute for Mental Health in 1946.
The second edition (2013) of the popular Planning and Evaluating Health Information Outreach Projects booklet series presents step-by-step planning and evaluation methods. Along with providing information about evaluation, each booklet includes a case study and worksheets to assist with outreach planning. The booklets are designed to supplement Measuring the Difference: Guide to Planning and Evaluating Health Information Outreach, and to support evaluation workshops. The three updated booklets are now available online in HTML (screen reader optimized) and PDF formats:
Getting Started with Community-Based Outreach (Booklet 1)
What’s new? More emphasis and background on the value of health information outreach, including its relationship to the Healthy People 2020 Health Communication and Health Information Technology topic area.
Planning Outcomes-Based Outreach Projects (Booklet 2)
What’s new? Focus on uses of the logic model planning tool beyond project planning, such as providing approaches to writing proposals and reports.
Collecting and Analyzing Evaluation Data (Booklet 3)
What’s new? Step-by-step guide to collecting, analyzing, and assessing the validity (or trustworthiness) of quantitative and qualitative data, using questionnaires and interviews as examples.
Copies of the booklets are available from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Outreach Evaluation Resource Center. To receive free copies send an email request to: email@example.com.
The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is accepting applications for its Associate Fellowship program, a one-year training program for recent MLS graduates and librarians early in their career. The application deadline is February 4, 2014. Between 4 and 7 fellows will be selected for the program.
The Fellowship: Curriculum and Projects
In the first half of the 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 six-seven 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, attendance at a Pow-Wow, 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 2013)
- Additional financial support for the purchase of health insurance
- Some relocation funding
Who is Eligible?
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 2014. Both recent graduates and librarians early in their career are welcome to apply. Priority is given to U.S. citizens. Applications and additional information are available online. Feel free to contact Kathel Dunn, Associate Fellowship Program Coordinator at 301-435-4083 for additional questions about the program.
The National Library of Medicine Training Center (NTC) is offering a new online opportunity to learn more about NLM’s environmental health resources. Join the NTC from October 21 – November 5, 2013, for Module 1 of the online class, Discovering TOXNET: From Paracelsus to Nanotechnology. TOXNET is a web-based system of databases covering hazardous chemicals, environmental health, and toxic releases. Module 1 covers three TOXNET databases; ChemIDPlus, LactMed, and TOXLINE, as well as three emergency response tools; CHEMM, REMM, and WISER. Module 2 will cover the risk assessment databases and will be offered at a later date. You will learn about the resources through videos, guided tutorials, discovery exercises, and solving real-life reference questions. Classes are designed for health sciences librarians and health sciences professionals interested in unlocking the available information in these resources!
The class will involve three hours of work on your own time, followed by a one-hour synchronous session using Adobe Connect. Participants who complete all class requirements are eligible for 4 MLA Continuing Education credits. The asynchronous work on your own (allow 3 hours) will be conducted from October 21 – 31, 2013, followed by the synchronous Adobe Connect session on November 5, 2013, at 10:00 AM PST. Enrollment is limited, so register soon! For questions, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sara Tybaert begins her new position as Head of MEDLARS Management Section (MMS) in NLM’s Bibliographic Services Division (BSD) on October 6, 2013. Sara has been with MMS since 1990, filling many roles. Since 2011, Sara has been the Head of the Bibliographic Data Management Unit within MMS. In this position she has overseen the daily MEDLINE data verification process for the nightly exports of MEDLINE data to PubMed and to MEDLINE licensees. Her work includes oversight of the various systems used in the data quality control work performed within MMS. She also supports the ongoing development and testing of data input and maintenance systems for MEDLINE. And perhaps most importantly, Sara has been the project manager for the annual Year End Processing (YEP) efforts within BSD.
Sara has provided support and oversight for several key projects within MMS during her tenure at NLM. She serves as the MMS representative to the Shared Serials Group. Sara also currently serves as the MMS representative to the NLM COGNOS Team Leads group, and participates on the MEDLINE Processing Working Group and NLM DTD Group. She has participated on the MMS PubMed team with NCBI, including system testing and support for MEDLINE/PubMed customer service. In addition, she has often represented NLM at the NLM Exhibit Booth at the MLA annual meeting. Over the years, one of Sara’s greatest accomplishments was serving as the COR/COTR for the NLM Bioethics Contract with the Kennedy Institute of Ethics. Under her guidance, NLM was eventually able to reduce and eventually discontinue this contract, providing significant savings to NLM and Library Operations.