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Archive for the ‘Non-NLM Resources’ Category

New resource for Alaska Natives and American Indians: NativeOneStop.gov

The White House, in collaboration with the Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, has announced a new resource for American Indians and Alaska Natives. NativeOneStop.gov was launched in an effort to provide American Indians and Alaska Natives with easy, online access to Federal resources and programs. It is a partnership of many Federal agencies and organizations with a shared vision – to provide improved, personalized access to Federal resources and programs for American Indians and Alaska Natives. NativeOneStop.gov will make it easier for tribes, Alaska Natives, and American Indians to find services, receive consistent information, and streamline outreach and services by Federal agencies.

USCIS Updates Welcome Guide for New Immigrants

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published an updated Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants booklet. The guide contains practical information to help new immigrants settle into everyday life in the United States, including how to find a place to live, how to get a Social Security number and how the U.S. system of government works. Available in 14 languages (English, Arabic, Chinese (traditional), Chinese (simplified), French, Haitian Creole, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Urdu, Vietnamese), this publication has recently been updated to include:

  • Revised and updated general information on policies, programs and resources;
  • A refreshed layout and design;
  • A new chapter called “Taking Care of Your Money” on personal finance, taxes and financial scams; and
  • A new chapter called “Understanding Education and Health Care” on the education system, adult education programs and the health insurance marketplace.

You can download free copies in 14 languages on the USCIS website and purchase printed copies in English, Spanish and Chinese through the U.S. Government Bookstore.

NIH Pathways to Prevention Workshop: Total Worker Health® – What’s Work Got to Do With It?

Unlike traditional workplace systems, which often address worker safety, health, and well-being separately, Total Worker Health® (TWH) builds upon the foundation of protecting workers by supporting a universal understanding of the various factors that influence safety, health, and well-being.

To better understand the benefits of an integrated approach to worker health, NIOSH, along with the NIH Office of Disease Prevention (ODP) and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), is sponsoring the NIH Pathways to Prevention Workshop: Total Worker Health® – What’s Work Got to Do With It? The workshop will seek to evaluate the current state of knowledge on integrated approaches to worker safety, health, and well-being, and plot the direction for future research.

There is no fee to attend the workshop. The workshop will take place on December 9 and 10 in the Masur Auditorium on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus in Bethesda, Maryland. If you are unable to attend in person, the workshop will be broadcast on the NIH videocast page. Registration, although not required, is encouraged for in-person and videocast attendees. Join the conversation on Twitter with #NIHP2P.

Special NHGRI Seminar Series Begins December 3: “A Quarter Century after the Human Genome Project’s Launch: Lessons beyond the Base Pairs”

Illustrative collage of archived documents and photosOctober 1, 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of the launch of the Human Genome Project. To commemorate this anniversary in a fashion that showcases the rich history of the Human Genome Project and the field of genomics over the last quarter-century, the NHGRI History of Genomics Program is hosting a seminar series entitled “A Quarter Century after the Human Genome Project’s Launch: Lessons Beyond the Base Pairs.” The program will feature Human Genome Project participants, who will be sharing their perspectives about the Project and how it affected their careers.

The series kicks off on December 3 with a panel discussion that will include the key NHGRI leadership during the Human Genome Project including Francis Collins (NIH Director and Former NHGRI Director) as well as Elke Jordan and Mark Guyer (Former NHGRI Deputy Directors). Other speakers will follow in early 2016 including Maynard Olson, Ewan Birney, Bob Cook-Deegan, Marco Marra, and David Bentley. The lectures take place on Thursday afternoons from 2 to 3 p.m. ET in Lipsett Amphitheater in Building 10 on the main NIH campus; they will also be videorecorded and made available on the NHGRI GenomeTV channel of YouTube. All seminars are free and open to the public.

Additionally, NHGRI has published a video interview with NHGRI Director Dr. Eric Green, “The Impact of the Human Genome Project 25 years from its Launch.” Dr. Green reflects on the lasting legacy of the Human Genome Project (HGP) 25 years after its start. Among HGP’s far-reaching impacts: team science, data sharing and analysis and technology development.

Pie Charts: Pros and Cons

Data visualization expert Stephen Few explained the problem with pie charts during this interview with the New York Times: “When looking at parts of a whole, the primary task is to rank them to see the relative performance of the parts. That can’t be done easily when relying on angles formed by a slice.” An article by American Evaluation Association’s president-elect John Gargani argues for retirement of the venerable pie chart. He make points that are repeated in many anti-pie chart blog posts. On the other hand, this post by Bruce Gabrielle of Speaking PowerPoint describes situations where pie charts can shine.

In general, most experts believe that the times and places to use pie charts are few and far between. If you have found one of those rare times, then here’s a post at Better Evaluation with design tips to follow. And for humorous examples of what not to do, check out Michael Friendly’s Evil Pies blog!

How to Throw a Data Party

A data party is another name for a kind of participatory data analysis, where stakeholders are gathered together to help analyze data that you have collected. Here are some reasons to include stakeholders in the data analysis stage:

  • It allows stakeholders to get to know and engage with the data.
  • Stakeholders may bring context to the data that will help explain some of the results.
  • When stakeholders participate in analyzing the data, they are more likely to understand and use it.
  • Watching their interactions often reveals the person with the power to act on your recommendations.

To begin the process, you need to know what you hope to gain from the attendees, since you may only be able to hold an event like this one time. There are a number of different ways to organize the event, such as the World Cafe format, where everyone works together to explore a set of questions, or an Open Space system in which attendees create their own agenda about which questions they want to discuss. Recently the American Evaluation Association held a very successful online unconference using MIT’s Unhangout, an approach that could be used for an online data party with people from multiple locations.

Here are suggested questions to ask at a data party:

  • What does this data tell you?
  • How does this align with your expectations?
  • What do you think is occurring here and why?
  • What other information do you need to make this actionable?

At the end of the party it might be time to present some of your findings and recommendations. Considering the work that they have done, stakeholders may be more willing to listen, since people often tend to support what they helped to create.

Infographics Guide from NIH Library Informationists

The Medical Library Association’s October 28 continuing education webinar, Data Visualization Skills and Tools for Librarians, was presented by Lisa Federer, Research Data Informationist at the NIH Library. The session provided information on different aspects of data visualization, including information about elements of design, such as color, line, and contrast. Lisa has also created the LibGuide Creating Infographics with Inkscape, which contains the resources for a class she taught with NIH Informationist Chris Belter. The LibGuide includes a Power Point presentation from the lecture part of the class. The slides cover design principles and design elements with links to resources such as Vischeck, a tool for finding out how colors in a chart appear to someone who is color blind, and The 10 Commandments of Typography, with suggestions for choosing font combinations that work well.

The second part of the class is a hands-on section for using Inkscape, a free, open-source graphics program, to make infographics. Inkscape allows you to use “vector graphics” to design infographics. Vector graphics are useful for image design, since they are based on pathways defined by mathematical expressions like lines, curves, and triangles, allowing images to get larger and smaller without losing any quality. If this sounds hard to do, there are Inkscape tutorials available to help. Other vector graphics editors are available, such as Apache OpenOffice Draw, a free service, or Adobe Illustrator. Comparisons with links to detailed information are available in Wikipedia’s “Comparison of Vector Graphics Editors.”

NIH Image Gallery Now on Flickr

Screen shot of the new NIH Image Gallery on FlickrLooking for health or science related images? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently launched the NIH Image Gallery on Flickr. The Image Gallery offers a wide variety of scientific, biomedical and disease related imagery as well as photos of NIH leadership, labs, buildings and major historical events. Additionally, you can find NIH infographics, b-roll, and the latest research images.

The Flickr site was developed as a means to distribute images to the press and public while ensuring proper license, permissions and copyright protections are documented. The majority of the images offered are free to reuse with proper credit given. The content in the NIH Flickr site will be continuously updated. View the gallery on Flickr and follow the NIH Image Gallery to stay connected. If you cannot find the image you are looking for, you may email a request.

Tips for Writing Effective Survey Invitations

You may think of a survey invitation letter or email message as simply a delivery mechanism to send the questionnaire link to prospective respondents. The invitation may be an afterthought, hastily composed after the process of developing the questionnaire itself. However, a carefully crafted invitation has been proven to boost response rates, which are a key concern when conducting surveys. The following tips for writing invitation messages are all included in the 4th edition of Internet, Phone, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method, by Dillman, Smyth, and Christian (2014), an excellent resource for conducting all aspects of the survey process. It is evidence-based, drawing on an extensive body of research literature on survey practice.

Think of the survey invitation as a “communication plan,” utilizing multiple contacts with participants to elicit good response rates. Plan for a minimum of four contacts:

  • A preliminary message to let your participants know you will be sending them a questionnaire. (Do not include the questionnaire link)
  • An invitation message with a link to the questionnaire (2-3 days after the preliminary contact).
  • A reminder notice, preferably only to those who have not responded (one week after the invitation message).
  • A final reminder notice, also specifically to those who have not responded (one week after the first reminder).

Emphasize how the participants’ feedback will help your organization improve services or programs. This simple request appeals to a common desire among humans to help others. If applicable, emphasize that you need their advice specifically because of their special experience or expertise. It is best to use mail merge to personalize your email messages, so that each participant is personally invited by name to submit their feedback. If you are contacting people who have a relationship with your organization, such as your library users or members of your organization, play up that relationship. Also, make a commitment to share results with them at a later date. And be sure to keep that commitment!

Phishing and email scams may cause leeriness about clicking on links if an email message seems odd in any way. Make sure participants know they can trust your invitation email and survey link. Take opportunities to publicize your institutional affiliation. Incorporate logos or letterhead into your emails, when possible. Provide names, email addresses, and phone numbers of one or two members of your evaluation team, so participants know who to contact with questions or to authenticate the source of the email request. You may never get a call, but they will feel better about answering questions if you give them convenient access to a member of the project team. It is also helpful to get a public endorsement of your survey project from someone who is known and trusted by your participants. You can ask someone influential in your organization to send the preliminary letter or message on your behalf. Also, publicize the project over social media channels or through organizational newsletters or blogs.

Be explicit about who will have access to individual-level data. Be sure you know the difference between anonymity (where no one knows what any given participant specifically said) and confidentiality (where identifiable comments are seen by a few specific people). You can also let participants know how you will protect their identity, but don’t go overboard. Long explanations also can cast doubt on the trustworthiness of your invitation.

And finally, provide status updates when sending reminder messages. If you mention that you are getting great feedback from other respondents, it may motivate the late responders who want to match the behavior of their peers!

Now Available: Presentation Slides and Session Recordings for 2015 Science Boot Camp West for Librarians

Video recordings and slide presentations for most sessions of the 2015 Science Boot Camp West for Librarians are now available. The meeting was held July 27-29, 2015, at Stanford University. Video files are large and best viewed by downloading rather than watching online. The full meeting agenda is also available.