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Archive for the ‘Search Tools’ Category

NCCAM Gets New Name!

As part of the omnibus budget measure signed by President Obama in December 2014, Congress changed the name of NCCAM to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, or NCCIH. The change was made to more accurately reflect the Center’s research commitment to studying promising health approaches that are already in use by the American public. Since the Center’s inception, complementary approaches have grown in use to the point that Americans no longer consider them an alternative to medical care. The name change is in keeping with the Center’s existing Congressional mandate and is aligned with the strategic plan currently guiding the Center’s research priorities and public education activities. The mission of the organization will remain unchanged.

Large population-based surveys have found that the use of “alternative medicine,” unproven practices used in place of conventional medicine, is actually rare. By contrast, integrative health care, which can be defined as combining complementary approaches into conventional treatment plans, has grown within care settings across the nation, including hospitals, hospices, and military health facilities. The goal of an integrative approach is to enhance overall health, prevent disease, and to alleviate debilitating symptoms such as pain and stress and anxiety management that often affects patients coping with complex and chronic disease.

The Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) was established in 1992 within the Office of the Director, NIH, to facilitate the study and evaluation of complementary and alternative medical practices and to disseminate the resulting information to the public. In 1998, NCCAM was established by Congress, elevating OAM to the status of an NIH center. In February 2011, NCCAM released Exploring the Science of Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Third Strategic Plan 2011–2015, which continues to guide NCCIH’s work.

2015 MeSH Now Available in PubMed!

As of December 15, PubMed/MEDLINE citations (including the backlog of citations indexed since November 19 with 2015 MeSH), the MeSH database, and the NLM Catalog were updated to reflect 2015 MeSH. The MeSH translation tables were also updated on December 15. Now that end-of-year activities are complete, MEDLINE/PubMed may be searched using 2015 MeSH vocabulary. Highlights of MEDLINE Data Changes for 2015 were previously published in the NN/LM PSR Latitudes blog. On December 16, NLM resumed daily MEDLINE updates to PubMed.

NLM Resource Update: TOXMAP Now Includes EPA Coal Plant Emissions Data

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) TOXMAP’s new Flash-based beta now includes 2013 coal emissions data published by the US EPA’s Clean Air Markets program. Data was obtained from the Air Markets Program Data (AMPD) tool, a publicly-available data system for searching and downloading data collected as part of EPA’s emissions trading programs. In 2013, about 2.1 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions were attributable to electricity generated from coal.

TOXMAP is a Geographic Information System (GIS) from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) that uses maps of the United States to help users visually explore data from the EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) and Superfund Programs.

NLM Cataloging News for 2015

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) adopted the 2015 MeSH vocabulary for cataloging on November 24, 2014. Accordingly, MeSH subject headings in LocatorPlus were changed to reflect the 2015 MeSH vocabulary and appear in that form as of November 24. When year-end processing (YEP) activities are completed in mid-December, the NLM Catalog, MeSH database, and translation tables will be updated to reflect 2015 MeSH. Until then, there will be a hiatus in the addition of new and edited bibliographic records to the NLM Catalog. The Index to the NLM Classification will not reflect 2015 MeSH changes until Spring 2015. In general, the Cataloging Section implemented the vocabulary changes in NLM bibliographic records for books, serials, and other materials, as they were applied for citations in MEDLINE. Following are a few highlights:

Death vs. Mortality
New terms were created: Infant Death and Perinatal Death. These terms complement the existing MeSH terms Infant Mortality and Perinatal Mortality. Death terms are used for biological, physiological, or psychological concepts while mortality terms are used for statistical concepts. There is some overlap with the perinatal terms. Catalogers should follow the annotations carefully.

“Social” Terms
The new term Sociological Factors, formerly an entry term (ET) to the specialty term Sociology, now serves as an overall heading for specific sociological characteristics and phenomena. Other new “social” terms include Social Theory, Social Capital, Social Norms, and Social Skills.

Missions Terms and Religious Personnel
The 2014 MeSH Missions and Missionaries was deleted. For 2015 MeSH, the concept of missions was separated from the persons involved in missionary work. Two new terms were created: Religious Missions and Missionaries. The automated MeSH changes that took place November 22-23 replaced the term Missions and Missionaries with Religious Missions. Cataloging staff will conduct additional manual processing in December to add Missionaries to the set of records that also have PT Biography, Autobiography, or Personal Narratives. Note that the existing term Medical Missions, Official is still available. Religious Personnel was created as an overall term under which Clergy and the new terms Monks and Nuns are treed. Several entry terms were created for the existing term, Clergy: Chaplains, Clerics, Deacons, Imams, Ministers, Pastors, Priests, and Rabbis.

Manufacturing Industry
The new term Manufacturing Industry, formerly an entry term to Industry, now serves as an overall heading for specific manufacturing industries.

Publication Types (PTs) and Related Terms
No new Publication Types were created for 2015.

Rural Health Needs Assessment and Program Evaluation

Rural and medically underserved areas often have challenges including both increased health disparities and population health issues combined with limited resources and healthcare providers to help meet these challenges. The use of appropriate program evaluation measures can help to assess what actually works for rural health settings since many evidence-based strategies are based on urban and non-rural populations.

The Rural Assistance Center has recently issued a freely available online guide, which is intended to help an organization:

  • Identify the similarities and differences among rural health research, assessment, and evaluation
  • Discuss common methods, such as surveys and focus groups
  • Provide contacts within the field of rural health research
  • Address the importance of community-based participatory research to rural communities
  • Look at the community health needs assessment (CHNA) requirements for non-profit hospitals and public health
  • Examine the importance of building the evidence-base so interventions conducted in rural areas have the maximum possible impact

New NLM Subject Guide for Genetic/Genomics Information!

The National Library of Medicine has released a new Genetics/Genomics Information subject guide as the latest update in its subject guide series. These guides, based on most frequently asked questions, are starting points for health professionals, researchers, librarians, students, and others. The guide is designed to help you find introductory materials relating to Genetics and Genomics, such as basic features of the human genome and its organization into chromosomes. It is not comprehensive in scope or coverage, particularly for specific genetic conditions or new and improved technologies. The guide provides links to bioinformatics gateways for more genetic information, and points primarily to free electronic items, or records for materials that may be available via your library. The guide has a section of links for professional education, and a section suggesting how to use PubMed to search for citations to published research journal literature for more information about a particular disease or condition. Other published guides in the NLM series include:

NLM will develop more subject guides as needed. NLM welcomes comments, questions, and suggestions about all of the guides.

NLM Resource Update: ChemIDplus Drawing Feature

The National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) ChemIDplus resource is a dictionary of over 400,000 chemicals (names, synonyms, and structures). It includes links to NLM and to other databases and resources, including ones to federal, state and international agencies. You can draw a chemical structure and search for similar substances using the ChemIDplus Advanced search interface. This feature also performs similarity and substructure searches. A four-minute tutorial is available for using the drawing feature of ChemIDplus. The ChemIDplus Lite interface is designed for simple searching on name or registry number.

National Library of Medicine Resource Update: Drug Information Portal

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Drug Information Portal is a free web resource that provides an informative, user–friendly gateway to current drug information for over 53,000 substances. The Portal links to sources from the NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and other government agencies such as the U.S. FDA. Current information regarding consumer health, clinical trials, AIDS–related drug information, MeSH pharmacological actions, PubMed biomedical literature, and physical properties and structure is easily retrieved by searching a drug name. A varied selection of focused topics in medicine and drug–related information is also available from displayed subject headings.

The Drug Portal retrieves by the generic or trade name of a drug or its category of usage. Records provide a description of how the drug is used, its chemical structure and nomenclature, and include up to 20 Resource Locators which link to more information in other selected resources. Recent additions to these Locators include clinical experience with drugs in PubMed Health, substances reviewed in NLM’s LiverTox, information from the Dietary Supplement Label Database, and drug images in the Pillbox database. Data in the Drug Information Portal is updated daily, and is also available on mobile devices. More information is available from the Drug Information Portal Fact Sheet.

NCBI HIV-1 Website Updated

The HIV-1, human interaction database has been updated and is now on an improved page. The improved interface includes help documentation and supports structured queries against Gene, as well as browsing, filtering and downloading the protein and replication interaction data sets. The most recent data release (June 2014) includes 12,785 HIV-1, human protein-protein interactions for 3,142 human genes and 1,316 replication interactions for 1,250 human genes. The HIV-1, human interactions project, collates published reports of two types of interactions – HIV-1, human protein interactions, and human gene knock-downs that affect virus replication which are reported as “replication interactions.”

MeSH Browser Now Updated More Frequently

Beginning on September 4, 2014, the MeSH Browser is being updated each business day. The MeSH XML and ASCII format files for Supplementary Concept Records (SCRs) will be available on this same Monday through Friday schedule starting the week of September 15, 2014. Prior to this change, the MeSH Browser and MeSH XML and ASCII files for SCRs were updated and made available once per week.

This new update schedule releases new and edited SCRs, mostly for chemicals and drugs, in a more timely way for use by both indexers and searchers. Descriptors and qualifiers are changed only on an annual basis.