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Archive for the ‘Search Tools’ Category

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.

2015 Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) Now Available!

MeSH Vocabulary Changes for 2015 is now available! Lists of new descriptors, changed descriptors, deleted descriptors, and new descriptors by tree subcategory are available on the NLM website. For more information about MeSH use and structure, as well as recent updates and availability of data, visit the updated Introduction to MeSH – 2015 webpage.

Note: The default year in the MeSH Browser remains 2014 MeSH for now, but the alternate link provides access to 2015 MeSH. The MeSH Section will continue to provide access via the MeSH Browser for two years of the vocabulary; the current year and an alternate year. Sometime in November or December, the default year will change to 2015 MeSH and the alternate link will provide access to the 2014 MeSH.

Population Health Added to Special Queries

The NLM PubMed Special Queries page includes a link to a new MEDLINE/PubMed Population Health search. A definition for population health is “the health outcomes of a group of individuals, including the distribution of such outcomes within the group. The field of population health includes health outcomes, patterns of health determinants, and policies and interventions that link these to differences between groups of people.” 1

The Population Health Special Query is a PubMed search of relevant MeSH headings and text words combined strategically to retrieve PubMed citations. MeSH headings were selected with the assistance of members of the Institute of Medicine Board on Population Health and Public Health.

1 Kindig D, Stoddart G. What is population health? Am J Public Health. 2003 Mar;93(3):380-3. PubMed PMID: 12604476.