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PubMed Subject Filter Strategies Updated for 2015

PubMed subject filter strategies are reviewed each year to determine if modifications are necessary. Modifications may include revisions due to changes in Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) vocabulary or MEDLINE journals, adding or deleting terms, and changing parts of a strategy to optimize retrieval. The following subset strategies were recently revised:

NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine Winter 2015 Issue Available Online!

Cover of Winter 2015 NIH MedlinePlus issueThe Winter 2015 issue of NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine features information on healthy aging with Go4Life, living with Alzheimer’s disease, finding good health information on the Internet, atrial fibrillation, and treating alcohol problems. The cover features Howie Mandel, a host, performer, and producer, who was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation (AFib). He discusses his involvement with the National Stroke Association’s Fibs or Facts campaign that raises awareness about AFib and its increased risk for stroke.

The magazine also recaps the Science Pathfinders at NLM/NIH event on September 26, 2014, where more than 500 middle and high school students at public and private schools in Maryland and the District of Columbia visited the NIH campus in Bethesda to hear presentations from top scientists and medical doctors on the latest advances in medical research. This issue’s HealthLine describes the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and and the Pharmaceuticals division of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) small phase 1 clinical trial of the experimental vaccine to prevent Ebola virus disease.

NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine is the free, trusted consumer guide to the vast array of authoritative online health and medical information at MedlinePlus. Published four times a year, the magazine showcases the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) latest medical research and healthcare information. NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine is freely available as a print subscription, e-mail alerts, and online.

Deadline Extended for Public Comments on Proposals to Enhance Transparency of Clinical Trial Results

In November, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released for public comment two proposals to increase the transparency of clinical trials via information submitted to ClinicalTrials.gov, a publicly accessible database operated by the National Library of Medicine. One is a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that describes proposed regulations for registering and submitting summary results of certain clinical trials to ClinicalTrials.gov in compliance with Title VIII of the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA). A major proposed change from current requirements is the expansion of the scope of clinical trials required to submit summary results to include trials of unapproved, unlicensed, and uncleared products. The second proposal is a draft NIH policy that would extend the similar registration and reporting requirements to all clinical trials funded by NIH, regardless of whether they are subject to FDAAA. Both proposals aim to improve public access to information about specified clinical trials, information that is not necessarily available from other public sources.

The public may comment on any aspect of the NPRM or proposed NIH Policy. Written comments on the NPRM should be submitted to docket number NIH-2011-0003. Commenters are asked to indicate the specific section of the NPRM to which each comment refers. Written comments on the proposed NIH Policy should be submitted electronically to the Office of Clinical Research and Bioethics Policy, Office of Science Policy, NIH, via email; mail at 6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 750, Bethesda, MD 20892; or by fax at 301-496-9839, by March 23, 2015.

List of Serials Indexed for Online Users, 2015 Edition, Now Available in XML

The List of Serials Indexed for Online Users (LSIOU), 2015 edition, is now available in XML format. The 2015 edition contains 14,856 serial titles, including titles currently indexed for MEDLINE as well as titles indexed over time which have ceased or changed titles. The titles are listed alphabetically by the journal title abbreviation. Tailored lists of indexed journals may be generated from the NLM Catalog. While the XML version of the LSIOU is a snapshot in time, the results of a search in the NLM Catalog will provide a “real time” list for the LSIOU.

For a “real time” list for the LSIOU, enter reportedmedline in the search box and click “Search.” For a list of only the currently indexed MEDLINE journals, enter currentlyindexed in the search box and click “Search.” Display and sort formats are selected from the results page; click on the Display Settings pull-down menu to choose a display format (for example, the Journal display) and an appropriate sort (for example, Title or Title Abbreviation). To save the entire list as one document, click on the “Send to” pull-down menu, with “File” as the destination, choose a format and sort order, and then click “Create File.” Click “Save” in the File Download pop-up box. Provide your directory location and desired file name.

Additional information about journals indexed for MEDLINE can be found via the links from the MEDLINE/PubMed Resources web page. This page includes Journals Recently Accepted by NLM for Inclusion in MEDLINE, a list of titles selected by the Literature Selection Technical Review Committee (LSTRC) that meets three times per year in February, June, and October. Results from those meetings appear online about six weeks after each meeting, both on the web page and in the NLM Catalog. For additional details about searching the NLM Catalog, visit NLM Catalog Quick Tours and Searching for Journals in the NLM Catalog.

National Library of Medicine Announces Pill Image Recognition Request for Information

NLM Pill Image Recognition Pilot logoThe National Library of Medicine (NLM) has issued a call for participation in a Pill Image Recognition (PIR) Request for Information (RFI). Unidentified and misidentified prescription pills present challenges for individuals and professionals. Unidentified pills can be found by family members, health professionals, educators, and law enforcement. The nine out of 10 US citizens over age 65 who take more than one prescription pill can be prone to misidentifying those pills.

This PIR RFI is a pilot for a forthcoming PIR Challenge whose goal is to develop smart phone apps that individuals can use to take pictures of prescription pills and then search for and retrieve pill images and associated data of likely matches in an NLM database. NLM anticipates that respondents will include professionals and students, individually or in teams, in computer vision and computer graphics working on content-based image retrieval. Instructions for responding to the RFI are available on the PIR website.

The deadline for submissions to this RFI is Monday, April 27, 2015.

February 2015 Issue of NIH News in Health Now Available!

Whimsical illustration of a heart being repaired by construction workers.

Check out the February issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this issue:

  • Fixing Flawed Body Parts: Engineering New Tissues and Organs
    How can you mend a broken heart? Or repair a damaged liver, kidney, or knee? NIH-funded scientists are exploring innovative ways to fix faulty organs and tissues or even grow new ones. This type of research is called tissue engineering. Exciting advances continue to emerge in this fast-moving field.
  • Galled by the Gallbladder? Your Tiny, Hard-Working Digestive Organ
    Most of us give little thought to the gallbladder, a pear-sized organ that sits just under the liver and next to the pancreas. The gallbladder may not seem to do all that much. But if this small organ malfunctions, it can cause serious problems. Gallbladder disorders rank among the most common and costly of all digestive system diseases. By some estimates, up to 20 million Americans may have gallstones, the most common type of gallbladder disorder.
  • Many Older People Take Anti-Anxiety Meds Despite Risks
    Despite known risks, older people often take benzodiazepines, a class of drugs that helps treat anxiety and sleep problems. New research raises questions about why benzodiazepines are prescribed so often when safer alternatives may be available.
  • Treatment for Alcohol Problems
    An estimated 17 million Americans have an alcohol use disorder. But research suggests that only a fraction of them seek professional help. No matter how severe the problems may seem, most people can benefit from some form of therapy.
  • Featured Website: Find a Cancer Center
    NIH’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) supports specialized cancer research centers that deliver cutting-edge cancer treatments to people in communities across the country. This interactive map can help you find an NCI-designated center near you and learn about its patient services and research.

NIH News in Health is available online in both HTML and PDF formats. Print copies are available free of charge for offices, clinics, community centers, and libraries within the U.S. Visit the NIH News in Health Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like to see covered, or share what you find helpful about the newsletter!

NLM to host “A Tribute to Marshall Nirenberg” on March 17, 2015

Marshall Nirenberg in the lab, ca. 1962Fifty years ago, as a scientist at the National Institutes of Health, Dr. Marshall W. Nirenberg (1927–2010) completed his first summary of the genetic code—one of the most significant documents in the history of twentieth-century science. This summary, now in the collections of the National Library of Medicine, is a painstakingly handwritten chart of the discovery of how sequences of DNA, known as “triplets,” direct the assembly of amino acids into the structural and functional proteins essential to life. Dr. Nirenberg would go on to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1968 for this work, sharing the award with Robert W. Holley of Cornell University and Har Gobind Khorana of the University of Wisconsin at Madison “for their interpretation of the genetic code and its function in protein synthesis.”

This spring, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) will host a public program—A Tribute to Marshall Nirenberg—to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of this scientific accomplishment. The event will be webcast on Tuesday, March 17, from 10:00am to 12:30pm (Pacific). The event will also be free and open to the public, in the NLM’s Lister Hill Auditorium, Building 38a, on the Bethesda campus of the National Institutes of Health. More information about the event and a list of speakers are available on the NLM website.

Learn more about Dr. Nirenberg, his work, and his accomplishments at NLM’s Profiles in Science website and in a recent post on the NLM History of Medicine Division’s blog, Circulating Now. Throughout 2015 NLM will continue to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Nirenberg’s discovery through additional posts on Circulating Now.

Fifty-Two Weeks of Better Evaluation!

BetterEvaluation.org is an international collaboration that encourages sharing of evaluation methods, approaches, and processes for improvement. BetterEvaluation offers yearly blog themes for their staff and guest writers to focus on, with highlights of the 2014 theme published as a blog posting, 52 Weeks of BetterEvaluation. For 2015 they are featuring 12 Months of BetterEvaluation, with multiple posts each month, starting with impact evaluation in January. Following are five selections from 2014 that may be of special interest to NN/LM Network members:

  1. Top ten developments in qualitative evaluation over the past decade, Part 1 and Part 2.
  2. Fitting reporting methods to evaluation findings and audiences.
  3. Infographics, including step-by-step instructions in piktochart.
  4. Innovation in evaluation.
  5. Presenting data effectively.

Grant Announcement for the National Resource Center for HIV/AIDS Prevention Among Adolescents

The HHS Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) has issued a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) with the purpose of funding an organization that will support the maintenance, operation, and re-launch of a national HIV/AIDS resource center. The Resource Center will promote practical strategies to assist in the implementation of evidence-based and evidence-informed interventions and best practices targeted to adolescent youth, in particular adolescents at high risk and African American and Hispanic/Latino adolescents. Funding for this project comes from the HHS Secretary’s Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI). OAH anticipates funding one grantee with an annual budget of up to $350,000 per year for a three-year project period. Applications are due by Friday, April 10, 2015.

Measuring Success Toolkit

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) is a form of assessment used to help improve the performance and achievement of program results and often used by both non-government organizations (NGOs) and government agencies. It utilizes a staircase diagram with six questions related to program planning, monitoring, and evaluation; with information about clarifying the differences. While not specific to health information outreach programs, the Measuring Success Toolkit, from the Urban Reproductive Health Initiative, is about health program planning, monitoring and evaluation. The toolkit provides helpful resources from the initiative’s multi-country perspective of working with the urban poor and the significant health disparities they face that may be helpful to consult when working with health information outreach partners in underserved communities. The Toolkit includes subject-specific M&E resources such as maternal & child health and HIV/AIDS, and the resources within the toolkit are selected by M&E experts and reviewed quarterly following established criteria, to identify important resources from diverse perspectives that include accurate, up-to-date information.