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SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

Archive for the ‘NLM/NIH News’ Category

NIH Posts Vacancy Announcement for Position of NLM Director

Friday, August 21st, 2015

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, MD, is seeking applications from exceptional candidates who are energetic, innovative, and solution-oriented for the important position of Director, National Library of Medicine (NLM). This is a senior position with responsibilities focused on the direction and management of the world’s largest biomedical library and electronic information and data resources that are used billions of times each year by millions of people and thousands of computer systems worldwide. The NLM will also move towards becoming the epicenter for biomedical data science, not just at NIH, but across the biomedical research enterprise, and will include the activities initiated under the Big Data to Knowledge program. The NLM has a staff of approximately 1600 employees including full-time equivalency positions, training positions, contractors, volunteers, and guest researchers. The current annual budget is $387,134,000.

This position offers a unique and exciting opportunity for an exceptional leader to serve as the chief visionary for NLM and lead all aspects of this highly complex organization. The Director, NLM, serves as the principal advisor to the Director, NIH, concerning matters related to biomedical informatics and access to biomedical information. Applicants must possess a Ph.D., M.D., or comparable doctorate degree in a field of health science plus senior-level scientific experience and knowledge of research programs in one or more areas related to biomedical informatics, computational biology, data science and standards, biomedical communications, and health information technology. The individual should be known and respected, both nationally and internationally, within their profession as someone of scientific prominence, with a distinguished record of research accomplishments and leadership credentials.

Applicants must submit a current CV and bibliography electronically to Ms. Regina Reiter, (301) 402-1130. In addition, applicants must also submit a supplemental narrative statement that addresses the qualifications requirements (not to exceed a total of two pages), a vision statement (not to exceed a total of two pages), and provide the names, titles, email addresses, and telephone numbers of 4-5 references. Applications will be reviewed starting October 20, 2015 and will be accepted until the position is filled.

NIH News Release: Request for Information for an NIH-wide Strategic Plan

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

In order to advance the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) mission, an NIH-wide Strategic Plan is in development. The goal of this 5-year plan is to outline a vision for biomedical research that ultimately extends healthy life and reduces illness and disability. NIH senior leadership and staff have developed a proposed framework for the Strategic Plan that identifies areas of opportunity across all biomedicine and unifying principles to guide NIH’s support of the biomedical research enterprise. The aim is to pursue crosscutting areas of research that span NIH’s 27 Institutes, Centers, and Offices.

You can review the framework in NIH’s Request for Information (RFI) ) and on the NIH website, and provide feedback via the RFI submission site. Stakeholder organizations (e.g., patient advocacy groups, professional societies) are encouraged to submit a single response reflective of the views of the organization/membership as a whole. The NIH plans to also host webinars to gather additional input. These webinars will be held in early to mid-August.

Your input is vital to ensuring that the NIH Strategic Plan positions biomedical research on a promising and visionary path. NIH appreciates your time and consideration in assisting with this effort and hope you’ll consider responding to this RFI.

Responses for this RFI are due August 16, 2015.


Webinar: Thursday July 30, 2015 – Using SciENcv to Create Your NIH Biosketch

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Date: Thursday, July 30, 2015 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EST

NCBI staff will present a webinar on SciENcv, our platform for maintaining your record of research accomplishment in the form of a CV. In this webinar, we’ll show you how to use SciENcv to maintain your scientific record and generate the new BioSketch.


A recording will be posted on the NCBI YouTube account after the live presentation; subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified. To see upcoming webinars and materials from past presentations, visit the Webinars and Courses page.

August NIH News in Health Now Available

Monday, July 6th, 2015

NIH News in Health: A monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health, part of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services





Check out the August issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research: To search for more trusted health information from NIH, bookmark



Positive Emotions and Your Health
Developing a Brighter Outlook

A growing body of research suggests that having a positive mental outlook might benefit your physical health.








All About ALS
Understanding a Devastating Disorder

ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a deadly condition that attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling muscles, such those as in the arms, legs, and face. Scientists are working to gain new insights into ALS.

Click here to download a PDF version for printing.Visit our Facebook page to suggest topics you’d like us to cover, or let us know what you find helpful about the newsletter. We’d like to hear from you!Please pass the word on to your colleagues about NIH News in Health. We are happy to send a limited number of print copies free of charge for display in offices, libraries or clinics. Just email us or call 301-402-7337 for more information.


NLM Request for Comments: Discontinuation of Artificial Subject Strings for Cataloging Records

Thursday, June 11th, 2015

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has been recording geographic locations and publications types in the MARC21 fields 651 and 655 respectively since 1999 to match indexing practices in subject assignment. This differs from the Library of Congress’ practice of putting geographic locations in 650 $z and publication types in 650 $v.  In 1999, 80% of medical libraries responding to the announcement of this practice being adopted at NLM, indicated that subjects in this format would be difficult to incorporate in their OPAC.  NLM therefore continued to provide a specially programmed output with a traditional subject string of 650 $a $x $z $v for subscribers to Catfile.  (See the example at the end of this announcement.)

In 2005, NLM once again surveyed the community and proposed discontinuing the special programming to create traditional subject strings and to distribute records as they appear in LocatorPlus.  At that time, a small majority of libraries were in favor of such a proposal.  However, those who were opposed were very passionate about the issue and made some compelling arguments for keeping the strings.  NLM made some minor changes to the record distribution programs at that time to ease some of the complexities its catalogers encountered in trying to code subjects for proper output, but continued to output traditional subject strings.

It is now 10 years since this issue was considered, and NLM believes that the environment has changed enough to once again propose discontinuing the practice of creating artificial subject strings for subscribers to Catfile. Rather than traditional OPACs, many libraries are using discovery systems that search across different input streams and provide faceted searching options.  The library community is planning to make much more use of linked data, particularly with the future adoption of BIBFRAME.  Long subject strings do not work well in a linked data environment, and in fact, we see many libraries breaking up the traditional LCSH subject string into its component parts using the FAST vocabulary. MeSH has recently been released in RDF triples that correspond to data in 650 $a and $x, 651 or 655 fields. NLM believes the time is now appropriate to stop creating artificial subject strings and distribute NLM records exactly as they appear in our database.  This would mean that libraries that take copy from both NLM and OCLC would not have to edit one form or another to have consistency in their catalogs.

NLM is asking the medical library community to let us know what the effect would be on your institution if NLM were to discontinue distributing its MARC cataloging bibliographic records with artificially reconstructed subject strings. Records in MARC format would continue to have MeSH headings combined with the appropriate topical subheadings (650 $a $x), but geographic locations, and publication types would be carried in separate fields in the record, rather than as subfields of the MeSH heading. This would mean that records distributed to bibliographic utilities and other licensees would be identical to the records in LocatorPlus.

Please send your comments by August 31, 2015 to:

  • Diane Boehr
  • Head, Cataloging and Metadata Management Section
  • National Library of Medicine
  • 8600 Rockville Pike, Room 1N11
  • Bethesda, MD 20894

NLM will announce the final decision on whether or not to implement this change by September 30, 2015.  Any changes to distribution files will not occur until calendar year 2016.

Example of current practice:

In NLM database:

  • 650 12  $a Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome $x ethnology
  • 650 22  $a Cross Cultural Comparison
  • 650 22  $a Health Policy
  • 651 _2  $a Africa $x ethnology
  • 651 _2  $a Caribbean Region $b ethnology
  • 655 _2  $a Congresses

Subject strings created for distribution

  • 650 12  $a Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome $x ethnology $z Africa $v Congresses
  • 650 12  $a Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome $x ethnology $z Caribbean Region $v Congresses
  • 650 22  $a Cross Cultural Comparison $z Africa $v Congresses
  • 650 22  $a Cross Cultural Comparison $z Caribbean Region $v Congresses
  • 650 22  $a Health Policy $z Africa $v Congresses
  • 650 22  $a Health Policy $z Caribbean Region $v Congresses

Last updated on Friday, 22 November, 2013

Funded by the National Library of Medicine under contract HHS-N-276-2011-00004-C with the Health Sciences and Human Services Library of the University of Maryland