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SEA Currents

Newsletter of the NN/LM Southeastern/Atlantic Region

NLM Associate Fellows Program Accepting Applications

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is accepting applications for its Associate Fellowship program, a one-year training program for recent MLS graduates and librarians early in their career.

In the first half of the year, a formal curriculum offers exposure to library operations, research and development, intramural and extramural research, development and lifecycle of NLM’s web-based products and services and the extensive outreach and education program reaching consumers, special populations, health professionals and librarians. In the second half of the year, Associate Fellows have the opportunity to choose projects based on real-world problems proposed by library divisions and work with librarians and library staff over a six-seven month period. Successful projects have led to peer-review publications and to services that have become a regular part of library operations.

The September through August program also offers professional development and an introduction to the wider world of health sciences librarianship that may include:

• Supported attendance at national professional conferences, often including the Medical Library Association’s annual meeting, the American Medical Informatics Association annual meeting and others
• Additional brown bags, seminars, field trips and learning opportunities available on the National Institutes of Health campus
• Opportunities to meet and interact with senior management at the National Library of Medicine
• Experienced preceptors from National Library of Medicine staff
• Potential to compete for a second year fellowship at a health sciences library in the United States

The Fellowship offers:
• A stipend equivalent to a U.S. Civil Service salary at the GS-9 level ($52,146 in 2014)
• Additional financial support for the purchase of health insurance
• Some relocation funding

Who is eligible?
All U.S. and Canadian citizens who will have earned a MLS or equivalent degree in library/information science from an ALA-accredited school by August 2015. Both recent graduates and librarians early in their career are welcome to apply. Priority is given to U.S. citizens.

Applications and additional information are available on the Web at Application deadline is February 5, 2015. Between 4 and 7 fellows will be selected for the program.

Feel free to contact Kathel Dunn, Associate Fellowship Program Coordinator at 301-435.4083 or

October issue of NIH News in Health Now Available

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 October issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research:

Sweet Stuff
How Sugars and Sweeteners Affect Your Health

Is sugar really bad for us? How about artificial or low-calorie sweeteners? Learn more about the sweet things most of us eat and drink every day.
Read more about sugars and sweeteners.



Cold, Flu, or Allergy?
Know the Difference for Best Treatment

You’ve got sniffles, sneezing, and a sore throat. Is it a cold, flu, or allergies? Learn to tell them apart so you can choose the best treatment.
Read more about cold, flu, and allergy.



Health Capsules:

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.


Grey Literature, the deep end revisited.

By: PJ Grier, Outreach/Access Coordinator, National Network of Libraries of Medicine, Southeastern/Atlantic Region
Contact PJ at:

Online or printed works that are of scholarly or research value and not formally distributed by commercial publishers fall into the category of grey literature. These materials are considered “grey” because they are not readily discoverable via databases or other acceptable indexing mechanisms. They are also considered grey because a peer review process has not vetted their credibility and therefore the content must be thoughtfully evaluated.

Why is grey literature important? It is especially important in the area of health policy where assessments, economic evaluations, and comparative effectiveness research are of special interest. Grey literature is vital for developing a more complete view of research on a particular topic and can be a good source for data, statistics and for very recent research results1. Because there are no publisher enforced limitations these materials can be more detailed than the journal literature. Furthermore, they can help to offset issues related to publication bias1.

The Twelfth International Conference on Grey Literature in 2010 arrived at this definition:

Grey literature stands for manifold document types produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in print and electronic formats that are protected by intellectual property rights, of sufficient quality to be collected and preserved by libraries and institutional repositories, but not controlled by commercial publishers; i.e. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body.

Grey literature includes works that are not generally available for purchase, may be difficult to locate, have erratic availability but its content may include significant research information. While not exhaustive, grey literature may include reports, datasets, dissertations, newsletters, blogs, wikis, white papers, bulletins, social media, electronic listservs, informal communications and institutional repositories, such as the UMB digital archive.

Institutions often collect grey literature produced by their employees including researchers, scientists and policy analysts. The following denote some aggregated academic and health repositories worldwide. The OpenDOAR is a directory of academic repositories, the Virtual Health Library is a worldwide compendium of country and organizational health repositories and the Registry of Open Access Repositories, which is a subsidiary of EPrints, aims to promote the development of open access.

An assortment of grey literature resources useful to health sciences information professionals include: (a) MedlinePlus: contains a collection of organizations providing health information arranged by topic, (b) F1000 Posters: is an open access repository providing a permanent environment for the deposition of posters and slide presentations, (c) AHRQ: contains information on finding grey literature evidence, (d) The Grey Literature Report: is a service of the New York Academy of Medicine, (e) National Technical Information Service: is the largest resource for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering, and business related information, (f) WHO: contains World Health Organization publications, (g) Grey Net International: facilitates dialog in the field of grey literature and (h) searches over 60 databases and 2200 websites from federal agencies and includes research and development results. Also, performing a search on the topic at the LibGuides Community website will yield rich results from academic libraries hosting all types of information on grey literature.

How does someone objectively evaluate grey literature? It is similar to how one would evaluate any resource. Consider the author’s or organization’s authority, the source of the material, the clarity of methodology used in the analysis or research and of course the material’s timeliness.

Following are tools for evaluation of grey literature. The AACODS Checklist by Jess Tyndal of Flinders University is designed to evaluate and critically appraise grey literature and its sources. Another tool that is available from the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health is the CADTH Peer Review Checklist for Search Strategies, which can assist with assessment of database search strategies. AcademyHealth has an excellent archived grey literature three-part webinar series that can be watched at your convenience. For social media addicts, while it is not a good idea to cite Facebook or Twitter as evidence these tools may help alert you to up-to-the-minute issues germane to your research topic.

The MLA Clearinghouse offers a 4HR class on grey literature, entitled Grey Lit – Google for it and more and the instructor is happy to teach the in-person class in our region. Last month, the class was promoted to the Chairs of health sciences library associations throughout SE/A. If you are interested in attending, please contact the leadership at your local health sciences library association. It is also an educational opportunity for state library associations to embrace while planning their annual conference events to satisfy the interests of public librarians.

By thoughtful exploration, you will discover that grey literature is not a muddy swamp. Armed with the correct tools for constructing searches and evaluation of results, you will realize the area is full of opportunity in shaping a “balanced” view on a topic.


  1. Penn Libraries. Health and life sciences guides: Grey literature in the health sciences. Accessed September 19, 2014.

Disaster Information Specialists Program monthly conference call/webinar – October 9, 2014

WHEN:  Thursday, October 9, 2014 at 1:30 PM ET

WHO CAN PARTICIPATE:  The Disaster Information Specialist monthly meeting is open to everyone – please spread the word and invite others in your organizations, send to your email lists, and post to your social media accounts.

TOPIC:    Ebola Outbreak: Managing Health Information Resources

The 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak has resulted in an explosion of information on many aspects of managing the disease from a clinical and public health perspective. There is also considerable interest in related topics such as legalities of quarantine; ethics of vaccine development; shaming and isolation of Ebola survivors, family members of the deceased and Ebola orphans; food security; and the effects on healthcare for other medical conditions in areas with extremely limited resources. How does one make sense of the outpouring of information from news media, social media, publications and guidelines from international agencies, national governments, NGOs, and professional associations; situation reports; maps and other tools for visualizing the outbreak? What about health messaging materials like infographics, radio jingles, banners, TV interviews, and webinars? Join us to discuss the nature of information flow during an infectious disease outbreak, with a special focus on Ebola-related resources from the National Library of Medicine.

Presenter:  Cindy Love is a medical librarian with over 20 years’ experience in public health information management at the National Library of Medicine. As part of the NLM Disaster Information Management Research Center, Cindy has developed information resources for every major U.S. and international disaster in the last 5 years. She first co-authored a bibliography on “Viral Hemorrhagic Fever” in 1996. It ranks #8,569,688 on Amazon’s list of bestselling books.

LOGIN:   To join the meeting at 1:30 pm ET, Thursday, October 9, click on

Enter your name in the guest box and click “Enter Room”.

A box should pop up asking for your phone number.

Enter your phone number and the system will call you.

For those who cannot use this call-back feature, the dial-in information is:

Dial-In:  1-888-757-2790

Pass-Code: 745907


If you have never attended an Adobe Connect Pro meeting before:

Test your connection:

Get a quick overview:

Adobe, the Adobe logo, Acrobat and Acrobat Connect are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.


Or, if you are in the area you can attend the meeting in person at our offices at 6707 Democracy Blvd, Bethesda, MD, Suite 440. Park in the visitor’s parking lot (we will validate your parking), walk to the middle building (Democracy Two) and take the elevator to the 4th floor. Suite 440 is around the corner behind the elevators.

MORE INFORMATION:  For more information on this and past meetings, see

Send in Your Application to Participate in “A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI” Bioinformatics Course

Zipser J. Send in Your Application to Participate in “A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI” Bioinformatics Course. NLM Tech Bull. 2014 Sep-Oct;(400):e10.

2014 September 29

Health science librarians in the United States are invited to participate in the next offering of the bioinformatics training course, “A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI,” sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, NLM Training Center (NTC).

The course provides knowledge and skills for librarians interested in helping patrons use online molecular databases and tools from the NCBI. Prior knowledge of molecular biology and genetics is not required. Participating in the Librarian’s Guide course will improve your ability to initiate or extend bioinformatics services at your institution.

Instructors will be NCBI staff and Diane Rein, Ph.D., MLS, Bioinformatics and Molecular Biology Liaison from the Health Science Library, University at Buffalo.

Online Pre-Course and In-Person Course Components
There are two parts to “A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI,” listed below. Applicants must complete both parts. Participants must complete the pre-course with full CE credit (Part 1) in order to advance to attend the 5-day in-person course (Part 2).

  • Part 1: “Fundamentals in Bioinformatics and Searching,” an online (asynchronous) course,
    January 12-February 13, 2015

The major goal of this part is to provide an introduction to bioinformatics theory and practice in support of developing and implementing library-based bioinformatics products and services. This material is essential for decision-making and implementation of these programs, particularly instructional and reference services. The course encompasses visualizing bioinformatics end-user practice. It places a strong emphasis on hands-on acquisition of NCBI search competencies, and developing a working molecular biology vocabulary through self-paced hands-on exercises.

  • Part 2: A 5-day in-person course offered on-site at the National Library of Medicine in Bethesda, Maryland, March 9-13, 2015.

The in-person course will focus on using the BLAST sequence similarity search and Entrez text search systems to find relevant molecular data. The course will describe the various kinds of molecular data available and explain how these are generated and used in modern biomedical research. The course will be a combination of instruction, demonstration, discussions, and hands-one exercises (both individual and group).

Who can apply?

  • Applications are open to health science librarians in the United States.
  • Applicants will be accepted both from libraries currently providing bioinformatics services as well as from those desiring to implement services.
  • Enrollment is limited 25 participants.

What does it cost?

  • There is no charge for the classes. Travel and lodging costs for the in-person class are at the expense of the participant.

Important Application Dates

  • Application deadline: November 17, 2014
  • Acceptance notification: On or about December 15, 2014

How to Apply

  1. Please fill out the Application Form at
  2. Once you complete the Application Form, you will be directed to download the Supervisor Support Statement ( This is to be filled out and signed by your immediate supervisor. This statement describes your current and/or future role in bioinformatics support at your institution and confirms your availability to attend the course if selected.
  3. Provide your current curriculum vitae (CV). Please use the suggested CV model as a guideline for the type of information desired (

Course Page
The course page with additional information is at:

Please direct any questions to:

By Janet Zipser
MEDLARS Management Section

Last updated on Friday, 22 November, 2013

Funded by the National Library of Medicine.