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The newsletter of NNLM Pacific Southwest Region
Updated: 1 hour 53 min ago

EFTS Future Viability

Fri, 2019-05-24 19:18

In 1996, the National Library of Medicine and the University of Connecticut Health Center (UConn Health) worked together to create the Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS) DOCLINE billing agent, which virtually eliminated the need to create invoices and write checks for reimbursement for interlibrary loans and document delivery between its more than 1,300 members. EFTS advantages include monthly detailed transaction-based reports, the ability to handle variable charges and the ability to handle non-DOCLINE transactions. EFTS has served the medical library community, providing support for interlibrary loan transactions that saved institutions the fees and time it would have taken to pay individual invoices. However, over the years the system has not been updated and fees have not increased. Without a financial infusion supporting migration of the system and a restructuring of fees, the system will not be sustainable.

EFTS requires a complete re-write of the code which is beginning to fail. In addition, UConn Health center is moving to Windows 10 on December 31, 2019, and EFTS code is too old to run on this system. Without changes to the current service fee model, EFTS will shut down. However, UConn Health is committed to keeping EFTS running, and has investigated the following options for continuing the service beyond December 31:

  • Assess a one-time fee of approximately $200 for each member of EFTS.
  • Create a fee based on usage by each library.
  • Assist in securing another vendor to supply EFTS support.
  • Eliminate the EFTS service.

Moving forward will require raising the service fee to cover the expense of continued support, which may be a burden for some institutions. However, EFTS saves process/billing time for DOCLINE users. You are encouraged to submit your thoughts on this matter and/or reach out with questions or concerns to Janice Swiatek, Director of UConn Library, Health Sciences, 866-561-5045. Due to the time-sensitivity of this issue, responses are requested by Friday, June 1st. Please include your LIBID for tracking purposes. Timing is critical as there is only six months to re-code EFTS before it becomes unsupportable.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Highlights of NLM Update @ MLA 2019

Fri, 2019-05-24 16:47

During the May 7 NLM Update at the Medical Library Association 2019 Annual Meeting, Janice Kelly, acting deputy associate director of NLM’s Specialized Information Services (SIS) Division, reflected on the history of SIS from 1967 to 2019. From the 1960’s focus on environmental health and toxicology to the 1980’s HIV/AIDS Clinical Trials registry and AIDSInfo to, more recently, disaster health information resources, SIS has provided information on a variety of topics. In addition to honoring more than 50 years of groundbreaking work, Ms. Kelly’s historical perspective provided insight into the ways in which NLM has responded to the evolving health information needs within diverse communities. Going forward, some SIS resources will sunset, some will be integrated into other resources or platforms, and some will continue. Users should watch for update notices in the NLM Technical Bulletin, social media, and product homepages.

woman giving a presentation with a projected slide behind her

Janice Kelly recaps the history of Specialized Information Services Division.

NLM Deputy Director Jerry Sheehan described how an internal review of products and services guided NLM’s reorganization. As part of the strategic plan implementation, NLM assessed its offerings and its internal structure, looking for commonalities and redundancies. As a result, the Library has been, and will continue, consolidating resources with complementary content and realigning offices according to functions and staff expertise. NLM further aims to elevate the user experience through a common technical platform and the elimination of unnecessary organizational boundaries. Through its connections with the MLA community and reflections on the past, NLM looks forward to elevating its products and services to support the evolution of librarianship and the empowerment of communities.

Joyce Backus, associate director of Library Operations, described the evolution of PubMed Labs, which is expected to officially launch in September. New features include a redesigned advanced search page for desktop and mobile devices, an associated data facet on the search results page, share and cite buttons, and additional features to enable navigation across abstract pages. Current PubMed and PubMed Labs will run concurrently from September through December, and then current PubMed will be archived in January, 2020. As the Library’s online presence transforms, so, too, will the physical Library space. With more and more of its content reaching people online, NLM plans to reduce the footprint of public spaces and increase its flexible and collaborative workspaces during an expected three-year renovation in 2020-2022.

Amanda Wilson, familiar to many as the Head of the National Network Coordinating Office (NNCO), discussed the newly minted Office of Engagement and Training (OET), officially launching in June, 2019. A singular home for NLM’s outreach operation, the OET will include the NNCO and staff from other NLM units with significant outreach responsibilities. Ms. Wilson announced that current NNLM membership stands at 7,690, a 546 increase over 2018. There were 260 NNLM class offerings during the past year, with 20,000 training registrations. Looking toward the next five-year NNLM funding cycle in 2021-2026, an NNLM Request for Information (RFI) will be issued in June or July, followed by a 60-day response period. After analysis of RFI responses and planning for the next iteration of NNLM, a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is expected to be issued in the fall of 2020. Proposals will be due in late 2020 or early 2021.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Express Outreach Award Highlights: Show Low (AZ) Public Library Healthy Living Program!

Mon, 2019-05-13 19:32

by Lisa Lewis
Library Services Manager
Show Low Public Library
Show Low, AZ

Our library was pleased to receive a NNLM PSR Express Outreach Award to create a Healthy Living program. Our target audience was families with young children. Our community has many young families where both parents work outside the home, children are being raised in a single parent home, or children are being raised by grandparents. Our project was to provide resources, activities, and materials to help caregivers raise these children with a healthy lifestyle. We focused on three main areas; nutrition, exercise, and emotional well-being.

women and their children sitting on a mat

Show Low Library’s “Mommy & Me Fitness” program

Our library created programming that included Mommy & Me Fitness, Mommy & Me Music, and Mommy & Me Technology. All three of these programs targeted one of our focus areas. These classes were held weekly and each class provided NNLM resources to help these families understand the importance of healthy living. The library also formed a “Raising Healthy Kids Club” which is held monthly and was is held in a discussion format with ideas being shared by participants as well as resources being provided by guest presenters.

instructors in front of a class providing cooking demostration

Cooking demo at Show Low Library

We also created a “Healthy Living Section” in our library with a variety of different materials available for check-out, including cookbooks, exercise resources, DVD’s, and children’s materials. Along with these items, we also made available for check-out kitchen items for parents to try at home to help make cooking healthy meals easier, such as an air-fryer, instapot, spiralizer, yogurt maker, etc. As part of this Healthy Living Section, the library held cooking demonstrations with the theme being cooking healthy meals on a budget.

Our community was very excited about these new programs and section at the library! There has definitely been interest in living healthy and by providing programs that are geared towards living healthy, we have found increased participation and a lot of positive feedback. We have received many requests to host more cooking demonstrations as well as provide even more workshops on exercise and staying active.

The NNLM resources have been well received and we hope to expand on the benefits by promoting this valuable information to all library users!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Highlights of Funding Collaboration Between NNLM PSR and the Public Library Association on Project Outcome Activities

Mon, 2019-04-29 19:09

by Samantha Lopez
Program Officer
Public Library Association,
a division of the American Library Association
Chicago, IL

The Public Library Association (PLA), a division of the American Library Association, has added another collaborative project to its ongoing partnership with the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), a program of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Through this partnership with NNLM, PLA has expanded its performance measurement toolkit, Project Outcome, with the addition of standardized health surveys designed to help public libraries measure the impact of their health programming and services. Funding for the creation of the new surveys was provided by three of NNLM’s eight regional medical libraries: MidContinental, Pacific Southwest, and South Central.

Project Outcome is a free online toolkit that helps public libraries measure the impact of their programs and services by providing standardized surveys and an easy-to-use process for measuring and analyzing outcomes. Measuring outcomes helps libraries demonstrate their effectiveness beyond attendance and door counts. By using standardized surveys, participants of Project Outcome can aggregate their outcomes data consistently across different programs, locations, and time, as well as compare their aggregate data at regional, state, and national levels. Since launching in 2015, Project Outcome has collected over 200,000 patron surveys from nearly 1,500 public libraries across the U.S. and Canada.

Icons representing early childhood literacy, digital learning, education/lifelong learning, health, job skills, economic development, civic/community enagement and summer reading

Project Outcome provides standardized outcome surveys in these eight library service areas. Photo Credit.

Project Outcome’s standardized surveys measure four key outcomes: knowledge, confidence, application and awareness. The new health surveys, developed by NNLM, will help public libraries better understand how their programs and services are helping patrons learn more about being healthy, feel confident about taking care of their or their family’s health, adopt or maintain a healthier lifestyle, and increase their awareness of health-related resources and services provided by the library.

Libraries have the option to select from two types of health surveys: immediate and follow-up. The immediate survey gauges patrons’ intent to change a behavior, while the follow-up survey captures whether patrons did change as a result of the library program or service. For instance, the immediate health survey asks patrons if they feel more confident taking care of their or their family’s health and the follow-up health survey asks patrons if they are better able to take care of their or their family’s health. The combination of these two surveys will help libraries demonstrate their impact on health services more effectively to their communities and beyond.

With funding support from the NNLM, Pacific Southwest Region, PLA was able to quickly integrate the health surveys into Project Outcome’s online toolkit, training resources, and data dashboards and reports. These tools help libraries get free access to standardized outcome measures and visualizations, helping them save time and resources in their data collection. In addition to the health surveys, libraries receive training and resource support to increase their understanding of the importance of providing community health programs and services.

The goal of this collaborative project between PLA and NNLM is that public libraries will use the new health surveys to measure their impact, make strategic decisions around programming to help create healthier communities, and better advocate for the public library as a trusted health information resource. To learn more about how PLA’s Project Outcome is helping turn better data into better libraries, please visit the website or contact us.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

NNLM PSR Mini-Award Highlights: American University of Health Sciences Health Academy

Fri, 2019-04-26 18:38

by June Kim
American University of Health Sciences
Signal Hill, CA

As a result of receiving NNLM PSR Mini-Award funding, the American University of Health Sciences, in conjunction with the local non-profit organization 100 Black Men, presented a two-day intervention to underserved youth in the community on August 13-14, 2018. The sessions involved demonstrations on performing CPR & first aid procedures, making BMI calculations, as well as taking vital signs, measuring girth, and understanding nutrition. The library component of the project involved a research tutorial for MedlinePlus. The research tutorial included an activity for students to search for answers to specific questions, and a lesson on determining the credibility of information based on URL address endings and other various criteria.

Wallace Burney presenting project to audience

Winner of project contest Wallace Burney

The more mature participants demonstrated an existing understanding of keyword and database searching. Use of quotation marks to find exact phrases was the most interesting and well-received lesson for all participants. I was especially impressed with the ability and knowledge of Lance Robert Jr., a 2nd grade student who was able to narrow down a search list to eight results using the quotation mark method. They were also well aware of the prevalence of “fake news” on the internet, and the significance of URL addresses when exploring websites. For future information literacy lessons regarding websites, I would provide an activity in which they evaluate and determine whether a list of websites is fake or real.

a young man standing in front of his tabletop presentation

Runner-up Lance Robert Jr.

A major lesson learned from the project was to prepare for a variety of age and learning levels. While MedlinePlus was adequately challenging for elementary school participants, the few high school level participants required a more advanced tutorial, perhaps on PubMed and how to conduct a literature review. I also realized that requiring use of MedlinePlus for their project would have guaranteed their continued use of the resource. In future endeavors, I would make the assignment more research-intensive, and require a short written paper for their project, with at least two citations to MedlinePlus content. Further, I would encourage continued use of MedlinePlus (as opposed to Google) by finding and sharing an interesting article in the database on a topic chosen by the participants themselves.

This experience has given me an idea of the information literacy levels of varying age groups, and what types of activities and lessons are appropriate and engaging. It has also motivated me to continue improving my research instruction skills. It has reminded me of the importance of outreach and education for underrepresented youth, as well as the need for collaboration and support from organizations like NNLM to carry out these goals.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Chock-a-Block Full – Learning from the NYUHSL Research Data Management Team!

Thu, 2019-04-25 18:40

by Andrea Lynch, MLIS
Scholarly Communication Librarian
City of Hope Lee Graff Medical & Scientific Library
Duarte, CA

The announcement about the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) Training Office Data Management Professional Development funding opportunity was in my email inbox. I wasn’t going to apply initially, but was reminded via email about this opportunity by Alan Carr, associate director of the NNLM PSR Network office, and thought I should apply. I reached out to Dr. Alisa Surkis and Kevin Read to see if a visit to New York University (NYU) was possible. Given the highlights at the 2018 NNLM Research Data Management (RDM) Course Capstone Summit of the New York University Langone Health’s Research Data Management Training for Information Professionals, I knew spending time with the dynamic duo would be impactful. Good news for me, I wasn’t alone since there were three other librarians who were already working on and planning with Alisa and Kevin for a research data management intensive couple of days in late March (Jennifer Chaput of University of Connecticut, Sheila Green of Texas A&M University, and Kathryn Anne Vela of Washington State University). And then, the NYU RDM gurus shared with the librarian group that a research reproducibility symposium at Columbia University was happening the Friday after our potential two-day NYU visit. I applied for the NNLM Training Office professional development opportunity and was lucky enough to be one of the awardees, leading to three full and wonderful days with the NYU Health Sciences Library RDM experts!

Alisa and Kevin planned two days of activities and meetings at NYU (March 27-28, 2019). The agenda was a well planned collection of experiences in order for us to be fully immersed in their environment and to get a sense of their RDM outreach, consultation, and educational program. Our first day set the tone for the visit. Jeff Williams, director of the NYU Health Sciences Library, provided the context and some history so that we could see how their RDM activities fit into the larger library and overall institutional efforts. Jumping right into the overview and history of how RDM started at the NYU Health Sciences Library, Alisa and Kevin, along with Fred LaPolla and Nicole Contaxis, shared their successes and lessons learned along their RDM journey. Next on the first day’s schedule was an overview of their data catalog project and how they are collaborating with eight other institutions to implement their open source system. The data visualization program was highlighted by Fred LaPolla, with more to come the second day seeing him in action. Then we were off to Kevin’s RDM class with NYU basic sciences graduate students. The class was a wonderful recap of the concepts presented during the NNLM RDM 101 course, and ended with an alien brain scan data scenario that got the students excited about winning a very special tool.

The second day began with Fred’s Microsoft Excel and data visualization class. I learned something new about Excel, Sparklines. Fred provided a great example of a clear and concise teaching approach with tips and tricks for thinking of Excel in a new way. We were then treated to lunch by Jeff Williams (Thank you, Jeff!). Next, we enjoyed a walking tour of NYC with a brief stop at the best little store with just about every hot sauce, spice, and tea option available! The last stop was at NYU’s main campus to hear highlights from two members of the NYU RDM team; Scott Collard and Vicky Steeves. Three things that stayed with me from that afternoon:

  1. They organize their classes along the research cycle. Great idea!
  2. Responsible conduct of research requirement is tied to the library.
  3. They hire graduate students to provide RDM assistance and teach classes.

The third day, March 29th, we attended the all-day A University Symposium: Promoting Credibility, Reproducibility, and Integrity in Research at Columbia University and co-sponsored by a number of institutions, including NYU. Attending this symposium was a perfect way to spend the third RDM learning day in NYC. Hearing the initiatives and efforts focused on research reproducibility and transparency-related tenure and promotion practices gave me additional reasons why libraries and librarians should be engaged in RDM initiatives. It is about education, advocacy, and collaboration. The symposium session that really got me going, and started off the day, was the keynote about implicit and perception bias by Dr. Brian Nosek, professor at the University of Virgina. Check out this one-hour video on the topic, presented by Dr. Nosek at the University of California, San Diego.

What hosts the NYU Health Sciences Library RDM team members are! The visit was the ideal mix of seriousness and fun, and broke down the barriers of starting and maintaining a RDM program. Below are just a few of the gold nuggets from my time with the NYUHSL RDM team. These tidbits are paraphrased and some are combined statements from multiple NYUHSL RDM team members; Alisa, Kevin, Fred, and Nicole.

  • Find the research data pain points and turn them into use cases in the educational and outreach threads of your RDM program.
  • Collaboration is key. RDM lynchpins and champions are critical.
  • The gems are the people who show up for classes and share their experiences and can connect you with others for assistance or additional learning.
  • It takes time and presence to build up these programs.
  • Do something…get started!
  • Get the word out…and be relentless.
  • Obtain stories about impact; then share those stories.
  • “You asked me to!” This is the reason people were contributing to our data catalog.
  • Start with what you have. Have PRISM or Excel? Start there. Offer a class!

I hope my next guest blog post on Latitudes will be an overview of our library’s initial educational and service RDM offerings, assessment of our inaugural RDM program, and next steps for future activities. It won’t be for a while, but it will happen…because I will do something with all I’ve learned and will get started with RDM at my library. Thanks again to NNLM NTO for this opportunity and to the awesome team at NYUHSL for sharing so much!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Citizen Science Day Megathon Promotes Alzheimer’s Disease Research!

Mon, 2019-04-22 15:33

To celebrate Citizen Science Day 2019, the Stall Catchers Megathon took place around the world on Saturday, April 13th. Citizen Science Day is an annual event to celebrate participation and engagement in real science by members of the general public. On April 13th, libraries in many parts of the country hosted the Megathon, a worldwide event for anyone to join in to analyze real research data in a game format. Local teams gathered in many locations, including public libraries, enabling this global project to have a small town feel while regular people did real science.

To build community engagement through citizen science projects in public libraries, NNLM PSR partnered with SciStarter, an online citizen science community, and Arizona State University, which had been working with public libraries in the Phoenix area on citizen science projects for over a year. The project focused on building relationships and capacity in public libraries across the country as community science centers, culminating in a common Citizen Science Day event. Citizen science projects can fall into many different scientific disciplines, including medical research. The Stall Catchers online game was created by the Human Computation Institute to support Alzheimer’s research being conducted at Cornell University; participants watch short video clips displaying blood flow in the research mice’s brains and determine if the blood is flowing or stalled.

Dan Stanton, Arizona State University librarian and Director of Library Programs at SciStarter:

I feel like I’ve been working on this since Citizen Science Day 2018! So for me, the amazing thing about Citizen Science Day 2019 was the progress made in getting the word out about the critical role libraries can play in Citizen Science. In the past year we’ve gone from localized displays and other programming, to a national campaign for libraries that included weekly open planning calls; quality promotional resources including bookmarks, posters, and a detailed Librarian’s Guide to Citizen Science; and a project focused on a topic that touches everyone, and includes cool science and a clear explanation of how participating contributes to ongoing scientific research. I want to thank NNLM PSR, and especially Kelli Ham, for being such important partners in the movement to connect Citizen Science and libraries!

The Los Angeles Public Library hosted multiple Megathon sites, and was declared the “winner” of the points challenge during the event. Here are some of the winning citizen scientists who participated at the Los Angeles Central Public Library composed of staff from NNLM, SciStarter, and LAPL, as well as other local citizen scientists:

participants of Citizen Science Day holding up laptops and mobile devices displaying the stall catchers app

Citizen Science Day participants at Los Angeles Public Library

The EyesOnAlz blog posted an early peak at the #Megathon research results. The post indicates that the research question addressed on Saturday was whether stalls occur more frequently in the brains of mice that have high blood pressure, and if that stalling can be reversed.

“Despite a slightly rocky road, we broke some serious records during the Megathon weekend! Never before have we done so much research in a single Stall Catchers event, and had so many people playing at the same time. We were featured on Science Friday, and Alzheimer’s Speaks Radio! Plus, we were thrilled to have Australia & Asia join us in a last minute self-organized pre-Megathon event, as well as a group of students from Dickson County High School who were keen to do their part on Monday, and help us finish up analysis of the Megathon dataset!!”

Darlene Cavalier, Founder of SciStarter and Professor of Practice at the School for the Future of Innovation in Society at ASU, added, “The collective accomplishments of Citizen Science Day would not have been possible without the support of NNLM PSR. The support enabled libraries and others to host community-centered events and promote ongoing citizen science programs in ways that transcend a single day.”

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

NNLM New England Region Hosts the New England Graphic Medicine ComicCon & Workshop

Fri, 2019-04-19 17:11

On April 10th, the NNLM New England Region (NER) hosted the New England Graphic Medicine ComicCon at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester.

RX A Graphic Memoir book cover

The day was filled with sessions for artists, educators, and librarians, discussing the joining of science and art in graphic medicine mediums to help promote NNLM’s mission:

“…to advance the progress of medicine and improve the public health by providing all U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving the public’s access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health.”

The conference kicked off with keynote speaker, and current NNLM Reading Club Kit author, Rachel Lindsay. Rachel presented Reclaiming Patient Narrative Through Graphic Medicine, and discussed her life story that led to the creation of RX: A Graphic Memoir. You can find out more about RX by applying for a reading club kit containing Rachel’s book.

One of the panelists, Maki Naro, is a self-proclaimed illustrator, science communicator, and nerd. Maki talked about Creating Science Comics: Communicating Big Ideas in Small Panels. In 2014, Maki’s comic Vaccines Work. Here are the Facts was published on his website. is a site that “looks at what is going down in the world, all in comics form.” Vaccines Work remains one of the site’s most relevant and popular posts as measles and whooping cough outbreaks continue around the nation.

Vaccines Work. Here are the Facts.

Gluten The Facts and The Fad

Cover of booklet from Vermont dairy farm seriesOther sessions included collection management, course and program design, and a case study of a cartooning project connecting migrant dairy workers in Vermont with cartoonists to document mental health issues associated with trauma and isolation, El Viaje Más Caro / The Most Costly Journey.

NER is leading the way in supporting graphic medicine as a means of communicating the NNLM mission. This conference was a great jumping off point. PSR members can apply now for several graphic medicine titles in our reading club kits, and watch out for more graphic medicine tie-ins in the near future!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Report on the 4th Annual “Data Day” at the University of Cincinnati

Wed, 2019-04-17 18:11

by Elena Azadbakht
Health Sciences Librarian
University of Nevada, Reno Libraries

In early 2018, I secured a spot in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine’s inaugural RDM 101: Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians, conducted by the National Training Office (NTO). I learned quite a bit about research data management (RDM) during the eight-week online course. At the time, I was the Health and Nursing Librarian at the University of Southern Mississippi, and I wrote about my RDM 101 experience in a post on the Southern Chapter’s blog, Southern Salutations. I have since moved into my current position as the Health Sciences Librarian at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), but I remain intensely interested in developing a robust RDM program.

During the first week of April, I visited the University of Cincinnati (UC) for a few days, also courtesy of the NNLM NTO. I attended UC’s 4th annual Data Day and had the opportunity to learn about the University of Cincinnati Libraries’ data initiatives in the meantime. Amy Koshoffer, UC Science Informationist and a RDM 101 course mentor, graciously served as my host for the trip. Rebecca Morgan, librarian at the University of Louisville, also attended. It was nice to have a “buddy” who was there with similar aims.

Rebecca and I met with the Research and Data Services (RDS) team as well as liaisons and informationists at the UC Health Sciences Library. We also toured key library and campus spaces. All the while, we learned about how the RDS team does their work, such as taking a close look at their consultation form/log, and how their RDM program came about and has evolved. It was amazing hearing about these things from the people doing the work in the context in which it takes place (as opposed to reading about it in a formal publication or presentation.)

Data Day was a bit different than what I’d expected, but in a good way. Before studying the schedule, I had imagined it would be almost entirely hands-on skills development – the “how” of research data. And while the event featured a power session that introduced participants to the R programming language, most of the day’s sessions focused instead on the big picture of research data – the “why.” Drawing in over 100 attendees, Data Day serves as a community building venture for those interested in data and data issues at UC and within the region. This year’s theme was Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Data. Keynote speakers included Amanda J. Wilson, Head of the NLM’s National Network Coordinating Office, who presented on the All of Us Research Program, and Debra Guadalupe Duran, Director of the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, who discussed big data’s impacts on health disparities.

I would ultimately like to host a similar, albeit smaller, event here at UNR. My co-workers and I are brainstorming ways we can support RDM and data science skills development on our campus. Amy and her colleagues emphasized educational activities as a starting point, e.g., tailored workshops based on the New England Collaborative Data Management Curriculum, and described how they came together to create a strategic plan and a set of goals for data at UC. Rebecca also noted how her library has established a similar sort of group. Since my return, we’ve made plans to establish a data working group within the UNR Libraries. We already have a LibGuide, a Canvas module available to all faculty and staff, and have led a few workshops on RDM. But we’ll use UC and others as a guide when developing our own goals in this area.

Not everything I encountered or heard about at UC is applicable or achievable at UNR – at least not immediately. But I feel a lot more confident that we’re on the right track with RDM and data science. Over time, some of the distinctive aspects of UC’s program will find their way into our work at UNR. Starting small and planning on a “slow burn” is perfectly okay! Moreover, visiting other campuses and their libraries is invigorating, as is meeting colleagues who are interested in the same topics and issues as you are. Apart from Rebecca, I also met librarians from Miami University (in Oxford, OH) and the University of Kentucky who attended Data Day. Now I have a handful of fellow librarians that I can easily reach out to when an interesting data-related idea springs to mind or when planning a data-related activity or event. Although I’m not adverse to cold calling other librarians who I’ve noted are doing interesting activities, it is great to have built a rapport with specific individuals within the NNLM and RDM communities! This was also one of the primary benefits of the RDM 101 course itself.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Reorganization for NLM Outreach Services!

Wed, 2019-04-10 19:34

Joyce Backus, NLM Associate Director for Library Operations, has announced that the National Network Coordinating Office (NNCO) will be renamed the Office of Engagement and Training (OET) and become NLM’s organizational home for outreach. This renamed office will be led by Amanda J. Wilson, who has served as the head of the NNCO since January 2017. Beginning in June 2019, OET will include the program and staff of the National Network Coordinating Office and additional staff with primary outreach responsibilities from the Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) and other NLM organizations. SIS staff and any other NLM staff assigned to the OET will receive formal notices in May 2019 and reassigned in June 2019. OET will work with staff in NLM program areas, including the Office of Communications & Public Liaison (OCPL), to improve coordination of outreach activities within NLM and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine.

Establishment of OET follows the extensive work of the NLM Outreach Functional Audit team. The audit created an overview of all NLM outreach activities and demonstrated the extent to which outreach is an NLM-wide effort. The report recommended the creation of a central office to coordinate and lead NLM’s outreach activities, while recognizing that some outreach activities are closely tied to specific programs and services and should remain within their program units. NLM Leadership agreed with these recommendations, which support the NLM Strategic Plan. As the new outreach home, the NLM Office of Engagement and Training (OET) will provide for NLM and NNLM: 

  • A leader for outreach with budgetary authority for outreach activities
  • Consolidation of staff whose work is primarily outreach and who are now distributed
  • Authority to plan and coordinate outreach activities
  • Evaluation standards and guidelines for outreach and engagement assessment
  • Liaisons with key NLM units to coordinate closely-related activities
  • Shared resources, including a single Learning Management System, to increase efficiency and reduce duplication
  • Increased efficiency for acquisitions to reduce duplication
  • Leadership of a community of practice

Creating this home for outreach will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of the activities, ease the burden on subject matter experts, and produce a more accountable and coherent approach to this vitally important function across NLM. The OET will have primary responsibility for developing trans-NLM outreach materials, as well as planning, coordinating, and evaluating outreach efforts across NLM. Communications strategies for outreach efforts will be developed by OCPL in collaboration with OET for consistency of messaging, branding, and promotion, including social media and the NNLM.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Santiago Canyon College Library Hosts NLM’s “Pick Your Poison” Traveling Exhibit

Wed, 2019-04-10 14:57

by Alice Ho
Santiago Canyon College Library
Orange, CA

After traveling across the country for three years, the NLM traveling exhibit Pick Your Poison: Intoxicating Pleasures & Medical Prescriptions arrived in Southern California. From March 27 to May 3, students and library users will be able to enjoy this nicely done exhibit at the Santiago Canyon College library in the city of Orange.

Banners with individual topics on tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and opium for the Pick Your Poison exhibit

NLM’s “Pick Your Poison” Traveling Exhibit

This exhibit explores the use of tobacco, alcohol, opium, cocaine and marijuana in the history of America. It demonstrates some of the factors that have shaped the changing definitions of some of these mind-altering drugs from medical miracle to social menace. The exhibit was developed by the National Library of Medicine and National Institute of Health, and was curated by Dr. Manon Parry, Professor of Medical History at the Vrje Universiteit, Amsterdan, and Senior Lecturer in American Studies and Public History at the University of Amsterdam.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

PubMed Labs Update: Add Citations to the Clipboard!

Tue, 2019-04-09 15:47

The Clipboard feature is now available in PubMed Labs, allowing users to temporarily save and collect selected citations from one or more searches. The National Library of Medicine is continuing to develop features on the PubMed Labs platform, and this new version of PubMed will eventually replace the current PubMed. Visit An Updated PubMed Is on Its Way for more information.

Add Items to the Clipboard in PubMed Labs
To add items to the Clipboard from search results, use the “More actions” icon at the top of the page and choose “Send to: Clipboard.” A drop-down menu of options will display where users may add selected items, all results on the page, or all results to the Clipboard (up to a maximum limit of 500 citations). Individual items can also be added to the Clipboard from the abstract page using the “More actions” icon.

screenshot of the adding items feature on the pubmed labs page

Send citations from search results to the Clipboard

View and Curate Items in the Clipboard
Navigate to the Clipboard by clicking the “Clipboard” link under the search box. This link will only appear after one or more items have been added to the Clipboard; the link is not present when the Clipboard is empty. On the Clipboard page, use the check boxes to select items to be saved, emailed, or removed from the Clipboard. The Clipboard can store up to a maximum of 500 citations at a time and will expire after eight hours of inactivity. Future updates will add the ability to permanently save items to My NCBI Collections. In the meantime, please use the save or email options to retain results from PubMed Labs.

PubMed Labs is under active development and new features will be introduced on a regular basis as the system is enhanced. Please note that the absence of a PubMed tool in PubMed Labs does not mean it is planned for elimination. NLM welcomes feedback. To submit comments, questions, or concerns, use the “Feedback” button available on each page of PubMed Labs.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

NLM @ 2019 MLA Annual Meeting!

Fri, 2019-04-05 18:59

The Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association (MLA) will be held May 3-8 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Attend the following sessions to learn more about National Library of Medicine products and services, and also visit Booth 208 (May 4-6) to talk with NLM staff!

NLM Update
Tuesday, May 7 (11:00 – 11:55)
Location: Grand Ballroom CDEF (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)
Speakers: Jerry Sheehan, Deputy Director; Janice Kelly, Acting Deputy Director, Specialized Information Services; Joyce Backus, Associate Director for Library Operations; Amanda J. Wilson, Head, National Network Coordinating Office

Other NLM Sessions

DOCLINE Users Group
Sunday, May 5 (Noon – 12:55)
Location: Randolph 1AB (East Tower, Concourse/Bronze Level)
PubMed Update
Sunday, May 5 (1:00 – 1:55)
Location: Randolph 1AB (East Tower, Concourse/Bronze Level)
Elevating Health Equity: Wikipedia Edit-a-thon
Join us as we #CiteNLM and help improve health articles on Wikipedia with trusted, evidenced-based information from NLM products.
Monday, May 6 (2:00 – 3:25)
Location: Grand Ballroom B (East Tower, Ballroom/Gold Level)

NLM Booth Schedule
The NLM booth (#208) will be open Saturday, 5-7:30pm, Sunday noon-5:30, and Monday 10-5. Rather than the previous emphasis on theater presentations, there will be experts on hand to answer questions, take feedback, and discuss the latest NLM news. This approach focuses directly on talking to the users, trainers, and promoters of NLM products. Online updates will still be presented through the NLM website, blogs and social media, webinars, and the NLM Technical Bulletin. A table is available with a list of NLM products, the times representatives will be at the NLM booth, and links to any recent news. Feel free to stop by the booth anytime with questions or feedback!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

PubMed Labs Update

Mon, 2019-04-01 16:25

The National Library of Medicine continues to develop features on the PubMed Labs platform, and this new version of PubMed will eventually replace the current PubMed. Visit An Updated PubMed Is on Its Way for more information.

Advanced Search, including the Advanced Search Builder and History with search details, is now available in PubMed Labs. The tools that are included with Advanced Search help users to:

  • search for terms in a specific field
  • combine searches and build large, complex search strings
  • see how each query was translated by PubMed
  • compare number of results for different queries

screenshot of the pubmed labs homepage

Additional functionality, such as the ability to save a search to My NCBI, will be added to the Advanced Search page in future updates. Please note, the layout and appearance of Advanced Search and other pages in PubMed Labs may change as updates and new features are introduced.

Advanced Search Builder

In Advanced Search, users can construct searches using the builder tools under “Add terms to the query box,” as well as create and edit search strings directly in the “Query box.”

  • All Fields: Use the pull-down menu to limit a search term to a specific field.
  • Enter a search term: Terms entered here are added to the Query box, tagged with fields from the All Fields menu, and use the selected Boolean operator.
  • Boolean operators: Add search term to the Query box using the selected Boolean operator. The default operator is AND; if desired, choose OR or NOT from the pull-down menu. Selecting an operator will cause it to become the new default.
  • Show Index: Show Index displays an alphabetical list of terms and number of citations in PubMed for each term. Browse the index for all fields or within a specific field selected from the All Fields menu.
  • Query box: Combine search terms manually or use the Advanced Search Builder tools above to add terms to the Query box.
  • Search / Add to History button: Once a search string is created in the Query box, use Search to run the search and see results in PubMed Labs. Alternately, use the pull-down menu to switch the button to “Add to History;” this will add the search string from the Query box to History without leaving the Advanced Search page.

History with Search Details

  • Search column: Searches are numbered in chronological order. Search numbers may be used in place of the search string itself when combining queries (e.g., #1 OR #2). A repeated query will move to the top of History but will retain its original numbering. History is limited to the last 100 searches.
  • Actions: Add, delete, or save a query. Adding queries from History places the search string into the Query box to be used in the next search. Deleting a query removes it from History. “Save” functionality will be added to Actions in a future update.
  • Query: This column shows previous search strings as entered by the user.
  • Search details: PubMed may modify or add search terms to a search to optimize retrieval, e.g., using Automatic Term Mapping. Click the down arrow next to a query to expand search details and see how the search was translated.
  • Results: The total number of citations retrieved for that query. Click the number to see the search results in PubMed Labs.
  • Time: Timestamp of when the search was conducted.
  • Download: Click Download to generate a CSV file of current History items.
  • Delete: Click “Delete” to remove all queries from History; otherwise, History expires after eight hours of inactivity.

PubMed Labs is not yet connected to My NCBI. Therefore, items such as search results and History in PubMed Labs cannot currently be saved to a My NCBI account. This functionality will be added in future updates; in the meantime, use Save and Email Citations to save citations from PubMed Labs. For additional information, visit New Features in PubMed Labs: Email and Save Citations, Find Associated Data, and More

PubMed Labs is under active development, and new features will be introduced on a regular basis as the system is enhanced. The absence of a PubMed tool in PubMed Labs does not mean it is planned for elimination. To submit comments, questions, or concerns use the “Feedback” button available on every page of PubMed Labs.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Announcing the NNLM Spring 2019 Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon on May 6!

Thu, 2019-03-28 14:35

When was the last time you used Wikipedia? With more than 7 billion views a year on over 155,000 health topic pages, Wikipedia may be the most popular online health information resource. Acknowledging that Wikipedia is a highly trafficked source for health related topics, it is vital to improve the content and citations provided in health and medicine articles to ensure that health professionals, patients, and other library users have access to high-quality, reliable information.

Building on the success of two past events, the National Network of Libraries of Medicine is continuing its efforts to improve consumer health information on Wikipedia with its third Edit-a-Thon event on May 6, 2019. Using trusted National Library of Medicine resources like PubMed, MedlinePlus, and Genetics Home Reference, we will be working to add citations to existing Wikipedia articles related to health equity. New to editing Wikipedia? Get ready for the event by watching this one-hour previous training hosted by Dr. James Heilman, a physician and active WikiProject Medicine editor. In this introductory session, Dr. Heilman provides an overview of the importance of Wikipedia and demonstrates how to add a citation to existing articles.

New for this Edit-a-Thon is an in-person editing session held at the Medical Library Association Annual Conference in Chicago. Led by Aimee Gogan, Alicia Lillich, and Elaina Vitale, the immersion session will describe the importance of Wikipedia as a resource for health information and how librarians can utilize their research skills to make Wikipedia a better evidence-based resource. Not only will attendees participate in live editing of health equity articles, they will become part of a community of Wikipedians dedicated to improving health information. If you will be attending MLA, please join us on Monday, May 6, from 2:00 PM – 3:25 PM for this lively and engaging session!

Whether you attend the immersion session at MLA or host an event at your organization, we look forward to working with you on May 6 to improve health equity information on Wikipedia. Check out to learn more about the event and make sure to follow along on Twitter throughout the day with the hashtag #citeNLM to ask questions, post photos, and share your Wikipedia experience. See you on May 6!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

NLM Announces LinkOut Services Consolidation at the End of 2019!

Mon, 2019-03-25 15:51

Today the National Library of Medicine announced the consolidation of the LinkOut for Libraries programs into a single service: Library LinkOut using Outside Tool. NLM formerly provided three library services to allow PubMed users to access full text journal content through their institutional subscriptions: LinkOut via Submission Utility, LinkOut Local, and Outside Tool, which has seen great success and use. To continue providing excellent service, it became evident that upgrading and streamlining the system would be both necessary and beneficial. Each library’s holdings files include tens of thousands of PubMed queries for each journal subscription. Using new technology will provide a streamlined approach for more efficient, effective, and reliable daily PubMed indexing. No functionality will be lost as a result of this change.

Library LinkOut using Outside Tool, which has been renamed to Library LinkOut, has important advantages for libraries and their patrons. Libraries can place their icon on every PubMed citation. A link resolver directs users to the full text of an article that is available in the library or to the library’s Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service. Libraries no longer generate and maintain their extensive holdings records in the Submission Utility. NLM staff can now process new account registrations quickly. PubMed Mobile will be replaced by the new and responsive PubMed site that will display Library LinkOut icons. Considering over 40% of PubMed users access the site using a mobile device such as a phone or tablet where the icons are currently not visible, this will be a great improvement. Library users will not lose access to their library’s journals subscriptions during this transition, as the publisher supplied icons typically link to the same full text content.

LinkOut via Submission Utility and LinkOut Local will be available during the transition period, but libraries will need to switch to Library LinkOut to continue seeing their icon in the new PubMed. NLM will no longer process new registrations for the other services. NLM anticipates defaulting users to the new PubMed in late summer 2019 and will continue to run the old system in parallel until the end of 2019. To register for Library LinkOut (i.e., Outside Tool), libraries will need to set up a working link resolver that directs users to the full text of an article or to the library’s ILL service. Libraries will also need an ILL form that can pre-populate with PubMed citation information. Complete information on the registration process can be found in the NCBI Bookshelf.

To help with this transition, every LinkOut account will receive an email notice. A list of frequently asked questions is also available. Additionally, NLM staff will hold a webinar in April about these changes to LinkOut for Libraries and answer questions about the transition. Details about the webinar will be announced soon. Questions about this process may be directed to the NLM Support Center.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

NLM’s Radiation Medical Emergency Management (REMM) Resource Receives Major Update!

Wed, 2019-03-20 15:22

The National Library of Medicine’s Radiation Medical Emergency Management (REMM) has been updated. This resource provides guidance for health care providers, primarily physicians, about clinical diagnosis and treatment of radiation injury during radiological and nuclear emergencies.

New on the Mobile REMM app:

  • A new version of the Mobile REMM app, which contains selected pages from online REMM, was released in the App Store and Google Play Store. This new version reflects the content updates published on REMM online.
Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

FORCE11 Scholarly Communications Institute @ UCLA August 5-9: Course Selection and Registration Now Open!

Mon, 2019-03-18 19:50

The UCLA Library has partnered with FORCE11 to present the 2019 FORCE11 Scholarly Communications Institute (FSCI) August 5-9. Course curriculum and registration information are now available!

Courses have been established for all levels, from absolute beginner to advanced.They are also aimed at different audiences such as:

  • Researchers
  • Institution Administrators
  • Funders
  • Publishers
  • Librarians
  • Students

Scientific and Scholarly Communication is in the middle of a system-wide disruption. These changes have affected every aspect of research, from its practice, to its administration, to its use. There are new forms of publication, new standards and expectations, new ways of measuring and demonstrating success, new dangers and pitfalls. The Force11 Scholarly Communication Institute at UCLA (FSCI) is a summer school that helps people learn how to navigate this new world. Its instructors include leading practitioners from the world of research, libraries, publishing, and research administration. Its courses range from basic orientations through classes in the most advanced topics. Its goal is to provide a friendly, community-based way of learning about and keeping up to date on the latest trends, technologies, and opportunities that are transforming the way science and scholarship is done.

FSCI is organized by FORCE11 (The Future of Research Communication and eScholarship) in collaboration with the UCLA Library. FORCE11 is a community of scholars, librarians, archivists, publishers and research funders that arose organically to study and facilitate new developments in knowledge creation and communication. Membership is open to all who share this interest!

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Report on the Women Leaders in Global Health Conference

Fri, 2019-03-08 16:36

by Jill Barr-Walker, MPH, MS
Clinical Librarian
Zuckerberg San Francisco General (ZSFG) Hospital Library
University of California, San Francisco

While 70% of the global health workforce is made up of women, only 25% of the leadership in this field are women. Does this sound familiar? To some extent, it should: women represent 83% of the librarian workforce in academic libraries but only 60% of university library directors [1]. Although data on health sciences library directors isn’t available, we know that women represent 87% of the health sciences librarian workforce but make almost 8% less than male counterparts in equivalent positions [2]. This salary disparity cannot be explained by the commonly held belief that women are less likely to negotiate: research shows that when librarians in non-administrative roles negotiate salary, women are less successful than men [3].

an illustrator drawing a whiteboard during a conference

The conference artist illustrates a talk on #metoo and global health.

With the help of a National Network of Libraries of Medicine – Pacific Southwest Region (NNLM PSR) professional development award and these figures in mind, I traveled to the Women Leaders in Global Health Conference at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to learn more about the movement to empower women leaders in global health.

Learning from internationally-known women leaders from places like WHO, the UN, MSF, The International Council of Nurses, public health schools at Harvard & Colombia, The Lancet, and various government organizations throughout Africa, Europe & South America was an incredible opportunity. Conference attendees learned about the scope of this problem worldwide and discussed potential solutions; this allowed me to think about ways to position myself to be an advocate for women in global health at my institution, and start thinking about how to address this issue within the field of Library Information Studies (LIS). I learned about organizations that exist to facilitate leadership abilities for women as well as additional tools and resources for people interested in contributing to research and scholarship in this field. Most of all, this conference confirmed for me that the issues of sexism, sexual harassment, and advancing women’s leadership are legitimate and important scholarly fields of inquiry.

I was also inspired by ideas for actions that can be taken by anyone interested in helping to grow women leaders in their institution and their field. I intend to incorporate many into my own work, including actively encouraging and involving younger women in leadership; refusing to serve on panels that do not contain equal representations of men and women and rejecting conferences that support “manels”; encouraging researchers to disaggregate data by gender and race to help identify issues unique to different populations; recognizing how intersectionality and multiple identities affect women’s opportunities for and interest in leadership; and being mindful in the use of language that reinforces sexist, colonial hegemonies (e.g., instead of “giving someone a voice,” provide an opportunity for them to speak and use their own voice). Attending the conference reignited my passion for global health, and I have renewed my outreach efforts to our hospital’s Global Medicine division in order to become more involved with information provision around research and clinical work in this area.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the conference advocated a key message: we cannot attempt to correct the gender disparities in leadership without considering the intersections of race, gender, and leadership. Out of the 60% of women academic library directors mentioned above, how many are white? One ARL publication suggests up to 94% [1]! We know that librarians are overwhelmingly white (up to 87% in some fields); it should not be a surprise to learn that women of color are underrepresented in library leadership positions and overrepresented in library staff (e.g., non-librarian) positions [4]. In addition to creating space for younger women and those new to the field, white librarians must be mindful to do the same for women of color who are facing additional barriers in our predominantly white field.

What do we want librarianship to look like going forward? I encourage everyone to consider this question and think about how we as individuals, institutions, and professional organizations can work to meet this goal. To quote Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija, Chief Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria and a WLGH conference favorite, “If they don’t give us a seat at the table, we bring our own chair. If they don’t allow us to bring the chair, we sit on the table.”

Thanks to NNLM PSR for supporting my attendance at this conference and showing support for women leaders in global health — and beyond!

Further reading

  • Lew S, Yousefi B. Feminists among us: Resistance and advocacy in library leadership. Sacramento, CA: Library Juice Press, 2017.
  • Chou, RL, Pho A. Pushing the margins: women of color and intersectionality in LIS. Sacramento, CA: Library Juice Press, 2018.
  • Galbraith Q, Kelley H, Groesbeck M. Is there a racial wage gap in research libraries? An analysis of ARL libraries. College & Research Libraries. 2018 Nov 1;79(7):863.
  • Global Health 50/50. Global health 50/50 report. 2018.


  1. Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Annual salary survey (2009-10). 2010.
  2. Corcoran K, Medical Library Association. MLA compensation and benefits survey. 2013.
  3. Silva E, Galbraith Q. Salary negotiation patterns between women and men in academic libraries. College & Research Libraries. 2018 Apr 4;79(3):324.
  4. American Library Association. Diversity counts: 2012 update.
Categories: PSR, RML Blogs

Coming Soon: An Updated PubMed!

Wed, 2019-03-06 19:43

As the biomedical literature increases at a significant rate in PubMed, NCBI has continuously experimented and investigated ways to improve the overall search quality and user experience. An updated version of PubMed, which will eventually replace the current version, is now available on the experimental PubMed Labs platform. The updated version of PubMed includes the following features. To see graphical illustrations from PubMed Labs, visit the NLM Technical Bulletin.

  • Enhanced Search Results
    PubMed now offers a new relevance sort option named Best Match as an alternative to the default date sort, making it easier for users to find what they seek. Best Match uses a state-of-the-art machine learning algorithm that is trained on aggregated user searches. The Best Match algorithm ranks search results according to several relevance signals, including an article’s popularity, its publication date and type, and its query-document relevance score. Full details about Best Match are available in the PLOS Biology article, Best Match: New relevance search for PubMed.

    Search results now include snippets, which are highlighted text fragments from the article abstract that are selected based on their relatedness to the query and give users additional information to help them decide if an article is useful. Additional improvements to the interface make it easier to discover related content, e.g. similar articles, references, and citations. Also, in the updated version of PubMed, the underlying document data that is indexed has been newly generated by merging content from PubMed, Bookshelf, and PubMed Central (PMC), so that relevant information not ordinarily available in a PubMed record, e.g. reference citations from PMC, can be displayed.

  • Responsive Design
    The updated PubMed features a mobile-first, responsive layout that offers better support for accessing PubMed content with the increasingly popular small-screen devices such as mobile phones and tablets. The interface is compatible with any screen size, which provides a fresh, consistent look and feel throughout the application, no matter how it is accessed.
  • Updated Technology
    The updated version of PubMed uses Solr, an open-source enterprise search system, for document indexing, and MongoDB for storage and retrieval. In addition to its scalability and reliability, Solr also provides many powerful out-of-the-box search functionalities, such as wildcards (‘*’), groupings, and joins. For example, unlike the current version of PubMed, the updated version does not limit the number of variants for wildcards. The MongoDB storage solution provides default data replication between different data centers, which ensures redundancy. The updated PubMed runs on a modern cloud architecture that provides scalability and a reliable backup environment. The updated PubMed uses the Django Web framework on the front-end, making use of the latest web technologies and standards.
  • User-Driven Development
    The updated PubMed continues to be validated by prioritizing and aligning features based on user research including usability testing and continuous feedback from users.

Please note the updated version does not include the complete set of features currently found in PubMed; however, NLM is iteratively adding functions and improving the system. Feedback is welcome! Submit comments, questions, or concerns using the PubMed Labs Feedback button.

Categories: PSR, RML Blogs