NLM’s PubMed has long been recognized as a critical resource for helping researchers, health care professionals, students, and the general public keep current with rapid advances in the life sciences. NLM is excited to introduce an updated version of PubMed that features an updated design and technology to improve the user experience. Launched in 1996 as an experimental website, PubMed has provided an easy, effective way to search a large portion of the published biomedical literature free of charge. The importance of PubMed is evidenced by its heavy use. Each day, more than 2 million people use PubMed to search a body of more than 30 million abstracts and citations, making it one of the most frequently used U.S. government websites.
Over the past 24 years, NLM has continuously updated and refined PubMed to keep pace with ever-changing information technologies and added features and enhancements to make it easier for users to find relevant information quickly. Along the way, there were two major updates to the web interface, one in 2000 and another in 2010, and introduction of a separate mobile version of PubMed, in 2011. In early 2017, NLM launched a comprehensive effort to take PubMed to the next level, with a goal to transform PubMed into a modern hub with a fast, reliable, intuitive search that connects people to the world’s leading sources of biomedical information.
Connecting people to the information they seek requires a great retrieval engine. Under the leadership of NLM’s Zhiyong Lu, PhD, and his team, the retrieval engine was enhanced using advanced machine-learning technology to develop a new relevance search algorithm. This algorithm optimizes the quality of top-ranked results and is used by PubMed’s new Best Match feature for sorting search results. On the technology side, PubMed has moved to an open-source search platform, critical in moving to the cloud, providing greater scalability and reliability. And to deliver the best possible experience, front-end developers produced a modern, responsive website that is optimized for the needs of today’s information seeker.
To truly understand the needs of PubMed users and how best to deliver solutions that meet those needs, NLM engaged with a broad array of users; analyzed customer service data; reviewed survey responses; and tested dozens of design solutions and enhancements with expert PubMed users, novices, and everyone in between. One thing learned during these efforts was that initial assumptions and ideas weren’t always right, reinforcing the importance of continuing to listen to PubMed’s users and making iterative improvements.
Experience the latest version of PubMed for yourself!
- Are you looking for the most relevant papers in a given area? Try the Best Match sort option.
- Are you writing a grant proposal or peer-reviewed manuscript? The Cite button will come in quite handy.
- Are you a power user constructing a systematic review? The Advanced Search workflow has been updated to be more intuitive and flexible.
- Do you need to access PubMed while away from your desktop? Your mobile device now provides the same full-featured experience via PubMed’s modern, responsive design.
At the bottom of each page of the new site you will find a green Feedback button. Whether you think the new version of PubMed is great just the way it is, or you have a suggestion for how to make it better, NLM is waiting to hear from you!
Several features have been updated in the new PubMed, including options to customize the number of items per page, sort by publication date, reverse sort order, see all similar articles, and download the Results by Year timeline. The National Library of Medicine is continuing to develop features in the new PubMed site, and this new version of PubMed will eventually replace the legacy PubMed. Visit The New PubMed is Here for more information.
Sort by Publication Date and Reverse Sort Order
Use the Display Options menu (located under the gear button) to change how results are sorted. Sort options now include Publication Date in addition to Most Recent and Best Match. When sorting by Publication Date or Most Recent, use the ascending/descending button to show the newest or oldest results first. For more information, visit “Sorting your results” in the PubMed User Guide.
Customize number of items displayed per page
You can also use the Display Options menu to change the number of citations displayed per page:
- 1. Click the gear button in the upper right corner of the search results page
- 2. Select the number of citations to display per page: 10, 20, 50, 100, or 200
For more information, visit “Showing more results” in the PubMed User Guide.
Persistent display preferences
Changes to display preferences such as sort by, items per page, and filters will be active for subsequent searches until browser data and cookies are cleared. Display format defaults to Summary for each new search. For more information, visit “Enable Cookies” in Browser Advice for NCBI Web Pages.
You can now view and refine the complete set of similar articles for a citation. Use the “See all similar articles” link on a citation’s abstract page to display the similar articles as a new page of results. For more information, visit “Similar articles” in the PubMed User Guide.
Download Results by Year Timeline
Use the download button to create a CSV file of the Results by Year timeline. For more information about the Results by Year timeline, visit “Searching by date” in the PubMed User Guide.
For further details and illustrations, visit the NLM Technical Bulletin. For more details on the features in the new PubMed, view the recorded webinar A New PubMed: Highlights for Information Professionals.
In a recent blog post, NLM director Dr. Patti Brennan highlighted some of NLM’s accomplishments in 2019. So, what’s on tap for 2020? First, as NLM prepares for major renovations to its Building 38, most of the staff, including Dr. Brennan, will move to other office space on the NIH campus for about two years. That will be enough time to implement a major redesign of the first floor of the 60-year-old, architecturally dramatic but not really fit-for-purpose workspace to make more efficient use of the space, add modern office layouts and meeting spaces, and modernize the HVAC systems. Also, NLM will continue to grow its Intramural Research Program (IRP), which focuses on computational biomedical and health sciences. Two new tenure-track investigators were hired this past year and one or two more are expected to be added in 2020. The IRP brings together two NLM divisions, the National Center for Biotechnology Information, specifically the Computational Biology Branch, and the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, which emphasize discovery based on molecular phenomena and clinical information. There will also be greater alignment of training efforts, including an expansion of the public-facing parts of training.
NLM will continue to make biomedical and health information literature available to the public, scientists, and clinicians, with a greater emphasis on public access and open science. The entire PubMed Central (PMC) repository of full-text literature is already freely available to the world, and with the increasing interest in open access to government-supported research findings, this repository is expected to grow. PMC will grow in new ways, too, such as enhancing the discoverability of data sets in support of published results made available with articles as supplementary material or in open repositories, and supporting greater transparency in scientific communication through the archiving of peer review documents. Many NLM resources will be moved to the cloud and continue to support efforts to make strides through the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Science and Technology Research Infrastructure for Discovery, Experimentation, and Sustainability (STRIDES) Initiative to accelerate discovery by harnessing the power of commercial cloud computing. This will not only offer some logistical savings, it will also increase the discoverability of NLM’s resources.
NLM will play a bigger and more vital role in big science as it unfolds at NIH. Intramural researchers are expanding the application of deep learning technologies to clinical, biological, and image data. In collaboration with the NIH Office of Data Science Strategy, NLM will build and release new tools to help researchers leverage the FHIR standard to make clinical data more accessible for research, and to improve phenotype characterization. These initiatives will accelerate data sharing by advancing standard approaches to research data representation. And finally, NLM will advance its impact on and outreach to professional and lay communities around the country. The National Network of Libraries of Medicine has exciting plans to expand its training in research data management and to provide local health information education and support to help health care providers working with American Indian and Alaska Native populations address challenges such as mental health and HPV-related cancer.
As ClinicalTrials.gov celebrates its 20th anniversary on February 29, NLM is asking for input on how it can best continue to serve your needs for many more years to come. ClinicalTrials.gov is the world’s largest public clinical research registry and results database, giving patients, families, health care providers, researchers, and others easy access to information on clinical studies relating to a wide range of diseases and conditions. This online resource, which has more than 145,000 unique visitors every day, is operated by NLM and makes available information provided directly by the sponsors and investigators conducting the research.
NLM has launched an effort to modernize ClinicalTrials.gov to deliver an improved user experience on an updated platform that will accommodate growth and enhance efficiency. Creating a roadmap for modernization requires feedback from a wide array of stakeholders on how to continue serving, balancing, and prioritizing their varied information needs. These stakeholders include sponsors and investigators who submit clinical trial information to the site, academic institutions, nonprofit and advocacy organizations, government agencies, and the public, all of whom can access and use the information that ClinicalTrials.gov contains free of charge.
To obtain timely, detailed, and actionable input, a Request for Information (RFI) has been issued to solicit comments on the following topics: website functionality, information submission processes, and use of data standards. Recognizing that ClinicalTrials.gov supports a network of stakeholders who contribute to, and rely on, clinical research, the aim is to understand how the system can better support this network and to identify opportunities for improving its compatibility with existing clinical trial management tools and processes. It is important to note that this RFI focuses on the functionality of ClinicalTrials.gov and is not intended to modify existing legal and policy requirements for clinical trial registration and results submission.
Responses to the RFI must be received by March 14. NLM expects a wide range of comments and is taking steps to manage and share the feedback. Responses will be summarized during a public meeting on April 30 on the main campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, that will also be accessible by webcast. Details on the meeting will be available soon. In addition, the NLM Board of Regents is being engaged to provide input as a roadmap for modernization is developed, including establishing priorities and identifying the roles that various stakeholders might play in modernizing ClinicalTrials.gov.
To learn more about the RFI and how to share feedback, join this webinar on January 22. NLM looks forward to working with everyone to learn more about — and consider how to meet — your needs as the multiyear modernization effort begins!
NIH Director Francis S. Collins has announced the selection of Joshua Denny, M.D., M.S., as Chief Executive Officer of the NIH All of Us Research Program. As CEO, he will oversee NIH’s efforts to build one of the largest and most comprehensive precision medicine research platforms in the world, in partnership with a diverse network of awardees and participants.
Dr. Denny comes to NIH from Nashville, TN, where he is a Professor in the Departments of Biomedical Informatics and Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. He has been involved in All of Us from its inception, first as a member of the Advisory Committee to the (NIH) Director Precision Medicine Initiative Working Group, which developed the program’s scientific blueprint. He led the program’s initial prototyping project and is currently the principal investigator for the All of Us Data and Research Center. As a physician-scientist, Dr. Denny is deeply committed to improving patient care through the advancement of precision medicine. He will bring expertise in bioinformatics, genomics, and internal medicine, and significant prior experience with other large research efforts, including the Electronic Medical Records and Genomics (eMERGE) Network, the Pharmacogenomics Research Network (PGRN), and the Implementing Genomics in Practice (IGNITE) Network. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine, the American College of Medical Informatics, and the American Society for Clinical Investigation.
In this position, Dr. Denny will work in close collaboration with All of Us Deputy Director Stephanie Devaney, Ph.D., who is being promoted to Chief Operating Officer; a new position in which she will assume additional responsibilities in leading the operations of the program and its extensive consortium of awardees and other partners. She will also continue to oversee the program’s policy work, serve as principal liaison to the Institutional Review Board and Trans-NIH Liaisons Coordinating Team, and provide expert counsel on key initiatives.
Eric Dishman, who currently leads All of Us, will become Chief Innovation Officer, leveraging his prior experience in Silicon Valley to guide strategic planning efforts and build a culture of innovation. This work will include creating a pipeline to support rapid delivery of exploratory projects for future development. He has brought tremendous vision and dedication to the program as its inaugural leader, and will continue to share his talents in this new role.
With more than 300,000 people already enrolled in the program, these changes represent the progression of the program to a fully empowered national flagship for biomedical research. Recruitment will continue to reach the goal of at least one million participants; additional genotype, electronic health record, wearable sensor, and environmental exposure data will be added to the unprecedented longitudinal dataset; and broad access to researchers will soon commence, guided by the most secure data system possible in order to protect participant confidentiality. Dr. Denny, Ms. Devaney, and Mr. Dishman have worked together on All of Us from the beginning and share a common devotion to its goals and core values. They are well equipped to lead the way forward to a new stage of scientific discovery.
The National Library of Medicine is seeking host sites for the 2020-2021 second-year experience for its current group of NLM Associate Fellows. Host sites are health sciences libraries which can offer a strong opportunity for an early-career health sciences librarian, with exposure to the full range of work and experiences of the institution. NLM is seeking host sites that are willing to fund the stipend and health insurance, while NLM provides funding for professional development, interview, colloquium attendance, and relocation. The deadline for letters of interest is April 1, 2020.
A little bit about the Associates:
- Brenna Cox is interested in consumer health, public health, nutrition, and complementary and alternative medicine. She would like to learn how to conduct systematic reviews and would be interested in projects related to the organization of information or scholarly communication. She’s also interested in outreach and has prior experience working with social media, research guides, and book displays. Her current project at NLM is Investigating the addition of CPT©4 procedure codes to MedlinePlus Connect.
- Sharon Han is interested in outreach and engagement, user experience, data visualization, and public health informatics. She looks forward to engaging in collaborative efforts with institutional partners that value data-driven and human-centered health science education and research.
- Eden Kinzel is interested in instruction, small group consultations, literature searching and systematic reviews, social media, and other library content creation. During the first year of the fellowship, she gained exposure to data analysis and data visualization and would enjoy continuing to build those skills. She is also excited to learn more about research data management, health information literacy, and open access publishing.
- Louise To is interested in consumer and clinical health information products, health IT policy, and health disparities. For her second year, she hopes to gain more experience in clinical librarianship, data visualization, and user research and analytics.
All the Associates are interested in a second year. Each year the Associate Fellows select projects proposed by NLM staff. More information on hosting an NLM Associate Fellow is available on the NLM web site.
Training Opportunity: Bioinformatics and Biology Essentials for Librarians: Databases, Tools, and Clinical Applications, January 17 to May 8, 2020
The National Network of Libraries of Medicine is pleased to open registration for the fifth cohort of Bioinformatics and Biology Essentials for Librarians: Databases, Tools, and Clinical Applications. This course is designed both for librarians who offer, or intend to offer, bioinformatics services; and also for librarians who use gene and protein information on a periodic or irregular basis to serve their patrons. The 16-week, self-paced Moodle course reviews basic biology concepts and takes a deep dive into NCBI Molecular Biology Databases. It is worth 30 hours of continuing education credit from the Medical Library Association. Successful participants are invited to join an Alumni Forum which includes discussion and bi-monthly learning opportunities. This fifth cohort of the course will run January 17 to May 8, 2020.
Registration closes on January 10, 2019 at 11:59 pm of your time zone. This course is limited to 60 participants. A 20-seat wait list is also available. Registration preference is given to librarians or information specialists who are U.S. citizens or residents of the United States. When registering, you will be automatically wait-listed and contacted by NNLM via email about your enrollment.
Subject Matter Experts for this course include Peter Cooper, PhD and Bonnie Maidak, PhD, MLS, National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine. There are four major due dates to successfully complete this course:
Pre-Work: January 31, 2020
Part I: February 28, 2020
Part II: April 3, 2020
Part III: May 8, 2020
Further details are in the NLM Technical Bulletin.
This article summarizes notable data changes made to MEDLINE during the National Library of Medicine’s annual Year-End Processing (YEP) maintenance for 2020:
- MeSH Vocabulary Updated for 2020
- Updated MeSH in MEDLINE Citations
- Changes to MeSH Headings
- New MeSH Headings and Concepts
- MeSH Publication Types
- MeSH Tree Changes
- Special MeSH Projects
- Two MeSH Concepts Merged into One
- Do Not Confuse
- Entry Combination Revisions
- Data Distribution Notes
- New Databank Sources
The MeSH Browser currently points to the 2020 MeSH vocabulary with a link to the 2019 MeSH vocabulary. Searchers should consult the Browser to find MeSH headings of interest and their relationships to other headings. The Browser contains MeSH heading records that may include Scope Notes, Annotations, Entry Terms, History Notes, Allowable Qualifiers (Subheadings), Previous Indexing, and other information. It also includes Subheading records and Supplementary Concept Records (SCRs) for substances, diseases, and organisms that are not MeSH headings. You can download 2020 MeSH from links on the NLM Data Distribution page for MeSH Data. The PubMed MeSH database and translation tables will be updated to reflect 2020 MeSH by the middle of December when YEP activities are complete and the newly maintained MEDLINE data are available in PubMed.
For 2020, 97 MeSH headings were either changed or deleted and replaced with more up-to-date terminology. During YEP, NLM updates these MeSH headings on MEDLINE citations. 293 new MeSH headings, plus two new Publication Types, are added to MeSH in 2020. A complete list of the new 2020 MeSH headings is available in PDF format, visit New Headings with Scope Notes, Annotations and Tree Locations.
Typically, NLM does not retrospectively re-index MEDLINE citations with new MeSH heading concepts. Therefore, searching PubMed for a new MeSH term tagged with [mh] or [majr] effectively limits retrieval to citations indexed after the term was introduced. PubMed Automatic Term Mapping (ATM) expands an untagged subject search to include both MeSH Terms and All Fields index terms and may retrieve relevant citations indexed before the introduction of a new MeSH term. Searchers may consult the MeSH Browser or the MeSH database to see the previous indexing terms most likely used for a particular concept before the new MeSH Heading was introduced.
One new publication type is available for MEDLINE indexing in 2020:
- Randomized Controlled Trial, Veterinary
Indexing policy: Use for the original report of the conduct or results of a specific randomized veterinary clinical trial in which animal participants are randomly assigned to receive one or more interventions. Use the MeSH headings Clinical Trials, Veterinary as Topic and Randomization for the general design, methodology, economics, etc.of randomized veterinary clinical trials.
For a complete list of updates, visit the NLM Technical Bulletin.
Join the National Library of Medicine and NNLM Training Office for two training events in January 2020, highlighting the 2020 Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) and how to adjust to MeSH changes in PubMed searches and alerts.
- NLM Webinar: 2020 MeSH Highlights
Join NLM staff for a highlight tour of the 2020 Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) on Friday, January 10, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PST. A brief presentation will feature:
- Updates to the Infections tree
- Additional clinical trial publication types
- Updates to Cell Death terms
- Additional terminology for myotoxicity and ototoxicity.
Following the presentation, Indexing and MeSH experts will be available to answer questions.
- NNLM Class: MeSH Changes and PubMed Searching
Every year, the Medical Subject Headings are updated. Join NNLM for MeSH Changes and PubMed Searching on Friday, January 17, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM PST to learn:
- How does this affect your PubMed searches?
- What happens when a term gets changed, or added, or removed; or moved to a different part of the MeSH hierarchy?
- How do you accommodate vocabulary changes over time in your comprehensive searches?
- How do you check your saved searches and alerts?
For more information about 2020 MeSH, visit What’s New in MeSH.
National Library of Medicine Associate Director for Library Operations Joyce Backus has announced the appointment of Margaret McGhee as Chief, NLM Public Services Division. She will assume this role on December 9. Ms. McGhee will lead the Division responsible for several key NLM programs, including MedlinePlus, the main web site, customer service, management and preservation of the collection, and delivery of onsite services and interlibrary loans. Ms. McGhee brings solid experience in serving a variety of library users to her new position.
Ms. McGhee comes to NLM from the NIH Library, whose mission is to serve the biomedical researchers, clinicians and administration of the NIH, where she is the Chief of the Education Services Branch. She has experience overseeing the Library’s efforts to optimize customer experience using the Balanced Scorecard strategic planning tool, and managing the informationist program, bibliometrics services, instruction and training, communications, and outreach and marketing program.
From 2016-2018, Ms. McGhee was the Head of the Collection Management Unit in the Preservation and Collection Management Section of NLM, where she directed a portfolio to maintain the physical collections and provide information services to library users. She served as the Technology Librarian in the NLM National Network Office managing library services, contracts and grants from 2014-2016. From 2005-2014 she was a Librarian in the MEDLARS Management Section of NLM’s Bibliographic Services Division, supporting MEDLINE/PubMed and other NLM databases. She started her professional career in 1984 as a Technical Literature Searcher at CPC International in Bedford Park, IL. Margaret has an MLIS from the University of Texas, Austin, and BS degrees in biology and chemistry from Quincy University, IL.
The Medical Library Association (MLA) has developed the specifications of a new Electronic Funds Transfer System (EFTS) platform. MLA will proceed with actual development and implementation if a minimum of 750 users sign up for the new platform by January 10, 2020. As of November 20, 2019, nearly 500 libraries have signed up to receive a user agreement.
EFTS is an online billing system for interlibrary loan (ILL) transactions that collects an ILL charge from a borrowing library, on behalf of the lending library, and pays it to the lender, less a transaction fee.
- Participating libraries are able to exchange funds for the payment of ILLs instead of creating their own invoices and writing checks to each other.
- EFTS only processes the financial component of ILL transactions between a borrower and a lender, using ILL transaction information provided to EFTS by the lender.
- The National Library of Medicine DOCLINE platform is the preferred service to match a lender with a borrower.
- The fulfillment of the ILL is managed outside of EFTS and DOCLINE by the lender.
EFTS has been operated by the University of Connecticut Health Center (UCHC) since 1996, when UCHC and NLM collaborated to create it. In May, 2019, UCHC informed EFTS users that UCHC would cease EFTS operations on December 31, 2019, later extended to December 31, 2020. This announcement has understandably created major concerns for the many libraries that depend on the EFTS service. Since this announcement, MLA, UCHC, and NLM have collaborated on an MLA solution to launch a new and enhanced EFTS platform. UCHC has agreed to extend the current EFTS operations until MLA’s EFTS platform is operational to ensure a continuity of service.
For information on the new EFTS features, enhancements, and fees, and to request a user agreement, please consult the EFTS information page. MLA has also collected answers to questions current EFTS users and potential participants may have:
- MLA will send out the user agreement to the list of libraries who requested a user agreement, once it has been completed and vetted by several libraries.
- All libraries that want to use the new EFTS need to sign up, with one agreement per DOCLINE LIBID (Library Identification).
- There is no automatic sign up of libraries in a consortium (each library needs to sign up individually).
- If you replied to UHCH’s May 2019 survey regarding your willingness to kickstart a new EFTS platform, you still need to sign up.
- If you are a current user of EFTS, you will have the option to pay the new registration fee using your current EFTS funds and will have the option to have your funds transferred directly from the current EFTS to the new EFTS.
- If you are not a current user of EFTS, please join the new EFTS. MLA forecasts to have it active in April 2020.
For more information, contact Kevin Baliozian, MLA executive director.
An updated version of PubMed is now available! The new PubMed will become the default in spring 2020 and will ultimately replace the legacy version. You can also click on the new blue banner on the legacy PubMed home page to try the new PubMed. The new responsive layout 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 you access it. A single, responsive website means that the features you use on the desktop are also available on your mobile device, including library icons for libraries participating in the Library LinkOut using Outside Tool service. Find highly relevant articles more easily using the Best Match sort, now the default sort order in PubMed. 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. For more information about Best Match, visit the article, Best Match: New relevance search for PubMed.
The new PubMed includes the following features you rely on for searching, as well as saving and sharing your results.
- Access the same trusted database of more than 30 million citations for biomedical literature.
- Activate the default filters or customize the filter menu to meet your needs.
- Use the Results by Year graph to see trends in literature over time or to refine your search results by publication year.
- Save your search results to a file, email your results to yourself or a colleague, or send your results to a clipboard, collection, or your NCBI My Bibliography.
- Go to the advanced search page to search for terms in a specific field, see the search details, review your search history and combine searches to create complex search strings.
- Save your search and create an email alert.
NLM will continue adding features and improving the user experience, ensuring that PubMed remains a trusted and accessible source of biomedical literature today and in the future. For more details on the features in the new PubMed, watch the recorded webinar, “A New PubMed: Highlights for Information Professionals.”
Other articles of potential interest:
The New PubMed Updated: Homepage, User Guide, My NCBI Alerts and Collections, and More
PubMed Labs Update: Using Filters
PubMed Labs Update: Library LinkOut using Outside Tool
PubMed Labs Update: Add Citations to the Clipboard
PubMed Labs Update: Advanced Search, History, and Search Details
An Updated PubMed Is on Its Way
By Daina Dickman, MA, MLIS, AHIP
Scholarly Communication Librarian
Sacramento State University
I recently had the opportunity to attend the Open Access 2019 Conference: Open for Whom? Research Equity for Campus and Community, at San Jose State University, with the assistance of an NNLM PSR Professional Development Award. The conference theme focused on research equity, and I was able to hear many thoughtful presentations and speakers from California (and one presenter visiting from Texas). I presented my own paper on censorship concerns in medical library institutional repositories as part of a panel with Melissa Seelye of San Francisco State University, exploring the tensions between open access ideals and corporate interests. As a focused one-track conference, a common conversation was contributed to by all presenters and attendees.
For me, a highlight of the conference was hearing Alexa Hight, of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s presentation about the open access publishing fund her library administers. I am always interested in the creative and practical ways that libraries can promote open access publishing as a viable path for scholarship at their institutions.
As a new librarian to the Pacific Southwest Region, I appreciated the chance to meet and network with new local colleagues, including the health sciences librarian at San Jose State University. I highly recommend that health sciences librarians consider conferences that aren’t just focused on medical librarianship. I always come away with new ideas which I am excited to apply to my own work, and appreciate the opportunity to share the medical librarian perspective with colleagues from other areas of librarianship. Smaller regional conferences are also a great place to practice your presentation skills before the MLA Annual Meeting!
by Debbie Jan, MLIS, AHIP
Optometry and Health Sciences Librarian
Fong Optometry and Health Sciences Library
University of California, Berkeley
With the assistance of an NNLM PSR Professional Development Award, I was able to attend the 2019 Association of Vision Sciences Librarians (AVSL) Annual Meeting, held in conjunction with the American Academy of Optometry (Academy) and 3rd World Congress of Optometry in Orlando, FL, on October 23-28, 2019. This year was a special meeting for AVSL as it is its 50th anniversary. AVSL is a Medical Library Association (MLA) Special Interest Group and Association of Schools and Colleges of Optometry (ASCO) Special Interest Group. Meeting twice a year with a mid-year meeting at MLA and an annual meeting at Academy, AVSL is an active, international group of vision science librarians. It provides many resources (e.g. Standards for Vision Science Libraries, Opening Day List, Whitelist for Vision Science Journals) for anyone interested or working in vision sciences. Membership is free.
At the AVSL meeting, I met with other vision science librarians and learned about recent federal vision funding activities, new eye and vision-related MeSH terms, what’s happening with the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group, and much more. During our Boards Review discussion, I shared information about the Berkeley Study Guide for the National Board of Examiners in Optometry Exam. And from Rudy Barreras’ “Evidence Based Eye Care at WesternU” presentation, I noticed some techniques to incorporate into my evidence-based optometry instruction. At Western University of Health Sciences, Rudy and a faculty member created a spiral bound workbook, where students take notes and do all of their assignments. Students work individually and in groups during the course to learn how to Ask, Acquire, Appraise, and Apply evidence-based information. In my presentation, “UC and Transformative Publishing Models: A Journey,” I shared highlights of the University of California’s transition to transformative publishing agreements that incorporate open access with subscriptions.
One presentation I attended was “I Have What in My Eyes? Sexually Transmitted Diseases and the Eye.” STDs can manifest in one’s eyes without the patient ever knowing. It’s possible to have chlamydial conjunctivitis without simultaneously having genital chlamydia. And, of course, who knew there were 3 kinds of lice or that lice could live on your eyelashes? Another presentation was “Painless Shingles and the Zoster of Tomorrow,” where I found out herpes zoster ophthalmicus can present without any pain. From these University of California, Berkeley (UCB) presentations and others on diabetic retinopathy and restrictive strabismus, I gained insights into my faculty’s research and what publications are important to them. They use a wider range of journal publications than I had realized and I will keep these in mind if further journal reductions happen in the future. I also attended other non-UCB presentations such as “From the Smart Phone to the Smart Home: A Case Based Review of Low Vision Technology” where I discovered how smartphone features and apps (e.g. Siri, Aira, Color ID, BARD Mobile) and common existing technology (e.g. video door bells, smart light bulbs, smart refrigerators, talking scales) can be used to assist patients with low vision. This made me start thinking how I could best support our Low Vision Clinic. On my last day, I attended the Global Summit on Optometric Education where I sat at table with optometric educators from around the world to discuss how to support optometry as a profession, professional development for optometric educators, curriculum development across nations, and equipment needs.
In the Exhibit Hall I encountered many of our Optometry students and joined them in the Hoop It Up 20/20 Challenge, a virtual basketball competition between optometry schools. Alas, UCB only came in 3rd but the goal of having 2,020 games played was achieved and the Alcon Foundation donated $25,000 to the American Academy of Optometry Foundation.
The final highlight was when I attended a faculty presentation and my faculty member told me her presentation would not have been possible without my assistance in getting her the information she needed for the presentation!
On October 27, California Governor Gavin Newsome declared a statewide emergency due to the effects of unprecedented high-wind events which have resulted in fires and evacuations across the state. A PDF copy of the Governor’s proclamation is available. The following list of resources was compiled by the National Library of Medicine Disaster Information Management Resource Center (DIMRC).
Key National Resources
- National Library of Medicine (NLM) Fires and Wildfires Information Guide
- NLM Coping with Disasters, Violence and Traumatic Events
- Disaster Distress Helpline (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration)
- Call 1-800-985-5990 toll-free, 24/7
- Text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor
- FEMA list of Declared Disasters
- Healthcare Ready
- American Red Cross Safe and Well
- Air Quality: AirNow from the Environmental Protection Agency (Search by Zip Code or State)
Key California Resources
- California Office of Emergency Services Wildfires Resource & Information
- State of California Power Outage and Fire Recovery Sources – includes information on shelters; health services; power shutoffs; transportation impacts, wildfire incidents; local and state resources
- City of Los Angeles Emergency Management Department
Search NLM Disaster Lit database:
- General Wildfire search
- Power Outage and Infrastructure Failure search
On September 30, the National Library of Medicine re-launched Profiles in Science. The new platform, integrated with NLM Digital Collections, supports growing functionality for public access, engagement with, and sharing of these digital resources documenting the history of science, medicine, and public health in the 20th- and 21st-centuries. Profiles in Science is an online archive of more than 30,000 digitized items selected from the Archives and Modern Manuscripts collections of NLM’s History of Medicine Division and from the collections of collaborating institutions. The site features over 40 collections of digital content and continues to grow. Through primary source materials and accompanying biographical narrative texts researchers can explore stories of scientific discovery, achievements in clinical medicine, and advances in public health. Information about navigating the site is available on Profiles in Science collection homepages and on the About page.
Each name on the Profiles in Science home page links to a collection (or “Profile”) focused on an individual and selections from his or her personal papers. From the menu bar, “The Story” provides access to in-depth biographical narrative texts organized chronologically with an aim to share how the individual became interested in science, his or her career path, as well as challenges and obstacles faced along the way. The Michael E. DeBakey Profile, for example, tells the story of a legendary American surgeon, educator, and medical statesman whose work transformed cardiovascular surgery, raised medical education standards, and informed national health care policy. Readers learn about Debakey’s life growing up in Louisiana, his mentors, surgical colleagues, and the influence of his sisters Lois and Selma DeBakey. Alongside “The Story,” researchers can select “Collection Items” from the menu bar to browse the digitized collection items in list, gallery, or slideshow views. You can browse all items in a Profile, or sets of documents (texts), visuals, or moving images only. Within the DeBakey collection you can see a variety of document types, including photographic prints, correspondence, published and unpublished articles, oral histories, diaries, and much more. These items tell their own stories—of DeBakey’s early interests in and outside of science, collaborations across the country and around the world, and engagement with the general public on matters of public health and medicine.
Researchers can access, manipulate, and share Profiles content in new ways on the new site, including zooming in and out, rotating images, flipping through pages, searching the content of text, downloading, and accessing more information about the item (e.g. whether it is in the public domain). NLM is using the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) to share items in NLM’s systems and beyond. Other institutions and researchers using the same image framework can add Profiles images and metadata to their own digital collections and compare and manipulate images held in different repositories. Profiles in Science is a work in progress. New content will continue to be added, as well as new ways to make collection materials available and accessible for researchers with a broad range of questions, using new tools and approaches to historical analysis. Explore the new site and learn more!
In recognition of National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (October 20-26, 2019), the National Library of Medicine announces This Lead Is Killing Us: A History of Citizens Fighting Lead Poisoning in Their Communities, an online exhibition that opened October 15. This Lead Is Killing Us tells an important story of citizen action taken against an environmental danger. Lead exposure can cause neurological problems and sometimes even death; yet this metal has been pervasive in many aspects of American life for over a century. Historically, mining, battery manufacturing, smelting, and enameling industries included lead in their production processes, impacting factory workers and consumers. Manufacturers added lead to household paints and gasoline, endangering the health of families and polluting the air through exhaust fumes. To protect themselves against the dangers of lead poisoning, scientists, families, and individuals opposed industries, housing authorities, and elected officials.
The online exhibition includes an education component featuring a new K-12 lesson plan that challenges students to examine historical cases of lead poisoning through primary and secondary sources. A digital gallery features a curated selection of fully digitized items from NLM Digital Collections that showcase numerous historical scientific studies and reports about the dangers of lead. A companion traveling banner exhibition is coming soon. For more information, join the Making Exhibition Connections listserv, a place to learn, share, and find out what’s happening and what’s new with NLM Traveling Exhibitions.
Did you know that rural healthcare providers can 3D print tools and materials they otherwise might never have access to? Did you know virtual reality headsets can guide patients through their treatments step-by-step?
We had the immense pleasure of visiting Joanne Muellenbach and her wonderful interdisciplinary team of librarians, student affairs specialists, and information technologists at Touro University Nevada in Henderson, NV. Joanne’s outreach subaward project, Using Virtual Reality & 3D Technologies to Expand the Health Professions Pipeline in Southern Nevada, will harness emerging technologies to increase learning outcomes for health sciences students and draw in new, diverse students to the health sciences field. “We want to increase and expand the health professions pipeline,” Joanne says.
During our visit, the team showed us the range of resources they have developed as part of this project, including a research guide on virtual reality technologies and the health sciences; a presentation for staff and faculty to promote use of library resources in their classrooms; and a compilation of NLM resources that encourage students to consider careers in health sciences, such as MedlinePlus’ Health Occupations page.
We especially love that Joanne has brought together an interdisciplinary team to work on this project, and to conduct outreach that meets students where they are.
With NNLM PSR subaward funding, as Joanne says, “The library gets more notice, which is always a good thing.” Congratulations to the Touro team for a great start to this project, and thank you for hosting!
A.T. Still Memorial Library hosts NLM’s “Physician Assistants: Collaboration and Care” Traveling Exhibit!
by Adrienne Brodie, MLS
A. T. Still University Memorial Library
A.T. Still Memorial Library hosted the National Library of Medicine’s Traveling exhibit, Physician Assistants: Collaboration and Care. On display were six freestanding panels that explore the profession from its early beginnings to the present day; documenting its diversity, collaborative nature, and contributions to the field of medicine and patient care. The library displayed the exhibit from late August through the end of National Physician Assistant (PA) week in October.
To celebrate PA week and our PA students and faculty, the library hosted a joint lecture and open house with our PA program. Dr. Michelle DiBaise, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA Chair of Physician Assistant Studies presented on the journey of American Medicine and the forces that generated the PA profession, the growth of the PA profession since its inception, and where the profession may go in the future. An open house with light refreshments followed. Attendees were our PA students, PA faculty and staff, and additional A.T Still University faculty and staff.
This exhibition was produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, in partnership with the Physician Assistant History Society.
by Liz Waltman; Outreach, Education, and Communications Coordinator, and
April Wright, All of Us Community Engagement Coordinator
NNLM Southeastern/Atlantic Region
Health Sciences and Human Services Library
University of Maryland, Baltimore
NNLM’s mission “to improve the public’s access to information to facilitate making informed decisions about their health” relies on building the skills of consumers and librarians in finding, reading, understanding, and using authoritative health information. Information literacy, and more precisely related to NNLM’s mission, health information literacy, is a practice. As with any skill, information literacy must be learned, practiced, refined, and used for school assignments, looking critically at the news, and evaluating websites. In this regard, Wikipedia edit-a-thons are excellent tools for teaching and learning information literacy skills since they require that participants assess existing information, decide where changes need to be made, and add citations to relevant and authoritative sources.
This fall, join NNLM in our ongoing #citeNLM campaign by hosting a Wikipedia edit-a-thon at your organization. By hosting an event you will be joining a network of librarians, health professionals, and students from around the country working to improve the quality of mental health articles on Wikipedia using trusted National Library of Medicine resources. To get you started, we have created a Guide for Organizers that will walk you through the steps of hosting your own edit-a-thon session. In this toolkit you will find an overview of the #citeNLM project, a comprehensive planning checklist, sample marketing materials, and a guide to share with your participants. We also invite you to attend a training session on October 17, where you will have the opportunity to ask questions, learn more information, and connect with the #citeNLM community.
No matter if you host your own event or join the virtual edit-a-thon on November 20, we look forward to working with you to improve mental health information on Wikipedia! Learn more about this project and follow along on Twitter with the hashtag #citeNLM to ask questions, post photos, and share your Wikipedia experience!