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Updated: 2 hours 5 min ago

Course Opportunity to Better Understand the National Opioid Crisis

Fri, 2018-09-28 14:36

Check out the upcoming course “Understanding the Opioid Crisis: Where do I Begin” instructed by Michelle Burda, an education and health literacy coordinator for the Middle Atlantic Region. This one-hour course on Nov. 28 will give participants a better understanding of the opioid crisis that is negatively impacting the nation. Students will learn how to give users effective health information on opioid abuse, prevention, and treatment;, find resourceful statistics on opioid use; and create outreach programs for their library or organization.

For more information, go to

Categories: RML Blogs

Upcoming webinar: Planning, Developing, and Evaluating R Curriculum at the NIH Library

Wed, 2018-09-26 16:32

Join NNLM for the next iteration of the Research Data Management webinar series: Planning, Developing, and Evaluating R Curriculum at the NIH Library October 12, from 2-3 pm ET. To register for this free webinar, visit: Can’t make it on the 12th? Don’t worry, the webinar will be recorded!

This webinar will describe a pilot project to evaluate current R training at the NIH Library, and based on an evaluation of the data, revise the library’s R training curriculum. This will include a discussion of the development of a training plan, weekly R check-in sessions, managing documents using Open Science Framework (OSF), and an evaluation of the pilot.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this webinar participants should have a better understanding of:
1. R curriculum before the pilot project
2. Our evaluation of data-related training before the pilot project
3. The components of the pilot project
4. The development of our training plan
5. How OSF was used for project management
6. Format and frequency of classes during the pilot project
7. Post-pilot evaluation

Instructor Bios:
Doug Joubert joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library in 2004. He is a customer-oriented practitioner with extensive experience in providing comprehensive research and information services support to researchers working in the areas of public health and health care policy. In this role, Doug provides his clients with services that support of the missions of the NIH and select HHS staff divisions. As part of his duties at the NIH Library, he identifies and provides guidance on the effective use of emerging technologies and recommends strategies to capitalize on them. Practice areas include data analytics, data visualization, GIS, and teaching.

Candace Norton joined the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Library as a National Library of Medicine (NLM) second year Associate Fellow in 2017. Prior to joining the NLM Associate Fellowship Program, Candace managed a small corporate library for a pharmaceutical and life sciences consulting company in Bethesda, MD. During her fellowship appointment, she has pursued projects and training in areas related to pharmacovigilance monitoring, systematic reviews, bibliometric analysis, and data visualization.


Categories: RML Blogs

NNLM Wikipedia FALL Edit-a-thon Call for Volunteers!

Wed, 2018-09-26 13:53

We’re working hard to make our Fall edit-a-thon even more of a success than than our April event! To achieve this goal, we are inviting more librarians to join our #citeNLM2018 Wikipedia Help Team. Volunteers are needed for each 1-hour shift from 9AM to 7PM CT / 8AM to 6PM MT on November 7, 2018.

Want to utilize your research skills to make Wikipedia a better, evidence-based resources? Sign up to provide virtual support to participants by contacting the RML staff listed in the Schedule Table. Plan to attend and register for the following training sessions:

October 3, 1PM to 1:30PM CT / 12PM to 12:30 MT
Introduction to the NNLM Edit-a-thon and WikiProject Medicine
Hosted by Elaina Vitale (MAR) and Ann Glusker (PNR)

October 17, 1PM to 1:30PM CT / 12PM to 12:30 MT
Editing Wikipedia Articles
Hosted by Alicia Lillich (MCR) and Aimee Gogan (SEA)

October 31, 1PM to 1:30PM CT / 12PM to 12:30 MT
Women’s Health Resources
Hosted by Karen Coghlan (NER) and Erin Latta (NDCO)

We look forward to your help!

Categories: RML Blogs

Creating our own pathway

Tue, 2018-09-25 16:33

In the NNLM Big Data in Healthcare: Exploring Emerging Roles course, we asked participants, as they progressed through the course, to consider the following questions: Do you think health sciences librarians should get involved with big data in healthcare? Where should librarians get involved, if you think they should? If you think they should not, explain why. You may also combine a “should/should not” approach if you would like to argue both sides. NNLM will feature responses from different participants over the coming weeks.

Written by: Kristin Whitehair, Director of Library Services, St. Luke’s Health System

During the rise of evidence-based medicine, there was a clear link to the health sciences library.  With evidence, usually as published in the literature, creating the foundation of practice, the library was a natural partner for clinicians, researchers, administrators, and students.

Now with the growth of big data and data science, we are seeing a similar transition.  Organizations are devoting significant resources and energy to data science initiatives.  The potential of data science appears huge, and largely untapped.  The potential of data science has mostly focused on health research.  However, data science can also look internally within the organization, especially for larger health systems.  For example, retail corporations study online customer behavior, product offerings, and facility design.  This same potential holds true for the health sector.  Libraries can support data science in both health research and for organizations internally seeking to optimize business operations.

While there was a clear path to the library with evidence-based medicine, with data science librarians must build their own pathway.  Part of this lies in how we define ourselves.  Libraries can be a collection of literature, physical space, research expertise, and so much more.  In general, libraries avoid limited definitions of their function.  My library is a digital library, and I stress that we are a service with 24/7 access.  This is an attempt to combat the stereotype of libraries as a room with books.  By thoughtfully identifying our function and mission we can position libraries to take advantage of new opportunities such as supporting the organization’s data science initiatives, and whatever else may come next.

Additionally, libraries can provide resources to support data science initiatives.  Some ideas that come to mind are coordinating coding boot camps and organizing regular interest group meetings.  Throughout my career I’ve witnessed how the library can bring people with similar interests from different disciplines together.  Public health researchers may be encountering the same technical problems as biostatisticians.  The library can provide a forum for them to connect.  All of these can be done by the library connecting people with similar interests.

Moreover, library staff can also develop knowledge and skills in the data science field.  Broadly, there are two types of knowledge.  First, there is definitional knowledge, to have an understanding of the meaning of terms.  This is similar to a librarian having a broad understanding of cardiac terminology to better help cardiovascular researchers find information.  Secondly, there is functional knowledge needed to perform data science tasks.  This can focus on hands-on experience with data sets and popular data analysis programming languages.  Over the course of the “Big Data In Healthcare” class we’ve seen several examples of both types of knowledge.

Building strong relationships throughout the organization is the key to creating services and developing skills that meet the organization’s needs.  In general, library services are not “one size fits all.”  It only makes sense that library services supporting data science would also not be.  Strong organizational relationships are important to knowing what the key challenges and opportunities are for your organization, and are the key to ensuring that the library is best serving stakeholders.

In library efforts with data science, it is important to acknowledge where a library may not be a good fit.  This depends on individual staff skills and attitudes.  Much data science work is done using command line programming, which can be challenging to some.  Personally, I have a strong grasp of descriptive statistics, but my knowledge of calculus is lacking.  This creates a notable knowledge gap in the supporting data science. I need to know my limits in interpreting models.  This is not a unique situation for libraries, as it is similar to when a library staff member is asked for medical or legal advice.  We can provide information, but if lacking the appropriate qualifications should be careful when we offer an interpretation.

Overall, the growth in data science is an opportunity for health care in general, and health sciences libraries.  We can all create our own path supporting these initiatives that is the best fit for our individual organizations.

Categories: RML Blogs

Librarians and Research Data Management Services: Branching Out Into Big Data

Tue, 2018-09-18 10:47

In the NNLM Big Data in Healthcare: Exploring Emerging Roles course, we asked participants, as they progressed through the course, to consider the following questions: Do you think health sciences librarians should get involved with big data in healthcare? Where should librarians get involved, if you think they should? If you think they should not, explain why. You may also combine a “should/should not” approach if you would like to argue both sides. NNLM will feature responses from different participants over the coming weeks.

Written by: Rose Fredrick, Digital Repository Librarian, Health Sciences Library, Creighton University

Big data has a different nature than traditional research data. It is more immediate and ephemeral which creates large, eclectic datasets that are not easily categorized or managed with traditional data science tools.  It is changing the way research is done and the health sciences in particular are discovering new possibilities for studies by aggregating multiple sources of patient data, like wearable health trackers and electronic health records. These transformative studies also give health science librarians an opportunity to support data scientists by building upon existing research data management services.  The librarian’s role in research data management is well-established and this creates a natural launching point for librarians to expand into big data research services.

Many libraries already provide a full array of data services, such as advising on data management plans, metadata and organization, public access mandates, data security, and the preservation and archival of data sets.  Although big data has different needs when it comes to storage and analysis, many of the same services apply.  Librarians have expertise in the ethical implications of data privacy, publisher and funder requirements, and in curating, organizing and preserving data.  All of these skills and services can benefit big data researchers, but librarians do need to be aware of the challenges of big data.

While the knowledge base of librarianship and research data management can clearly be used advantageously for big data services, there can be barriers to librarians implementing these new services.  Perhaps the biggest barrier is training. Depending on the services being offered, at a minimum librarians will need to become familiar with the nature of big data and how that shapes the research process, the correct terminology, and what resources are available to researchers.  Furthermore, to offer the most robust services, librarians may need data science training or advanced technical training to assist with data processing. Not all institutions are prepared to train librarians so extensively nor will they experience enough demand to require a full-time data science librarian .

Librarians can offer more basic services without intensive data science and technical training, however.  A first step could be to become familiar with the terminology, issues, and processes of using big data and be ready to refer researchers with questions to useful resources.  Another option that requires a bit more investment is to offer instruction on crafting data management plans, understanding funder/publisher requirements for data, or choosing a data preservation platform.  Librarians with more time could offer one-on-one advisory sessions on the data management plan for their research projects.  Librarians without a data science background could also take advantage of training geared towards them, like the Data and Visualization Institute for Librarians or the Data Sciences in Libraries Project.

Additionally, as a digital repository librarian, I wanted to determine whether my library would be able to offer services for archiving big data.  Currently, our institutional repository would not be able to house such large sets of data, so while we can advise researchers on preparing for preservation and selecting a platform, we will not be able to archive the data sets in-house.  In the future, it may be possible to collaborate with our information technology department and create an archival system using Apache Hadoop . Some libraries with enough technical resources may already be able to take that step. In the meantime, I think libraries can offer counseling on choosing from the available platforms and perhaps offer data preparation advice based on their experience from archiving smaller sets of research data. In summary, health sciences librarians have relevant expertise and services to offer to big data research and they should consider what combination of services will be the best fit for their institutions.

Categories: RML Blogs

St. Charles City-County Librarian Spreads the Word about Precision Medicine

Fri, 2018-09-14 18:06

Check out the blog post “The Future of Health: Precision Medicine” created by Alison Griffith, a Consumer Health Librarian for the St. Charles City-County Library. In Griffith’s blog, Ask Alison, she describes how the Precision Medicine Initiative is aiming to better understand every individual’s genetic makeup, lifestyle, and their surrounding environment.  Health professionals can then use the information to develop more precise and effective treatments  for every individual.

Visit Ask Alison on St. Charles City County Library’s website to read more about precision medicine.

Categories: RML Blogs

PubMed Labs Responsive Web Site

Thu, 2018-09-13 11:05

PubMed Labs continues to be updated based on your feedback. This responsive Web site that can generate different display options depending on a user’s device size (monitor, tablet, mobile phone, etc.) Mobile device users that access PubMed Labs will soon notice a slightly updated homepage and logo:

Check it out and feel free to submit your comments, questions or concerns using the Labs Feedback button.


Categories: RML Blogs

Join us for Breezing Along with the RML – Research Data Management (RDM) Update

Wed, 2018-09-12 18:01

Join us next Wednesday, September 19, 2018 2pm MT/3pm CT for an update on Research Data Management.


Categories: RML Blogs

Health information for hurricanes and tropical storms

Wed, 2018-09-12 11:27

From the DISASTER-OUTREACH-LIB email discussion list:

HHS Secretary Azar declared Public Health Emergencies in North Carolina and South Carolina Due to Hurricane Florence. In addition the Determination that a Public Health Emergency Exists​ in the Territory of the U.S. Virgin Islands as a Result of Hurricane Maria was renewed.


The National Network of Libraries of Medicine Southeast Atlantic Region has been working with the National Library of Medicine to collect hurricane resources on one page. Note: the blog post is dated September 10, but it will be updated as needed. Please check back for new resources over the coming days.


Many areas will experience power outages due to the hurricane, and Tropical Storm Mangkhut has left much  of the U.S. Territory of Guam without power. The resources below provide guidance, factsheets, and more for first responders, healthcare providers, and others who are dealing with power outages or anticipate them.



For more information on Public Health Emergencies:



Submitted by Siobhan Champ-Blackwell, MSLIS

National Library of Medicine

Specialized Information Services Division

Disaster Information Management Research Center


“Support for librarians providing disaster information outreach to their communities.”    [jh]

Categories: RML Blogs

Sharing a Precision Medicine Story with the Kansas City Community

Thu, 2018-09-06 16:05

Founder and President of the Turner Syndrome Global Alliance Kelly Ranallo shared her family’s story and discussed the importance of making precision medicine available to everyone at the Kansas City launch of the All of Us Research Program. Ranallo emphasized how precision medicine can help improve the health for all by taking into account each person’s genetic makeup.

Go to the video of her talk to hear more about her family’s journey.

Categories: RML Blogs

Applications Open: Biomedical and Health Research Data Management Training for Librarians

Tue, 2018-08-28 16:28

Course Description

Health sciences librarians are invited to participate in a rigorous online biomedical and health research data management training course, sponsored by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Training Office (NTO). The course provides basic knowledge and skills for librarians interested in helping patrons manage their research data. Attending this course will improve your ability to initiate or extend research data management services at your institution. Familiarity with the research lifecycle is recommended but not required.

The major goal of this course is to provide an introduction to data issues and policies in support of developing and implementing or enhancing research data management training and services at your institution. This material is essential for decision-making and implementation of these programs, particularly instructional and reference services. The course topics include an overview of data management, choosing appropriate metadata descriptors or taxonomies for a dataset, addressing privacy and security issues with data, and creating data management plans.

Course Components
The online asynchronous component of the program is 7 weeks from October 15 – December 14 with a week off for the Thanksgiving holiday. There will also be a week for catch-up.  The format includes video lectures, readings, case studies, hands-on exercises, and peer discussions. There will be optional weekly office hours. Expect to spend up to 4-5 hours each week on coursework. Participants will complete a Final Project Plan/Proposal, demonstrating improved skills, knowledge, and ability to support data management services at their institution.

CE Credits
Participants who complete all modules, the Final Project Plan, and the course evaluation will receive MLA CE credit (exact number of hours to be determined). No partial CE credit is granted.

The instructor is Tisha Mentnech, MSLIS, Research Librarian from the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, University of Utah.

Who can apply?

  • Applications are open to health science librarians in the United States.
  • Applications from libraries currently looking to develop or enhance research data management training and services are encouraged.
  • A letter of institutional support is required. See application instructions below.
  • Enrollment is limited to 40 participants.

What does it cost?
There is no charge for participating in the program.

Important Dates

  • Application deadline: September 20, 2018
  • Notifications begin: October 1, 2018
  • Online Course: October 15 – December 14, 2018

Application Details

  • Name and Contact Information
  • Current Role/Title
  • Place of Employment
  • Briefly describe your current experience or interest in research data management.
  • Briefly describe the current status of research data management services at your library, including any barriers to implementation.
  • This training will have been worthwhile for you and your institution if…

Application Instructions
Please fill out the online Application Form, and upload a PDF of your current CV and your letter of institutional support. The letter of institutional support must be from your supervisor and address:

  1. time for participation in the online course;
  2. the library’s commitment to or plans for adding or enhancing research data management services.

Please submit your application via the online form by September 20, 2018:

Questions? Contact NTO at

Categories: RML Blogs

Webinar: Health Information in Public Libraries Study Results

Tue, 2018-08-14 11:43

Professor Catherine Arnott Smith, of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will present some of the most interesting findings from two studies of public library workers and health information that she’s conducted since 2015.

The first was a national survey conducted in collaboration with researchers at the Specialized Information Services Unit of the National Library of Medicine, focused on challenges for public libraries during Affordable Care Act signups. The second study, conducted in 2018 with funding from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine, involved focus groups with library workers from all sizes of public libraries nationwide, talking about challenges and opportunities that arise around health information in the public library space.

Tuesday August 21, 2018

1:00 pm -2:00 pm MDT


Categories: RML Blogs

Did You Know? Biomedical Beat from NIH

Wed, 2018-08-08 15:48

Did you know the National Institute of General Medical Sciences has a blog titled “Biomedical Beat”? They have some great articles about research and scientists that explore and explain biomedical concepts and advances. Read an interview with a scientist, learn about how a single-celled ciliate relates to humans, discover how communites are combatting the opioid crisis, and more! Published monthly.

Categories: RML Blogs

August NIH News in Health Now Available

Wed, 2018-08-08 15:38

The August 2018 issue of NIH News in Health in now available online. In this issue learn about bionic artificial limbs, social isolation and loneliness, caring for concussions, preventing shingles, and palliative care.

Categories: RML Blogs

ToxTown Redesign

Wed, 2018-08-08 15:34

You’re invited to visit the new Tox Town at:

Tox Town offers high quality, consumer-level, non-technical information about connections between chemicals, the environment, and the public’s health. Tox Town’s target audience includes the general public, community leaders, educators, and students above elementary-school level. It is a companion to the NLM’s extensive information in the TOXNET collection of databases that are typically used by toxicologists and health professionals.

Tox Town can be used in curricula that meet state standards in both science and other subjects: Reading, Social Studies, Technology, as well as interdisciplinary lessons.


Categories: RML Blogs

“California Library Services” Provides Helpful Videos on Delivering Quality Information to Patrons with Mental Illness

Tue, 2018-08-07 19:01

California State Library is continuing their Mental Health Initiative by collaborating with the Los Angeles Public Library and the Los Angeles County Library in creating a YouTube channel called “California Library Services”, with videos to help improve libraries on delivering quality information to patrons who may have a mental illness.

The videos focus on transforming library practices in providing resources to their community members.

If you would like to learn about these videos, visit the California Library Services YouTube channel.


Categories: RML Blogs

What is Genomic Medicine? Webinar to Answer the Question

Tue, 2018-08-07 17:13

On August 15th at 1:00 pm-2:30 pm, Stephanie Roth, a biomedical and research services librarian, will conduct the “What is Genomic Medicine?” webinar. The session by the Medical Library Association will give members an insight into the rapidly growing field of genomic medicine and keep librarians up to date with resources and information.

If you would like to learn more about the webinar or register, visit the MEDLIB-ED for more information.

Categories: RML Blogs

Registration now open: Bioinformatics and Biology Essentials For Librarians: Databases, Tools, and Clinical Applications (Aug 20-Dec 7, 2018)

Wed, 2018-08-01 13:44

Registration is now open for the second cohort of Bioinformatics and Biology Essentials For Librarians (BBEL): Databases, Tools, and Clinical Applications. BBEL is a 16-week, self-paced course worth 25 hours of continuing education credit from the Medical Library Association. The course will run Aug  20 – Dec 7, 2018. The course will accept 50 registrants and 20 waitlist spaces.

There are due dates involved to successfully complete this course, please consider carefully before registering.

  • Pre-Work: August 31, 2018
  • Part I: September 28, 2018
  • Part II: November 2, 2018
  • Part III: December 7, 2018

Detailed agenda

About the course

This is an introductory bioinformatics course for librarians run through the Moodle learning management system. It is designed for librarians who offer, or intend to offer, bioinformatics services; as well as for librarians who use bioinformatics information on a periodic or irregular basis to serve their patrons. Modules offer in-depth exploration of several NCBI databases, including Gene, Nucleotide, Protein, Structure, ClinVar, MedGen, and Gene Testing Registry, as well as guided instructions on using BLAST to identify genetic sequences. Course content is provided in the form of videos, hands-on exercises, readings, discussion posts, and open book quizzes. The course concludes with synthesis activities built upon actual reference questions received at the NCBI Help Desk, and the creation of a personal bioinformatics action plan.

Subject Matter Experts for this course include Dr. Peter Cooper, PhD and Dr. Bonnie Maidak, PhD, MLS, National Center for Biotechnology Information, National Library of Medicine

To register, go to:

Note: Registration closes August 15, 2018.  This course is limited to 50 registrants. A 20-seat wait list is also available. Registration preference given to residents of the United States. For more information, contact the  NNLM Training Office:

Categories: RML Blogs