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Feature Slides

  • Discovering TOXNET®

    Discover TOXNET and other NLM environmental health databases through videos, guided tutorials, and discovery exercises in thirteen independent modules. The independent modules cover TOXLINE, ChemIDplus, TRI, TOXMAP, Hazardous Substances Data Bank, IRIS, and more.

    Discovering TOXNET®

    Discovering TOXNET® Picture
  • PubMed® for Librarians

    PubMed for Librarians is a series of 90 minute classes. Each segment is meant to be a stand-alone module. Each segment is eligible for 1.5 MLA Continuing Education hours. CE credit is not available for viewing the recording.

    PubMed® for Librarians

    PubMed® for Librarians Picture

NLM Releases TOXinvaders, a Mobile Game about Chemistry, the Environment and Health

The Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) launched TOXinvaders, an environmental health and toxicology game for iPhone and iPad, available from the Apple Store (

TOXinvaders supports middle school science concepts pertaining to chemistry, environment and health. It can serve as an engaging classroom or homework activity for middle and high school students, as well as an entertaining learning activity for gaming aficionados of all ages. In the classroom environment, TOXinvaders works best as a supplement to NLM Tox Town, Environmental Health Student Portal, TOXMAP, and ChemIDplus web sites.


The game consists of four fast-paced levels, in which a launcher is used to annihilate toxic chemicals falling from the sky and earn protective shield points by capturing “good chemicals.” To move on to the next level, players must take a brief quiz about its chemicals in order to unlock the next one. These dynamically generated tests provide an excellent opportunity to learn more about environmental health and toxicology, either from the game’s chemical information sheet, or from NLM Web sites. Quiz questions and answers can also serve as a departure point for classroom discussions, as well as Tox Town, TOXMAP, and Environmental Health Student Portal activities and experiments.

Sometimes, zero isn’t everything

Did you attend MLA 2016 in Toronto? Did you hear Dr. Ben Goldacre give the McGovern Lecture?  One of the things he spoke about was representing statistics in charts and that pesky Y axis. The YouTube video below does not contradict Goldacre, but shows how sometimes zero can get in the way.

Comings and Goings in PubMed

A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) link will be added to the end of each PubMed abstract display when available.

The “Items per page” selection menu will be removed from the top of the results page because it is rarely used by searchers. The option will still be available at the bottom of the search results page.

You can choose your preferred number of results to display by default in your MyNCBI account.

Follow this link to view the upcoming changes and see how to set a default in your MyNCBI account:

Tell Us What You Think!

We want you to tell us about our website

As the NN/LM Training Office, we’re hoping to make improvements to our website which make it easier for you to quickly find the information you need. We hope you’ll take a few minutes to answer seven questions (just 7!) about what you do on and what you’d like to do or see. Please contact us at if you have questions about this feedback form. Thank you for your input.

Tell us what you think!


Email Accidents Happen

You hit Reply All by mistake; you include someone you didn’t intend to include; you hit Send before you’re finished; maybe you don’t notice which email address you’re replying to and Reply to the whole listserv (similar to Reply All). Wouldn’t it be great if these things didn’t happen? Well, here’s tip that I try to follow to minimize the possibility that these things happen. Note: this tip only works if you follow it…says the person who recently replied to an entire listserv.

It’s very simple. Do not fill out the email address portion until you are finished writing and reviewing the email.

Follow #1, if you’re writing a new email. Follow #2, if you’re replying to an email.

1) For a new email, leave the To address space blank until you’re done writing and reviewing the email.

2) If you’re replying to an email, Cut the email address out of the To space and paste it into the body area of the email. This is only temporary. When you’re done writing and reviewing your response to the original email, cut and paste the email address back into the To space.

Now, please hear me; I am being a bit tongue-in-cheek in this post, but I do want to share what I learned the hard way, more than once, and spare you that Oh No moment.

Systematic Reviews and PubMed Health

PubMed Health logo

Are you interested in clinical effectiveness? Do you have a desire or need to keep up-to-date on information related to the prevention and treatment of diseases or conditions? Have you taken a look at PubMed Health recently?

PubMed Health specializes in reviews of clinical effectiveness research, with easy-to-read summaries for consumers as well as full technical reports for researchers and clinicians. To state it simply, clinical effectiveness research seeks to answer the question, “What works?” in medical and health care.

PubMed Health is a service provided by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at NLM, in partnership with a number of other institutions including AHRQ, Cochrane, NHLBI and NCI at NIH. In addition to the great information on health topics from A-Z, drugs from A-Z, and more, PubMed Health offers ways to stay informed on the news with two RSS feeds: Featured Reviews and Behind the Headlines.

If you’d like to learn more about this fantastic resource and using it to find systematic reviews, register for the upcoming webinar on Friday, June 10. This free 30-minute webinar is provided by the NLM Training Office.

Online Training Opportunity: PubMed for Librarians Series

PML_slide_imageJoin the National Library of Medicine and the NN/LM Training Office (NTO) for the free online class “PubMed for Librarians.” Classes in June 2016 are now open for registration.

The PubMed for Librarians class is divided into five segments (90 minutes each). Each segment is a synchronous online session that includes hands-on exercises and is worth 1.5 hours of MLA CE credit. Participants can choose any or all of the 5 segments that interest them.

The segments are as follows:

Introduction to PubMed: Learn about the difference between PubMed and MEDLINE, how to run a PubMed search, assess your search retrieval, analyze search details, employ three ways to search for a known citation, and how to customize with My NCBI.

MeSH (Medical Subject Headings): Learn about the NLM Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) database. Explore the four different types of MeSH terms and how searchers can benefit from using MeSH to build a search. Investigate the structure of the MeSH database and look at the components of a MeSH record.

Automatic Term Mapping (ATM): Learn about Automatic Term Mapping (ATM) – the process that maps keywords from your PubMed search to the controlled vocabulary of the MeSH database. Learn why searching with keywords in PubMed can be an effective approach to searching. Look at the explosion feature, what is and is not included in search details, and explore how PubMed processes phrases.

Building and Refining Your Search: Use some of the tools and features built into PubMed that are designed to help you search more effectively. Explore the filters sidebar and Topic-Specific Queries. Use History, tools in the NLM Catalog, and the Advanced Search Builder to build searches and explore topics.

Customization – My NCBI: Learn about the advantages of creating a My NCBI account, managing and manipulating your My NCBI page content, locating and identifying available filters on PubMed’s filter sidebar, selecting and setting up to fifteen filters, and creating a custom filter.

Class space is limited, so register now at


Our name has changed, but we’re still in the training business

On May 1, 2016 the NTC’s name changed to the National Network of Libraries of Medicine Training Office (NTO) to reflect our role in the new 5-year Cooperative Agreement with the US National Library of Medicine. You can view the announcement here:

Our headquarters remain at the University of Utah Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library, under the direction of Jean Shipman, Principal Investigator. Our current staff includes Jessi Van Der Volgen as the Assistant Director, Rebecca Brown and Cheryl Rowan as Training Development Specialists, Sarah Dickey, Program Manager, and Matt Steadman, Web Software Engineer & Media Developer.

The Cooperative Agreement ushers in a new era where the NTO will move the vast majority of its training online, collaborating with NLM and NN/LM to ensure broad access to continuing education designed to keep you up to date on NLM resources and maximize your contribution to your institutional missions. You can look forward to several new learning opportunities – available to you in flexible formats – on PubMed, TOXNET and other NLM resources. Stay tuned for announcements of future class offerings.

One of the most important pieces of news is that for the time being you can still find our blog and class offerings at the same URL.

Our new Twitter name is @nnlmnto

Our new email address is and we welcome your comments, questions, and ideas.


Anyone who has done teaching or taken classes in teaching methods has likely heard the term “pedagogy.” This term is most widely used currently to mean “the art and science … of teaching,” although the original meaning was actually more specific to teaching children. As librarians, we strive to create instructional materials that are appropriate for the learning needs of our students. For this reason, andragogy may be a better alternative and approach, especially for adult and online learners.

Andragogy as a methodology has its roots as far back as 1833 with a German teacher named Alexander Kapp, although its current usage is attributed to Malcolm Knowles, who adopted the word to describe the differences in the ways individuals – especially adults – learn.

Pedagogy and andragogy are very different teaching models. For example, pedagogy is considered a content model, whereas andragogy is a process model. The process model aims to provide the skills and resources needed to acquire information, rather than simply presenting information. Andragogy encourages the teacher as facilitator, where the emphasis in on enabling the student to learn. For adult learners and online students, andragogy may provide a more suitable teaching model. And, with the increasing tendency toward online classes, students are increasingly self-directed.

This table illustrates key differences between pedagogical and andragogical design.

Pedagogy vs Andragogy
It should be noted that these two methods are not mutually exclusive. It is always up to the the teacher or facilitator to determine the best approach for his or her students.

For more information, please see the full article, “Keeping Up With … Andragogy”

Try the new Q&A Feature in Google Slides for Engagement

Have you tried Google Slides? I don’t use it on a regular basis, but I just learned about a new feature called Q & A. Q&A is designed to let audience members ask questions during a presentation (anonymously, if they prefer).

What’s so novel about that you ask? Students use their smartphone or other smart device to submit questions to the instructor at any point. OK, but what else can Q & A do? As questions are submitted via a shared URL, students “like” questions that they what to know the answer to. The instructor sees, in real-time, which questions are most important to the audience.

What are some ways to use the Q & A feature in Google Slides?

  • Can be used for in-person and online sessions
  • Fosters inclusion for remote participants
  • Students can ask questions when they come to mind
  • Gauge knowledge; Who knows what in the “room”?
  • Use instead of traditional chat box as a way to moderate chat
  • Meets users where they are, their smart-devices
  • Audience size doesn’t inhibit participation

Here’s a short video by Richard Byrne on how to use the tool.