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Archive for January, 2013

PubMed History and Search Bar Updates

A “Download History” link will be added to the PubMed, MeSH and NLM Catalog Advanced page History feature. Using this link will generate History entries in the file “history.csv.” Since Microsoft Excel is typically unable to display or print more than a maximum of 1024 characters in a cell, users with long queries may want to open the CSV file with a text editor to display the complete searches.

The search bar will be updated to list up to the last four databases searched at the top of the pull-down database menu. The alphabetic list with all the databases will also include the recently searched databases. Further details about these changes are available in the 2013 January/February issue of the NLM Technical Bulletin.

SAMHSA Announces New Disaster Response Template Toolkit!

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) has just announced release of the Disaster Response Template Toolkit, a new installment in the Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series. It contains a comprehensive collection of online resources and materials, as well as editable templates that can be easily tailored to meet the needs of any disaster response program.

The Printed Materials section contains customizable public education materials for use by disaster behavioral health response programs to provide outreach, psycho-education, and recovery news for disaster survivors. These materials, geared toward the general public, provide information about common disaster reactions and ways to cope. The Messaging through Other Media section contains tips for writing television, radio, and newspaper public service announcements (PSAs), as well as samples of print and radio PSAs. There are also links and examples of disaster response program websites, social networking pages, and blogs.

Within each section of this toolkit, “do it yourself” templates are provided in various formats, with space provided for each program to incorporate its own logo or contact information. You will find templates for the following products:

  • Brochures for adults, older adults, or children, about common disaster responses and ways of coping;
  • Door hangers with common signs of disaster stress, ways to reduce stress, and common reactions to trigger events, such as the holidays;
  • Editable tip sheets with information on managing stress, coping with disaster anniversaries, and helping children cope with the disaster;
  • Newsletters, wallet cards, and postcards, with broad messaging and room to add your program’s contact information.

It is hoped that the Disaster Response Template Toolkit will be a helpful resource for the disaster response programs in your institution!

NCBI Launches “NCBI Insights” Blog

Screenshot of NCBI InsightsIn January 2013, NCBI released a new blog called NCBI Insights. The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, provides access to scientific and biomedical databases, software tools for analyzing molecular data, and performs research in computational biology. Some NCBI resources include PubMed, GenBank, and BLAST. NCBI Insights was created to provide an insider’s perspective to help you better understand NCBI resources, explore issues of scientific interest that drive NCBI resource development, and demonstrate how you can use NCBI resources to help enhance your research.

The blog has four categories of posts:

  • NCBI Explained – Provides an insider’s perspective on NCBI resources and policies to help you better understand NCBI, and avoid some common misconceptions and misunderstandings.
  • What’s New – Introduces new and updated resources, including specific examples that demonstrate how you can use them to enhance your research.
  • Quick Tips and Tricks – Explains how to perform specific tasks using the NCBI website. Selected topics will be chosen based on questions asked and suggestions provided by users.
  • Science Features – Explores current topics in science and demonstrates how you can find relevant data or resources on the NCBI website for further exploration.

This blog is a complement to existing NCBI education and outreach efforts, such as News and Social Media publicity, Webinar and Workshop training programs, and Help Desk user support. Refer to the NCBI Educational Resources web page for more details on these programs. Be sure to check the NCBI Insights Blog regularly!

New NLM Traveling Exhibit: Every Necessary Care and Attention: George Washington and Medicine!

Washington in His Last Illness attended by Docrs. Craik and Brown, etching by an unidentified artist, early 19th centuryThe National Library of Medicine and the Alexandria Waterfront Museum will host a special traveling banner exhibition exploring the Colonial-era healing practices used by George Washington on the battlefield, during his presidency, and home at his beloved Virginia estate. Co-produced by the National Library of Medicine (a division of the National Institutes of Health), and George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Every Necessary Care and Attention: George Washington and Medicine, features a compelling collection of images and rich online companion resources drawn from the world’s largest medical library and the nation’s oldest historic preservation organization. Before embarking on a national tour, the exhibition will be on display at the History of Medicine Division Reading Room, National Library of Medicine, on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, January 30, 2013, to March 1, 2013, and at the Alexandria Waterfront Museum in Alexandria, Virginia, from January 17, 2013, to April 27, 2013.

The banner display incorporates the use of QR codes allowing visitors to access transcripts and audio recordings of some key documents. The online companion exhibition features educational resources for K-12 teachers and students, and a higher education module for professors and undergraduates. In addition, the online exhibition showcases a “Digital Gallery,” a collection of digitized books, pamphlets, and illustrations about Colonial-era medicine, healing practices, and medical practitioners from the History of Medicine Division collections.

Every Necessary Care and Attention: George Washington and Medicine marks the first formal collaboration between the National Library of Medicine and Mount Vernon. The exhibition was curated by Mary V. Thompson, Dawn Bonner, and Michele R. Lee from Mount Vernon. The banner exhibition was designed by Howard + Revis Design Services. The website was designed by Link Studio.

After its display in the Washington, D.C. metro area at the National Library of Medicine, and the Alexandria Waterfront Museum, the exhibition is expected to travel to other venues throughout the country. For more information about booking the exhibition, please visit the traveling exhibition website.

AHRQ Launches Open Access Journal on Electronic Clinical Data!

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and the Electronic Data Methods (EDM) Forum have announced the official launch of eGEMs (Generating Evidence and Methods to improve patient outcomes). eGEMs is a new peer-reviewed, open access journal designed to curate a knowledge base of emerging lessons learned, focusing on using electronic clinical data to advance research and quality improvement, with the overall goal of improving patient and community outcomes. Authors are welcome to submit papers, images, or other media focused on the four themes of data methods, informatics, governance, and the learning health system. Submissions are published upon acceptance.

First Look at Key Demographic Characteristics of New Congressional Districts

For the first time, the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey is providing access to detailed demographic data on congressional districts for the 113th Congress. These statistics include age, education, occupation, income and veteran status. They are accessible via Easy Stats, the Census Bureau’s new online tool offering quick and easy access to American Community Survey data. These statistics are drawn from the most recent one-year American Community Survey sample, tabulated for redistricted congressional districts of the 113th Congress. Easy Stats provides statistics on a wide range of topics, such as income, occupation, housing and education, down to the local level, including states, counties, cities and towns, and now, congressional districts.

I tried Easy Stats and obtained useful demographic data for sample counties that I was able to export into an Excel spreadsheet! Consider using this tool when you are applying for funding for your communities!

The official press release is from the US Census Bureau.

National Library of Medicine Announces Latest Release of Its “History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium”

History of Medicine Finding Aids ConsortiumThe History of Medicine Division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the world’s largest medical library and a component of the National Institutes of Health, is pleased to announce the latest release of its History of Medicine Finding Aids Consortium.

Now indexing over 3,600 finding aids from 35 institutions, the Consortium is a discovery tool providing keyword search services across a union catalog of descriptions of primary source materials found in special collections and archives throughout the United States and Canada. The Consortium leads you to the rich information found in historical documents, personal papers, business records, and more. Finding aids provide contextual information about these collections, along with detailed inventories to help researchers locate relevant materials. As with the initial release, the new content consists of finding aids delivered as EAD, PDF and HTML from a diverse institutional cohort.

The new content contributors (finding aid count) are:

  • American Philosophical Society (80)
  • Bellevue Alumnae Center for Nursing History (12)
  • Boston Children’s Hospital Archives (36)
  • Duke Medical Center Archives (147)
  • George Washington University (20)
  • Rockefeller Archive Center (69)
  • Sophia Smith Collection at Smith College (82)
  • State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center (22)
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore County Center for Biological Sciences Archives (8)
  • University of Mississippi Archives and Special Collections (69)
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (20)
  • University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston (148)
  • Eskind Biomedical Library, Vanderbilt University (87)
  • DeWitt Wallace Institute for the History of Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College (22)
  • Wright State University Special Collections and Archives (59)

NLM invites libraries, archives and museums with finding aids for collections in the history of medicine and health sciences to join the Consortium.

NIH Launches Blog on Behavioral and Social Sciences Research: The Connector!

The ConnectorNIH’s Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) launches The Connector, a new blog featuring OBSSR Director Dr. Robert M. Kaplan’s commentary, Director Connection.

Through The Connector, NIH OBSSR will maintain an active commitment to delivering fresh and frequent coverage of important public health issues and the research being conducted to address them. Dr. Kaplan’s blog will explore a broad range of topics such as mHealth, systems science, dissemination and implementation research and the NIH Toolbox. It will also explore achieving better population health through improved dissemination of evidence-based interventions. The Connector will keep readers informed of the office’s activities, trainings, educational resources and funding opportunity announcements, as well as podcasts and videos of conversations with engaging behavioral and social sciences.

The Connector is available at

NLM to Include AMA Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) Codes in the Genetic Testing Registry

Under a recent agreement with the American Medical Association (AMA), the National Library of Medicine (NLM) will be including the AMA’s Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes for molecular pathology tests in the National Institutes of Health’s Genetic Testing Registry (GTR). GTR is operated by NLM’s National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), and provides a resource for comprehensive information about genetic tests. The database provides a central location for voluntary submission of test information by providers. Content includes the test’s purpose, methodology, validity, evidence of the test’s usefulness, and laboratory contacts and credentials.

Under the new agreement, AMA’s CPT codes for molecular pathology tests will be integrated into GTR. The AMA-created codes describe the latest advances in genetic testing and molecular diagnostic services for reporting and tracking purposes. AMA’s new, more detailed CPT codes for molecular pathology became effective in 2012. Inclusion of the CPT codes in GTR further enhances the database’s interoperability with electronic medical records and laboratory information management systems. GTR also incorporates SNOMED CT (Systematized Nomenclature of Medicine – Clinical Terms), an extensive clinical terminology produced by the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO), and LOINC (Logical Observation Identifiers Names and Codes), produced by the Regenstrief Institute, which provides standardized terms and codes for identifying laboratory and clinical observations. NLM is the US Member of the IHTSDO and provides support for the development and free US-wide use of both SNOMED CT and LOINC. CPT, SNOMED CT, and LOINC are required standards in the certification criteria for electronic health record products issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Department of Health and Human Services.

DOCLINE Annual and Quarterly Statistical Reports Now Available!

NLM has released the following DOCLINE quarterly statistical reports for October-December 2012:

  • Summary DOCLINE Borrower Statistics (Reports 1-1A, 1-11A, 1-1AT)
  • Summary DOCLINE Lender Statistics (Report 1-1B)
  • Detailed DOCLINE Borrower Statistics (Reports 1-2A, 1-22A)
  • Detailed DOCLINE Lender Statistics (Report 1-2B)
  • Resource Library Quarterly Report – Fill Rate (Report 2-14)
  • Loansome Doc Detailed Lender Statistics (Report 5-1A)
  • Loansome Doc Throughput Report (Report 5-1B)

NLM has also released the following DOCLINE yearly statistical reports for January-December 2012:

  • Ranked List of Serial Titles – Borrower (Report 1-8B)
  • Ranked List of Serial Titles – Lender (Report 1-8D)
  • Summary DOCLINE Borrower Statistics (Report 1-1AY)
  • Summary DOCLINE Lender Statistics (Report 1-1BY)
  • Detailed DOCLINE Borrower Statistics (Report 1-2AY)
  • Detailed DOCLINE Lender Statistics (Report 1-2BY)

Please note: Reports 1-11A, 1-1AT and 1-22A are only distributed to libraries that have entered requests in DOCLINE for other libraries. Report 2-14 is only distributed to resource libraries.

DOCLINE statistical reports are available by going to Requests, then Reports in the DOCLINE menu. Instructions for downloading and printing reports may be found in the “Request Reports” section of the online manual (click the Help link at the top of the DOCLINE screen) or in the Reports section of DOCLINE’s FAQ page.