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New Webinar Series: Insider’s Guide to Accessing NLM Data

On Wednesday, October 19, 11:00am – 12:00pm PDT, NLM will host the first session of a new Insider’s Guide to Accessing NLM Data series of webinars, beginning with Welcome to E-utilities for PubMed. The webinar series will promote more powerful and flexible ways of accessing NLM data, starting with an introduction to the Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for PubMed and other NCBI databases. The series is geared toward librarians and other information specialists who have experience using PubMed via the traditional Web interface, but now want to dig deeper. This class will start with the very basics of APIs, and then move on to showing how to get started using the E-utilities API to search and retrieve records from PubMed. The class will also showcase some specific tools and utilities that information specialists can use to work with E-utilities, helping to prepare for subsequent Insider’s Guide classes. The session will conclude by looking at some practical examples of E-utilities in the real world, and hopefully inspire you to get out and put these lessons to use!

University of Michigan Offers Live Streaming of NCBI Discovery Workshops October 4-6

Remote site registration is available for a series of three three-hour NCBI Discovery Workshops hosted by the Taubman Health Sciences Library at the University of Michigan on October 4-6, with instructors Peter Cooper, Ph.D., and Wayne Matten, Ph.D. The sessions will be streamed using BlueJeans. The workshops are:

  • Tuesday, 10/4, – Navigating NCBI Molecular Data Using the Integrated Entrez System and BLAST
  • Wednesday, 10/5, – A Practical Guide to NCBI BLAST
  • Thursday, 10/6, – EDirect: Command Line Access to NCBI’s Biomolecular Databases

Health Hotlines Database To Be Retired January 2017

Health Hotlines was developed by NLM as a community service to help the public locate health-related information from organizations with toll free numbers. NLM has decided it will no longer update the Health Hotlines database because most of the information is now readily available through web search engines and many of the organizations no longer have toll-free numbers. Health Hotlines will remain online until the end of January, 2017, at which time it will be retired.

Complementary Therapies and Traditional Healing Resources from NLM

Medical treatments not considered part of mainstream medicine are often called complementary, integrative, or alternative medicine. Examples include herbal supplements, acupuncture, meditation, and other forms of treatment. NLM’s Arctic Health portal defines traditional healing as treatment that focuses on the health and wellness of the individual in the context of culture and community, and it incorporates Native beliefs, practices, and traditional ecological knowledge. Traditional healing may be practiced by Native American communities across the U.S., including Alaska and the Arctic region. Resources for both complementary medicine and traditional healing are available through the National Library of Medicine for many different populations, including:

  • For the General Public – MedlinePlus provides an overview of various complementary and alternative therapy health topics, as well as reliable information on the health benefits and possible side effects for a long list of herbs and supplements.
  • For Older Adults – NIH Senior Health discusses a variety of topics on complementary health approaches, including information on natural products, mind and body practices, the safety of these complementary health approaches, and how to be an informed consumer with complementary health treatments.
  • For Native American Communities – The American Indian Health portal includes a list of traditional healing resources, with resources for community members, researchers, health professionals, educators, and the general public. The Traditional Healing section of the Arctic Health portal lists organizations and programs, stories, research and learning tools, and teaching tools for traditional healing practices of Native American communities in the Arctic region.

Newly Redesigned Think Cultural Health Website Released!

The Office of Minority Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced the launch of the newly redesigned Think Cultural Health website. It now includes designs that feature a simpler layout and brighter colors, and its responsive design means it can be accessed anytime from your cell phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer. The new design makes it easier for anyone to browse the latest resources and find information that will help individuals and organizations deliver respectful, understandable, and effective services to all. The following resources are included:

  • The National CLAS Standards section features an explanation of CLAS, a printable list of the Standards, the comprehensive technical assistance document called The Blueprint, and more.
  • The Education section features e-learning programs designed for disaster personnel, nurses, oral health professionals, physicians, community health workers, and more.
  • The Resources section features a searchable library of over 500 online resources, recorded presentations, educational video units on CLAS, and more.

Visit the Think Cultural Health website today and let the Office of Minority Health know what you think!

Retention of Ceased Abstracting and Indexing Publications Containing MEDLINE Citations

Does your collection include abstracting and indexing titles produced in cooperation with NLM, such as Hospital Literature Index and/or its successor Hospital and Health Administration Index, Index to Dental Literature, or International Nursing Index, all of which had ceased publication by the year 2000? In general, the NLM-derived citations in these publications are available in MEDLINE/PubMed. However, all of these publications also contained separate sections for monographic materials, which may not be available in the NLM collection. Therefore, NLM advises librarians that if access to the monographic materials in these tools are important at your institution, then retain these old print indexes in your collection. More details about each publication are available in this FAQ.

NCBI Secure Web Site Testing Begins September 15

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To improve security and privacy, and to comply with a Federal government mandate, NCBI is moving all of its Web sites and services, including Web APIs, to HTTPS only by September 30, 2016. This change will provide users with greatly increased privacy and security on the NCBI site. To prepare for this change, NCBI will be running a series of tests. During testing, most web traffic will be moved to HTTPS for a short period to check for problems and ensure all resources work properly within HTTP. NCBI will also host the 30-minute webinar Update on NCBI’s Transition to HTTPS on September 21 to discuss testing plans and other issues related to the change.

The first test is scheduled for 5:00 – 6:00 AM PDT, on Thursday, September 15, 2016. A second round of tests is scheduled for September 22 and 26. If you experience problems with any NCBI site or service during test periods, visit the Secure Website Tests plan for advice on how to proceed.

Resources for Teachers and Students from NLM

School is back in session, and NLM’s Specialized Information Services provides a variety of educational resources for students of all ages. Following are a few examples:

  • K-12 Science and Health Education: Browse through a list of useful links to lesson plans, projects, and webpages on many different science/health topics for K-12 students.
  • Environmental Health Student Portal: Information and activities for middle school students on environmental health topics like air pollution, chemicals, climate change, and water pollution. A section for teachers provides additional links to lesson plans.
  • GeneEd: Links to vetted genetic websites based on high school science curricula. A section with Teacher’s Resources provides a list of resources organized under various genetics topics, like bio-statistics, biotechnology, cell biology, and more.
  • ToxMystery: Interactive game for ages 7-11 on household chemical hazards, including a page with lesson plans for teachers.
  • ToxTown for Teachers: Lesson plans and links for educators to help them use the ToxTown page for teaching students about environmental health and toxic chemicals in everyday environments.

NCBI to Retire Leiden Open Variation Database (LOVD) on September 30

NCBI is retiring the Leiden Open Variation Database (LOVD) on September 30, 2016. LOVD has been used to capture information about novel human variants. Past submitters of human genetic variations to LOVD are encouraged to transfer their information to the ClinVar database. To add new human variation data, please review the instructions on submitting to ClinVar. The submission wizard may ease the process. While the LOVD site will be retired on September 30, an FTP archive will continue to store LOVD data for download after this date.

September is National Preparedness Month

The theme for 2016 National Preparedness Month is Don’t Wait, Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today. and CDC suggest weekly themes as reminders to take different types of action toward preparedness. NLM Disaster Health has paired some of its best preparedness resources with the weekly themes:

Week 2: Preparing Family & Friends
The Community and Personal Preparedness page is relevant throughout the month and year. Don’t forget your furry, feathered, and scaly friends when you prepare. Meanwhile, this week the CDC focuses on the critical role of Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs).

Week 3: Preparing Through Service
This week, focus on serving your larger community. Think about what your community can do to help prepare the very young, the very old, the disabled, and others with special needs. Meanwhile, the CDC suggests we learn more about what state and local health departments can do to be prepared.

Week 4: Individual Preparedness suggests downloading disaster apps to your mobile devices. This would be a good week to check out the list of Disaster Apps for Your Digital Go Bag. The CDC proposes studying what resilient communities have in common.

Week 5: Lead up to America’s PrepareAthon
As National Preparedness Month draws to a close, suggests you “be counted and register your preparedness event.” Consider listening to an archived NLM Disaster Health webinar in which librarians and other information specialists discuss their roles in the disaster life cycle. The CDC reminds us this week to prepare ourselves; just in time for America’s PrepareAthon on Friday, September 30!