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Archive for February, 2012

New Grant Explores Data Literacy

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Data Information Literacy Icon

In partnership with librarians at the University of Minnesota, the University of Oregon, and Cornell University, the Purdue University Libraries received nearly $250,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services to develop training programs for the next generation of scientists to enable them to find, organize, use, and share data efficiently and effectively.

The program is intended for graduate students in engineering and science disciplines who are working their way toward careers as research scientists.

Technology has made it easier to share research data beyond the lab in which it was originally created. The current issue is that in many cases data are not being administered in ways that enable them to be easily discovered, understood, or re-purposed for use by other researchers.

This training will be vital to scientists as they look to secure research funding. In 2007, the National Science Foundation issued a report on the need to build public collections of research data and since 2011 has required scientists to include data management plans in their grant applications.

The Data Information Literacy effort will be carried out over a two-year period by five project teams. Two of the teams, consisting of a data librarian, a subject librarian and a disciplinary faculty researcher, are based at Purdue, with one team each at the other institutions.

The teams are constructed to represent a variety of subject areas, from electrical and computer engineering to landscape architecture so that commonalities and differences in data curation needs across disciplines can be explored. Each team will conduct an assessment of data needs of their discipline, including interviewing and observing researchers. The teams will then develop and implement targeted instruction and assess the impact of that instruction in developing the data information literacy skills of graduate students.

The results of this first ever effort at articulating and addressing data information literacy skills will help future scientists and engineers contribute to and take full advantage of the potentials that cyberinfrastructure and information technologies provide.

In many disciplines, the standards and practices needed for managing and sharing data are still developing, or are not well understood, and therefore are not applied. This collaboration between librarians and faculty will identify the educational needs of future scientists in organizing, describing, disseminating and preserving their data and teach them these skills in ways that can be applied in their day-to-day research activities.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact Jake Carlson (PI) or any of the other team members:

New Data Management Curriculum

Friday, February 24th, 2012

1s and 0s

Recognizing a pressing need for data management education in the sciences, the Lamar Soutter Library at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and the George C. Gordon Library at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) have collaborated on an IMLS National Leadership Planning Grant, Planning a Data Management Curriculum and Requirements for a Collaborative Repository, to develop frameworks for a case based data management curriculum for science, health sciences, and engineering students at undergraduate and graduate levels, and to identify user needs for repository software for storing data sets.

The purpose of this grant has been to develop:

  • a flexible, case based curriculum that teaches data management best practices to students enrolled in a broad range of scientific disciplines
  • an evaluation of user requirements for open source software for storing data generated by student research projects

The libraries have worked with faculty, curriculum, evaluation, and instructional design consultants to develop Frameworks for a Data Management Curriculum, a modular case-based approach for data management instruction. Included in these frameworks are lesson plans for seven course modules, real life research cases, readings, assignments, a simplified data management plan, a prototype of developed content for one module, and assessment questions and answers. The modular design of the curriculum allows faculty to pick specific course module(s) that are relevant to their courses. The curriculum could be delivered by faculty or librarians in a variety of ways: face-to-face classes, as self-paced online modules, or a hybrid format.



Friday, February 24th, 2012

The NLM Technical Bulletin recently featured a news item about the redesigned and easier to use TOXNET Mobile site. TOXNET features databases on toxicology, hazardous chemicals, environmental health and toxic releases.

To access TOXNET on your mobile device, use the browser on your mobile device to visit the
following URL:

Image of TOXNET mobile site

The TOXNET mobile interface features an easy to navigate layout. Results are also displayed in
a format easy to read and scroll through from most mobile devices.

The following databases are available through the mobile site:

  • HSDB (Hazardous Substances Data Bank)
  • CCRIS (Chemical Carcinogenesis Research Information System)
  • DART (Development and Reproductive Toxicology)
  • GENE-TOX (Genetic Toxicology)
  • IRIS (Integrated Risk Information System)
  • ITER (International Toxicity Estimates for Risk)
  • LactMed (Drugs and Lactation)
  • TRI (Toxics Release Inventory)
  • DIRLINE (Directory of Information Resources Online)

Bookmark this mobile site today.

Super Searcher Online Class Offered

Friday, February 17th, 2012

The NN/LM SCR is happy to offer a new online version of “Super Searcher: Enhancing Your Online Search Super Powers” class.

Woman wearing a cape flying holding a computer

This self-paced online class will open March 5, 2012 and stay open through April 6, 2012.

This self-paced online course offering focuses on the advanced search features of web search engines and online searching. Participants will use various search engines, compare the features of each and broaden their knowledge of search strategies and online search techniques. Participants will develop search strategies that will increase the precision and scope of their online searching ability. In the online version of the class participants will view short video demonstrations, engage in online discussions and complete exercise sets focused on improving online search skills. The class includes: information about web search engines, strategies for searching for online media including images, videos and books. The class concludes with examples of real-time searching and mobile search solutions.

Upon successful completion of this class, each participant will receive 4 hours of continuing education credit awarded by the Medical Library Association.

Registration for this class has closed. This offering of the class is full. We will announce future dates for this class soon.

As always, all NN/LM SCR classes are free and open to anyone.

Tablet and E-Reader Ownership on the Rise

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

Did you receive a tablet or e-book reader over the holidays? If so then you weren’t alone. According to a recent report by the Pew

Image of a girl holding a tablet computer

Internet and American Life Project, tablet and e-book reader ownership nearly doubled over the holiday giving season.

According to the report,  “the share of adults in the United States who own tablet computers nearly doubled from 10% to 19% between mid-December and early January and the same surge in growth also applied to e-book readers, which also jumped from 10% to 19% over the same time period.”

E-book reader ownership is also on the rise. According to demographic information gathered in the report E-reader ownership doubles in six months, when it comes to e-readers “Hispanic adults, adults younger than age 65, college graduates and those living in households with incomes of at least $75,000 are most likely to own e-book readers. Parents are also more likely than non-parents to own these devices.”

Despite the growing ownership of these devices, the reports demonstrated that e-reader and tablet ownership still lags behind ownership of other devices such as cell phones, laptops and MP3 players. As more devices are developed and broader adoption occurs, we may begin to see changes in who owns these devices and how they are used.

New Traveling Exhibit from the NLM Features Shakespeare and the Four Humors

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012


“And there’s the humor of it” Shakespeare and the four humors

A special display, traveling banner exhibition, and online exhibition with education resources developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

Curated by Gail Kern Paster, PhD and Theodore Brown, PhD
Exhibition design by Riggs Ward Design

Open at the National Library of Medicine January 30 2012 to August 17 2012

William Shakespeare (1564–1616) created characters that are among the richest and most humanly recognizable in all of literature. Yet Shakespeare understood human personality in the terms available to his age—that of the now-discarded theory of the four bodily humors –blood, bile, melancholy, and phlegm. These four humors were thought to define peoples’ physical and mental health, and determined their personalities, as well.

The language of the four humors pervades Shakespeare’s plays, and their influence is felt above all in a belief that emotional states are physically determined. Carried by the bloodstream, the four humors bred the core passions of anger, grief, hope, and fear—the emotions conveyed so powerfully in Shakespeare’s comedies and tragedies.

“And there’s the humor of it” Shakespeare and the four humors explores these themes in a special display featuring rare books and incunables from the collection of the National Library of Medicine and the Folger Shakespeare Library. The display was translated into a traveling banner exhibition, which will be available to libraries across America free of charge. In addition, education resources for K-12 educators and students, and university professors and students are included in the online adaptation of the special display.

For a tour of the special display, please contact or call 301.594.1947.

For information about booking a traveling exhibition, please go to

Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Image of a smartphone screen from the cover of the report

Recently released, the 2012 New Media Consortium (NMC) Horizon Report is an annual report that provides insights into emerging trends in technology use in higher education. The research paper is a collaborative effort between the New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE.

The 2012 Horizon Report discusses six emerging technologies which are placed along three adoption horizon lines that indicate their timeframes for becoming mainstream educational technologies.




Here is a look at the upcoming technologies from the report:

Near-term Horizon (within the next 12 months)

  • Mobile Apps
  • Tablet Computing

Mid-term Horizon (two to three years out)

  • Game-based learning
  • Learning analytics

Far-term Horizon (four to five years away)

  • Gesture based computing
  • The Internet of things

The report provides a nice overview of the technologies as well as a more detailed description of each technology and practical implications for learning and education.

The report is available free of charge and under Creative Commons license. You can access the full report at:

You can read how the Project Advisory Board manages the process of selecting topics for the 2012 report on Horizon Wiki. Related resources are also listed.

February 2012 NIH News in Health

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Picture of a heart and healthy food and activities

Check out the February issue of NIH News in Health, the monthly newsletter bringing you practical health news and tips based on the latest NIH research. In this edition:


Health Capsules:

Click here to download a PDF version for printing.
Visit our Facebook wall to suggest topics you’d like us to cover, or start a discussion about how you use the newsletter. We want to hear what you think!

February 2012 SCR CONNECTions

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

Join us next Wednesday, February 15, 2012 from 10:30 – 11:30 am (CT) for the NN/LM SCR’s monthly webinar, SCR CONNECTions.

The topic for Wednesday’s webinar will be MedlinePlus Connect with guest speaker Loren Frant,
Head of the Health Information Products Unit at the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Loren will provide an overview of MedlinePlus Connect, share basic information about the implementation process and answer your questions.

Webinars are conducted via the Adobe Connect web meeting system. Join the webinar using the following URL: Once you enter the online meeting room, follow the instructions on the screen to have the system call you on your telephone.

Test your connection before joining with Adobe using the following URL:

MLA CE will not be provided for this webinar. If you cannot attend this webinar, it will be recorded and archived for viewing. You can view any of the SCR CONNECTions webinars in the online archive:

New NLM Web Page: Disaster Apps and Mobile Optimized Web Pages

Thursday, February 2nd, 2012

tablet apps The Disaster Information Management Research Center (DIMRC) recently launched a new web page titled “Disaster Apps and Mobile Optimized Web Page”: .

This page includes links to various mobile tools and apps that have been selected based upon utility in a disaster or emergency context and which adhere to the National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Selection Guidelines for non-NLM resources. The page is organized into three sections based on the type of information provided by the app or web site:

  1.  Disaster Medicine Tools – tools which provide medical or health information that might be useful in preparing for, responding to, or recovering from a disaster or emergency.
  2. Disaster Resources: tools that provide information on resources that may be needed in a disaster (i.e., missing person connections, shelters, safety information).
  3. Hazardous Events: tools providing information on large scale events, including weather events, that might be followed before or during a disaster.

Although NLM cannot link directly to other interesting and potentially useful apps that were developed by individuals and other organizations that do not fall within the NLM Selection Guide, if another library or organization created an external web page containing links to such apps, NLM could link to this summary page. Additionally, more suggestions for tools and apps are welcome.