May 2018 Library News Round-up: PubMed Data Filters, Data Management Webinars, and Staying Up-to-Date with MLA 2018

After a few exciting weeks of profiling incredible librarians from around the world, I’m relieved to return to familiar territory with a good ol’ fashioned news round-up.  For May 2018, I want to highlight a few interesting new data resources for librarians from National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), including new data filters on PubMed and PubMed Central and an upcoming webinar series about research data management.  Also, there’s the equivalent of the Super Bowl for medical librarians coming up next week, the annual Medical Library Association (MLA) conference, this year in Atlanta, GA.  I unfortunately won’t be there in person this year, but I’ll follow along through Twitter and blogs.

PubMed Data Filters

On April 24, 2018, the NLM Technical Bulletin announced the ability to filter PubMed and PubMed Central search results to view articles that have associated data sets.  The NLM Technical Bulletin article describes the following data-related filtering options:

  • PubMed
    • Use  data[filter] to find citations with related data links in either the Secondary Source ID field or the LinkOut – Other Literature Resources field.
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Data filter on PubMed.

Availability of related data sets is an important step towards improving reproducibility and transparency for research articles.  Hopefully these data-related filters will eventually be more prominently featured in the PubMed filter options (such as in the side-column list of filter options beside search results).

NNLM Research Data Management Webinar Series

The NNLM Research Data Management (RDM) webinar series is kicking off June 14, 2018, 2-3pm ET, with the free webinar Research Data Management Services: Beyond Analysis and Coding.  The presentation by Margaret Henderson, a Health Sciences Librarian at San Diego State University Library, will “show you how to start RDM services, even if you don’t feel confident about your statistical skills or knowledge of R.”

The NNLM RDM webinar series will be an ongoing bimonthly webinar series, with the aim to “support RDM within the library to better serve librarians and their institutional communities.”  I’m personally very excited about this series, since I’ve recently become interested in finding free online training resources related to research data management that are more geared towards information professionals (and less heavily focused on programming skills).  Once again, NNLM delivers with incredibly useful (and FREE!) online professional development resources.

MLA 2018 Resources

I won’t be at the annual MLA conference this year unfortunately (it was an incredible experience last year), but I can avoid fear of missing out (FOMO) thanks to a few helpful resources:

  • Twitter: I’ll definitely be following the #mlanet18 hashtag to learn some of the great insights other medical librarians are taking away from MLA speakers, sessions, and posters (especially the official MLA ’18 Tweeters).
  • Blogs: I’ll check the blog post summaries from the MLA’18 Blog Correspondents.

Have a great time if you’re going to MLA 2018, and remember to Tweet!

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3 Places to Find Pre-Recorded Webinars for Librarians

I prefer to do most of my continuing education through online methods, like self-paced online courses and webinars.  Live webinars are a great opportunity to interact with other professionals interested in a common topic and ask instructors questions, but some days I may be too busy to take an hour at a specific time to attend a live webinar.  In those circumstances, I always appreciate when the organization hosting the webinar later offers a recorded version of the training that they post online.  Many organizations (including national networks of libraries like NNLM and FDLP) offer recorded archives of their webinars, and these webinar archives can be a fantastic source of on-demand training.

Here are three library organizations that offer webinar archives featuring a wide range of training topics, from marketing and data visualization to finding government and health information resources:

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Watch a recording of Midday at the Oasis: Good Design for Data Visualization at the NNLM YouTube channel.
    • Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) Academy: Choose the “View past webinars” option on the FDLP website to view a list of past Depository Library Community Webinars, Federal Agency Webinars, FDLP and C&I Webinars (related to cataloging and indexing), and GPO’s Federal Digital System (FDsys) and govinfo Webinars.  You can choose to download the slides and completion certificates for webinars and watch a recording of the WebEx presentation.  Example: View another webinar related to data visualization and infographics, with the 35-minute presentation Telling your Story with Data.
    • WebJunction: The WebJunction site from OCLC offers recorded webinars that can be accessed for free by all library workers and volunteers.  Users need to register to access the recorded webinars and self-paced trainings that cover topics ranging from social media, marketing, and outreach to collections development and organizational management. Users can also download slides, handouts, and chat transcripts from the webinars and find links to related resources. Example: Watch yet another webinar related to data visualization: Data Visualization for the Rest of Us: A Beginner’s Guide (1 hour).

Even if you just have thirty minutes to spare during the workday, you can use these webinar archives to find interesting learning topics and watch high quality trainings anytime.

Bioinformatics with NNLM is a BLAST!

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Image from Pixabay.

I’m currently about six weeks into a 16-week online class from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), Bioinformatics and Biology Essentials For Librarians: Databases, Tools, and Clinical Applications, and so far:

  • I’ve gotten a very helpful basic overview of genetics, bioinformatics, and molecular biology concepts,
  • I’ve thought about the possible roles librarians can play in bioinformatics, and
  • I’ve started exploring some of the bioinformatics tools and resources from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

I was excited to take this class when it started at the end of January, especially because I recently changed jobs and now work mainly with clinical researchers, providing reference and instructional services.   I want to quickly get up to speed on topics like bioinformatics and research data management, so I can provide better training opportunities and more knowledgeable reference services to patrons.  My learning goals for the year may have shifted slightly, but I’m still using one of the best (and currently free!) training resources I have available to me: the online courses offered through NNLM.

This bioinformatics class from NNLM, which I’m taking through the online learning management system Moodle, has directed me to a number of interesting free learning resources about genetics, molecular biology, and bioinformatics in many different formats, including interactive text-based courses, videos, and even interactive games and labs.  Here are a few of my favorites so far:

Gamification at Health Science Libraries

game
Image via Pixabay.

Last year I occasionally saw the term “Gamification” pop up on the American Libraries Magazine website, and I was immediately intrigued. I’ve heard of board games and video games used in library programming, but what in the world was gamification?  In the article “Engaging Students Through Gamification”, Tasha Squires describes how “gamification  takes a process or learning target and sets it in a gaming format.”  Squires goes on to describe how she and the other staff at a middle school library created a game where students earned points through challenges involving “critical thinking, collaborating to solve puzzles, interacting with teachers outside their normal purview, and creating original work such as book trailers and creative writing pieces.”  Gamification seems like an incredible tool for school and public libraries who work with children and teens to promote learning and reading in a fun, creative way.

Can gamification also be used by health science libraries in academic, government, or hospital settings for outreach and training purposes?

Gamification for Health Outreach and Medical Training

I used a quick search of PubMed to see if I could find any reviews on the use of gamification for health or biomedical purposes.  Many of the reviews I found illustrated how gamification can be used promote healthy habits and provide health information to patients, such as:

Other reviews described how gamification can be used for training of healthcare workers:

One of the most interesting examples of gamification used specifically in a health science library is described in the article “Courting Apocalypse: Creating a Zombie-Themed Evidence-Based Medicine Game”, where health science librarians at the University of Iowa created a zombie-themed “choose your own adventure” game to teach students evidence-based medicine skills.

Health science libraries can use gamification methods to provide health information to patients and training for medical students and healthcare staff in an entertaining, memorable way.

If you’d like to learn more about gamification, I’d recommend reading the article “An Introduction to Gamification: Adding Game Elements for Engagement” by Tara Brigham (full-text behind paywall), or watch the free training webinar from the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM), Education Games and Health Sciences.

 

MAC-MLA 2017 – Themes, Resources, and Opportunities

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the Medical Library Association (MAC-MLA) 2017 Annual Meeting was held in Staunton, VA from October 21-24, and the meeting was a whirlwind of powerful, innovative ideas shared through presentations, posters, and even live-Tweeting.  Here’s a quick rundown of my key takeaways from the meeting, including important themes highlighted during the keynote presentations, interesting resources, and professional development opportunities from MLA and the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM).

Themes

The overarching theme of this year’s meeting was “facing your fears” (yes, it’s close to Halloween), and each of the four keynote speakers discussed different topics related to librarian, patron, and researcher fears:

  • Impostor Syndrome – Do you ever feel like you’re an impostor in your profession?  Dr. Michael Southam-Gerow of Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) discussed how anyone (but especially women and students/professionals from minority populations) can suffer from “impostor syndrome/impostor phenomenon”, where they worry about the validity of their achievements in their chosen field. Dr. Southam-Gerow also discussed techniques to overcome these “impostor” feelings.  The slides from the presentation are available here.
  • Open Science – Dr. Maryrose Franko of the Health Research Alliance (HRA) presented on addressing funders’ fears about open science.  Dr. Franko outlined common fears about open science (cost, administrative burden, and burden/uncertainty for researchers) and described how HRA, the Center for Open Science, and other partners are working to promote and strengthen open science initiatives like open access publications, data sharing, and preregistration.  Her presentation slides can be found here.
  • Health Justice and Health Literacy – Dr. Beth St. Jean of the University of Maryland, College Park gave an introduction to health justice and its relationship to health literacy, health outcomes, and information avoidance. She also discussed strategies to help information professionals improve health literacy among patrons and decrease information avoidance.  Her presentation slides can be viewed here.
  • Critical Librarianship – Derrick Jefferson of American University provided an overview of critical librarianship, which “seeks to be transformative, empowering, and a direct challenge to power and privilege.” Jefferson provided examples of critical librarianship in action and resources to learn more about the movement through Critlib.org and the #critlib on Twitter.  Jefferson’s presentation slides can be accessed here.

Resources

These are a few of the interesting new resources I learned about at the meeting:

  • NNLM RD3 – This is a fantastic website created by NNLM to help health science librarians learn the fundamentals about data science and data management.  (I also wrote about this resource in my MLA 2017 takeaways post.)
  • PubMed Labs – Use this test site from the National Library of Medicine to explore new features and tools that may be added to PubMed, and provide direct feedback to the NCBI team.
  • Open Science Framework (OSF) – OSF is a “free, open source service of the Center for Open Science“.  Researchers can collaborate and manage projects through OSF, including storage of data and files, access control, and the ability to link third party services to the platform. Users can also search through collections of pre-prints, project registrations, and posters/presentations from conferences.
  • NEJM Resident 360 – This online resource from the Massachusetts Medical Society (publishers of the New England Journal of Medicine) can be used by residents and medical students to participate in discussions, find career and study tips, and find interesting learning resources from NEJM.  The  Learning Lab, Resident Lounge, Career, and Discussions sections are free to explore, while the Rotation Prep section is only accessible through NEJM institutional or individual subscriptions.
  • Systematic Review Tools – I learned about several interesting free systematic review resources from the poster “From screaming to screening: An evaluation of free systematic review software” by Elizabeth Moreton,  Jamie Conklin, Leila Ledbetter, Rebecca Carlson McCall, and Jennifer S. Walker. Users can search for systematic review software through the Systematic Review Toolbox, and free systematic review tools that may be useful to try include Colandr and Rayyan.
  • Burnout Libguide – During the paper presentation “Burnout, Professional”[MeSH]: A Study on the Subject of Medical Librarian Burnout” by Megan N. Kellner, Associate Fellow, National Library of Medicine & Elizabeth O. Moreton, Nursing Liaison Librarian, UNC Chapel Hill, I learned about this very useful Libguide for medical librarians to test if they’re experiencing burnout and resources to prevent burnout.

Opportunities

Updates from MLA and NNLM included training opportunities for health science library professionals:

A New Toolkit to Promote Health Resources at Libraries

I’ve written before about how public libraries are a vitally important resource for teaching health literacy skills, providing health-related programs and services, and offering access to reliable health information for the general public.  The National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NNLM) offers public libraries a number of resources to help them fulfill this role, such as free online classes for library staff on consumer health topics and a fantastic guide to health information resources and programming ideas (created with California State Library), Finding Health and Wellness @ the Library: A Consumer Health Toolkit for Library Staff (2nd ed).  Back in September, I learned about a new toolkit created by NNLM and the American Library Association (ALA) for promoting health literacy at libraries that I wanted to take a closer look at.

This Health Literacy Toolkit is part of the broader Libraries Transform campaign from ALA, which is “designed to increase public awareness of the value, impact and services provided by libraries and library professionals.”  The toolkit offers simple, catchy “Because Statements” highlighting how libraries benefit individual and community health (like “Because quality information helps you make better decisions”).

because
Because Statements from the toolkit.

Each Because Statement can be printed as a poster, postcard, bookmark, or table tent or shared on social media (graphics sized for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook).  The toolkit also offers key messages, activity suggestions, and resource links related to each Because Statement.  Access to the toolkit materials is free, but users must register to access the materials.  The toolkit isn’t made specifically for public libraries and can also be used in school, academic, and special libraries to promote health resources.

Overall, I’m really impressed with the elegantly simple and unifying promotional messages offered by the Health Literacy Toolkit.  I spend a lot of time on social media in my current job, and I understand the importance of bold, simple statements that will hook the audience and stick in their mind.  Libraries are such amazingly valuable resources for offering equal access to high quality information and services, but unfortunately some people may view libraries as obsolete due to changing technology and user needs.  The Because Statements in this toolkit act as sharp, quick explanations about why libraries are still relevant and important for community health.  I also appreciate that the Because Statements can be downloaded in a wide variety of formats, so libraries can use them for both print and social media promotion.

The toolkit has a few areas where it could potentially be improved to increase promotional value and also direct library staff to additional useful health resources.  The text of the Because Statements is very catchy, but some sort of imagery added below the Because Statements could make the graphics much more eye-catching and appealing to a wider range of library patrons. Translation of the Because Statements into other languages (especially Spanish) could also help to reach a broader population of patrons.  Finally, I’d love to see some sort of integration between this new toolkit and the Finding Health and Wellness @ the Library toolkit.

The Finding Health and Wellness @ the Library toolkit offers a much broader list of health resources and programming ideas, while the Health Literacy Toolkit offers the graphics and promotional messages needed to promote these health resources and programs.  The Finding Health and Wellness @ the Library toolkit does seem to be in need of an update (with the second edition published in 2013).  Hopefully if the Health and Wellness toolkit is updated in the near future, it will be more closely linked to the new Health Literacy Toolkit.  Both toolkits offer important and complementary tools for creating and promoting health resources and programs within libraries.

 

National Networks of Libraries: Biomedical, Patent/Trademark, and Government Publications

Sometimes a person can’t find the information they need online, so they may actually need to go to a local library for research assistance, print and digital resources, and training opportunities.  Unfortunately, many people in different parts of the country can’t afford to travel all the way to the National Library of Medicine (NLM) for biomedical information or to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) headquarters for intellectual property information.  That’s why many academic and public libraries across the US are part of specialized library networks for sharing different types of information:

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NNLM

Overview: The NNLM is funded and coordinated by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, and the mission of the NNLM is to “advance the progress of medicine and improve public health by providing U.S. health professionals with equal access to biomedical information and improving individual’s access to information to enable them to make informed decisions about their health.”  Learn more through the About NNLM page.

Where they are located: The NNLM is made up of eight regions across the US, with a Regional Medical Library coordinating NNLM programs within each region.  Members of NNLM include “libraries, information centers, or other types of organizations,” and organizations can easily submit a form to request free membership.

What they offer:  NNLM offers many funding opportunities and free training opportunities ranging from consumer health to systematic review skills.  Membership within the network offers benefits like access to “free educational and printed materials” and “opportunities to request an NLM Traveling Exhibition to visit your library or organization.”

PTRC

Overview: PTRCs are “a nationwide network of public, state and academic libraries that are designated by the USPTO to disseminate patent and trademark information and to support the diverse intellectual property needs of the public.” Learn more about PTRCs through their History and Background page.

Where they are located: PTRCs are located at public, academic, state, and special libraries across most states in the US.  To become a PTRC, institutions must meet a number of requirements defined by the USPTO, and the institutions will then receive ongoing training and assistance from the USPTO to help staff at the PTRC understand patent and trademark protections and and search tools.

What they offer: All PTRCs provide patrons with access to a core collection of US patent and trademark information, and they also offer “patent and trademark training as well as provide reference assistance and outreach to the public.”

FDLP

Overview: The FDLP is administered by the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO), and “FDLP libraries collaborate on a local and national level to provide informed access to both historical and current Federal Government resources distributed through the FDLP.” Check the FDLP Basics page to learn more.

Where they are located: Federal depository libraries are located across the US in all 50 state, and institutions can be designated as Federal depository libraries by either congressional delegation (“each member of Congress may designate up to two qualified libraries”) or by-law designations.

What they offer: Federal depository libraries must have access to a basic core collection, and the libraries also have no-fee access to agency subscription databases.  There are a number of other collections and databases related to federal information that depository libraries may also offer access to. The FDLP offers many useful training resources for librarians and information professionals through FDLP Academy, such as webinars, training videos, events and conferences, a training assistance center, and more.  I suggest subscribing by email to the News and Events bulletins sent out by FDLP (you can learn about some great free webinars).

These are just the federally-funded library networks that I’m currently aware of, but I hope to learn about other networks for different types of specialized information in the coming years.