Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

[Reblog] Reaching Out in Rural Tennessee: Librarian Helps People Live Better Lives

From the 1 November 2013 NLM in Focus article

For Rick Wallace, health science librarian and professor at Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University (ETSU), community outreach encompasses the entire state.  He travels thousands of miles across Tennessee each year bringing vital health information to those in need, especially in rural communities.

“I love getting out from behind a desk and traveling to rural communities where people need health information,” he says.

In recognition of his singular dedication to the rural underserved, the Friends of the National Library of Medicine named Wallace the recipient of the 2013 Michael E. DeBakey Library Sciences Outreach Award. The national honor is bestowed annually on a health sciences librarian for outstanding service to rural or underserved populations and is presented at the 2013 FNLM awards gala.

“Being a health science librarian is a very personal thing,” says Wallace. “There’s a lot of technology out there now and it’s real easy to just sit in your office and tell people about the latest app. But for me it means getting out there and being involved in the community.

Richard Wallace at outreach event“I want every rural hospital and health center to have access to quality health information, to know how to search PubMed databases, use document delivery tools like Loansome  Doc, and feel comfortable browsing MedlinePlus for consumer health information. They’re the best in the world, all part of the greatest biomedical library in the world, the National Library of Medicine.”

Wallace began his calling in health sciences at the University of Tennessee, Memphis Health Sciences Library, working in circulation, in 1987, before finally finding his way to ETSU in 1995.

Over the years, he has seen the medical librarianship position become more tenuous as large corporate hospitals acquire smaller local hospitals, consolidating them and eliminating library positions. “One of my biggest challenges now is selling the vision of the health science librarian as essential in the information age. There is such a push to cut everything that is not mandated. It can be tough to get some of these big medical institutions to recognize the value of a health science librarian.”

Wallace has spearheaded projects that have taken him back and forth across Tennessee. One such is “A Simple Plan,” which offers instruction in consumer health information for public librarians. For more than six years, Wallace and his assistants traveled thousands of miles annually training public librarians, distributing over 1500 articles over the last 17 years,  and building relationships with some 40 rural hospitals and clinics, helping them obtain grants and pointing the way for rural public health departments to provide remote access to health information.

Wallace and his group also have shaped consumer health information programs for Hispanic farm workers, high school students, elderly patients and staff in nursing homes, and cancer patients. They have trained caregivers, religious leaders, and others to use health information tools. They’ve distributed smartphones, tablet computers—complete with clinical software—and other mobile devices to some 300 Tennessee clinicians.

For example, working with the Migrant Health Program for Rural Medical Services, Inc. (RMS), in Parrottsville, TN, which operates one of five primary care clinics in the state and provides primary healthcare to migrant farm workers in East Tennessee, Wallace initiated and helped write a series of grant proposals that brought NN/LM funding for innovative health education programs.

One grant brought community theater actors to the migrant camps to demonstrate good health practices for diabetes, perinatal care, and other topics. The grants also facilitated production of Spanish-language videos on prenatal care, and funded purchase of laptop computers and printers for Migrant Health Program educators, enabling them to access health information during home visits to the underserved.

Wallace also led a team on several Remote Area Medical (RAM) expeditions to provide free medical, dental, and vision care and information to more than 2,500 of the working poor.

Lucretia W. McClure, MA, of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the National Library of Medicine, lauds Wallace as “an active and integral contributor in serving rural and underserved members of Tennessee for almost 20 years.” She notes, “He has reached thousands of people and raised almost a half a million dollars in grants that have contributed to the betterment of overall health in rural Tennessee.”

Says Wallace, “A lot of the things we do are simple, but they make a difference. We try to make an impact; to help people make good medical decisions. I’d like to be remembered as only one of the mighty army of health professionals who helped people live better lives.”

By Thomas Conuel, NLM in Focus writer 

 

 

November 4, 2013 Posted by | Consumer Health | , , , , | Leave a comment

PubMed Commons – A New Way to Share Information and Research Processes

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 4.20.30 AM

Screen Shot 2013-10-23 at 4.22.37 AM

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From a recent email  by Holly Ann Burt, Outreach and Exhibits Coordinator of the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) Greater Midwest Region

NCBI has released PubMed** Commons, currently in pilot phase, which is a new system that enables researchers to share their opinions about scientific publications indexed in the PubMed database. This is intended to be a forum for open and constructive criticism and discussion of scientific issues.

A new NCBI Insights Blog post provides more information and explains how researchers can join in!

For more information, please see:

PubMed Commons Homepage – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedcommons
NCBI Insights Blog post: “PubMed Commons – a new forum for scientific discourse”-http://ncbiinsights.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2013/10/22/pubmed-commons-a-new-forum-for-scientific-discourse/

Here’s a mock-up

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**PubMed  (a US government funded database) is the largest database of biomedical journals in the world. It comprises more than 23 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. Citations may include links to full-text content from PubMed Central and publisher web sites.

October 23, 2013 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources, Medical and Health Research News | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New Image Search Engine from the National Library of Medicine For Biomedical Articles

From the Web announcement

The Open-i project aims to provide next generation information retrieval services for biomedical articles from the full text collections such as PubMed Central. It is unique in its ability to index both the text and images in the articles. The article retrieval is powered by Essie (the search engine that supports ClinicalTrials.gov).

Open-i lets users retrieve not only the MEDLINE citation information, but also the outcome statements in the article and the most relevant figure from it. Further, it is possible to use the figure as a query component to find other relevant images or other visually similar images. Future stages aim to provide image region-of-interest (ROI) based querying. The initial number of images is projected to be around 600,000 and will scale to millions. The extensive image analysis and indexing and deep text analysis and indexing require distributed computing. At the request of the Board of Scientific Counselors, we intend to make the image computation services available as a NLM service.

Vist our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information and help.openi-large

 

December 12, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

Many NIH-funded clinical trials go unpublished over two years after completion (with ClinicalTrials.gov link for many trial study results)

[Flahiff's note:  It is possible that  many of these unpublished clinical trial results would have made a positive difference in many people's lives. These unpublished results have the potential of aiding many researchers. They can prevent unnecessary duplicate trials, point to areas needing more research, and potentially provide groundwork for collaboration.

On another note, it is good to see that published research papers are now more accessible to all.  As of 2008, research papers based on NIH grants must be submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) when those papers are accepted for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. PMC will then make the papers freely available to the public within 12 months of publication.

I look forward to the day when all research papers are freely available to the public.  There are a myriad of issues, as who pays for the publishing, the peer review process, and where the research papers should be "housed". However, I believe the more scientific research results are disseminated in easily accessible format, the more we can advance in technology applications and filling in knowledge gaps.]

Excerpt from the 3 January 2012 article By Karen N. Peart at Yale News

In a study that investigates the challenges of disseminating clinical research findings in peer-reviewed biomedical journals, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that fewer than half of a sample of trials primarily or partially funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) were published within 30 months of completing the clinical trial.

These findings appear in the January issue of the British Medical Journal, which focuses on the topic of unpublished evidence.

[As of 3 January 2012, the January issue of BMJ was not yet online..however many of the articles may be found at http://www.bmj.com/archive/sevendays]

“When research findings are not disseminated, the scientific process is disrupted and leads to redundant efforts and misconceptions about clinical evidence,” said Dr. Joseph Ross, first author of the study and a Yale assistant professor of medicine. “Such inaction undermines both the trial in question and the evidence available in peer-reviewed medical literature. This has far-reaching implications for policy decisions, and even institutional review board assessments of risks and benefits associated with future research studies.”…

Ross said that there may be many reasons for lack of publication, such as not getting accepted by a journal or not prioritizing the dissemination of research findings. Still, he said, there are alternative methods for providing timely public access to study results, including the results database at ClinicalTrials.gov** that was created in response to Federal law.

[From the About Page at Clinical Trials.gov
US Public Law 110-85 (Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 or FDAAA), Title VIII, Section 801 mandates that a "responsible party" (i.e., the study sponsor or designated principal investigator) register and report results of certain "applicable clinical trials" that were initiated or ongoing as of September 27, 2007...]

Related Resource

ClinicalTrials.gov

ClinicalTrials.gov  offers up-to-date information for locating federally and privately supported clinical trials for a wide range of diseases and conditions.

ClinicalTrials.gov currently contains 118,682 trials sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, other federal agencies, and private industry.

**Here is how one can check for study results
(remember, researchers are not mandated to submit study results to ClinicalTrials.gov, they are voluntary)

    • Go to ClinicalTrials.gov
    • Click on Search (upper right corner)
    • Click on Advanced Search
    • Go to Study Results, use drop down menu to select Studies with results
    • Fill out rest of form with as much specific information as you can
      especially search terms, conditions, and/or interventions

ClinicalTrials.gov records with published results listed via the PubMed medical literature search service.  

  •         Use the Advanced Search with the search phrase clinicaltrials.gov[si]

Use the Builder  limit results by topics (as a disease, medical device), year(s), name of researcher/invesitator)

  •         Need help searching? PubMed has tutorials , including a YouTube at the Advanced Search Page

        Ask for assistance from a reference librarian at your local public, academic, hospital, or medical library.
Many academic, hospital, and medical libraries offer at least basic search help to all. Call ahead and ask
about their services. You may be pleasantly surprised.

January 4, 2012 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Tutorials/Finding aids | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

PubMed Health – A Growing Resource for Clinical Effectiveness Information

Screen capture of PubMed Health homepage.

From the November NLM Technical Bulletin article

PubMed Health — A Growing Resource for Clinical Effectiveness Information

PubMed® Health developed further as a resource for clinical effectiveness research with its August and September 2011 releases. Growing from around 200 items based on systematic reviews to over 5,000, PubMed Health has also begun a collection focused on helping people understand systematic reviews and their results. PubMed Health goals are: helping users find the evidence that could answer their questions about effects of health care and helping them understand what they find.

Making Systematic Reviews More Accessible
Systematic reviews that identify and interpret studies on the effects of health care form an essential research basis for informed decision-making. Systematic reviewing has been growing, especially with the advent of The Cochrane Collaboration and the increasing incorporation of this methodology in health technology assessment by public agencies and clinical practice guideline development.

Systematic reviews (including health technology assessments) are often lengthy and highly technical. Their evolution has been accompanied by a growth in knowledge translation activity. Along with traditional abstracts, various forms have been developed to help people use systematic reviews: executive and policymaker summaries, summaries or other forms for patients/consumers and summaries for clinicians.

However, these materials have been scattered widely on content providers’ Web sites without being collected centrally. Many of the systematic reviews undertaken by public health technology assessment agencies have also remained outside the National Library of Medicine® (NLM®) system. The PubMed Health initiative is gathering them together within a single searchable resource.

PubMed Health Content
PubMed Health contains systematic reviews and summaries of systematic reviews undertaken or updated in roughly the last ten years. The time limit is applied to publication date of around eight years, to allow for the time lag from the date of the evidence search. The cut-off currently is 2003.

New content incorporated in these releases include summaries from The Cochrane Collaboration and the National Health Service (NHS) National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme. There are also full text reviews from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP) at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), England’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines program, and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Evidence-based Synthesis Program. From NHS Choices comes “Behind the Headlines”, its educational service on the science behind the news. These new content providers join PubMed Health original consumer clinical effectiveness content for consumers content provided by AHRQ and the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

The reviews and review summaries now in PubMed Health account for perhaps one-third of the good quality systematic reviews published by public agencies and journals worldwide. Most of the remainder can be found in PubMed “Clinical Queries” Systematic Reviews search which runs simultaneously with a PubMed Health search; those PubMed results are presented as links on the right-hand portion of the results page (see #3 in Figure 4).

Organization
The re-designed homepage (see Figure 1) includes four key sections:

  • Contents: a complete alphabetical listing of all titles, sorted by type of content.
  • Behind Headlines: the NHS guide to the science behind health stories in the news.
  • New & updated: content added in the last 60 days.
  • Featured reviews: high quality reviews on interesting topics are selected and featured here. “Previously featured reviews” are provided in an RSS feed to which people can subscribe.
  • Understanding clinical effectiveness: an explanation of clinical effectiveness research along with a section focusing on resources to help people understand systematic reviews and interpret the results.

Screen capture of PubMed Health homepage.
Figure 1: PubMed Health homepage.

A drop-down box under “Contents” (see Figure 2) shows the categories of information currently included in PubMed Health where these are available:

  • For consumers: includes consumer summaries of systematic reviews as well as consumer information based on systematic reviews.
  • Executive summaries: executive or policymaker summaries of systematic reviews.
  • Clinical guides: clinician summaries of systematic reviews as well as clinical practice guidelines that are based on a fully reported systematic review.
  • Full text reviews: systematic reviews with full texts, including PDF versions.
  • Medical encyclopedia: medical and drug information for consumers for supplementary background information.

PubMed Health includes content that is currently also cited in PubMed, and PubMed Health will systematically be building in links to these citations. However, there will be some time lag for many items between inclusion in PubMed Health and citation in PubMed. Consumer content from PubMed Health is currently not included in PubMed.

Screen capture of Contents drop-down box.
Figure 2: Contents drop-down box.

At the top right-hand corner (see Figure 3), “About PubMed Health” explains the Web site and the National Center Biotechnology Information, NLM, with a full listing of content providers. “Help” includes explanation of basic functions, along with suggested citations for PubMed Health content.

Screen capture of About PubMed Health and Help features.
Figure 3: About PubMed Health and Help features.

Searching
The primary search (see #1 in Figure 4) returns clinical effectiveness content by relevance, with the option of viewing all (default) or only specified content types. Relevant medical encyclopedia results are shown at the right (see #2 inFigure 4), with the results of the “Clinical Queries” filter search for systematic reviews in PubMed showing below those (see #3 in Figure 4). “Clinical Queries” returns results chronologically.

Screen capture of Search results.
Figure 4: Search results.

Additional Features
With medical encyclopedia content, PubMed Health has enhanced the display of anatomical images and given this popular feature a more prominent position. There are links from the medical encyclopedia diseases and conditions pages to MedlinePlus® content.

PubMed Health now features “Add this” sharing for e-mail and social media. Coming in the fall, PubMed Health will begin a Twitter feed, announcing new content providers and features, as well as featured content.

PubMed Health full address: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/
Shortcut: http://www.pubmed.gov/health
Customer service contact: pmh-help@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

By Hilda Bastian
National Center for Biotechnology Information

 


November 16, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, health care, Health Statistics, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources, Tutorials/Finding aids | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PubMed Health — A Growing Resource for Clinical Effectiveness Information

 

Logo for PubMed, a service of the National Lib...

Image via Wikipedia

From the November NLM Technical Bulletin article

PubMed Health — A Growing Resource for Clinical Effectiveness Information

PubMed® Health developed further as a resource for clinical effectiveness research with its August and September 2011 releases. Growing from around 200 items based on systematic reviews to over 5,000, PubMed Health has also begun a collection focused on helping people understand systematic reviews and their results. PubMed Health goals are: helping users find the evidence that could answer their questions about effects of health care and helping them understand what they find.

Making Systematic Reviews More Accessible
Systematic reviews that identify and interpret studies on the effects of health care form an essential research basis for informed decision-making. Systematic reviewing has been growing, especially with the advent of The Cochrane Collaboration and the increasing incorporation of this methodology in health technology assessment by public agencies and clinical practice guideline development.

Systematic reviews (including health technology assessments) are often lengthy and highly technical. Their evolution has been accompanied by a growth in knowledge translation activity. Along with traditional abstracts, various forms have been developed to help people use systematic reviews: executive and policymaker summaries, summaries or other forms for patients/consumers and summaries for clinicians.

However, these materials have been scattered widely on content providers’ Web sites without being collected centrally. Many of the systematic reviews undertaken by public health technology assessment agencies have also remained outside the National Library of Medicine® (NLM®) system. The PubMed Health initiative is gathering them together within a single searchable resource.

PubMed Health Content
PubMed Health contains systematic reviews and summaries of systematic reviews undertaken or updated in roughly the last ten years. The time limit is applied to publication date of around eight years, to allow for the time lag from the date of the evidence search. The cut-off currently is 2003.

New content incorporated in these releases include summaries from The Cochrane Collaboration and the National Health Service (NHS) National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Health Technology Assessment Programme. There are also full text reviews from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the Drug Effectiveness Review Project (DERP) at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), England’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines program, and the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Evidence-based Synthesis Program. From NHS Choices comes “Behind the Headlines”, its educational service on the science behind the news. These new content providers join PubMed Health original consumer clinical effectiveness content for consumers content provided by AHRQ and the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

The reviews and review summaries now in PubMed Health account for perhaps one-third of the good quality systematic reviews published by public agencies and journals worldwide. Most of the remainder can be found in PubMed “Clinical Queries” Systematic Reviews search which runs simultaneously with a PubMed Health search; those PubMed results are presented as links on the right-hand portion of the results page (see #3 in Figure 4).

Organization
The re-designed homepage (see Figure 1) includes four key sections:

  • Contents: a complete alphabetical listing of all titles, sorted by type of content.
  • Behind Headlines: the NHS guide to the science behind health stories in the news.
  • New & updated: content added in the last 60 days.
  • Featured reviews: high quality reviews on interesting topics are selected and featured here. “Previously featured reviews” are provided in an RSS feed to which people can subscribe.
  • Understanding clinical effectiveness: an explanation of clinical effectiveness research along with a section focusing on resources to help people understand systematic reviews and interpret the results.

Screen capture of PubMed Health homepage.
Figure 1: PubMed Health homepage.

A drop-down box under “Contents” (see Figure 2) shows the categories of information currently included in PubMed Health where these are available:

  • For consumers: includes consumer summaries of systematic reviews as well as consumer information based on systematic reviews.
  • Executive summaries: executive or policymaker summaries of systematic reviews.
  • Clinical guides: clinician summaries of systematic reviews as well as clinical practice guidelines that are based on a fully reported systematic review.
  • Full text reviews: systematic reviews with full texts, including PDF versions.
  • Medical encyclopedia: medical and drug information for consumers for supplementary background information.

PubMed Health includes content that is currently also cited in PubMed, and PubMed Health will systematically be building in links to these citations. However, there will be some time lag for many items between inclusion in PubMed Health and citation in PubMed. Consumer content from PubMed Health is currently not included in PubMed.

Screen capture of Contents drop-down box.
Figure 2: Contents drop-down box.

At the top right-hand corner (see Figure 3), “About PubMed Health” explains the Web site and the National Center Biotechnology Information, NLM, with a full listing of content providers. “Help” includes explanation of basic functions, along with suggested citations for PubMed Health content.

Screen capture of About PubMed Health and Help features.
Figure 3: About PubMed Health and Help features.

Searching
The primary search (see #1 in Figure 4) returns clinical effectiveness content by relevance, with the option of viewing all (default) or only specified content types. Relevant medical encyclopedia results are shown at the right (see #2 inFigure 4), with the results of the “Clinical Queries” filter search for systematic reviews in PubMed showing below those (see #3 in Figure 4). “Clinical Queries” returns results chronologically.

Screen capture of Search results.
Figure 4: Search results.

Additional Features
With medical encyclopedia content, PubMed Health has enhanced the display of anatomical images and given this popular feature a more prominent position. There are links from the medical encyclopedia diseases and conditions pages to MedlinePlus® content.

PubMed Health now features “Add this” sharing for e-mail and social media. Coming in the fall, PubMed Health will begin a Twitter feed, announcing new content providers and features, as well as featured content.

PubMed Health full address: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/
Shortcut: http://www.pubmed.gov/health
Customer service contact: pmh-help@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

By Hilda Bastian
National Center for Biotechnology Information

 

November 16, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Librarian Resources, Tutorials/Finding aids | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Patients want to understand the medical literature (with links to resources for patients)

http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/patientcare/library_for_health_information/Pages/index.aspx

From the Science Intelligence blog item

Findings of a recent  study by JISC:

Publishing a lay summary alongside every research article could be the answer to assisting in the wider understanding of health-related information. 

Patients Participate! asked patients, the public, medical research charities and the research community, ‘How can we work together in making sense of scientific literature, to truly open up research findings for everyone who is interested?’ The answer came from patients who explained that they want easy-to-understand, evidence-based information relating to biomedical and health research. 

Some universities now offer researchers training in communicating with lay audiences. (…)

JISC believes that publicly-funded research should be made available for everyone and be easy to find. JISC funded this work to show how making access to scientific literature enables citizen-patients to participate in the research process, therefore providing mutual understanding and better links between scientists, medic, patients and the general public.

http://www.jisc.ac.uk/news/stories/2011/10/participate.aspx


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“Summaries for Patients” and other plain language summaries help patients and others understand medical studies and guidelines

“Summaries for Patients

“Summaries for Patients” are brief, non-technical summaries of studies and clinical guidelines published inAnnals of Internal Medicine. The Summaries aim to explain these published articles to people who are not health care providers.

To search for summaries, click on New Search (top of middle column) at “Summaries for Patients”
Once at the New Search Page (http://www.annals.org/search), be sure to check Summaries for Patients , under Limit Results by Section (Articles Published After 1927)


Here are excerpts from a recent Summaries for Patients, Who Reports Having More Pain at the End of Life?

What is the problem and what is known about it so far?

Pain at the end of life is everyone’s great fear, but we still do not know enough about what makes pain worse at the end of life. Studies of pain near death have mostly looked at specific types of patients, such as those with cancer or those who are in a hospice program in which a patient’s comfort and reducing pain is a main focus of care. Other studies have asked family members about their deceased or dying relative’s experience of pain in the last months of life, but these reports are affected by their feelings about the pain of their loved one. In addition, studies have generally not examined patients from national surveys that offer broader understanding of patients’ experience of moderate to clinically significant pain at the end of life.

What did the researchers find?

Among the more than 4700 patients in the study, about 25% had clinically significant pain. However, the proportion experiencing significant pain increased to nearly 50% in the last 4 months before death. One of the most important things that affected the amount of pain was having arthritis. Surprisingly, the reason that a person was dying, such as heart disease or cancer, was not associated with important differences in the amount of pain.

What were the limitations of the study?

No information about treatment for pain was provided, and the study did not follow specific patients over time to see how their pain changed. Some people with arthritis might have had pain from something else that they mistakenly thought was arthritis.

What are the implications of the study?

Physicians and patients are not good at knowing when death is close, so it is important long before the last few months of life to discuss pain and ways to reduce it. Arthritis may be an important cause of pain or death that could be reduced by lifestyle changes long before death.

patientINFORM plain language summary Web sites are provided by participating publishers to help patients or their caregivers more fully understand the implications of research and to provide links to the full text of research articles they’ve selected from participating journals. The publishers allow readers following links from patientINFORM material on the health organizations’ sites to access the full text of these articles without a subscription, and they provide patients and caregivers with free or reduced-fee access to other articles in participating journals.

The Cochrane Collaboration

Working together to provide the best evidence for health care

Cochrane Collaboration provides systematic reviews of the strongest evidence available about healthcare interventions (as drugs and medical procedures).  It does not cover all interventions, but those covered were reviewed  in-depth by experts in the medical and library fields.
The main activity of the Collaboration is the preparation of Cochrane reviews that are published electronically in successive issues of The Cochrane Library. These Cochrane reviews investigate the effects of interventions for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. They also assess the accuracy of a diagnostic test for a given condition in a specific patient group and setting.
[Click here to find more information about the use of the evidence to inform decision making in health care ]

Here is how to find plain language  and audio summaries of Cochrane reviews

Related Blog Items 


Cannot find a plain language summary with the above resources?

Consider asking a reference librarian for help at your local public, academic, or hospital library. Many academic and hospital libraries provide at least limited reference service to the public.
Call or email them for information about their services.

You may also contact me at jmflahiff@msncom.  I will do my best to reply within 48 hours.

November 16, 2011 Posted by | Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public) | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Consult with a librarian to find information more efficiently and effectively! (peer reviewed study summary)

 

group6http://www.rluk.ac.uk/node/657

From the Science Intelligence blog item

A recent study has has found quantitative evidence of a significant difference in search performance between paediatric residents or interns assisted by a librarian and those searching the literature alone.

Each participant searched PubMed and other online sources, performing pre-determined tasks including the formulation of a clinical question, retrieval and selection of bibliographic records. In the assisted group, participants were supported by a librarian with ≥5 years of experience. The primary outcome was the success of search sessions, scored against a specific assessment tool.

To read in Health information and Libraries Journal:***
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1471-1842.2011.00957.x/abstract

*** This article is only available online through paid subscription.

 For suggestions on how to get this article for free or at low cost, click here.

 

 

November 16, 2011 Posted by | Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Librarian Resources, Reference Service | , , | 1 Comment

“Show Off Your Apps” Winners of the NLM software development challenge

From the NLM (National Library of Medicine) Web page

Show Off Your Apps Winners And Honorable Mentions

 

175th Anniversary Video ContestThe National Library of Medicine (NLM), wishes to congratulate the five winning entries in the Library’s software development challenge, “Show off Your Apps: Innovative Uses of NLM Information.” In addition, we thank all Entrants for participating in the Library’s first software development challenge!

 

Winners

 

GLAD4U

GLAD4U (Gene List Automatically Derived For You) is a new, free web-based gene retrieval and prioritization tool, which takes advantage of the NCBI’s Entrez Programming Utilities (E-utilities). Upon the submission of a query, GLAD4U retrieves the corresponding publications with eSearch before using Pubmed ID-Entrez Gene ID mapping tables provided by the NCBI to create a list of genes. A statistics-based prioritization algorithm ranks those genes into a list that is output to the user, usually within less than a minute. The GLAD4U user interface accepts any valid queries for PubMed, and its output page displays the ranked gene list and information associated with each gene, chronologically-ordered supporting publications, along with a summary of the run and links for file exports and for further functional enrichment analyses.

 

iAnatomy

Learning anatomy interactively with a touchscreen device is  dynamic and engaging. Having it as an app, makes the information available anywhere, anytime. iAnatomy is an exciting electronic anatomy atlas for iPhone/iPod touch. The images are interactive and zoomable. If a label is touched, the name of the structure is shown.  Images span from the face to the pelvis. The face and neck images and the female pelvis images are reconstructed from data from the National Library of Medicine’s Visible Human Project. iAnatomy is designed to stand on its own and does not require an ongoing internet connection. Learning is reinforced with multiple quiz modes. Latin medical terminology is also included as an option for international use.

 

KNALIJ

The KNALIJ web application addresses the challenges and opportunities posed by ‘big data’ with a new generation of information visualization tools. It offers researchers, students and health consumers alike a technology platform with capabilities to rapidly discover and gain insights from the copious amounts of information being made available from the National Libraries of Medicine (NLM), through its data repositories such as PubMed. KNALIJ recognizes the ‘connections’ linking bio-medical and life sciences research and researchers around the world, and visualizes those linkages. This makes them clear, intuitive, and even playful by providing interactive ‘information communities’ for exploration, analysis, and education.

 

NLMplus

NLMplus is an innovative semantic search and discovery application developed by WebLib LLC, a small business in Maryland. NLMplus provides enhanced access to the vast collection of health and biomedical information and services made available by the world’s largest medical library, the National Library of Medicine (NLM).

 

Quertle

Quertle is an innovative website for searching and investigating the biomedical literature. Quertle uses advanced linguistic methods to find the most relevant documents instead of traditional keyword searching, which often returns an overwhelming list of uninformative articles. Quertle is geared to active life science professionals – both researchers and health care providers – and saves them considerable time and effort in finding the literature they need.  Quertle, available on the web using any browser, simultaneously searches multiple sources of life science literature, including MEDLINE.

 

Honorable Mentions

 

BioDigital Human Platform

The BioDigital Human Platform simplifies the understanding of health topics by visualizing anatomy, conditions and treatments. Similar to how geo-browsers such as Google Earth serve as the basis for thousands of location based applications, the BioDigital Human Platform will open up entirely new ways to augment healthcare applications. From the visual representation of concepts found on health portals, to step-by-step virtual guidance for surgical planning, to EHR integration so patients can finally understand their diagnosis, the BioDigital Human Platform will meet the learning demands of 21st century medicine.

 

DailyMedPlus

DailyMedPlus is an online application providing integrated access to pharmaceutical information available from various databases provided by the National Library of Medicine (NLM).  DailyMedPlus offers a high-performance unified search engine providing ranked, highlighted and full-text search results for patients and healthcare professionals who seek updated prescribing information.  As the only product of its kind, the application supports searching NLM databases for pharmaceutical products using trade and generic names, medical conditions, indications, contra-indications, side-effects, and also allows for the searching of these products by their physical characteristics (“red round”), providing image results in an in line intuitive layout.  Users benefit from comprehensive search results of more than 90,000 products displayed in over 26,000 organized and digitally curated monographs designed for browsing on a wide variety of desktop and mobile platforms.

 

Drug Diary

Drug Diary is an iOS (iPhone / iPod Touch / iPad) application that allows users to quickly build an inventory of prescribed and OTC medications they are currently taking or have taken in the past along with information on the associated prescribers and pharmacies.  From there, they are able to take notes outlining their experiences with these medications and generate reports to share with care providers.  Data entry is made quick and easy through the use of a locally cached copy of the NLM’s RxTerms dataset and intelligent data entry screens that require little to no typing.  The app leverages the data present in RxTerms to allow one tap access to another NLM source, MedLine Plus, which is a web portal that provides detailed information on the medications in the user’s library.

 

Molecules

Molecules is a 3-D molecular modeling application for Apple’s iOS devices, including the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.  It pushes the limits of mobile graphics processors by using advanced techniques to make realistic renderings of molecular models.  A touch-based interface allows for intuitive manipulation of these structures, so that they can be viewed from any angle and at any scale. While originally designed for researchers to view and present biomolecule structures on the go, the most popular use of Molecules has proven to be in education.  Chemistry teachers are using this application to explain common molecular structures to their students, and biology professors are demonstrating the form and function of biomolecules.  Many students already have iOS devices of their own, so they are able to make the lesson more personal by following along on their own iPhone or iPad.  The popularity of this approach is seen in the over 1.7 million downloads of this application to date.

 

ORKOV

Orkov is a Greek term for Hippocratic Oath that medical professionals, especially, physicians take all over the world. Orkov, an iPhone App for iOS 5 platform as well as for Android OS is a productivity smart phone application for hundreds of thousands of medical researchers who are the end users of PubMed.gov data all over the world.  Orkov empowers many researchers to search and browse research abstracts and full text research articles from the repository of PubMed.gov’s over 5,000+ research journals.  Orkov utilizes publicly available web service interface of PubMed.gov.  Majority of the features of PubMed.gov are wrapped into a powerful iPhone/Andorid App that is easy to use and navigate.

November 2, 2011 Posted by | Educational Resources (Health Professionals), Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PubMed Clinical Queries Page Updated

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From the 11 August 2011 National Library of Medicine (NLM) Technical Bulletin

The PubMed® Clinical Queries homepage will be slightly modified to provide users with a more straightforward understanding of how to enter a search (see Figure 1).

Screen capture of PubMed Clinical Queries homepage.
Figure 1: PubMed Clinical Queries homepage.

After running a search, the category/scope limits for the Clinical Query Study Categories secion and topic limits for the Medical Genetics section will be available on the preview results page (see Figure 2).

Screen capture of PubMed Clinical Queries preview results page.
Figure 2: PubMed Clinical Queries preview results page.

The clinical queries search strategies will not be changed.

By Kathi Canese
National Center for Biotechnology Information

 

[From http://medlib.bu.edu/busdm/content.cfm/content/pubmedclinicalqueries.cfm]

PubMed Clinical Queries provides access to specialized PubMed searches designed to quickly connect clinicians with evidence-based clinical literature.

There are two EBM search options:

    • Search by Clinical Study Category
    • Find Systematic Reviews
For more information on how PubMed can help you find biomedical articles (PubMed is the largest indexer of biomedical literature) please go to
               Many academic and medical librarians give at least limited assistance to the public.
               Call ahead and ask for a reference librarian

 

August 12, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How many research papers are freely available? (About 28% in PubMed)- August 01, 2011


7daysOAresized.jpg

From the Nature.com Newsblog item

The chart shows the proportion of papers indexed on the (largely biomedical) PubMed repository each year that are now freely accessible: in 2009, it’s above 28%. (Some of this literature is not immediately available at the time that it is published, because of journal policies that impose embargo periods on when material can become free). Those numbers are even more impressive than a study last year which found that around 20% of research papers published in 2008 were freely available on the internet.

The growth is due to various public access mandates by federal government and by funding agencies – as well as the success of open access publishers like the Public Library of Science. “What’s interesting is the relatively stable linear slope here for more than 10 years,” says David Lipman, director of the US National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the National Institutes of Health, which houses PubMed. “Would we expect that to continue at the same rate with around 50% of the literature published in 2021 freely available?”

Read entire article (with links) here


August 9, 2011 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories | , | Leave a comment

MedTerm Search Assist – A database to share biomedical terminology and strategies for comprehensive searches

MedTerm Search Assist

By librarians for librarians — A database to share
biomedical terminology and strategies for comprehensive searches

From a Medlib-L listerv entry dated 15 July 2011

The MedTerm Search Assist http://www.hsls.pitt.edu/terms/> database was developed at the Health Sciences Library System, University of Pittsburgh, for librarians to share terminology, MEDLINE search strategies, and search tips with one another for comprehensive searches such as systematic reviews. Any librarian can add a new term into the database or suggest additions for existing records.

Before being displayed in the database, all submitted terms are reviewed for obvious errors such as misspellings, but are not reviewed for thoroughness, quality, or accuracy.

To contribute or browse the database please visit: www.hsls.pitt.edu/terms http://www.hsls.pitt.edu/terms>.

For comments or questions regarding the database please fill out the available form: http://www.hsls.pitt.edu/terms/contact
<http://www.hsls.pitt.edu/terms/contact> or e-mail the project managers  directly: Ahlam Saleh, saleha@pitt.edu or Melissa Ratajeski, mar@pitt.edu

July 18, 2011 Posted by | Librarian Resources | , , , | 2 Comments

My NCBI — Enhancements to My Bibliography

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From the 24 June 2011 NLM Technical Bulletin

Citations stored in My Bibliography will soon display links to Free full text, Related citations and articles Cited in PMC (PubMed Central®). See Figure 1. In addition, My Bibliography will be enhanced to include a portlet for Related PubMed® Citations.

Screen capture of My Bibliography with links and Related PubMed Citations portlet.

Figure 1: My Bibliography with links and Related PubMed Citations portlet.
The “Free full text” link will be available for a citation when the article full text is found in PubMed Central. The link goes directly to the PMC article.

The “Related citations” link retrieves articles that are topically related to a single citation stored in My Bibliography. The related citations are displayed in PubMed.

The “Cited in PMC” link retrieves articles found in PubMed Central that reference a single citation present in My Bibliography. The cited by articles are displayed in PMC.

The Related PubMed Citations portlet will present a brief list of citations recently added to PubMed. Citation retrieval for this portlet is based on the research topics found in the citations stored in My Bibliography. The portlet will be updated weekly, providing users with the latest information related to their research interests.

By Lidia Hutcherson
National Center for Biotechnology Information

My NCBI allows you to create (within PubMed) automatic email alerts, save your searches and records, filter results by subject, and much more.

 

Related Resources

July 6, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

When PubMed searching yields few good results – 28 biomedical literature search tools evaluated

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Have you ever searched PubMed and have been disappointed with the results?
Or have been frustrated with the search interface?

Read on for other ways to search the biomedical literature.

From the Krafty Librarian posting, 28 April 2011

PubMed and beyond: a survey of web tools for searching biomedical literature” (free full text) from Database (2011) Vol. 2011, doi: 10.093/database/baq036

The article looks at and reviews 28 web tools for searching the biomedical literature and compares them to PubMed and each other and has a website dedicated to tracking existing tools and future advances in the area of biomedical literature search tools.

Abstract:

The past decade has witnessed the modern advances of high-throughput technology and rapid growth of research capacity in producing large-scale biological data, both of which were concomitant with an exponential growth of biomedical literature. This wealth of scholarly knowledge is of significant importance for researchers in making scientific discoveries and healthcare professionals in managing health-related matters. However, the acquisition of such information is becoming increasingly difficult due to its large volume and rapid growth. In response, the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is continuously making changes to its PubMed Web service for improvement. Meanwhile, different entities have devoted themselves to developing Web tools for helping users quickly and efficiently search and retrieve relevant publications. These practices, together with maturity in the field of text mining, have led to an increase in the number and quality of various Web tools that provide comparable literature search service to PubMed. In this study, we review 28 such tools, highlight their respective innovations, compare them to the PubMed system and one another, and discuss directions for future development. Furthermore, we have built a website dedicated to tracking existing systems and future advances in the field of biomedical literature search. Taken together, our work serves information seekers in choosing tools for their needs and service providers and developers in keeping current in the field.

Not only does the article look at these 28 interfaces but it also looks at the recent changes to PubMed that were often influenced by these and other outside interfaces.

There is no way any library or librarian can teach or support every one of these interfaces, but this paper is free and is a nice resource to whip out when somebody asks about one of them.

 

 

  • Biomedical Literature Search Tools – Links to PubMed alternatives as well as a tool selection filter (natural language, similar results, semantic search with biological concepts)

* indicates the 28 systems surveyed in Lu, Database 2011 (PubMed and Beyond)

# indicates other systems added to the list after the above publication through request or regular update (last update: April 2011)

  • Third Party PubMed Tools (slide presentation, highlighting a few PubMed alternatives, Alison Aldrich, National Network of Libraries of Medicine)
  • PubMed Alternatives: Research Guide
    Margaret Henderson, Virginia Commonwealth University Tompkins-McCaw Library
  • PubMed® Online and App Resources (NLM) includes links to PubMed alternatives (including individual search engines/interfaces)

 

April 29, 2011 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

My NCBI Redesign

My NCBI*** has been redesigned with an improved user interface. A video overview is available: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ks46w3mNAQE
                        (The NCBI You Tube Channel has tutorials, interviews, and news items. Subscription Option)

From the 20 April 2011 NLM Technical Bulletin Item

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is pleased to announce that an improved user interface will be released for My NCBI. The new interface will eliminate complexities and provide a streamlined interface, robust performance, and intuitive navigation. The most visually significant enhancement is that all functions are viewed directly from the My NCBI homepage, where they are made readily accessible for set up and customization.

The following are highlights of the new My NCBI interface. (Click here to see the highlights, complete with figures)

***MyNCBI is a personalized way to save searches and results from PubMed and other NCBI databases.

It also “features an option to automatically update and e-mail search results from your saved searches.

My NCBI users can save their citations (journal articles, books, meetings, patents and presentations) in My Bibliography and manage peer review article compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy.

My NCBI includes additional features for filtering search results, highlighting search terms, and setting LinkOut, Document Delivery Service and Outside Tool preferences.” [NCBI Help - What is NCBI?]

Related Resources

April 21, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources, Tutorials/Finding aids | , | Leave a comment

My NCBI Redesign (Personal Search Saving & More Tool for PubMed searches)

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My NCBI Redesign (Personal Search Saving & More Tool for PubMed searches)

From the National Library of Medicine March 15th announcement

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is pleased to announce that an improved user interface will be released for My NCBI. The new interface will eliminate complexities and provide a streamlined interface, robust performance, and intuitive navigation. The most visually significant enhancement is that all functions are viewed.

[Editor's note: Sections affected include the home page, saved searches, collections (saved searches that can be run at future dates), and a personlized My Bibliography]

For detailed information about My NCBI, please see My NCBI Help.

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , | Leave a comment

PubMed Toxicology Subset Streamlines Biomedical Searches in the Professional Literature

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From a March 25 2011  NLM-TOX-ENVIRO-HEALTH-L NOTICE

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) PubMed database offers a toxicology subset. This subset is created by NLM’s Specialized Information Services (SIS) to facilitate searching for subjects in the area of toxicology.

Here is how to limit searches to toxicology:

  • Go to Pubmed
  • Click on Limits (above search box), and select Toxicology under Subsets

OR

Click on Advanced Search (above search box) , then Limits while building the search

The toxicology subset can also be placed in a search as “tox [sb]”.   Example:   lead AND tox [sb]

The PubMed database comprises more than 19 million citations for biomedical articles from MEDLINE and life science journals. Citations may include links to full-text articles from PubMed Central or publisher web sites.

Here are some PubMed tutorials and guides

Related Articles

March 16, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Librarian Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

PubMed MeSH database changes

The PubMed** interface is being changed section by section.
The MeSH section has been revised. 
Here is a message from the GMRLIST (an email list for the National Network of Libraries of
Medicine-Greater Midwest Region (NN/LM-GMR) members)

Hi Folks,Many of you have noticed the change in the MeSH database interface.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/mesh
NCBI is working to update the entire website – section by section.FYI:The Technical Bulletin article
on this change is at:http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/techbull/jf11/jf11_pm_mesh_db.htmlThe updated brochures “Searching PubMed with MeSH are at:
PDF: http://nnlm.gov/training/resources/meshtri.pdf
Word: http://nnlm.gov/training/resources/meshtri.doc

If you have comments or questions about the new interface, feel free to contact NLM directly -
they welcome your feedback.http://apps.nlm.nih.gov/mainweb/siebel/nlm/index.cfm/


Here is a related posting from MEDLIB-L (a medical librarian listserv)

Here’s what I recvd. from NNLM: There have been some changes to MeSH.
–>Type your search term in the MeSH box.
–>Then click the box(es) on the left to select your term(s).
 –>Then click on the far right: Add to Search Builder Here are some helpful resources
(you have to click CTRL + Click for the URLs to work).

PubMed’s MeSH Database**
Searching with the MeSH Database
<http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/viewlet/mesh/searching/mesh1.html> (3 min., February 2011)
* Combining MeSH Terms Using the MeSH Database
<http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/viewlet/mesh/combining/mesh2.html> (3 min., February 2011)
* Applying Subheadings and Other Features of the MeSH Database
<http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/viewlet/mesh/subheadings/mesh3.html> (3 min., February 2011)
You can also see the MeSH Database section in the tutorial:
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/disted/pubmedtutorial/020_

**Pubmed is the largest database of biomedical journal articles (some are free full text) in the world.
It is most often best searched using medical subject headings (MeSH).

The above two hyperlinks (PubMed and MeSH) including Help pages and tutorials.
Please do not hesitate to contact a public librarian, academic librarian, or medical librarian for assistance
in searching PubMed or locating medical articles.
In the case of academic or medical settings, call ahead to see what services the library has for the general
public.You just might be pleasantly surprised!

(You may also email me at jmflahiff@yahoo.com…I am willing to give free assistance which would
include about an hour of my time)

February 16, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Call for clinical trial raw data to be freely available to all (& a related call from the scientific community)

A recent BMJ editorial (Goodbye PubMed, hello raw data) ****calls for clinical raw data to be freely available to everyone.
The author cites the example of  the influenza drug oseltamivir manufactured by Roche.

Reviewers for Cochrane Reviews asked Roche to release clinical trial data so they could systematically and comprehensively review antivirals as flu treatments. Roche refused, leaving the reviewers with inadequate incomplete information to complete their analysis.

The editor ends his article with these paragraphs…

From now on, they say, reviewers must have access to all unpublished data, not only from unpublished trials—the usual focus of concern about publication bias—but also from those that have been published in peer reviewed journals. Reviewers must assess entire trial programmes, and so new tools and methods are needed. If the trial reports are incomplete, reviewers should turn to reports from the drug regulators. As Tom Jefferson, the lead author for the Cochrane review, told me, “it’s goodbye PubMed, goodbye Embase.”

The reviewers have posted their new style protocol for this review on the Cochrane site and, recognising the enormity of the task, they are recording how much work is involved. But it must be clear to everyone that such a heroic approach is unsustainable across the whole of healthcare, given the resource constraints on academics and regulators. Which brings us back to what seems to be the only real solution—that the raw data from trials must be made freely available. Journals clearly have a role to play in making this happen, as An-Wen Chan agrees in his editorial (doi:10.1136/bmj.d80). The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors meets in a few months’ time. This will be on the agenda.

Scientists also see the need for access to research data.
The entire 2011 January/February issue of D-Lib Magazine is devoted to this topic.
**Cochrane Reviews are part of the Cochrane Collaboration, which
strives to provide the best evidence for health care. Cochrane reviews involve specific interventions in a specific clinical context, as antivirals for flu prevention in healthy adults. Individual reviews involve extensive literature research performed by independent teams of professionals.

Most reviews are only available through a paid subscription to the Cochrane Collaboration. However, many medical and academic libraries subscribe to the Cochrane Collaboration. Contact an academic reference librarian to see if they subscribe and if they provide access to the public.

****Via a MedLib posting by medical librarian Susan Fowler

 

January 20, 2011 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Medical and Health Research News, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NLM Catalog: New Search Features for Journals Cited in Entrez Databases

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) has recently launched a redesigned NLM Catalog that implements new search and display options related to journal searching. The search feature applies to PubMed and other Entrez databases.

According to the NLM Technical Bulletin item (full text here), the search and display options will include the search fields acid-free, broad subject terms, current format status, version currently indexed, endyear, ISO abbreviation, language, start year, and NLM title abbreviations. Nice summary table and screenshots.

 

December 21, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Databases from the US Government

The Pollak Library California State University Fullerton has published a list of Free Databases from the US Government.
This item came via the Yahoo group NetGold, and was published by the owner Librarian David P. Dillard
Here are the the links to free Health and Medicine resources.

[Flahiff's note: MedlinePlus is a great starting point for consumer level health/medical information. It goes beyond news to give great starting points for information on diseases and conditions. It includes videos (as surgeries), links to directories (as hospital and physician directories), options for email alerts, Twitter, and much more.

Drugs @ FDA is a great source, however, the NLM Drug Information Portal is a more comprehensive resource. This portal includes both consumer level and professional level drug information resources, including Drugs@FDA, MedlinePlus resources, and references from scientific journals as well as toxicology resources.

PubMed is the largest indexer of health/medical articles written by scientists, physicians,and other health care related professionals. Not all of the articles are available for free online. Please click here for suggestions on how to get individual health/medical articles for free or low cost.]

  • PLoS: Public Library of Science
    Full text. PLoS publishes peer-reviewed, open access scientific and medical journals that include original research as well as timely feature articles. All PLoS articles are immediately freely accessible online, are deposited in the free public archive PubMed Central, and can be redistributed and reused according to the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
  • Cancer Literature in PubMed
    Search the Cancer subset in PubMed.
  • Drugs@FDA
    Search by drug name, active ingredient, application number, and more.
  • PillBox Beta

    Aids  in the identification of unknown solid dosage pharmaceuticals using images to identify pills (color, shape, etc) as well as a separate advanced search (imprint, drug manufacture, ingredients, etc)

  • Household Products Database
    Health and safety information on householdproducts.
  • MedlinePlus
    Health news on 800 topics on conditions, diseases, and wellness.
  • National Academies Press
    Full text books on behavioral and social sciences, biology, computers, earth sciences, education, energy, engineering, environmental issues, food and nutrition, health and medicine, industry and labor, math, chemistry, physics, space and aeronautics, transportation, and more.
  • National Library of Medicine: Databases
    Linds to databases and electronic resources from the NIH.
  • NLM Gateway
    From NIH. Accesses Medline, PubMed, Toxline, DART, ClinicalTrials.gov, and other government databases.
  • NLM/NIH Resources
    Links to NLM, NIH and other federal government resources.
  • Nutrient Data Laboratory Database
    The Nutrient Data Laboratory (NDL) has the responsibility to develop USDA’s National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference,  the foundation of most food and nutrition databases in the US, used in food policy, research and nutrition monitoring.
  • Nutrient Data Laboratory [USDA]
    Search by keywords to retrieve nutrient data.
  • PubMed
    More than 19 million citations to biomedical articles from MedLine and life science journals. Some links to full text.
  • PubMed Central
    Full text  articles from PubMed, the free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literataure.

December 21, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Consumer Health, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Finding Aids/Directories, Health Education (General Public), Health Statistics, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A New Look and Feel for the PubMed Central® Public Access Page

Since 2005,  scientists and researchers who receive NIH research are required by law to make their research findings (in medical or scientific journals) freely available to the public.

These freely available full text articles are largely available through PubMed Central.
PubMed Central is a free electronic collection of medical, biomedical, biology, and life sciences literature developed and maintained by US government agencies. PubMed Central is a subset of PubMed, the largest collection of biomedical article citations and abstracts in the world.

PubMedCentral articles have unique identifiers (article reference numbers) referred to as PMIDs.

The news item below describes how PubMed Central (PMC) is making it easier to locate articles with PMCIDs.

 

From the National Library of Medicine (NLM) November 30th Technical Bulletin item

The PubMed Central (PMC) Public Access & PMC page, available from the sidebar on the About PMC page, was recently updated to provide greater clarity and usability. Two new features were added:

  • Top-of-the-page links to navigate page content
  • A table for locating article reference numbers

New Location for Navigation Links

The Public Access & PMC page was reorganized and links to the page content are now at the top of the page (seeFigure 1). The new design makes it easy to see what the page contains and how to find the answers to your Public Access-related questions.

We’ve Got Your NumbersAdditionally, a new table (see Figure 2) demonstrates all the ways to locate the identification number of an article or manuscript — whether you’re looking for a PubMed identifier (PMID), NIH Manuscript Submission identifier (NIHMSID) , or perhaps most important, the PMC identifier (PMCID), which is the identification number that must be cited by recipients of NIH funding to demonstrate compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy. As seen in the table below, you can find these numbers through viewing the PubMed abstract; a PMC search result; and in the PMC display for the final, published article or the author manuscript. To reach this table click on the question, “How can I find a PMCID, NIHMSID, and PMID?

 

Screen capture of Table for finding article reference numbers

 

To see more of the article, click here.

An earlier posting includes PMC as one of a few suggestions to obtain free and low cost medically-related articles.
Click here for the posting.

 

 


December 6, 2010 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Tutorials Now Available for Bioethics Information

From a  November 24 Medlib-L(medical librarian)posting

The Bioethics Research Library at Georgetown (BRL) has developed a
1-minute Adobe Captivate tutorial for utilizing PubMed’s bioethics
subset limit.  This tutorial is available both as a Flash file
(http://bioethics.georgetown.edu/databases/howtosearch/) and as a Vimeo
video (http://vimeo.com/16661510)

BRL also has developed tutorials for its ETHXWeb (covers most topics in
bioethics), GenETHX (covers human genetics and ethics topics),
International Bioethics Organizations, and Syllabus Exchange databases.
The GenETHX tutorial demonstrates accessing the Bioethics Thesaurus
Database to identify appropriate search terms for complex concepts.
Bioethics Thesaurus terms, many of which are included in MeSH, are
useful for refining searches as well as for creating bioethics keyword
tags for online documents.

Links to the BRL database tutorials can be found at:
http://bioethics.georgetown.edu/databases/howtosearch/

An Express Library Technology Improvement Award from the
Southeastern/Atlantic Region of the National Network of Libraries of
Medicine enabled BRL to develop these tutorials.

Kathleen Schroeder, M.D., M.S.I
Subject Specialist, Science and Technology
Bioethics Research Library, Georgetown University

November 27, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Educational Resources (High School/Early College(, Librarian Resources | , , | Leave a comment

Download PubMed Search Results Into a Spreadsheet with FLink

By Research Buzz on November 22, 2010

 

Hat tip to Patricia at the Dragonfly blog for her pointer to FLink, (Frequency-weighted Links), a tool for downloading PubMed results into a CSV file (suitable for opening in Excel or OpenOffice.) You can access FLink athttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Structure/flink/flink.cgi.

You can use Patricia’s post for step-by-step directions for using FLink, but it’s pretty easy. Use the pulldown menu to specify the database you want to search (there are a few available besides PubMed.) Then from the popup window choose “Search Entrez” and enter your search keywords. FLink will think about it a minute and show your search results in the browser window. (I searched for autism and got 16502 results.)

From there, click “Download CSV.” In the case of the autism search I did, it took several minutes for FLink to assemble a CSV for me — but once it did, it was a 5MB download that listed over 16300 articles from PubMed, including PubMed ID, Authors, Title, Month and Year of publication, and Summary.

Now if direct links to the articles were included you could jimmy up a little Perl and have a nice download utility, but unfortunately links are not available. However just to be weird I took the last thousand article titles in the downloaded CSV (I wanted to do more but Wordle got stroppy) and made a tag cloud of the top 75 words.

A nice tool. I feel guilty for wishing there were more data downloaded with the CSV.

 

November 23, 2010 Posted by | Librarian Resources | , , | Leave a comment

NLM® Catalog and Journals Databases Merge

From the November 19, 2010 NLM Technical Bulletin issue
[Please go to http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/techbull/nd10/nd10_nlm_catalog.html to view the entire article, including the accompanying screenshots]

The National Library of Medicine® (NLM) Catalog will soon be redesigned to provide users with a streamlined interface and enhanced search and display of the 1.4 million bibliographic records in the NLM database. The NLM Catalog will contain detailed MEDLINE indexing information about the journals in PubMed® and other National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) databases. The Journals Database will be retired.

What is new in the NLM Catalog

    Additional searchable fields
    Enhancements to the Limits page
    New Journal display option and expanded Full display
    Additional filters
    Searching for Journals
    Launching PubMed searches from the NLM Catalog
    Effect on EUtilities

Additional searchable fields
New search tags will be added to limit searches to a specific field. Some of the new search tags are: Broad Subject Term(s), Current Format Status, Current Indexing Status, Version Indexed, ISSN, and PubMed Central® Holdings. See the full list of Search Field Descriptions and Tags in the NLM Catalog Help

Enhancements to the Limits page
A new category of Limits will be added called Journal Subsets. Users are able to limit searches to journals referenced in the NCBI databases, only PubMed journals, journals currently (or previously) indexed for MEDLINE®, PubMed Central journals, and PubMed Central forthcoming journals. Users can also limit searches to journals published in electronic-only format.

A new Images Material Type (images from the History of Medicine database) and three new Publication Types, Portraits, Postcards, and Posters, will also be added.

New Journal format display option and expanded Full display
A Journal display will be added to the Display Options in the NLM Catalog. This display includes fields of interest to those searching for information about journals, including MEDLINE indexing information. The Full display will also be expanded to include all available fields where applicable.

Additional filters
The following new filters have been created: Journals in the NCBI databases, Journals Currently Indexed in MEDLINE, and PubMed Only Journals. Users can view all available filters by browsing the index on the Advanced Search page. For more information about changing My NCBI filter preferences, please see the My NCBI Help.

Searching for Journals

The NLM Catalog will contain detailed MEDLINE indexing information about the journals in PubMed and other NCBI databases. Users can limit NLM Catalog searches to journals in the NCBI databases by using the Journals in NCBI Databases link on the NLM Catalog homepage or the Limits page (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: NLM Catalog homepage
Enter a topic, journal title or abbreviation, or ISSN into the search box and click Search. Automatic suggestions will display as you type your search terms (see Figure 2).

Figure 2: Journals referenced in the NCBI Databases
On the Summary display, click the journal title or select Journal or Full from the Display Settings menu to view additional information. Note that the limit is activated and can be changed or removed by clicking the appropriate links (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: Summary Display with Limits Activated
Users can also visit the Limits page to limit a search to various journal subsets. The NLM Catalog will apply an AND Boolean operator when the Journals referenced in the NCBI databases limit is selected with a Journal Subset limit. A notice appears at the top of your search results indicating that limits have been activated.

Launching PubMed searches from the NLM Catalog
To build a PubMed search for journals from the NLM Catalog, run a search using Limits and use the check boxes to select journals. Click “Add to search builder” in the PubMed search builder porlet, and the journal title abbreviation(s) will be sent to the search builder box (see Figure 4). If a book or a non-PubMed journal is sent to the PubMed search builder, an error message will warn the user that the PubMed search builder only retrieves citations for PubMed journals. Continue searching the NLM Catalog and adding journals to the PubMed search builder using the Add to search builder button. The search builder will apply an OR Boolean operator if multiple journals are added to the search box. When you are finished, click Search PubMed to view the citations from the selected journal(s) in PubMed.

Figure 4: Using PubMed search builder
Effect on EUtilities
ESearch URLs for db=journals will automatically map to db=nlmcatalog. ESummary and EFetch will retrieve NLM Catalog XML.

By Sarah Torre
National Center for Biotechnology Information

Torre S. NLM® Catalog and Journals Databases Merge. NLM Tech Bull. 2010 Nov-Dec;(377):e7.

November 20, 2010 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , | Leave a comment

NLM announces MedlinePlus Connect

From a posting by  GMRLIST – email list for the National Network of Libraries of Medicine-Greater Midwest Region (NN/LM-GMR) members. Written by Samanthi Hewakapuge, MA, MLS, Consumer Health Coordinator

Today NLM [US National Libraries of Medicine) announces MedlinePlus Connect (http://medlineplus.gov/connect), a free service that allows electronic health records (EHR) systems to link users to MedlinePlus (http://medlineplus.gov), an authoritative up-to-date health information resource for patients, families and health care providers. MedlinePlus provides information about conditions and disorders, medications, and health and wellness.

MedlinePlus Connect accepts requests for information on diagnoses (problem codes) and medications. NLM mapped MedlinePlus health topics to two standard diagnostic coding systems used in EHRs: ICD-9-CM and SNOMED CT CORE Problem List Subset.

When an EHR submits a request to MedlinePlus Connect, the service returns the closest matching health topic as a response.  MedlinePlus Connect also links EHR systems to drug information written especially for patients. For medication codes, MedlinePlus Connect accepts RXCUIs and NDCs. The API for using this service conforms to the HL7 Context-Aware Knowledge Retrieval (Infobutton) Knowledge Request URL-Based Implementation specification.

MedlinePlus responds to problem code requests in either English or Spanish. Currently, it supports requests for drug information in English only.  NLM is working on adding laboratory test responses to MedlinePlus Connect. We will also support an XML-based Web service at a future date.

You can find more background and technical information at http://medlineplus.gov/connect. If you are an EHR owner or developer interested in staying up-to-date on technical developments with MedlinePlus Connect, or talking to other organizations that are using it, join the free email list athttp://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/connect/emaillist.html. To send questions or feedback, use the MedlinePlus Contact Us link athttp://apps.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/contact/index.cfm.


 

November 10, 2010 Posted by | Librarian Resources, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More Historical Journal Citations are Now in MEDLINE/PubMed

[Editor Flahiff's note: I remember when getting citations from 1966 was a big deal!]

From a November 1, 2010 US National Library of Medicine (NLM) Bulletin posting

More historical journal citations are now in MEDLINE®/PubMed® with the addition of over 48,000 citations from the 1946 Current List of Medical Literature (CLML). The National Library of Medicine® (NLM®) has been converting information from older print indexes that were the precursors to Index Medicus. When the original MEDLINE database made its debut in 1971, it contained citations to journal articles published from approximately 1966 forward. The 1946 CLML represents the 20th year going back in time to enhance access to the older biomedical literature. With the addition of the 1946 CLML citations, the OLDMEDLINE subset contains over two million citations.

NLM also continues the work of mapping the original keywords assigned to these older references so that current MeSH® terms (Medical Subject Headings) are added to the records and available for searching in PubMed.

Additional information about the OLDMEDLINE data project is available.

 

 

 

November 9, 2010 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Comings and Goings for PubMed® Limits

From a November 4, 2010 US National Library of Medicine news release

The following changes will be made to the PubMed Limits screen in November 2010.

Subsets

Two subsets will be added:

Dietary Supplements: This subject subset was announced in the recent article, Dietary Supplements — A New PubMed® Subset.
Veterinary Science: This subject subset was added to the Special Queries page in 2007 (see Veterinary Search Added to PubMed® Special Queries). The strategy was originally called Veterinary Medicine/Animal Health.

The Space Life Sciences and PubMed Central® subsets will be removed from Limits; however, they will still be available for direct searching using space [sb] and pubmed pmc [sb] respectively. They will also remain available as My NCBI filters for PubMed.

At the same time, the labels on the subsets menu (Journal Groups, Topics, and More Subsets) will be removed and the subsets will be listed in alphabetical order.

Publication Types

Two new Publication Types will be added to the Limits menu, Type of Article, in preparation for changes to MeSH®vocabulary for 2011 (see upcoming article: What’s New for 2011 MeSH).

  • Autobiography
  • Video-Audio Media

Header change

The header over the selections Male and Female will change from “Gender” to “Sex.”

By Annette M. Nahin
MEDLARS Management Section

 

November 8, 2010 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , | Leave a comment

How to obtain free and low cost articles from biomedical journals

Heard about a new treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and want to read about the original research? Need to go to the source about a new surgical procedure? Medical articles, written by physicians and scientists just might be the answer.**

Most  medical articles are quite technically written and are published in journals which require paid subscriptions (even tho’ they are online!). Examples of medical journals include the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the Lancet.

Medical journals (a type of scholarly journals) differ from popular magazines (as Psychology Today) in appearance, audience, and purpose. Duke University has a great comparison chart on the differences between scholarly journals and popular magazines.

A few great places to get free and low cost medical articles

  • Libraries Many public libraries have at least some medical journals. Most college, university, and medical school libraries (and all receiving some state funding) are open to the public and provide some reference services to the general public. These academic libraries vary in the number of subscribed medical journals.
    Some hospital libraries are also open to the public.It is best to call ahead and ask a reference librarian to see if the library is open to the public, if they have the article you need, and if you can use their computers and printers. Ask about interlibrary loan from any library where you have borrowing privileges. Your library will try to get any article they do not have from another library (there usually is a charge, upwards of $11.00 or more  an article).
  • PubMed Centra****l provides access to free articles submitted by authors and publishers. Some articles are free immediately when they are published, others are free on a delayed basis (ranging from a few months to a year). Check the PubMed Central home page for additional information. PubMed Central is a service of the US National Institutes of Health.
  • Free Full PDFOver 80 million free scientific publications
    Life sciences | Health sciences | Physics sciences and Engineering | Social sciences and Humanities
  • Docline is the National Library of Medicine’s automated interlibrary loan (ILL) request routing and referral system. The purpose of the system is to provide efficient document delivery service among libraries in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM).

Individual users of NLM’s PubMed and the NLM Gateway do not have access to DOCLINE, but they can make use of its services by ordering documents through Loansome Doc, a document ordering service. All PubMed or NLM Gateway users ordering documents must identify a DOCLINE library or libraries that are willing to serve them (Ordering Library). The health professional performs a PubMed or NLM Gateway search, reviews the citations retrieved, and identifies specific documents to be ordered. Orders are sent to DOCLINE from either PubMed or the NLM Gateway. The NLM PubMed server manages all document-ordering activities.

LoansomeDoc is for people who are not affiliated with a health or medical institution that has a library. (If your institution has a library, just ask a librarian about ordering articles through interlibrary loan). To register for LoansomeDoc, contact the closest medical library.
They can help you set up an account, including payments for articles. You should be able
receive most, if not all, ordered articles via email.

  • How to Access Journal Articles provides links to information resources and services.Includes links to free articles, strategies for obtaining articles, and paying for full text articles. By Partners in Information Access for the Public Health Workforce.

  • Contact the Author Email, fax, or write the author. Most authors are happy to provide a free copy of their articles if asked. Cannot locate an address or fax number? Ask a reference librarian!
  • Contact the Publisher An increasing number of publishers are providing free copies of articles to patients, caregivers, and others who do not subscribe to their journals but only need a specific article for personal use.
    If the publisher does not advertise this free service, consider contacting them and requesting a specific article.  Need help contacting a publisher? Again, ask a reference librarian!

Some publishers which provide free or low cost articles (via PatientInform)

Elsevier Patient Research provides single copies of articles for $4.95. Elsevier publishes over 2,000 journals.

AACR’s (American Association for Cancer Research) policy for free patient access to medical articles—“If You Need It, You Can Read It”—can be found under Information for Readers/Subscribers.

The Endocrine Society For Patients page provides information on how to obtain free articles from its six endocrine research journals.

****Also, note that “The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive PubMed Central upon acceptance for publication. To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.”
I hear health sciences librarians are keeping busy advising researchers on how to comply with this.
http://publicaccess.nih.gov

**When a good summary of an article will do, check out the resources at Summaries for Patients” help patients and others understand medical studies and guidelines


November 7, 2010 Posted by | Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NIH introduces Images, a database of images in biomedical literature

An October 28, 2010 National Institutes of Health (NIH) press release

More than 2.5 million images and figures from medical and life sciences journals are now available through Images, a new resource for finding images in biomedical literature. The database was developed and will be maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health. Images is available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/images.

Images is expected to have a wide range of uses for a variety of user groups. These include the clinician looking for the visual representation of a disease or condition, the researcher searching for studies with certain types of analyses, the student seeking diagrams that elucidate complex processes such as DNA replication, the professional or educator looking for an image for a presentation, and the patient wanting to better understand his disease.

“Rapid and easy access to images in the biomedical literature should help scientists and others more quickly identify content of interest,” said NCBI Director David Lipman, M.D. “We believe that the new database will be useful for the discovery process, as well as for educational and professional purposes.”

The initial content of Images reflects images and figures contained in NCBI’s PubMed Central full-text digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature, located at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc. Images content may be expanded in the future to include other NCBI full-text resources, such as NCBI’s Bookshelf database of biomedical books and reports, at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books.

The Images database enables users to search images based on keywords and a variety of other parameters, such as author and publication date. Images and data can be easily saved to users’ collections and shared with others through the use of My NCBI, a feature that allows users of NCBI resources to customize their search and display preferences, save and share searches, build bibliographies, and perform a variety of other functions.

NCBI creates public databases in molecular biology, conducts research in computational biology, develops software tools for analyzing molecular and genomic data, and disseminates biomedical information, all for the better understanding of processes affecting human health and disease. NCBI (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov) is a division of the National Library of Medicine (www.nlm.nih.gov), the world’s largest library of the health sciences.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation’s Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visitwww.nih.gov.

 

An Images link is available through the Search drop-down menu at the top of both the PubMed and NCBI home pages.

 

October 31, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources, Finding Aids/Directories, Librarian Resources | , , , , , | Leave a comment

PubMed® Display Enhanced with Images from the New NCBI Images Database

PubMed Abstracts of biomedical articles will soon include images included in the articles.

From a US National Library of Medicine Bulletin posting (Oct 22, 2010)

The PubMed (**)Abstract display for PubMed Central® (***)articles will be enhanced to include an image strip generated from the soon-to-be-released National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)(****) Images database…

…The image strip will display thumbnails of the article’s first several images. The image strip will also include a See all images link to display all the article’s images in the Images databases, as well as a Free text link to the article. Right and left arrows on each end of the strip will allow you to rotate through the images.

Mousing over an image in the image strip will generate a preview display of the image with its figure caption . Click on the image in the image strip, or the mouseover preview display, and go directly to the figure’s page in PubMed Central….

Images Database

The Images database will allow you to search millions of scientific images from NCBI full text resources; the database initially includes images from PubMed Central..

….You will be able to search the Images database with terms or detailed search parameters, such as image height, width, and caption. The complete list of search fields is available from the Images Advanced search page. Image results initially display in a summary format (see Figure 4) but may also be viewed in a thumbnail display. Retrieval display order is based on a relevancy algorithm.

**PubMed is the largest indexer of biomedical journal articles in the world.  The home page includes links on how to search (tutorials, quick start guide). For further searching assistance, consider consulting with a public, academic, or medical reference librarian. Many articles indexed by PubMed are not freely available on the Internet. Again, check with a local public, academic, or medical library for access to journal articles. The library may charge a fee for some articles.

***PubMedCentral is the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature. It is part of the PubMed database (index).

****NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) advances science and health by providing access to biomedical and genomic information. It includes PubMed and PubMedCentral.

[Editor Flahiff's note: Many postings in this blog, especially Reuters and Health Day press releases, are based on articles indexed in PubMed]

October 25, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources | , , , , | Leave a comment

Clinical Trials and Systematic Reviews: Managing Information Overload

From the blog Open Medicine dated October 4th, 2010

Bastian H, Glasziou P, Chalmers I (2010) Seventy-Five Trials and Eleven Systematic Reviews a Day: How Will We Ever Keep Up? PLoS Med 7(9): e1000326. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000326

Published: September 21, 2010

  • When Archie Cochrane reproached the medical profession for not having critical summaries of all randomised controlled trials, about 14 reports of trials were being published per day. There are now 75 trials, and 11 systematic reviews of trials, per day and a plateau in growth has not yet been reached.
  • Although trials, reviews, and health technology assessments have undoubtedly had major impacts, the staple of medical literature synthesis remains the non-systematic narrative review. Only a small minority of trial reports are being analysed in up-to-date systematic reviews. Given the constraints, Archie Cochrane’s vision will not be achieved without some serious changes in course.
  • To meet the needs of patients, clinicians, and policymakers, unnecessary trials need to be reduced, and systematic reviews need to be prioritised. Streamlining and innovation in methods of systematic reviewing are necessary to enable valid answers to be found for most patient questions. Finally, clinicians and patients require open access to these important resources. [editor Flahiff's emphasis]

If the results of a clinical study are published in a scientific journal, PubMed is the best way to search for information about the article. If you are having challenges searching PubMed, consider the tutorial at the home page of PubMed. You may also ask a reference librarian at a local public, academic, or medical library. Call ahead to see what level of assistance they offer.

Clinicaltrials.gov has the voluntary summaries of some clinical trials. Advanced search has the option Study results (select Studies With Results). Some results may be labelled “proprietary” (information not released to the public, sometimes called “industry secrets” ).

October 18, 2010 Posted by | Biomedical Research Resources | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Free Medically Related Journals

Most medically related journals (as the New England Journal of Medicine [NEJM]) require subscriptions.
However, a number of these journals do have portions of each issue available for free online. Also, an increasing number of journals provide issues for free after time periods ranging from a few months to a year.

For example,  the  Sept 16 2010 NEJM issue has four (4) free articles, including The Safety of  (the drug) Tiotropium .
The Annals of Internal Medicine provides its articles for free after 6 months.

Several places to find free medically related journals

Highwire Free Online Full-text articles (Stanford)  Currently provides access to about 1,400 journals : 46 completely free journals, 282 with free back issues. Search and browse options. One can browse by publisher, topic, and journal title.

Free Medical Journals (Amedeo) Currently provides access to about 1,70o journals. Most have restrictions on which content is free (by section and/or date).  Search and browse options. One can browse by topic (as infectious diseases), free access dates (as immediately, after 1-6 months), and journal title.

PubMed Central (US National Institute of Health [NIH]). Free digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature. Publishers volunteer to participate at PubMed Central. Currently provides access to over 1,000 journals. Each journal entry includes date ranges and  indication of what content is free. Search option has many features. For example, the Limits tab allows one to limit by type of article (research/review) , tag term (author, word in abstract, etc), and date.

Ask a librarian in higher education!

Many academic and university institutions (including all receiving state funding) allow the public to do research at their libraries. Check with their reference librarians to see if they have the journal you are looking for as well as any limitations on using their computers. Most librarians at these institutions can give you limited assistance in searching for medically related information. Again, call ahead for what to expect.

Don’t forget your public library!

Librarians there may get you started on finding journal articles. They may also be able to help you with the most comprehensive place to search for medically related journal articles, PubMed.  Also, most public libraries have interlibrary loan, where you can request an article from another library. However, there will probably be a charge for the article.

Questions about this post?

Please email me, Janice Flahiff, at jmflahiff@yahoo.com. I will do my best to reply within 24 hours (48 on the weekend).

October 2, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 3 Comments

Authoritative, Current Health Information Available on Mobile Devices

Looking for health information while at the doctor’s office, pharmacy, or elsewhere when all you have is a mobile device?

The following mobile Web sites & resources from the US National Library of Medicine may just provide the information you are looking for.

**MedlinePlus Mobile provides information on over 750 diseases, conditions, and wellness areas. It also provides drug information and links to health news items.

**PubMed® for Handhelds Web site is a website for searching MEDLINE® with the web browser of any mobile device.
MEDLINE® is the largest database of  scholarly biomedical citations/abstracts in the world. Links to the full text of most articles are by subscription only. Check with your local library on how to get full text of articles not available at PubMed®.

**Wireless System for Emergency Responders (WISER)****** is a software program for Palm Powered or Pocket PC devices to assist first responders in hazardous material incidents.

**NCBI Bookshelf downloadable versions of books from the NCBI Bookshelf for any mobile device.
From the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

******March 22 2011 WISER update from the National Library of Medicine (via their NLM-TOX-ENVIRO-HEALTH-L listserv)

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) 4.4 is now available. It can be downloaded to the WISER Windows, Pocket PC, and SmartPhone platforms from the WISER Web site.   http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov/

The updated online version, WebWISER, is available at  http://webwiser.nlm.nih.gov/getHomeData.do

Highlights of this version include:

1) A new, interactive Chemical Reactivity capability (WISER for Windows); users can
a) Create their own mix of chemicals.
b) See an overview of the resulting potential hazards
c) Delve into the detailed reaction behind each hazard or gas produced.

2) 19 new substances and mixtures of substances, including Crude Oil and the Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527 dispersants.

Find more information at http://wiser.nlm.nih.gov/whats_new_4_4.html
WISER for iPhone/iPod touch 1.1 is now available from Apple’s App Store.

All WISER platforms now include:

1) The 19 new substances and mixtures of substances.

2) Data updates based on the latest information from the NLM Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Acute Exposure Guideline Levels (AEGLs).

3) Many usability improvements and fixes.

You can follow the activity of the National Library of Medicine Specialized Information Services Division via Twitter (NLM_SIS). http://twitter.com/NLM_SIS

Related Articles


May 14, 2010 Posted by | Consumer Health, Professional Health Care Resources | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

PubMed Search Help Items

The PubMed Search Builder page is a good way to search the biomedical literature. It allows one to not only search by fields (author, journal, words in title or abstract, etc), but more than one field at a time. It also allows for subject searching.
The recording of a recent thirty minute online PubMed SearchBuilder  clinic is available. Please note that, due to technical limitations, there is a maximum capacity of 300 participants permitted.

Have an incomplete citation? Try the PubMed Single Citation Matcher and enter as much about  the citation as is known.
(This citation matcher is also available through a link at the PubMed home page). 
Another idea…check out  the May-Jun 2010, Skill Kit: Save Time Finding Citations by Title Matching in the PubMed Search Box

More search help is available through the links at the PubMed home page under Using PubMed.

May 10, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

   

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