How Has NLM Made a Difference to You

NIH Director, Dr Francis Collins, announce the appointment of an Advisory Committee charged to “evaluate the mission and functions of NLM to ensure this critical component of NIH continues to leverage technological advances in information sciences to facilitate scientific breakthroughs and a better understanding of health issues and disease.”

The charge focuses on reviewing “current mission, organization, and programmatic priorities of the NLM and to articulate a strategic vision for the NLM to ensure that it remains an international leader in biomedical and health information.”

To support the work of the Advisory Committee, NIH has issued a Request for Information (RFI) from stakeholder organizations and individuals. (Librarians you would be a stakeholder)

Comments are due March 13, 2015.

Specifically, the group is seeking input from stakeholders how the NLM should:

  • Continue to meet the biomedical community’s rapidly evolving scientific and technological needs;
  • Lead the development and adoption of information technologies;
  • Facilitate the collection, storage, and use of biomedical  data by the biomedical and health research communities;
  • Continue to lead in promoting open access models for biomedical data and scientific literature;
  • Balance computational methods and human-based approaches for indexing;
  • Maximize the utilization and cost-efficiency of the NLM’s National Network of Libraries of Medicine;
  • Maximize the usefulness of the NLM’s other outreach and exhibits programs in the context of future opportunities;
  • Interface effectively with the broader and expanding NIH efforts in data science; and
  • Directly contribute to addressing the major data science challenges facing the biomedical research enterprise.

The group also seeks information on the current value of and future need for NLM programs, resources, research and training efforts and services (e.g. databases, software, collections). 

 

  • Current NLM elements that are of the most, or least, value to health professionals (e.g., those working in health care, emergency response, toxicology, environmental health, and public health) and future capabilities that will be needed to enable health professionals to integrate data and knowledge from biomedical research into effective practice.
  • Current NLM elements that are of most, or least, value to patients and the public (including students, teachers, and the media) and future capabilities that will be needed to ensure a trusted source for rapid dissemination of health knowledge into the public domain.
  • Current NLM elements that are of most, or least, value to other libraries, publishers, organizations, companies, and individuals who use NLM data, software tools, and systems in developing and providing value-added or complementary services and products and future capabilities that would facilitate the development of products and services that make use of NLM resources.
  • How NLM could be better positioned to help address the broader and growing challenges associated with:
    • Biomedical informatics, “big data”, and data science;
    • Electronic health records;
    • Digital publications; or
    • Other emerging challenges/elements warranting special consideration.

 

So how can the average medical librarian (i.e. stakeholder) make a comment and show their support?

First ALL responses must be sent online via: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/rfi/rfi.cfm?ID=41

Second look at the RFI and answer the following questions:

  1. Current NLM resources/services that are most/least valuable to research community and future capabilities need to support.
  2. Current resources/services that are most/least valuable to health professionals and future capabilities need to enable them to integrate data and knowledge from biomedical research into effective practice.
  3.  Current resources/services that are most/least valuable to patients and public and future capabilities needed to ensure a trusted source for rapid dissemination of health knowledge into the public domain.
  4. Current resources/services that are most/least valuable to libraries, publishers, organizations who use NLM data, software tools and systems in developing and providing value added or complementary services and products future capabilities to facilitate that.
  5. How NLM could be better positioned to help address the broader and growing challenges associated with:
    • Biomedical informatics, “big data”, and data science;
    • Electronic health records;
    • Digital publications; or
    • Other emerging challenges/elements warranting special consideration

Ok I know that seems like a lot, but it is NLM and it is the center piece of our jobs.  How many medical librarians use PubMed? How many of librarians use PubMed Central to get articles?  That is just the tip of the iceberg of how ingrained NLM services are in our medical librarianship lives.

I know the due date of March 13, 2015 is short, but please sit down and carve some time out to respond even if it is just briefly.

If you are somebody whose mind forgets everything as soon as they see a blank page (text box) in front of them then here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Value of NLM’s education for librarians and information specialists (NLM Associate Fellowship, Biomedical Informatics course..aka Woods Hole)
  • Collaboration among NLM, NN/LM, and MLA regarding consumer health, disaster information, scholarships, etc.
  • NLM collections, services, data, PubMed, Loansome Doc, ClinicalTrials.gov, MedlinePlus, PubMed Central, etc.

I know this is a very long post asking you to do something. But really it is something very important to medical librarianship and should be done by all medical librarians.  Even if you don’t have time to create the worlds best RFI, please put something down.  Don’t be silent as the government looks to shape your National Library of Medicine.

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