PubMed‘s fantastic, but it can also be mighty frustrating. Maintained by the National Library of Medicine, it’s the interface through which folks can search or browse their way through NIH’s vast repository of health-related research articles.
Unfortunately, it’s also not quite like the user-friendly search engines most of us have come to know and love. That’s where third-party tutorials come in.
She uses accessible language, analogies and well-paced demonstrations to peel back the layers of the labyrinth and help viewers understand the purpose and relevant applications of the interface’s features. Here’s the first installment:
Note that on Screenjelly webcasts, such as this one, you can click on the “full-screen” icon in the bottom-right corner of the player. Screenjelly looks much better in the full-screen mode than most players.
The guide is intended to help reporters understand why drug addiction occurs and how it is manifested, which drugs are abused, who abuses them and how they can be dangerous. It also includes a glossary and directions to further resources.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse is part of the National Institutes of Health, which in turn is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
We’ve been waiting for this one. The National Institutes of Health have followed through on their promise to release a comprehensive database of NIH grants funded with stimulus money. The new data is up-to-date as of yesterday, you can find it on this page or go directly to the 13mb Excel file. The NIH’s stimulus transparency site has been quite good, in general, but inexplicably lacked key data fields and a way to export more than 500 (of 12,000+) grants at a time. The new database solves those issues.
For a quick picture of where the stimulus cash was headed, we grabbed data for all 50 states as well as D.C. and Puerto Rico, added some recent census estimates, and put together a few top 10 lists. Massachusetts, D.C. and California lead most categories, and per-capita numbers differ pretty significantly from absolute totals.
Which states (etc.) are getting the most NIH grant money?
And how does all of that money break down on a per-person basis?
What about individual NIH grants?
And what’s the per-capita on those?
These are just scratching the surface, the database has a separate entry for each grant, and it’s pretty easy to break it down by institution, research area and a number of other categories.
Reporter Michelle Breidenbach of the Syracuse, N.Y., Post-Standard considers local academic research being funded by stimulus money and wonders just how much these projects – many of which were turned down previously and selected for stimulus money based partly on timing considerations – are really stimulating the economy. There were no job-creation or buy-American strings attached and, while ostensibly health-related, studies covered such esoteric topics as wild ticks on lab mice and the interaction between marijuana and malt liquor consumption.
With a story localization model that can be applied across the country, Breidenbach used the NIH’s grant-tracking site to check in on stimulus-funded projects getting underway at a number of nearby universities, then contacted researchers and assessed their work’s impact on the local economy and on human knowledge in general.
Rather than trying to compete with the free online encyclopedia, NIH seems to have chosen to embrace the inevitability that users will turn to Wikipedia for health advice. If they’re going to go there anyway, then NIH is at least going to try to make sure they’re getting the best possible information.
To this end, the NIH and the Wikimedia Foundation (the nonprofit which publishes the encyclopedia) hosted a workshop attended by about 100 NIH scientists this month in which they learned how to edit and even create Wikipedia entries.
Pia Christensen (@AHCJ_Pia) is the managing editor/online services for AHCJ. She manages the content and development of healthjournalism.org, coordinates AHCJ's social media efforts and edits and manages production of association guides, programs and newsletters.