Tag Archives: National Institutes of Health

Third-party PubMed video tutorials in plain English

Andrew Van Dam

About Andrew Van Dam

Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

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.

If you’re looking for a strong distillation of the basics, head straight for AHCJ’s tip sheet. If you prefer more technical info and less hands-on guidance, see Wikipedia. But if you’re looking for an in-depth, easy-to-follow introduction broken into easily digestible chunks, head for this nine-part video tutorial created by an Indiana University medical librarian.

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:

full-screen-modeNote 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.

  • PubMed Tutorial #1: Main PubMed page layout, differences from old PubMed layout
  • PubMed Tutorial #2: From a citation to the full text: Single Citation Matcher and PubMed search box
  • PubMed Tutorial #3: Parts of a PubMed record–order of retrieval, citation information, journal abbreviations, and non-English citations
  • PubMed Tutorial #4: Controlled Vocabulary Part 1: general explanation. Controlled v. natural language, Hierarchical tree structure
  • PubMed Tutorial #5: Controlled Vocab Part 2: Mesh Part 1, medical examples of entry terms and tree structure, how to get from PubMed to MeSH
  • PubMed Tutorial #6: Mesh Part 2: searching for MeSH terms to then search PubMed
  • PubMed Tutorial #7: MeSH terms to search in PubMed, PubMed Display and Send To features
  • PubMed Tutorial #8: Advanced search: Search History, Details, Limits, Additional Fields
  • PubMed Tutorial #9: Topic-Specific Queries–How to Find them, the specific ones for Public Health, demonstrates Health Services Research Queries and Health Disparities
  • (Hat tip to Eagle Dawg)

    Media guide focuses on drug abuse, addiction

    Andrew Van Dam

    About Andrew Van Dam

    Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

    The National Institute on Drug Abuse has released a 27-page media guide condensing up-to-date facts, figures and research on drug abuse and addiction. Get the full PDF here.

    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.

    NIH updates stimulus grant info, releases database

    Andrew Van Dam

    About Andrew Van Dam

    Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

    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?

    nih-grant-money-total

    And how does all of that money break down on a per-person basis?

    nih-grant-money-per-capita

    What about individual NIH grants?

    total-grants

    And what’s the per-capita on those?

    nih-grants-per-capita

    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.

    Does stimulus-funded research stimulate?

    Andrew Van Dam

    About Andrew Van Dam

    Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

    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.

    NIH on Wikipedia: If you can’t beat ’em…

    Andrew Van Dam

    About Andrew Van Dam

    Andrew Van Dam of The Wall Street Journal previously worked at the AHCJ offices while earning his master’s degree at the Missouri School of Journalism.

    The Washington Post‘s Ibby Caputo reports that the National Institutes of Health, upon realizing that more folks are looking for health information online and that many of those folks are ending up on Wikipedia, has started to teach its scientists how to create and edit Wikipedia entries.

    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.

    Fellows will learn about using NIH research

    Pia Christensen

    About Pia Christensen

    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.

    Monday is the deadline to apply for this fellowship, which includes travel expenses, lodging and stipend for a week at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md.

    AHCJ has teamed up with the National Library of Medicine to present the first AHCJ-NLM Fellowships. AHCJ will select four journalists to spend a week on the NIH campus. The selected journalists will:

    • Learn how to explore the latest NIH research
    • Learn to understand and interpret biomedical statistics
    • Take advantage of NLM’s data, programs and resources for stronger stories
    • Get hands-on training in PubMed, MedlinePlus, ClinicalTrials.gov, ToxNet and Household Products Database

    This is an opportunity to get some intensive training that will make you more valuable in any market – without asking your editors or managers to fork over hard-to-find training money. Apply today!