Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility at NLM
NLM recognizes the fundamental importance of health in the lives of all people and is committed to improving access to health information as a result. NLM’s collections of biomedical information and data exist to benefit people of all backgrounds. Guided by the NIH UNITE initiative to identify and address structural racism within the NIH-supported and greater scientific community, NLM is working to advance the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in everything we do.
With collaboration between leadership and volunteer groups of staff members, NLM has increased its efforts to build an inclusive and equitable work environment. This has resulted in new efforts to examine best practices around staff recruitment, retention, and recognition.
NLM is committed to training diverse leaders in data science, biomedical informatics, and medical librarianship, ensuring a bright future for NLM and the institutions we support. As Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan, NLM Director, has said, “A commitment to diversity is grounded in the evidence that participation of a diverse workforce improves team performance.”
Across NLM, our divisions, offices, and centers are incorporating the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility in outward facing initiatives. Some examples:
- NLM has made funds available for administrative supplements to enhance the diversity of the NLM-supported research workforce by recruiting and supporting students, post-doctorates, and eligible investigators from underrepresented backgrounds,
- The NLM Data Science and Informatics (DSI) Scholars Program provides biomedical informatics training and research opportunities to students from diverse backgrounds.
- NLM is expanding and diversifying Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) terms, a vocabulary maintained to index journal articles and books, to add concepts related to the social determinants of health
- NLM has hosted lectures focused on eliminating racially biased algorithms, including the Science, Technology, and Society Lecture on “Taking on Big Tech: New Paradigms for New Possibilities” and the NLM History Talk on “Shutting the Digital Back Door: Creating Tech Justice with Health Data Liquidity and the Digital Humanities.”
Last Reviewed: May 30, 2023