Minutes of the Board of Regents - May 2000
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH
NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE
MINUTES OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS
May 16-17, 2000
The 124rd meeting of the Board of Regents was convened on May 16, 2000, at 9:00 a.m. in the NLM Board Room, Building 38, National Library of Medicine (NLM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland. The meeting was open to the public from 9:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m., followed by the closed session for consideration of grant applications until 3:45 p.m. On May 17, the meeting was reconvened and open to the public from 9:00 a.m. until adjournment at 11:50 a.m. Dr. Enriqueta Bond presided as Chair.
Dr. Jordan Baruch
Dr. Enriqueta Bond, Chair
Ms. Alison Bunting
Ms. Michele Klein Fedyshin
Dr. Raymond Fonseca
Dr. Henry Foster
Mr. John Gage
Dr. Joshua Lederberg
Dr. Herbert Pardes
EX OFFICIO AND ALTERNATE MEMBERS PRESENT
Ms. Pamela Andre, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Dr. James Billington, Librarian of Congress
Ms. Wendy Carter representing Dr. Thomas Garthwaite, Department of Veterans Affairs
Colonel David Houglum representing Brigadier General Klaus Schafer, Department of the Air Force
Rear Admiral Kenneth Moritsugu representing Dr. David Satcher, Public Health Service
Colonel Kristen Raines representing Lieutenant General Ronald Blank, Department of the Army
Dr. Richard Rowberg. Library of Congress
Captain David Wade representing Vice Admiral Richard Nelson, Department of the Navy
Dr. James Zimble, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
CONSULTANTS TO THE BOR PRESENT
Dr. Marion Ball, First Consulting Group
Dr. Kenneth Walker, Emory University School of Medicine
MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC PRESENT
Mr. William England, Universal Services Administrative Company
Dr. Sherrilynne Fuller, University of Washington School of Medicine
Ms. Lueianna Lopez, "The Blue Sheet"
Mr. Roy Sahali, University of Washington
Ms. Eugenie Prime, Hewlett-Packard Company
The Honorable Lowell Weicker
FEDERAL EMPLOYEES PRESENT
Dr. Donald A.B. Lindberg, Director, NLM
Mr. Kent A. Smith, Deputy Director, NLM
Dr. Steven Phillips, Assistant Director for Research and Education, NLM
Dr. Michael Ackerman, Assistant Director for High Performance Communications & Computing, NLM
Ms. Cassandra Allen, Division of Library Operations, NLM
Ms. Suzanne Aubuchon, Office of the Director, NLM
Ms. Susan Buyer, Office of Health Information Program Development, NLM
Ms. Patricia Carson, Office of the Director, NLM
Dr. Karen Clark, National Center for Biotechnology Information, NLM
Dr. Milton Corn, Associate Director for Extramural Programs, NLM
Ms. Kathleen Cravedi, Office of Communication and Public Liaison, NLM
Ms. Martha Fishel, Division of Library Operations, NLM
Ms. Nakita Harris, Division of Extramural Programs, NLM
Ms. Betsy Humphreys, Associate Director for Library Operations, NLM
Ms. Bonnie Kaps, Division of Extramural Programs, NLM
Ms. Eve Marie Lacroix, Division of Library Operations, NLM
Dr. David Lipman, Director, National Center for Biotechnology Information, NLM
Ms. Becky Lyon, Deputy Associate Director for Library Operations, NLM
Dr. Alexa McCray, Director, Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, NLM
Mr. Robert Mehnert, Director, Office of Communication and Public Liaison, NLM
Mr. Dwight Mowery, Division of Extramural Programs, NLM
Mr. David Nash, Equal Opportunity Officer, NLM
Mr. Kenneth Niles, Division of Library Operations, NLM
Dr. Pearl ORourke, Deputy Associate Director, Office of Science Policy, NIH
Dr. Yonil Park, National Center for Biotechnology Information, NLM
Mr. Donald Poppke. Executive Officer, NLM
Ms. Julia Royall, Office for Health Information Programs, NLM
Mr. Wes Russell, Office of Computer and Communications Systems, NLM
Ms. Alberta Sandel, Office of the Director, NLM
Dr. Susan Schafer, National Center for Biotechnology Information, NLM
Dr. Elliot Siegel, Associate Director for Health Information Program Development, NLM
Mr. Grigoriy Starchenko, National Center for Biotechnology Information, NLM
Mr. Fred Wood, Office of Health Information Program Development, NLM
Dr. Linda Yankie, National Center for Biotechnology Information, NLM
I. OPENING REMARKS
Board Chair Dr. Enriqueta Bond welcomed the Regents, alternates, and guests to the 124th meeting of the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine. She noted the presence of guests Dr. Pearl ORourke, Governor Lowell Weicker, Ms. Eugenie Prime, Dr. Sherrilynne Fuller, Mr. Roy Sahali, Mr. William England, and consultants Dr. Marion Ball and Dr. Kenneth Walker.
II. REMARKS BY THE DEPUTY ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, NIH OFFICE OF SCIENCE POLICY
Dr. Pearl ORourke, Deputy Associate Director, NIH Office of Science Policy, briefly updated the Regents on the privacy issue, a subject she had presented previously to the Board. A notice of proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register and more than 50,000 comments were received. The Department of HHS is now reviewing them and it is expected that a final rule will be issued by the end of the summer. If the Congress does not revoke it within 60 days, the regulation takes effect. Dr. ORourke spent most of her time presenting an illustrated talk, "Research Involving Human Pluripotent Stem Cells." She described in some detail what pluripotent stem cells are, how they are derived from fetal tissue and early embryos, and the issues involved in whether Federal funds can be used to derive and/or utilize them. There are several reasons for excitement in this line of research: to learn about human development and how genes control this; to grow stem cell cultures for drug development and toxicity testing; and to create "therapeutic tissue," for example, for transplanting stem cells into bone marrow and heart muscle tissues. Dr. ORourke described to the Board what Federal funds can and cannot be used or in support of fetal tissue and stem cell research. In answer to a question about Congressional interest, she said that there have been several hearings on the subject and that Senators Specter and Harkin strongly support research involving stem cells; others oppose it on grounds that it involves abortion.
III. REPORT FROM THE OFFICE OF THE SURGEON GENERAL, PHS
Rear Admiral Kenneth P. Moritsugu, Deputy Surgeon General, distributed to the Board copies of the recently released Surgeon Generals Report on Mental Health. This is the first ever such report and is a landmark event. Dr. Moritsugu outlined briefly some of the major themes of the report. The stigma attached to mental disorders is one of the biggest obstacles to be overcome. The report (which is on the Web at surgeongeneral.gov) is a "true springboard for future activity," he said. In mid-January, the Department rolled out its third 10 year strategic plan for health in the U.S. Healthy People 2010. The Deputy Surgeon General gave each of the Regents a CD ROM that contained the voluminous report. The basic objectives of the report are to improve both the quality and the length of life. He enumerated the ten health indicators--five personal behavioral indicators (e.g., overweight, exercise) and five systems approaches (e.g., mental health, environment). This report is also on the Web, at health.gov/healthypeople. Dr. Moritsugu listed a number of upcoming reports and activities involving the Office of the PHS Surgeon General: reports on oral health, reducing tobacco use, women and tobacco, and youth violence; a Surgeon Generals conference on mental health and youth; and a supplemental report on mental health and aging.
IV. CONSIDERATION OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING
The Regents approved without change the minutes from the January 25, 2000 meeting.
V. FUTURE BOARD MEETINGS
The Board of Regents will meet next on September 26-27, 2000. The BOR meeting next winter will be February 27-28, 2001. The dates of May 22-23, 2001 were adopted for the meeting next spring.
VI. REPORT OF THE NLM DIRECTOR
Dr Donald A.B. Lindberg briefed the Board on the status of the Librarys FY 2001 budget request. The Administration has requested $230.1 million, up from the current years $214.1 million. Dr. Lindberg showed on a graph how the increase would be apportioned among NLMs intramural and extramural programs. He briefly discussed the even greater increases being proposed in the House and Senate. In the area of NLM staff changes, Dr. Lindberg announced several recent appointments: Mr. Ronald Stewart as Deputy Executive Officer; Dr. Simon Liu as Director of Information Systems, Office of Computer and Communications Systems; Mr. James Marcetich as Chief of the Index Section, Bibliographic Services Division; Mr. Garry Fox as Chief of the Systems Support Section (OCCS); Mr. David Kenton as a Staff Scientist in the National Center for Biotechnology Information; and Ms. Kathy Cooper as Chief of the Desktop Services Section (OCCS). Dr. James Cassedy of the History of Medicine Division recently celebrated 50 years of service with the Federal Government. Dr. David Lipman of the National Center for Biotechnology Information introduced several new scientists in that organization: Mr. Grigoriy Starehenko, Dr. Linda K. Yankie, Dr. Susan L. Schafer, and Dr. Yonil Park. Dr. Lindberg noted that there have been several departures from the Library: Mr. John Seachrist and Ms. Frances E. Johnson, both of Extramural Programs; and Dr. Kenneth A. Addess and Dr. Mark S. Bogusky, both of NCBI. In the area of legislation, the NLM Director testified on March 1 before Senator Bill Frist and the Senate Subcommittee on Science, Technology, and Space on the Next Generation Internet. His NGI testimony emphasized the great potential of telemedicine and medicines need for improved "quality of service" (as opposed to the need for higher Internet speed). Dr. Lindberg reported that NLM was pleased to receive from the Office of Management and Budget a generic clearance to conduct customer satisfaction surveys. We will press ahead to conduct such surveys, particularly for the consumer health information services we offer the general public. The Directors Employee Education Fund, established by Dr. Lindberg in 1998, is proving to be popular with NLM employees: in the first year of its operation, 28 staff members were receiving support for 37 college classes, both undergraduate (70 percent) and graduate (30 percent). Also related to training, he reported that NLM Associate Fellowship Program, which provides one year of intensive training at NLM for librarians with leadership potential, continues to be very popular in the medical library profession. In recent years the program has doubled the number of participants (from 4 to 8) and an optional second year has been added. Dr. Lindberg noted that in his visits to other medical libraries around the country he has been struck by the number of senior administrators who are alumni of the NLM program. A major event since the last Board meeting was the launch on February 29 of ClinicalTrials.gov, the Web-based database created for NIH by the Library under the direction of
Dr. Alexa McCray. ClinicalTrials.gov, which has extensive information about some 4,400 (primarily NIH-sponsored) clinical trials, will be expanded in the future to include more trials sponsored by other Government agencies and the private sector. The announcement received wide national publicity in the print and electronic press, and usage has been heavy. Dr. Lindberg reported that the NLM Long Range Plan 2000-2005, approved by the Board at its last meeting, will be printed and distributed in the near future. He noted that among the priorities identified were health information for the public, molecular biology information systems, and training for computational biology. In the area of "health disparities," NLM has received funding for two projects: using technology for empowering minority populations to manage their diabetes and supporting international research partnerships. The Library is now preparing the NLM Health Disparities Plan to document its efforts and lay out future courses of action. The last subject touched on by the NLM Director was "BISTI"--the Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative. This has been reported previously to the Board and NLM is still waiting for the go-ahead from NIH to announce a solicitation for proposals. When this happens, NLM will publicly seek to support proposals for projects to improve computing expertise and utilization in biomedical research.
Following Dr. Lindbergs report, there was a discussion about the need for more trained medical informaticians who have computing expertise and can apply this expertise to biomedical research. NLM, which has supported a number of university-based medical informatics training programs for more than 20 years, has several excellent training proposals which it cannot fund because of a lack of resources. Several of the existing NIM-supported programs have an emphasis on molecular biology (the focus of the BISTI report). Dr. Lederberg commented that "software and people" costs make up the great bulk of the expense in medical computing. Hardware amounts to only 10-15 percent. The "not invented here" syndrome is all too common in this area: each institution wants to build its own systems. NLM might provide a valuable consulting service by setting up a means of critical examination of different systems to help institutions decide how to proceed. Dr. Lindberg added that the lack of agreed-on standards, including privacy issues, remains a great stumbling block.
VII. PLANNING FOR NEW PHYSICAL FACILITY
Mr. Kent Smith, NLM Deputy Director, reviewed for the Board the actions taken to date to address the problem of the NLM running out of physical space for both its collections and its staff. The rapid growth of staff for NLMs National Center for Biotechnology Information gives this need for more space a special urgency. The Regents, in January 1999, passed a resolution strongly urging the HHS Secretary "to support the acquisition of new space for the National Library of Medicine to meet its commitments to serve the Nation." Mr. Smith showed the Board several views of a schematic of how a new facility might look; these had been presented to the Regents in May 1999 by the representative of the architectural firm engaged by the Library. The present NLM building is 230,000 square feet; the Lister Hill Center is 220,000; the proposed additions would be 250,000 square feet (approximately 60,000 for the collection, the remainder for staff). The Deputy Director said that, if there are no unforeseen hitches in the process, the new facilities could be designed and constructed within five years. NIH has been very supportive and preliminary planning has proceeded on schedule. The "architectural and engineering" feasibility study has been started by the contractor, Cetrom, which has subcontracted the design to the Boston architectural firm of Perry, Dean, Rogers, and Partners. NLM can fund the design and up to 35 percent of the architectural drawings in this planning phase out of NLM appropriations; additional funds to complete the drawings and to actually construct the facilities have not been secured. Following Mr. Smiths presentation, Mr. Donald Poppke, Associate Director for Administrative Management, using graphs and charts, described to the Board (1) how an interlocking series of committees have been set up to involve Library staff at all levels in the planning, (2) the phases of the planning process and a rough time-line, and (3) how NLM has coped with the space short-fall thus far. We are almost through the data-gathering phase involving each major NLM program, leading to a Program of Requirements. By September 30, 2000, we hope to have a fixed design concept. We expect that the new facility will be included in the NIH master plan that is now being updated. NLM should be able to accommodate normal growth in its collections though 2004, Mr. Poppke said, although we will be somewhat constrained in our ability to accept large manuscript collections. Over the last several years, the Library has managed to acquire 47,000 feet of office space in rented off-campus locations, in NIHs Natcher Building, and by finally acquiring all space in the Lister Hill Center Building for NLM. An optimistic time-line, if everything went smoothly, would see the new office structure finished in 2003 and the storage facility in 2005.
Board Chairman Enriqueta Bond inquired whether there was anything at this point that the Regents could do to assist in the process. Mr. Smith said that contacts with influential members of Congress by individual Board members, acting on their own behalf, could be very helpful in gaining the support we need for the new facilities. Dr. Bond asked that the library administration keep the Board informed as the process unfolds. Dr. Lederberg commented that the Friends of the National Library of Medicine should be a key element in NLMs strategy for getting the new facilities.
Dr. Bond presented the 2000 Frank B. Rogers Award to Mr. Kenneth Niles of the Public Services
Division. Mr. Niles was cited for "dedicated leadership, ability to plan for the future, and creative use of technology in providing improved collection access services to the on-site patrons of the National Library of Medicine."
Dr. Lindberg presented the 2000 NLM Directors Award to Ms. Cassandra Allen of the Public Services Division and to Dr. Alexa McCray of the Lister Hill Center. Ms. Allen was lauded for "important contributions to improving the NLM work environment and increasing opportunities for employees to develop as founding Chair of the NLM Diversity Council." Dr. McCray received the Directors Award for "your superb leadership in creating the Clinical Trials Database."
Calling it "a moment in history," the NLM Director presented the Board of Regents "Resolution in Honor of the Bicentennial of the Library of Congress" to Dr. James Billington, Librarian of Congress. Dr. Lindberg read the text of the resolution, which the Regents had approved at their last meeting. In accepting the resolution, Dr. Billington said that the Library of Congresss collaboration with the NLM has been particularly gratifying and the relationship harmonious. The pioneering work of the NLM in using electronic information techniques has in large part inspired the major innovations of the last decade or so. Dr. Lindbergs leadership and this Boards guidance have been an inspiration to us. Dr. Billington noted that a major new Web site, designed to reach a broad audience, is being introduced by the Library of Congress: www.amerieaslibrary.gov. Dr. Lindberg also presented to the Library of Congress a rare volume: Arias Montanus, Benedictus, Liber Generationis et Regenerationis Adam, sive de Historia Generis Humani (Antwerp, 1593).
Continuing the celebratory theme, Pamela André, Director of the National Agricultural Library (NAL), reported that on April 12 the NAL "kicked off a new millennium of service." She distributed to her colleagues on the Board a packet of mementos that were distributed on that occasion. Their public space has undergone extensive renovation and the April 12 celebration opened the facility to the public.
IX. RURAL OUTREACH
Outreach for Native Americans: Report on the Tribal Connections Project
Sherrilynne Fuller, former Regent and Director of the Pacific Northwest Regional Medical Library, said the goal of the Outreach for Native Americans project is to improve access to social and health information resources by providing or upgrading Internet connections and appropriate training. Many of the involved communities (16 villages and tribes in Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Oregon) are in isolated rural areas. She described how the health status of American Indians and Alaska Natives is significantly worse than that of the general U.S. population. The lack of technology infrastructure and training has in the past presented a great barrier to health information access outreach for that population. NLMs Office of Health Information Programs Development (Dr. Fred Wood, project coordinator) funded the project beginning in October 1997; it runs though December 2000. Dr. Fuller described the make-up of the advisory panel (many of them Native Americans) that was set up to oversee the project. Regional Medical Library staff created a draft grant proposal that served as a template to help the tribes write requests for support. Help came also from community health care leaders, tribal computer specialists, the Indian Health Service, state telecommunications agencies, and from administrators and scientists who work with the Native Americans on fisheries, forestry, and water resources. The project relied on the "train the trainer" model -- identifying at least one person in a community who could continue to provide needed training and support.
Following Dr. Fullers presentation, Mr. Roy Sahali of the University of Washington, who is the overall project director, first described their work with four major sites in Alaska and how they provided hardware and helped broker the installation of telephone-based, satellite-based, or wireless-based Internet connections between hospitals, clinics, libraries and remote villages. He showed photographs of the clinics and other installations in various sites in Alaska. There are other projects in Oregon (1), Idaho (1), Montana (2), and Washington (8). Mr. Sahali noted that the wellness fair sponsored by one of the Montana projects had health screenings and MEDLINEpIus instruction. He said that the Indian Health Service has been very helpful in sharing its Internet connectivity with several of the NLM-sponsored projects in Washington. Mr. Sahali showed photographs from several of the projects. There is a web site at www.tribalconnections.org.
Dr. Fuller concluded their presentations by saying that there is evidence of long-term sustainability; there is continuing technology support and training through partnerships with the tribal librarians and others. Distance learning access and youth education, both very important to the tribes, is being emphasized. Among the lessons learned: the train the trainer approach is the right one and periodic evaluation will be important. The University of Washington hopes to partner with other Regional Medical Libraries and they have received funding to expand to other areas. Private funding is also a real possibility.
Following their presentations, Gov. Lowell Weicker, Regent-designate, suggested that it might be useful to bring representatives of some of the tribes to the NLM so that we could learn first-hand about their experiences. Dr. Fuller agreed that this would be an excellent idea. In response to a question about the difficulty in arranging intertribal collaboration, Mr. Sahali described how this could be done by bringing together the key players and the community opinion makers in a situation without pressure. In response to a question from Dr. Pardes about indicators of impact, Dr. Fuller said that among the very visible markers are that the tribes are providing access to distance education and also courses and enrichment opportunities for K-12 students. Dr. Pardes said that in the health care field today there is a shortage of workers with a variety of technical skills and that training in this area would be valuable. Mr. Sahali agreed and said that in most cases the tribes have indicated that they intend to set up health-related educational programs. He gave some specific examples in Montana and Alaska. Dr. Fuller said that NLM and the Regional Medical Library might want to work together with the tribal colleges on this problem. In response to a question about tribal acceptance of Western medicine, Dr. Fuller said one of the projects, "Ethnomed," provides culturally contextual information for health professionals.
Support for Rural Health Providers: The Universal Service Administrative Company
Dr. William England, Director of Operations of the Rural Health Care Division, Universal Service Administrative Company, described how the 1996 Telecommunications Act created a pro-competitive telecommunications policy under which was created a program to foster modem telecommunications connections for rural healthcare providers. Funding for rural health care support was capped at $100 million for 1998 and $12 million for 1999; $400 million (the amount the law allows for) is available for 2000. The law is being implemented by the Federal Communications Commission, and the Universal Service Administrative Company, a private entity, was created to administer the program. Dr. England outlined the organizational structure of the
USAC and described what kinds of public and nonprofit health care organizations were eligible for funding under the Act. In the first two years, funds could be used to cover telecommunications services up to T-l Internet lines; with the beginning of the third year (March 30, 2000) there is no limit on the bandwidth that can be supported. There were 2,500 eligible applicants the first year; 1,000 followed up with a request for application forms; but only a small number actually applied. Dr. England discussed the various reasons for the low number of applications and how the USAC and the FCC were attempting to remedy the problems. He showed maps that depicted the number of projects in each state and the dollar amount by state. The rural healthcare support program has a Website at www.rhc.universalservice.org.
Following the presentation, Alison Bunting commented there are obviously policy issues that need to be addressed. Dr. England said that one of the problems is with the Telecommunications Act itself that has a number of prescriptive policies set "in stone." Such policy considerations are the FCCs province. There was a general discussion among the Regents about the program and the involvement of the telecommunications companies in funding it.
X. REPORT OF THE ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR EXTRAMURAL PROGRAMS
Dr. Milton Corn, Associate Director for Extramural Programs, opened with a brief description of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. Established by President Clinton in 1996, these Presidential Awards are presented to outstanding scientists and engineers. Annually eight Federal agencies each nominate up to three young scientists and engineers who will broadly advance science and technology that will be of the greatest benefit to the participating Government agencies. For NIH, the candidate must be an investigator who has earned at least one RO1 Research Award. Dr. Corn was pleased to announce that NLMs nominee, Dr. Ida Sims, was selected for an award in 2000. Dr. Sims received her formal education from Stanford and is currently Assistant Professor in the Division of General Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. Dr. Sims is Principal Investigator on an NLM informatics research grant "Electronic Knowledge Based Publication of Randomized Trials."
An overview of the process of selecting applications for funding followed. Basic criteria for the selection process include the priority score, importance to the mission of NLM, portfolio balance, availability of funds, and new investigator status. After the Regents approve the actions of the Biomedical Library Review Committee and other review groups, the applications are eligible for funding. Various NIM staff members make recommendations but no award is made without the final approval of the NLM Director. Dr. Corn also discussed priority scoring and the payline concept. Priority scores reflect the grading of the applications by the reviewers. Because of the other factors considered in the selection process, occasional applications with reasonably good priority scores may be skipped. The concept of payline refers to the priority score at which the available money would run out if awards were made in strict order of the priority score. The payline is a rough benchmark for estimating whether or not a scored application is likely to be funded. In general, the NLM payline for informatics research generally is within the range of a rating score of 150-170.
XI. PUBMED CENTRAL
Dr. David Lipman, Director of NLMs National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), said that much biological information cuts across databases -- textual information, structured information, information that you can compute on -- even a single paper can cut across the several types of information. This is one of the motivations for the development of PubMed Central, in addition to allowing a user to view free the full text both as HTML in a web browser (with figures sized for on-screen viewing) and as downloadable PDF files. PubMed Central makes the information more valuable to the user by providing support for viewing supplementary information such as data tables, streaming video, and high-resolution images. It also has links from article reference citations to PubMed abstracts, Dr. Lipman said that PubMed Central, which became available earlier this year, allows access to the full text of articles from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Biology of the Cell, and several medical journals. NCBI staff is working with other groups such as Oxford University Press, the Canadian Medical Association, and the American Society for Plant Physiology to have their journals included in PubMed Central. The process of enlisting participants in PubMed Central has been arduous, he said, and there has been ambivalence and even resistance in some quarters. He described some of the problems with the quality of the SGML formatted data received from cooperating organizations and societies. NCBI is getting help from an independent SGML contractor to review some of the materials submitted and correct the inaccuracies found. Dr. Lipman said that NCBI was focusing now on groups that can provide SGML formatted information that doesnt have problems associated with it. Summing up, he said that it is impractical for PubMed Central to accept bad SGML data because of the time and effort involved in manually cleaning it up; at the same time, clean SGML data is a necessity for the kind of digital archive we are trying to establish.
Following Dr. Lipmans presentation, Dr. Lederberg commented that there are deep-seated issues concerning the forms of representation of knowledge. There is an "obsession" with imagery and graphics that have noting to do with the cognitive content of the material. He worries about the future of our archives; these inconsequential details guarantee there will be built-in incompatibilities so that 50 years from now a whole generation of knowledge will be utterly unreadable by mechanical methods. He said that we will never have effective knowledge-based systems on computers until the computers can read the primary literature directly. Dr. Lederberg suggested a project to construct an analog of the UMLS Metathesaurus, one that would create an artificial language that can describe the concepts in scientific articles. This is at the very heart of everything the NLM does in the retrieval of information. He reported that at the March 2000 meeting of the PubMed Central National Advisory Committee meeting the members discussed how to move from existing journal texts into preprints and other material and also how to handle peer review. How freely should scientists be able to post their text without the benefit of peer review? A preprint module would allow materials intended for peer review to be shared at an earlier stage.
XII. REPORT OF THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE
Dr. James Zimble reported that the Nominating Committee appointed at the last meeting is placing in nomination the name of Dr. Henry Foster for the Chair of the Board of Regents. He was unanimously elected.
XIII. REPORT OF THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON OUTREACH AND PUBLIC INFORMATION
Dr. Henry Foster reported on yesterday mornings meeting of the Board Subcommittee on Outreach and Public Information. Their agenda included discussions of the outreach and health disparities activities of the Division of Specialized Information Services (Dr. Steve Phillips); recent NLM press releases (Bob Mehnert); the February 29 roll-out of ClinicalTrials.gov and resulting excellent press coverage (Kathy Cravedi); the need for a center on health disparities (Dr. Elliot Siegel); NLMs progress in developing a television public service announcement; and the plans by the Friends of the NLM for a national meeting scheduled for October. Following Dr. Fosters presentation, the Regents were shown several television recent news presentations about MEDLIINEp1us (CNN) and (MEDLINEp1us (NBC).
The Board of Regents adjourned at 11:45 a.m.
ACTIONS TAKEN BY THE BOARD OF REGENTS
A. The Board of Regents concurred with the recommendations of the Extramural Programs Subcommittee
B. Dr. Donald Lindberg presented the Board of Regents "Resolution in Honor of the Bicentennial of the Library of Congress" to Dr. James Billington, Library of Congress.
C. The Board of Regents unanimously elected Dr. Henry Foster as Chair for the coming year.
D. Dr. Enriqueta Bond presented the Frank B. Rogers Award to Mr. Kenneth Niles
E. Dr. Donald Lindberg presented the 2000 NLM Directors Award to two NLM employees: Ms.Cassandra Allen and to Dr. Alexa McCray
A. Board Resolution - Library of Congress Bicentennial
B. Roster - NLM Board of Regents
I certify that, to the best of my knowledge, the foregoing minutes and attachments are accurate and complete.
Donald A.B. Lindberg, M.D.
Director, National Library of Medicine
Enriqueta Bond, Ph.D.
Chair, NLM Board of Regents
Resolution in Honor of the Bicentennial of the Library of Congress
Whereas, the Library of Congress is the Nations oldest Federal cultural institution and the worlds largest library, and
Whereas, the Library of Congress serves the research needs of the U.S. Congress and also serves all Americans through its popular Web site and its 22 reading rooms on Capitol Hill, and
Whereas, the Library of Congress promotes reading and literacy for all Americans through its Center for the Book and makes reading accessible to all through its National Library Services for the Blind and Physically handicapped, and
Whereas, the Library of Congress protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, through its Copyright Office, and
Whereas, the Library of Congress provides essential free cataloging services to the Nations Libraries, and
Whereas, the Library of Congress has made important contributions to the collections of the National Library of Medicine through a duplicate books program since 1911, and
Whereas, the Library of Congress and the National Library of Medicine have a long history of cooperative arrangements dating back to 1946 that have been of tremendous benefit to libraries throughout the U.S. and the world, and
Whereas, the Library of Congress and the National Library of medicine are working with other organizations to develop the National Digital Library for the new millennium:
It is hereby RESOLVED that the Board of Regents of the National Library of Medicine recognizes and applauds the Library of Congress in this Bicentennial Year of its founding, for its essential role to the U.S. Congress, the Nations libraries, and all American citizens, as a leader in the information world and as an important part of our national heritage.