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 August 1, 2002 [posted]
 Educational Clearinghouse Database: A Service of the National Training Center and Clearinghouse

drop cap letter for d evelopment of the Educational Clearinghouse Database
The first year of the current RML contract was a busy time for the staff of the National Training Center and Clearinghouse (NTCC). Not only were the support staff and the trainers preparing, developing, and teaching classes, but a new element was added to their program under the contract awarded in May 2001. The contract required that the NTCC develop a clearinghouse database within their Web site for the easy searching and locating of educational materials created by National Network of Libraries of Medicine (NN/LM) member libraries, the Resource Libraries and the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Over the latter part of 2001 and the first months of 2002, the staff of the NTCC gathered information and URLs on educational materials found within NLM and NN/LM Web pages. The staff decided to create an online database, fully searchable through Web browsers using the applications of MySQLTM and PHP.

Michael Boer, Michael Miller and Chris Shaffer, of the Seattle, Los Angeles and Chicago NN/LM offices, respectively, and Janet Zipser at NLM worked with the training staff to define the look and feel of the clearinghouse database for both searching and viewing.

The NTCC trainers, Mary Van Antwerp, Andrew Hamilton and Maureen Czujak, proceeded to canvass the NN/LM and NLM Web sites gathering URLs, writing annotations and assigning keywords. The designated contact persons at each of the Regional Medical Libraries, and staff at the NLM tested the database. The clearinghouse database was made public on June 17 at

NTCC Home Page
The NTCC Home page ( is shown in Figure 1 below. There are two ways to get to the clearinghouse database from the NTCC Home page. If you are familiar with Web searching and NLM materials, go directly to the clearinghouse database by clicking on the Educational Clearinghouse Database link.

  Portion of NTCC Home Page Showing Links to Educational Clearinghouse

If you are not familiar with NLM materials, you may wish to click on the Documentation link from the NTCC Home page. This page explains the purpose and objectives of the clearinghouse database and provides definitions concerning the types of information found in the clearinghouse database. Figure 2 shows a portion of the Documentation page including descriptions for some of the searchable elements.

  Portion of Documentation Page

Using the Clearinghouse Database
The clearinghouse database home page is shown in Figure 3. You can browse or search to find educational materials. Browse by Content, Format, Audience, or Title. Figure 4 shows a portion of the "Browse by Title" Page.

  Portion of Clearinghouse Database Home Page
  Browse by Title Page

As shown in Figure 5, you can search by Content, Format, Audience and/or Keywords. Content, Format and Audience search terms are predefined and can be selected from the pull-down menus. In this example, we are looking for a class about nursing resources.

  Search Page

Figure 6 shows the search results, a class titled "Nursing on the Net: Health Care Resources You Can Use," and provides a brief description. To see the full database record for this clearinghouse database resource, click on the title link (see Figure 7).

  Search Results
  Full Record for a Clearinghouse Database Resource

Suggest a New Resource
We welcome and encourage your submission of items to be added to the clearinghouse database. Please use the tools provided on the home page (see Figure 8). When making a suggestion, please remember that we are looking for high-quality training resources (that are updated when necessary). Complete information concerning the resource is vital.

  Make a Suggestion Tool

By Maureen Czujak
National Network of Libraries of Medicine
Middle Atlantic Region
black line separting article from citation

Czujak M. Educational Clearinghouse Database: A Service of the National Training Center and Clearinghouse. NLM Tech Bull. 2002 Jul-Aug;(327):e2.


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Last updated: 19 April 2012