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 June 13, 2005 [posted]
 MLA 2005:
Questions and Answers

NLM Online Users' Meeting
Meeting Remarks - David Gillikin, Head, MEDLARS Management Section
PowerPoint® Presentations for Meeting Remarks, MedlinePlus® and DOCLINE®
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[Editor's note: The Questions and Answers are from the NLM Online Users' Meeting at the Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association in San Antonio, TX, on May 16, 2005. The questions have been modified to improve readability and the answers have been enhanced to provide more complete information.]

drop cap letter for q uestion:
What is the intent or focus of the RSS feed?

The RSS feed is for PubMed® and it is an alternate way of getting updates if you don't want to get e-mail updates through My NCBI. That's the intent. For more information on RSS feed see RSS Feeds Available from PubMed®. NLM Tech Bull. 2005 May-Jun;(343):e2.

I am thrilled to see more topics being added to NIHSeniorHealth. How can we, especially those of us in the RMLs, get promotional materials for NIHSeniorHealth?

NLM will create a a new "big bookmark" for NIHSeniorHealth and other products of interest to online seniors. When created, it will be available from NLM and the RMLs.

For clarification, how does the Loansome Doc information that displays whether your library owns the requested title relate to LinkOut®? Does the Library have to state their holdings in LinkOut for the information to appear in Loansome Doc?

The holdings for Loansome Doc are based upon your reported holdings in DOCLINE's serials holdings. You do not have to state holdings in LinkOut.

I want to compliment you on MedlinePlus. It's become quite a useful product. Over the years I have seen it grow greatly; it almost always satisfies my needs. Have you considered putting in some shorter video clips? The surgery/procedure clips are one hour long. People's attention spans often aren't terribly long. But I think you are going down a good road.

We do have shorter video clips embedded in the topics covered by NIHSeniorHealth. You might want to explore there. There is an "All Videos" page that lists a lot of topics. We tried to keep these to two to four minutes.

Regarding interlibrary loan requests for articles that are published electronically ahead of print; I heard frustration mentioned as an issue, but I didn't hear a solution. The solution we have come up with is after it's routed and everyone said that it is not yet received, then we get on the phone and go down the list and call them and say, "Maybe you actually have this online. Could you could check your online subscription?" They don't do that routinely; they just go to the shelf and when it's not on the shelf they say no. How can we get the other libraries to take that second step and check their online subscription?

It's a difficult issue. Part of the problem is licensing on the electronic copy. Many libraries do not have the license to provide ILL from their electronic copy so they are relying on the print copy. In terms of what people can do, we are trying to bring more visibility to the Free links and epub alerts. [Note: An epub alert is a message displayed to users during the order process when the citation is Ahead of Print, or when articles appear on the Web in advance of the journal release. These articles can be difficult for libraries to obtain. Please see the FAQ for more information on epub ahead of print.] We're also trying to bring more visibility to the issue so that people know requests are going unfilled and to perhaps use those links out to the producer's site instead. We can try posting on the DOCLINE-L list to remind people that "epub ahead of print" is in the citation, that it is ahead of the print publication and that they can check the online copy. Maybe we can look at doing something different on the receipt to bring more visibility to the "epub" part of the citation. Many people are currently dealing with their licensing agreements. I think that's the biggest problem - that people aren't getting ILL rights on their e-journals.

User Comment:
But I think there are some bigger issues of "epub ahead of print" because in some instances "epub ahead of print" is only available to individual subscribers. It does not have anything to do with whether or not you have the rights to ILL from your electronic journal. If it's only available to the individual subscriber, most libraries would be unable to get it. This is the number one complaint that I hear from librarians in my area. So I think to ease the frustration for the librarians either something has to be done to educate the public, the PubMed users about what "epub ahead of print" actually is and that the librarians just can't get their hands on these items even though everybody wants them.

User Comment:
One of my favorite things that happened to PubMed is the little note that went into the MeSH database that says that the subheadings that appear in that MeSH database reflect subheadings that have been used on the records, not the allowed subheadings. I think that's a wonderful feature. I don't know how many people really understand the difference, but it's a really big distinction and I really appreciate the fact that that change was made.

User Comment:
Thank you for making Loansome Doc more visible to the user. I think that's a big problem trying to explain to our users what's happening. I particularly like the password reactivation because we get a lot of calls on that.

I thought that it was actually a step back when the PubMed interface was changed. The Order feature used to be right up in the front and now it has been moved to the "Send to" pull-down menu. I think that it is a lot less visible to the user. Order button used to be so much more visible and now we have to tell them to go to "Send to order" and I think the average doctor or dentist is not finding that option; it's not as user friendly for them.

The changes to PubMed's design to which you refer occurred over two years ago. Unfortunately, it's a situation where what is replaced satisfied some people's needs but not others. The goal for all changes to the overall design of PubMed is to improve usability for the majority of users.

black line separting article from citation

MLA 2005, NLM® Online Users' Meeting 2005: Questions and Answers. NLM® Tech Bull. 2005 May-Jun;(344):e11c.


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