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NLM Technical Bulletin, Sep-Oct 2014, "BLAST in the Cloud!" — Webinar showcases NCBI-BLAST Amazon Machine Image on July 30, 2014 [Editor's note added]

NLM Technical Bulletin - October 16, 2014 - 5:06pm
[Editor's note added October 16, 2014: A recording of the Webinar and supporting Materials and Q&A are available.]
Categories: Health Librarianship

NLM Technical Bulletin, Sep-Oct 2014, My NCBI – ORCID Author Data Integration with SciENcv [Editor's Note added]

NLM Technical Bulletin - October 16, 2014 - 3:55pm
[Editor's note: These features were implemented on October 9, 2014.]
Categories: Health Librarianship

NLM Technical Bulletin, Sep-Oct 2014, New CMT Subset Available

NLM Technical Bulletin - October 15, 2014 - 11:16am
A new subset from Convergent Medical Terminology (CMT) is now available for download from the UMLS Terminology Services (UTS) by UMLS licensees.
Categories: Health Librarianship

Striving for that A+ (show your students a “composite submission”)

Google Scholar Blog - October 14, 2014 - 3:23pm

As an adjunct faculty member, I am often asked by student librarians to provide examples of what I believe to be submissions that reach the highest level of excellence. Here (below) is a composite of several outstanding submissions for the third assignment in my LIBR534 class. The answers indicate clear logic/ approaches to consulting sources of information and providing important rationale to complete the process.  ….Feedback welcome! Dean

LIBR534 Reference Assignment III 2014 from Dean Giustini
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NLM Technical Bulletin, Sep-Oct 2014, Updated SNOMED CT Route of Administration Subset Available

NLM Technical Bulletin - October 14, 2014 - 11:34am
An updated SNOMED CT Route of Administration Subset is now available for download.
Categories: Health Librarianship

Pan-Canadian overpricing of medicines: a 6-country study of cost control for generic medicines

Open Medicine Articles - October 14, 2014 - 1:39am



On 1 April 2013, Canada’s Council of the Federation (a body of provincial and territorial premiers) launched a pan-Canadian pricing scheme to improve the affordability of 6 generic medicines (amlodipine, atorvastatin, omeprazole, rabeprazole, ramipril, and venlafaxine), which represent about 20% of publicly funded spending on generic drugs. The Council set a price ceiling on these drugs at 18% of the equivalent innovator medicine’s price, which was predicted to save an estimated $100 million for government drug plans. To test whether the Council’s price ceiling will result in generic drug prices comparable to those in other countries, we obtained data on the pan-provincial reimbursement prices of the 6 medicines and compared them with prices in the United States, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and Germany. In 69 pairwise comparisons of the newly reduced prices on these generic products, we found that 55 (80%) were still more expensive in Canada than in the 5 other countries studied. The Council’s new approach does reduce the cost of generic medicines, but even with this imposed price ceiling, Canadians continue to overpay for generic medicines. We conclude that much more money could be saved, were it not for the fact that the Council’s approach is inferior to that of other countries. We suggest that the Council of the Federation better could harness competition or negotiation by returning to its initial but unfulfilled plan of instituting a national competitive bidding process for generic medicines.


Categories: Health Librarianship

Comparison of sampling methods for hard-to-reach francophone populations: yield and adequacy of advertisement and respondent-driven sampling

Open Medicine Articles - October 14, 2014 - 1:37am

Background: Francophones who live outside the primarily French-speaking province of Quebec, Canada, risk being excluded from research by lack of a sampling frame. We examined the adequacy of random sampling, advertising, and respondent-driven sampling for recruitment of francophones for survey research.

Methods: We recruited francophones residing in the city of Calgary, Alberta, through advertising and respondent-driven sampling. These 2 samples were then compared with a random subsample of Calgary francophones derived from the 2006 Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS). We assessed the effectiveness of advertising and respondent-driven sampling in relation to the CCHS sample by comparing demographic characteristics and selected items from the CCHS (specifically self-reported general health status, perceived weight, and having a family doctor).

Results: We recruited 120 francophones through advertising and 145 through respondent-driven sampling; the random sample from the CCHS consisted of 259 records. The samples derived from advertising and respondent-driven sampling differed from the CCHS in terms of age (mean ages 41.0, 37.6, and 42.5 years, respectively), sex (proportion of males 26.1%, 40.6%, and 56.6%, respectively), education (college or higher 86.7% , 77.9% , and 59.1%, respectively), place of birth (immigrants accounting for 45.8%, 55.2%, and 3.7%, respectively), and not having a regular medical doctor (16.7%, 34.5%, and 16.6%, respectively). Differences were not tested statistically because of limitations on the analysis of CCHS data imposed by Statistics Canada.

Interpretation: The samples generated exclusively through advertising and respondent-driven sampling were not representative of the gold standard sample from the CCHS. Use of such biased samples for research studies could generate misleading results.

Categories: Health Librarianship

MLA 2016 Toronto: Problems Traveling Internationally

The Krafty Librarian - October 13, 2014 - 10:33am

The 2016 annual meeting will be in Toronto and the NPC is looking to see if there are any barriers to going to an international meeting in Toronto that normally wouldn’t be a barrier if the meeting was withing the continental U.S.

Obviously people traveling to the meeting in Toronto will need an updated passport.  Plan early to get your passport if you don’t already have one.  Also check its expiration date, sometimes you may not be able to travel on a passport that is set to expire within three months.

The one nice thing is that the US dollar is stronger than the Canadian dollar so that gives us little bit of a “discount” when buying things over there.  However that usually isn’t realized on air travel and the cost of flights really depends on the airports.  For example, Cleveland is one of the more expensive airports to fly out of, so airfares for me are often painful. We all have budget issues to consider, I don’t think Toronto being an international conference is on the same cost level as an international conference overseas.  Based on a very brief look at the expenses, it doesn’t appear the cost to be any more or less of a barrier then one would typically encounter going to MLA.

I am not saying cost isn’t important, but my blog post today is more focused on the barriers unique to an international meeting.  One such barrier that may be related to this meeting is the permission or the ability to attend an international meeting.  Some hospitals, government entities, and other places will not fund travel to an international meeting (even if international is within North America and is closer than flying to San Francisco).  In this case the barrier is the fact that it is an international meeting and the institution will not fund international meetings.  So it isn’t the amount of the trip that is the barrier, but the fact that the institution will not pay for the trip at all.

Do you typically attend MLA?  If you typically attend, will you have some problems attending a conference in Toronto because it is international or will it be just fine?  Please make a comment and let us know.  I know the NPC would like to try and address any issues ahead of time.


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Categories: Health Librarianship
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