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Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship
Fall 2007
DOI:10.5062/F4CF9N1Q

URLs in this document have been updated. Links enclosed in {curly brackets} have been changed. If a replacement link was located, the new URL was added and the link is active; if a new site could not be identified, the broken link was removed.

[Refereed]

"See a Need, Fill a Need" -- Reaching Out to the Bioinformatics Research Community at Iowa State University

Andrea L. Dinkelman
Assistant Professor and Science & Technology Librarian
Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa
adinkelm@iastate.edu

Copyright 2007, Andrea L. Dinkelman. Used with permission.

Abstract

This article describes my efforts in organizing the "National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI) Field Guide" workshop in March 2006 and four NCBI mini-courses in April 2007 at Iowa State University. It also includes an overview of academic libraries that are providing bioinformatics support and summarizes library involvement in hosting NCBI courses. A discussion of how hosting the NCBI courses has influenced my collection development, instruction, and liaison activities and suggestions to librarians about how to get involved with bioinformatics is also included.

Introduction

The phrase, "See a need, fill a need" was popularized in the 2005 animated film, Robots. In this film, Rodney aspires to become an inventor. With his father's encouragement, he travels to Robot City in hopes of showing one of his inventions to Bigweld, CEO of Bigweld Industries. Bigweld's enthusiasm for new ideas and positive attitude is evident throughout the film. His catch phrase accurately describes my efforts in reaching out to the bioinformatics research community at Iowa State University (ISU).

In October 2003, I joined the Reference & Instruction department at Parks Library as a Science and Technology Librarian with reference, instruction, and collection development responsibilities for the following departments: Biochemistry, Biophysics, & Molecular Biology (BBMB); Ecology, Evolutionary & Organismal Biology (EEOB); and Genetics, Development & Cell Biology (GDCB). My prior educational background in biology and pharmacy stimulated my interest in increasing my knowledge about molecular biology and bioinformatics resources. I attended the "NCBI Field Guide" workshop in May 2004 at the National Animal Disease Center in Ames, IA. The workshop was well attended. A few days later I attended "Genomics, Proteomics, and Bioinformatics for Librarians," a Medical Library Association continuing education course, taught by Michele Tennant, a bioinformatics librarian from the University of Florida's Health Science Center Library. Attending both of these events further intensified my interest in this area, and I was attracted to the idea of bringing the "NCBI Field Guide" to ISU. This article provides an overview of libraries who are providing bioinformatics support, describes the "NCBI Field Guide", and details my experiences in organizing NCBI training at ISU.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information and Bioinformatics

The NCBI was created in 1988 as a division of the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. It organizes and disseminates molecular biology information and is actively engaged in developing new databases and data analysis tools. Rapp & Wheeler (2005) provide a brief history of the NCBI and describe many of the NCBI databases (e.g. GenBank, RefSeq, Genome, Taxonomy) and analysis tools (e.g. BLAST, VAST). Delwiche (2001) provides easy-to-understand descriptions of the following NCBI resources: GenBank, LocusLink, RefSeq, OMIM, and Genes and Disease. However, it should be noted that LocusLink has been replaced by EntrezGene. Bioinformatics, as defined by the NCBI, is: "the field of science in which biology, computer science, and information technology merge to form a single discipline. The ultimate goal of the field is to enable the discovery of new biological insights as well as to create a global perspective from which unifying principles in biology can be discerned" (NCBI 2004). The March 2005 issue of Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology was a special issue devoted to bioinformatics. Fenstermacher (2005) provides an introduction to the discipline and includes brief descriptions of bioinformatics, molecular biology and genomics, and proteomics. For those who may be unfamiliar with these areas, this is an excellent article to review.

Libraries and Bioinformatics

The July 2006 issue of the Journal of the Medical Library Association was a focus issue devoted to bioinformatics and the role of medical libraries. The issue includes several detailed accounts of libraries that have been involved in providing varying levels of bioinformatics support services. Brief summaries of bioinformatics services, ranging from basic to more complex, at a variety of medical and academic libraries are described by Osterbur et al. (2006). Although many of the articles written about bioinformatics services in the focus issue were authored by bioinformatics specialists with advanced degrees in the sciences, it should be noted that many of the summaries in this article were contributed by librarians who possess bachelors' degrees in a wide variety of academic subjects (e.g. animal science, biology, history of art and Spanish, speech, zoology).

While much of the published literature related to libraries and bioinformatics has appeared in library journals whose target audience is the medical library community, notable exceptions include an article by MacMullen et al. (2004) that was published in College & Research Libraries, and an article by Tennant (2005) in Reference Services Review. Although the MacMullen article describes the process of developing bioinformatics services at the Health Sciences Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the planning process and the factors to consider before implementing library-based bioinformatics services are applicable to any academic library considering providing bioinformatics support services. Tennant describes the creation of her position as a Bioinformatics Librarian at the University of Florida. This account is unique because her position is a collaborative effort between the Health Science Center Libraries and the Genetics Institute. Although Tennant holds a PhD, she states that "librarians with only an undergraduate degree in the biosciences can still make an important, albeit usually less complete, contribution in this area."

Bioinformatics Instruction and Training

While your college or university may not offer degrees in bioinformatics or computational biology, there are numerous articles in the life sciences pedagogical literature about incorporating online resources such as OMIM, BLAST, GenBank, and PubMed into the undergraduate curriculum (Bednarski et al. 2005; Boyle 2004; Miskowski et al. 2007; Smith & Emmeluth 2002). None of these articles mention faculty-librarian collaboration. This observation supports Brown's (2005) findings that students learn about molecular biology resources from their major professor or other graduate students, not a librarian. Her survey of 25 molecular biology students showed that 23 of the students routinely used bioinformatics databases such NCBIs GenBank, DNA Databank of Japan (DDBJ), EMBL, TIGR, and the Protein Databank (PDB).

There are several accounts in the library literature of librarians who have been actively involved in providing instruction for molecular biology databases. The Library and Center for Knowledge Management at the University of California-San Francisco began offering instruction to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows about DNA and RNA sequence databases for genome research in 1992 (Owen 1995). Courtois & Handel (1998) describe a teaching collaboration between a librarian and professor for a Human Genetics course for upper-level undergraduate students at the University of Tennessee. Six instruction sessions were provided to students over the course of the semester. Students received instruction on MEDLINE, OMIM, Mouse Genome Database, Entrez, and BLAST. A more recent and more detailed account of a similar collaboration at the University of Florida is described by Tennant & Miyamoto (2002). Students received in-depth instruction on the use of OMIM, MEDLINE, Entrez, BLAST, and other online genetics resources.

A recent study indicates a lack of training opportunities for bioinformatics researchers at U.S. universities. Messersmith et al. (2006) reviewed 239 U.S. university web sites to assess the availability of bioinformatics workshops. Their study focused on training sessions developed and delivered by personnel from campus bioinformatics centers, librarians, or other campus units. Of the 239 universities, 121 universities had medical schools. This study found that only 72 (30%) universities offered introductory and/or advanced workshops. Fifteen of those were provided by libraries; 13 out of the 15 were institutions with a medical school. With regard to the number of institutions in which libraries provided workshops, it should be noted that this number (15) excludes workshops (e.g. "NCBI Field Guide") that may have been hosted by the library. This is a notable fact, knowing that many librarians first efforts to provide bioinformatics training is often through making arrangements to host the "NCBI Field Guide."

NCBI Field Guide

The "{NCBI Field Guide}" was developed by the NCBI as an educational outreach program for research scientists. The workshop provides a broad overview of NCBI resources. It consists of a three-hour lecture and a two-hour hands-on computer session. The sessions are conducted by PhD trained scientists who are members of the NCBI User Services staff. The first "NCBI Field Guide" was held on November 10, 1998 at Yale University (Cooper 2007). It was organized by the Library and was co-taught by Renata (McCarthy) Geer. Geer holds an MLS degree and is a Technical Information Specialist at the NCBI. The course is offered at various venues, including universities and professional meetings, several times throughout the year. The current schedule and a listing of previous offerings can be found at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Class/FieldGuide/elsewhere.html. Peter Cooper, a member of the NCBI User Services Staff, coordinates the schedule and works with a contact from the host institution. The requirements for hosting a course are available at: {http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/About/news/training.pdf}. There are no fees charged to the host institution or to the attendees. The host institution is only responsible for organizing local arrangements.

While it may seem like a daunting task to begin learning about bioinformatics resources, organizing and hosting the "NCBI Field Guide" is a great first step for librarians to take. Many academic libraries have taken an active role in coordinating the course. Rein (2006) describes an extensive assessment of the bioresearch community at Purdue University with regards to bioinformatics information needs. Rein's assessment resulted in "Bioinformatics Week", a week-long event with numerous instructional sessions about bioinformatics resources. The "NCBI Field Guide" was part of this event, and 168 persons attended. Two hundred persons attended the "NCBI Field Guide" in 2002 at the Health Science Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (MacMullen et al. 2004). Lyon et al. (2006) provides brief descriptions of bioinformatics collaborations between librarians and various university partners (e.g. Bioinformatics Journal Club, Genetics Institute, life science faculty) at Harvard University, University of Florida, University of Minnesota, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. All four institutions have hosted the "NCBI Field Guide".

Between 2003 and 2007, the "NCBI Field Guide" has been coordinated by librarians from 51 institutions. (See Table 1.) The majority of hosting libraries are academic medical libraries. In the past five years, seven libraries have hosted the course three times, and one library, Taubman Medical Library at the University of Michigan, has hosted the course every year.

Iowa State University and the NCBI Field Guide

Iowa State University (ISU), located in Ames, Iowa, is the nation's first land-grant university. It was chartered in 1858 as the Iowa Agricultural College and Model Farm. In 1959, it became known as Iowa State University of Science and Technology. Enrollment for the fall 2007 semester was 26,160. Of this total, 4,664 were graduate students and 492 were students in veterinary medicine. The campus is home to a number of centers and institutes related to genetics research. The Center for Integrated Animal Genomics includes faculty from many disciplines who are "using integrated systems-wide genomics approaches to address current and future challenges and opportunities in animal agriculture and human health." The Plant Sciences Institute has five research initiatives: genomes, biopharmaceuticals, nutrition, biorenewables, and crop protection. Research centers include: Center for Plant Genomics, Laurence H. Baker Center for Bioinformatics and Biological Statistics, and the Raymond F. Baker Center for Plant Breeding. ISU researchers have been instrumental in developing a number of different databases; these include: Animal QTLdb (quantitative trait loci in livestock), AtGDB (Arabidopsis thaliana genome database), BarleyBase (plant microarray data), MaizeGDB (maize genetics and genomics database), PIDD (database for distance based protein modeling), PlantGDB (plant genomic sequences), and SoyBase (soybean genetic data). All of these databases have been profiled in the Nucleic Acids Research database issue. ISU offers an interdisciplinary PhD program in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology. An undergraduate degree program in this area was recently approved by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa and will be implemented in fall 2007.

Based on the above description of ISUs initiatives in genomics and graduate program in BCB, one might ascertain that training related to bioinformatics and molecular biology resources might not be needed. After all, it is very easy to presume that scientists and graduate students know how to use the specialized resources in these areas. In order to confirm my hunch that NCBI training would be useful for ISU researchers and students, I consulted the department chairs from BBMB, EEOB, and GDCB. They were enthusiastic and encouraged me in my efforts to bring the "NCBI Field Guide" to ISU. Consequently, my experience as coordinator of the "NCBI Field Guide" and the NCBI mini-courses at ISU has been a major highlight of my job. While I hoped there would be a high degree of interest from the campus community, my expectations were greatly exceeded. My concerns about participants being willing to commit five hours out of their busy schedules were unfounded. Twenty-nine persons registered for the workshop the day the announcement was distributed via email. Due to the high demand, I ended up securing a larger room for the lecture and an additional computer lab. I also maintained a wait list. In addition, several participants were very willing to bring a laptop to the computer session in order to participate in the course. Eight computer lab sessions were scheduled to accommodate everyone. Eric Sayers and Simin Assadi, members of the NCBI User Services staff, presented the lecture and taught the computer sessions. One hundred sixty-eight persons attended the lecture, and 128 attended a computer lab session. Ninety-three (55%) of the 168 lecture attendees were graduate students. The remaining 75 (45%) attendees included post-doctoral fellows, visiting scholars, professional and scientific staff, and faculty. Seven lab groups scheduled individual appointments with Eric Sayers and Simin Assadi. I talked to several graduate students at the computer sessions. They were very excited and enthusiastic about what they learned and indicated a need for more workshops. Many commented that they "thought" they knew how to use the tools, but found out they were not using them to the fullest extent. The written evaluations confirmed what I heard in person. Participants were impressed with the course, and many evaluations included comments about the usefulness of the computer sessions. The following is a sampling of written comments:

NCBI Mini-courses at Iowa State University

Based on the success of the "NCBI Field Guide", I decided to coordinate the offering of four NCBI mini-courses in April 2007. The NCBI currently offers 12 mini-courses. The complete listing is available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Class/minicourses/. Each mini-course lasts two and one-half hours. The first one and one-half hours is a lecture followed by a one-hour computer lab session. Mini-courses provide more in-depth instruction on a topic. Between 2004 and 2007, 19 libraries have hosted one or more mini-courses. (See Table 2) Fourteen of these libraries have hosted the "NCBI Field Guide" between 2003 and 2007.

After consulting with a GDCB faculty member, the following mini-courses were selected: "BLAST Quick Start", "Structure Analysis Quick Start", "Making Sense of DNA & Protein Sequences", and "Identification of Disease Genes." The average lecture attendance for each mini-course was 39 (range 33-47). Sixty-eight persons attended one or more mini-courses. Thirty-nine (57%) of them attended one or two courses while twenty-nine (43%) attended three or four courses. Like the "NCBI Field Guide", the majority of attendees were graduate students. Forty-five (66%) of the 68 attendees were graduate students, and the remaining 23 (34%) attendees included professional and scientific staff, faculty, and post-doctoral fellows. Fourteen persons who attended the "NCBI Field Guide" in 2006 attended one or more of the mini-courses in 2007.

Implications

Hosting the "NCBI Field Guide" and the NCBI mini-courses has had a direct impact on my day-to-day activities as a science and technology librarian. Special attention to collection development decisions and an increase in course-related instruction are two important outcomes.

Collection Development

One of the surprising outcomes of working with the subject areas of bioinformatics and genetics was the high interest level and need for more books. Taking a closer look at local circulation statistics informed my purchase decisions. I purchased additional copies of books about bioinformatics, DNA microarrays, and statistical methods for genetics as books about these subjects are constantly checked out. Purchasing electronic books also increases patron access and is particularly desirable when there are patrons from many academic departments who are interested in these subjects. Major publishers such as Elsevier, Springer, and Wiley are rapidly increasing the numbers of electronic books related to these subjects.

If your library has an approval plan and receives "notification slips" for new titles, keep in mind that other subject librarians may be receiving new title notices for areas of interest to researchers using bioinformatics tools (e.g., computer science and math applications).

Library Instruction

Although the "NCBI Field Guide" and mini-courses are intended for graduate students and researchers, there is a growing need to expose undergraduate students to the NCBI resources. As a result of my interest in learning about the NCBI resources, I assisted an ISU faculty member in designing a laboratory exercise that required students enrolled in the Biology 313 (Principles of Genetics) laboratory to do BLAST searching. Students performed BLAST searches to identify genes that are conserved across species. They were then required to search PubMed to locate articles that related their gene sequence to a specific human disease. The faculty member invited me to speak to all sections of the laboratory and provide instruction in searching PubMed as well as introducing the students to additional online genetics resources such as the Genetics Home Reference and GeneTests. On the session evaluation, students were asked to list two things they learned during the session. Student comments have been very favorable:

Based on the positive student comments, the faculty member has continued to invite my participation in this lab.

Liaison Activities

It is important for science librarians to be aware of interdisciplinary programs at their institutions. At ISU, subject librarian responsibilities are often assigned on the basis of department rather than academic program. As a result of this arrangement, several interdisciplinary programs, such as Bioinformatics and Computational Biology (BCB), do not have a formal subject librarian. As an outcome of the "NCBI Field Guide", I was contacted by a graduate student in BCB to do a presentation on library resources to new graduate students in the BCB program. The graduate program attracts students who have strong backgrounds in mathematics and computer science but who may not be familiar with library resources related to the life sciences. In June 2007, I conducted an instruction session for students attending a Computational and Systems Biology Summer Institute workshop that included a very basic introduction to the NCBI web site as well as instruction about using PubMed. Science librarians are encouraged to read Messner's (2007) thorough overview of bibliographic and biological databases that are useful to researchers in bioinformatics and computational biology.

Hosting the NCBI courses has also brought to my attention the need to reach out to other groups of potential library patrons on campus (e.g., post-doctoral fellows, professional and scientific staff, and visiting scholars). The sessions were well attended by persons from these categories. While librarians tend to target instructional sessions towards faculty and students, it is easy to forget there are other types of researchers working on campus.

My outreach efforts have also extended beyond reaching ISU students. I have also provided instruction sessions to public school science teachers who participate in ISUs Plant Genomics Outreach summer program. Freely available resources related to bioinformatics and genomics are highlighted during the session (Dinkelman 2007).

Getting Started in Bioinformatics

Becoming more knowledgeable about bioinformatics and genomics has been extremely rewarding and has made my job more interesting and exciting. Fortunately, I received encouragement from my supervisor regarding my desire to learn more about this area. The Library's administration has also been supportive. For the "NCBI Field Guide", the Library provided morning refreshments and folders that included the session handouts. Continuing education, getting to know your institution, and hosting NCBI courses are key components to venturing into this area.

Continuing Education

Academic science librarians need to become more acquainted with molecular biology resources. Alpi (2003) provides a description of continuing education opportunities for librarians interested in learning more about bioinformatics resources. I highly recommend the 3-day introductory course, "Introduction to Molecular Biology Information Resources." The "NCBI Advanced Workshop for Bioinformatics Information Specialists" provides more in depth instruction about molecular biology resources and is intended for full-time bioinformatics specialists based in libraries. The Medical Library Association and the Special Libraries Association have also offered continuing education courses. The United States Agricultural Information Network (USAIN) biennial conference has included sessions about bioinformatics in recent years. The American Library Association's Science & Technology section should become proactive in offering continuing education in this area. Attending the "NCBI Field Guide" course is also an excellent way to gain a broad overview of the resources.

Students currently enrolled in an MLS program and interested in science librarianship are also encouraged to seek out opportunities to learn about bioinformatics resources. Bartlett (2005) describes the creation of a bioinformatics course at the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at McGill University. The course includes an introduction to genetics, several classes about bioinformatics resources, and discussions about the role of information science professionals in providing support to bioinformatics researchers. The course has been offered in Winter 2005 and 2007, and it will be offered again in Winter 2008 (Bartlett 2007).

Your Institution

Get to know your institution and programs. Information about interdisciplinary programs can be located on many different departmental web sites. Recently, bioinformatics and genomics research was highlighted in the Fall 2006 issue of Innovate, a publication of the ISU College of Engineering. Extensive information about bioinformatics also appeared in the 2006-2007 Department of Computer Science Annual Report. ISUs Office of Biotechnology publishes Biotechnology Update four times a year to update the campus community on biotechnology research and technology transfer.

Consider partnering with other subject librarians to research what is happening at your institution. A 2007 poster session at the Special Libraries Association annual meeting highlighted research completed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Science Library by four science librarians who studied the changes in bioscience research at MIT. Their discussions with MIT faculty and scientists in the life sciences, neuroscience, chemistry, computer science, and engineering resulted in increased collaboration for bioinformatics instruction and funding bioinformatics resources (Rogers & Silver 2007). Consult articles by Rein (2006) and Yarfitz and Ketchell (2000) for examples of surveys used to assess bioinformatics needs.

NCBI Courses

Review the Education section of the NCBI web site to see what institutions are offering the "NCBI Field Guide" and mini-courses, and consider hosting NCBI training at your institution. Be sure to widely advertise the training. As evidenced by the large attendance at ISU, many different departments and academic programs are interested in learning about these resources (See Table 3). If you are a librarian at a smaller university, invite faculty from surrounding schools, especially four-year liberal arts colleges and/or community colleges.

Library Staffing Considerations

Written comments from the "NCBI Field Guide" evaluation indicated that there is a great need for varying levels (beginner to advanced) of instruction on bioinformatics resources. Some participants who were more experienced with the NCBI resources felt the lecture was "too basic" while others found the amount of information contained in the lecture portion overwhelming. One participant wrote the following comment, "I have very little background in genetics, so I did not understand some terms and acronyms." Ideally, researchers would greatly benefit from having access to regularly scheduled training sessions. At ISU there is no entity responsible for offering training on using bioinformatics resources. Some academic libraries, especially medical libraries, have been at the forefront in hiring library-based bioinformatics specialists. Generally, persons hired for these positions have a PhD in the sciences (e.g., genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry) and may or may not have an MLS degree. Cornell University (Albert R. Mann Library) and Purdue University (Life Sciences Library) are two examples of libraries at land grant institutions that have hired PhD-trained scientists to serve as bioinformatics specialists. Geer (2006) provides a thorough description of the issues (e.g., user needs, library staff training, and levels of service) libraries must consider before making a decision to provide bioinformatics support services. There are several recent accounts in the literature of libraries who have successfully implemented bioinformatics programs (Chattopadhyay et al. 2006; Minie et al. 2006; Wang et al. 2007).

Conclusion

Becoming more knowledgeable about bioinformatics resources has greatly enriched my experiences as a science librarian. While I am by no means an expert in using these resources, becoming familiar with them has instilled a greater confidence in my knowledge and understanding about their use and application. Brown (2005) states: "For science and technology librarians and information professionals to reclaim and retain their role as vital members in the information community of molecular biologists, they must adapt and expand their knowledge base to include these resources." Hosting the NCBI courses has generated an amazing amount of goodwill towards the Library; it has been an ideal avenue for promoting the Library's resources and services and strengthening the relationship with students and faculty from many academic departments.

"Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow."
 ~Anthony J. D'Angelo

Acknowledgement

I would like to thank Peter S. Cooper, PhD, NCBI Service Desk for providing the data found in Table 1.

Recommended Reading

Campbell, A. M. & Heyer, L. J. (2007). Discovering Genomics, Proteomics, and Bioinformatics. San Francisco, CA: Benjamin Cummings.

Hightower, C. (2002). Guide to selected bioinformatics internet resources. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship 33: [Online] Available: http://www.istl.org/02-winter/internet.html

National Center for Biotechnology. A Science Primer. [Online.] Available: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/About/primer/index.html.

National Institute of General Medical Sciences (2006). The New Genetics. NIH Pub. No. 07-662, revised 2006 [Online] Available: http://publications.nigms.nih.gov/thenewgenetics/thenewgenetics.pdf

Wheeler, D., et al. (2007). Database resources of the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Nucleic Acids Research 35 (Database issue):D5-D12.

References

Alpi, K. 2003. Bioinformatics training by librarians and for librarians: developing the skills needed to support molecular biology and clinical genetics information instruction. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship 37 [Online]. Available: http://www.istl.org/03-spring/article1.html [July 17, 2007].

Bartlett, J.C. 2005. Bioinformatics education in an MLIS program: the McGill experience. Journal of the Canadian Health Libraries Association 26(3): 79-81.

Bartlett, J.C. E-mail to the author. July 21, 2007.

Bednarski, A.E., et al. 2005. An inquiry into protein structure and genetic disease: introducing undergraduates to bioinformatics in a large introductory course. Cell Biology Education 4: 207-220.

Boyle, J.A. 2004. Bioinformatics in undergraduate education. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 32(4): 236-238.

Brown, C. 2005. Where do molecular biology graduate students find information? Science & Technology Libraries 25(3): 89-104.

Chattopadhyay, A., et al. 2006. Design and implementation of a library-based information service in molecular biology and genetics at the University of Pittsburgh. Journal of the Medical Library Association 94(3): 307-313.

Cooper, P. E-mail to the author. May 2, 2007.

Courtois, M.P. & Handel, M. A. 1998. A collaborative approach to teaching genetics information sources. Research Strategies 16(3): 211-220.

Delwiche, F.A. 2001. Introduction to resources in molecular genetics. Medical Reference Services Quarterly 20(2): 33-50.

Dinkelman, A. 2007. Information resources for molecular biology, biotechnology, & genomics. [Online]. Available: http://www.public.iastate.edu/~adinkelm/Molecular_Biology_Resources.htm [July 17, 2007].

Fenstermacher, D. 2005. Introduction to bioinformatics. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 56(5): 440-446.

Geer, R.C. 2006. Broad issues to consider for library involvement in bioinformatics. Journal of the Medical Library Association 94(3): 286-298.

Lyon, J.A., et al. 2006. Carving a niche: establishing bioinformatics collaborations. Journal of the Medical Library Association 94(3): 330-335.

MacMullen, W.J., et al. 2004. Planning bioinformatics education and information services in an academic health sciences library. College & Research Libraries 65(4): 320-333.

Messersmith, D.J., et al. 2006. A web-based assessment of bioinformatics end-user support services at US universities. Journal of the Medical Library Association 94(3): 299-305.

Messner, K. 2007. Computational biology. In: Literature Search Strategies for Interdisciplinary Research. (ed. by L. G. Ackerson) pp. 85-99. Lanham, MD.: Scarecrow Press, Inc. 85-99.

Minie, M., et al. 2006. The University of Washington Health Sciences Library BioCommons: an evolving Northwest biomedical research information support infrastructure. Journal of the Medical Library Association 94(3): 321-329.

Miskowski, J.A., et al. 2007. Design and implementation of an interdepartmental bioinformatics program across life science curricula. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education 35(1): 9-15.

National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). 2004. A science primer: bioinformatics. [Online]. Available: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/About/primer/bioinformatics.html [July 17, 2007].

Osterbur, D.L., et al. 2006. Vignettes: diverse library staff offering diverse bioinformatics services. Journal of the Medical Library Association 94(3): 306.

Owen, D.J. 1995. Library instruction in genome informatics: an introductory library class for retrieving information from molecular genetics databases. Science & Technology Libraries 15(3): 3-15.

Rapp, B.A. & Wheeler, D.L. 2005. Bioinformatics resources from the National Center for Biotechnology Information: an integrated foundation for discovery. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology 56(5): 538-550.

Rein, D.C. 2006. Developing library bioinformatics services in context: The Purdue University Libraries bioinformationist program. Journal of the Medical Library Association 94(3): 314-320.

Rogers, L.W. & Silver, H.J. 2007. Inquiry-based outreach: library research on bioscience leads to innovative collaborations. Poster presentation. Special Libraries Association Conference, Denver, CO. [Online]. Available: http://libstaff.mit.edu/presentations/bteam/bteam-slaposter.ppt [July 17, 2007].

Smith, T.M. & Emmeluth, D.S. 2002. Introducing bioinformatics into the biology curriculum: exploring the National Center for Biotechnology Information. The American Biology Teacher 64(2): 93-99.

Tennant, M.R. 2005. Bioinformatics librarian: meeting the information needs of genetics and bioinformatics researchers. Reference Services Review 33(1): 12-19.

Tennant, M.R. & Miyamoto, M.M. 2002. The role of medical libraries in undergraduate education: a case study in genetics. Journal of the Medical Library Association 90(2): 181-193.

Wang, L., et al. 2007. The bioinformatics program at Washington University's Bernard Becker Medical Library: making it happen. Medical Reference Services Quarterly 26(2): 87-98.

Yarfitz, S. & Ketchell, D. S. 2000. A library-based bioinformatics services program. Bulletin of the Medical Library Association 88(1): 36-48.


Table 1
NCBI Field Guide Course Hosted by Libraries
2003-2007

Institution/Library

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

California Institute of Technology/Millikan Library

 

 

X

 

 

Colorado State University/Morgan Library

 

 

 

X

 

Columbia University/Health Sciences Library

X

 

 

 

 

Cornell University Medical School/Samuel J. Wood Library

 

X

X

 

 

Cornell University/Albert R. Mann Library

 

 

X

 

 

Darmouth University/Dartmouth College Library

 

 

 

 

X

Iowa State University/Parks Library

 

 

 

X

 

Johns Hopkins University/Welch Medical Library

 

X

 

X

 

Marquette University/Raynor Memorial Libraries

 

 

 

X

 

Medical College of Wisconsin/MCW Libraries

 

 

 

 

X

Mercer University School of Medicine/Mercer Medical Library

 

 

X

 

 

Mount Holyoke College/Library and Information Technology Services

 

 

 

X

 

Mount Sinai School of Medicine/Levy Library

 

 

 

 

X

Northeastern Ohio Universities College of Medicine/Ocasek Medical Library & Academic Technology Services

 

 

 

 

X

Northwestern University/Galter Health Sciences Library

X

 

 

 

 

Ohio State University/John A. Prior Health Sciences Library

 

X

X

X

 

Purdue University/Purdue University Libraries

 

 

X

 

 

Temple University/Temple University Libraries

 

 

 

 

X

Texas A & M University/Medical Sciences Library

X

 

 

 

 

University of Alabama-Birmingham/Lister Hill Library of the Health Sciences

 

 

X

 

 

University of Arizona/Arizona Health Sciences Library

 

X

 

 

 

University of California at Davis/Peter J. Shields Library

 

 

X

X

X

University of California at San Diego/Biomedical Library

 

 

X

 

 

University of California at San Francisco/Library and Center for Knowledge Management

 

 

 

 

X

University of California-Berkeley/Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Library

 

X

 

X

 

University of Cincinnati Medical Center/Health Sciences Library

 

 

X

 

 

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center/Denison Memorial Library

 

 

X

X

X

University of Florida/Health Science Center Libraries

X

X

X

 

 

University of Hawaii at Manoa Library

 

 

X

 

 

University of Illinois/Biotechnology Information Center

 

 

X

 

 

University of Michigan/Taubman Medical Library

X

X

X

X

X

University of Minnesota/Bio-Medical Library

X

 

 

X

 

University of North Carolina/Health Sciences Library

 

 

X

 

 

University of North Dakota/Harley E French Library (health sciences)

 

X

 

 

 

University of Notre Dame/Chemistry/Physics Library

 

 

X

X

 

University of Oregon/University of Oregon Libraries

 

X

 

 

 

University of Pennsylvania/Biomedical Library

X

 

X

 

 

University of Rochester Medical Center/Edward G. Miner Library

 

 

 

X

 

University of South Alabama/Biomedical Library

 

 

 

X

 

University of Southern California/Norris Medical Library

 

X

X

 

 

University of Tennessee/Health Sciences Library

 

 

 

X

 

University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research/Dolph Briscoe, Jr. Library

 

 

 

X

 

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas/UT Southwestern Library

 

X

X

X

 

University of Virginia/Claude Moore Health Sciences Library

 

X

X

 

X

University of Wisconsin at Madison/Ebling Library for the Health Sciences

 

 

X

 

 

Vanderbilt University/Eskind Biomedical Library

X

 

X

 

 

Virginia Commonwealth University/Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences

X

 

X

 

X

Virginia Tech/Veterinary Medicine Library

 

 

 

X

 

Washington University/Bernard Becker Medical Library

 

 

 

 

X

Wayne State University/Shiffman Medical Library

 

 

 

 

X

Yale University/Cushing-Whitney Medical Library

 

 

 

X

 

As of  9/27/2007

 

 

 

 

 


Table 2
NCBI Mini-courses Hosted by Libraries and Number of Courses Offered
2004-2007
Data compiled from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Class/minicourses/minischedule.html


Institution/Library

2004

2005

2006

2007

NCBI Field Guide Offered

Colorado State University/Morgan Library

 

 

2

 

2006

Duke University/Duke University Medical Center Library

 

 

 

1

 

Iowa State University/Parks Library

 

 

 

4

2006

Louisiana State University/Veterinary Medicine Library

 

 

 

1

 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology/MIT Libraries

 

 

 

8

 

Purdue University/Purdue University Libraries

 

4

 

4

2005

University of California at San Diego/Biomedical Library

 

 

2

 

2005

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center/Denison Memorial Library

 

 

2

 

2005, 2006, 2007

University of Illinois/Biotechnology Information Center

 

 

4

2

2005

University of Massachusetts/Integrated Sciences and Engineering Library

 

 

 

To be determined

 

University of Michigan/Taubman Medical Library

3

4

4

4

2003-2007

University of North Carolina/Health Sciences Library

 

 

4

8

2005

University of Rochester Medical Center/Edward G. Miner Library

 

 

 

2

 

University of Southern California/Norris Medical Library

 

 

3

 

2004, 2005

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas/UT Southwestern Library

 

 

4

1

2004, 2005, 2006

University of Wisconsin at Madison/Ebling Library for the Health Sciences

 

 

4

 

2005

Virginia Commonwealth University/Tompkins-McCaw Library for the Health Sciences

 

 

 

4

2003, 2005, 2007

Virginia Tech/Veterinary Medicine Library

 

 

 

4

2006

Wayne State University/Shiffman Medical Library

 

 

 

To be determined

2007

As of  9/27/2007

 

 

 

 

 


Table 3
Academic Department or Program Affiliation of ISU NCBI Field Guide and Mini-course Attendees


Academic Department or Program

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Graduate Program

College of Veterinary Medicine

Department of Agronomy

Department of Animal Science

Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Molecular Biology

Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering

Department of Ecology, Evolutionary & Organismal Biology

Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering

Department of Entomology

Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition

Department of Genetics, Development & Cell Biology Department

Department of Horticulture

Department of Plant Pathology

Interdepartmental Genetics Graduate Program

National Animal Disease Center (local employer)

Office of Biotechnology

Plant Sciences Institute

University Libraries

 

 

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