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NIH Seeks Community's Input on Vision, Future Directions for NLM

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The National Institutes of Health has put out a request for information that asks for input on a new agenda for the National Library of Medicine.

In an email sent out this week, Eric Green, the director of the NIH's National Human Genome Research Institute, explained that with the impending retirement of current NLM Director Don Lindberg at the end of March, the NIH is taking stock of the division before taking steps to recruit a replacement. To that end, NIH Director Francis Collins has set up a working group of his Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD) to examine the role that the NLM should play moving forward. Green will co-chair the group along with ACD member Harlan Krumholz, a Yale University professor.

The working group will be responsible for reviewing NLM's current mission, organization, and programmatic priorities, as well as articulating a strategic vision for the agency, according to Green's email.

The NLM "has been a center of information innovation since its founding in 1836, and has been at the forefront of how biomedical data and health information is collected, shared, and analyzed," he wrote. "As information resources shift from print to digital media and biomedical research transitions to a data-intensive era, NL's role needs to evolve to meet the many challenges in information and data science."

According to the RFI, the working group is especially seeking input on "the current value of and future need for NLM programs, resources, research and training efforts, and services [such as] databases, software, [and] collections." Comments can focus on — but aren't limited to — which of the currently available resources are of the most or least value to stakeholders, such as members of the research community, health professionals, patients, and the general public. They can also cover how the NLM could help address challenges associated with biomedical informatics, electronic health records, digital publications, and more.

Responses to the RFI should be received by March 13, 2015.