This keynote plenary address was delivered by Dr. Patricia Flatley Brennan, Director of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), which houses the world’s largest collection of biomedical information. Although it is a repository and not a lending library, you can still get a library card. Biomedical information is changing, and NLM is the engine driving changes. It used to be an information custodian, but it has begun connecting to its connections and discovering data on the fly, bringing information and literature to those who need it by improving usability, search quality, and access to the research literature, learning to rank, and finding best matches using citations and AI algorithms, for example by toggling between presenting search results by best match or in reverse chronological order. NLM has developed a 10-year strategic program.
Searches can be constrained to a given time period. Open science and data sharing are promoted by linking data sets to articles as well as by moving genomic data sequences into the cloud. NLM is also researching how to make data models.
NLM also hosts PubMed Central, a full-text archive of its search and retrieval system and is developing a new interface, MEDLINE 2022, which will accelerate indexing strategy, and optimize metadata to support access to clinicaltrials.gov, which will require a major enhancement to the Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) vocabulary. A preprint pilot will Increase discoverability in existing databases . The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released guidance to the community, but it will not become a publisher. NIH is a trusted source of information; it does not produce it but provides access and is committed to the values of library science.
Don Hawkins blogs about conferences for Information Today and Against The Grain. He also maintains the Conference Calendar on the Information Today website and is the Editor of Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage, published by Information Today in 2013, and Co-Editor of Public Knowledge: Access and Benefits, published by Information Today in 2016. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked in the information industry for over 45 years.