SLA Biomedical and Life Sciences Division

2017 Contributed Papers

AlzPED – Rigor, Reproducibility, Transparency - Alzheimer’s Preclinical Efficacy Database
Cindy Sheffield, MBA, MLS
Alzheimer’s Preclinical Efficacy Database
Zimmerman Associates, Inc.
Fairfax, Virginia


The Alzheimer Preclinical Efficacy Database (AlzPED) has been developed by the National Institute on Aging and the National Institutes of Health Library. It focuses on improving reporting standards of animal studies, and collecting both published and unpublished research in a collective repository. This presentation will demonstrate how expert knowledge in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) therapeutic drug discovery and technical information were combined for the effective design of AlzPED. Scientists’ envisioned a database to facilitate discovery and improve awareness about rigor and reproducibility in AD research. They hired a librarian to help.

Experiment attributes that demonstrate best practices of the scientific method were identified. These attributes were organized into logical sections to facilitate comprehension, information flow, and comparisons across studies. A score card approach has been used to identify which scientific elements have been reported within each study, and the overall assessment provides an indication of rigor and reproducibility. Links to external resources allow for deeper learning and discoverability. This system compliments information found within PubMed.

The AlzPED’s system is intended to improve investigators’ understanding of relationships between animal models, therapeutic targets, therapeutic agents, and measurable outcomes for AD research. AlzPED has been beta tested and released for use. Results from beta testing support the need ontologies to clearly identify entities within the research. Early comments from professionals in the field have been positive. This talk will review feedback from beta testers, and show early usage statistics.

The target audience for this body of knowledge is very specific, and focuses on those who study neurodegeneration of the brain due to dementia. The critical nature of a cure for this disease supports the effort to standardize terminology, improve rigor, and increase transparency. These efforts, along with scientific advances, may increase the likelihood for effective treatments for Alzheimer’s disease.

Case Study: How to build evidence-informed innovation in an academic library

Juanita Richardson – MLIS, MBA, F-SLA
Librarian, Michener Institute of Education at UHN

This paper presents the case study of the Michener Institute of Education at UHN in Toronto, Canada with an innovative metrics project developed and deployed in the Learning Resource Centre (LRC).

With an increased emphasis on evidence-informed librarianship(Crumley & Koufogiannakis, 2002; Eldredge, 2000), academic library staff are designing performance metrics to demonstrate not only the value of information resources – but also to inform continuous quality improvement and innovation(Jantz, 2012; Massis, 2014). Using the case of the Learning Resource Centre at the Michener Institute, this paper explores some key questions:

  • What does success look like for the LRC?
  • What data is already collected – and is this the right data? What other data does the LRC need to collect?
  • How can this data be used to inform when change and improvements are needed?

Hospital Libraries and Health Consumers in 2020
Nalini Mahajan, M.A., M.L.S.
Library Director and Webmaster
Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital,part of Northwestern Medicine
Wheaton, IL
Phone: 630-909-7092
Fax: 630-260-0143 | 630-909- 7088


Health care in the United States is going through tremendous changes and technological advancements are transforming the entire healthcare industry. Based on numerous studies, there
are several statistics and predictions about the top healthcare challenges and trends in 2016 and beyond. The new smartphone-enabled technology and wearable sensors are on the rise and just
one of a myriad of health related innovations that puts health care in the palm of your hand. It is very clear that the future of healthcare will be shaped by the rise of consumerism. “Consumerism is the new normal”. Research studies have demonstrated that playing a role in medical decision-making
is important to patients. The emergences of the Internet and social networks have dramatically increased patients' ease of access to health information. To be successful in this new environment, hospitals and health systems need to make significant changes in providing health care by putting
the patient at the center of care. Librarians need to capitalize on the flexibility created by this change and expand the library's role beyond traditional services. This paper discusses the changing health care environment and future roles of hospital librarians in assisting consumers to obtain reliable
and latest information. With the library staff playing the lead role, at Marianjoy Rehabilitation
Hospital, a community-wide digital inclusion initiative is under way to provide free access to information via Internet and social media, empower patients to make informed healthcare
decisions, facilitate exchange of ideas, establish networks and create connections. Developed and maintained by library staff, Information Connections and Disability & Rehabilitation are two
Websites, which allow patients and families to obtain reliable and up-to-date health information
at the “point of need” and “point of care”.

Visualizing the Impact of a Journal Article: “The Protein Data Bank” in Nucleic Acids Research, 2000
Susan Makar, M.L.I.S.
Research Librarian
National Institute of Standards and Technology

Amanda Malanowski, B.S. Trad. Math.
Program Analyst
National Institute of Standards and Technology

Talapady Bhat. Ph.D.
Research Chemist
National Institute of Standards and Technology


The Protein Data Bank (PDB) was established at Brookhaven National Laboratories in 1971 as an archive for biological macromolecular crystal structures. Originally, it contained only seven structures; today it holds over 129,000 structures of large biological molecules, including proteins and nucleic acids. In 1998, the management of the PDB became the responsibility of the Research Collaboratory for Structural Bioinformatics (RCSB), a consortium composed of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey; the University of California at San Diego; and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)1. Since 2005, RCSB includes two members, Rutgers and the University of California at San Diego. In 2000, two NIST researchers, Dr. Talapady Bhat and Dr. Gary Gilliland, along with researchers from other institutions, co-authored the article “The Protein Data Bank” in Nucleic Acids Research (volume 28, issue 1, pages 235-242). It has since become NIST’s most highly cited journal article.

In collaboration with Dr. Bhat, one of the NIST co-authors of “The Protein Data Bank,” library staff in the Information Services Office (ISO) at NIST analyzed this article, studying the authors, institutions, journals, research areas, and countries that have cited the article. ISO staff used library resources and tools to analyze the paper and visualize its impacts. ISO is responsible for creating, maintaining, organizing, and disseminating information to support the research and programmatic needs required to fulfill the scientific and technical mission of NIST.

A gallery of 2017 Contributed Papers from other SLA members and divisions will be available here (NOTE: SLA Member login required) and from the All Sciences and Engineering Posters session 2017 here.

The next Contributed Papers session will be in Baltimore, MD 11-13 June, at the 2018 SLA Annual Conference.

Rev. September 2017