The Incidental Informationist: NCBI Office Hours

I attended a web meeting last week hosted by NCBI staff member Peter Cooper. These meetings are open to anyone who has participated in the course A Librarian’s Guide to NCBI. This course is composed of an asynchronous web class (Fundamentals of Bioinformatics and Searching) and a week long training at NCBI. The course itself is free, but you have to provide your own lodging and travel expenses.

I attended this course last spring, and it was great. Because of my background, I already knew a lot of the molecular biology background information, but attending the course allowed me to observe and example of how to teach this material to novices.  As far as the content about the databases, the amount of information we received was mind-blowing! I can say with certainty that most of the researchers where you work are not proficient at using these tools (even if they think they are) and that you will be able to use them more effectively than they can if you take this course.

Once completing the course, you will have access to a web forum and monthly web meetings to discuss topics covered in the course and implementing NCBI database services at your library. it’s a great, responsive community that has been invaluable to my work.

Follow the link above if you’re interested in applying. I can’t say enough about how great this course was for me.

In addition to a plug for the Librarian’s Guide, we talked about PubMed Labs: a forum for NCBI to test out new functionality of their databases earlier in the development process. New features are being announced via a new category on the NCBI insights blog. Currently, they have two new features: PubMed Also Viewed and SmartBLAST. Let them know about what you think of the new features by commenting on their respective blog posts.

– Tobin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *