Midwest Chapter Supports NAHSL suggestions for PubMed interface

 In October 2020, the North Atlantic Health Sciences Libraries Association’s Executive Board and members sent a letter to Dr. Patti Brennan, director of the National Library of Medicine, expressing concerns and offering suggestions for the new PubMed interface. Since then, the Ohio Health Sciences Library Association’s (OHSLA) Executive Committee sent a letter on behalf of OHSLA members expressing their support for NAHSL’s letter. Hearing from Midwest Chapter members that they would also like to show support for the NAHSL letter, I drafted a letter of support and got the okay from the Midwest Chapter/MLA Executive Board to send it out on behalf of the chapter. I’m sharing the letter with you and you can read a copy of the NAHSL letter here. I fully understand that it may not be possible for PubMed to implement some of the suggestions, but I feel that as super-users and super-educators of PubMed, we need to put our concerns on record.

Letter:

August 16, 2021

Dear Dr. Brennan:

The Midwest Chapter/MLA members would like to express our support for the North Atlantic Health Sciences Libraries’ (NAHSL) October 2020 letter (attached) that outlines suggestions for the new PubMed interface.

The new PubMed interface has benefits for those who use it to find health related information, and we find many features to be an upgrade from the previous interface – specifically the ability to download large sets of records from PubMed, and an enhanced user experience. However, we share the concerns raised by NAHSL and hope that these concerns will be reviewed and addressed by the NLM.

Many of our chapter members work for NNLM Outreach Institutions, nearly all of us use PubMed daily, and many of us teach literature searching skills to our patrons. As the premier biomedical open-access resource for finding valuable health publications, we are some of PubMed’s biggest champions. We help and teach students, researchers, healthcare providers, patients, and their families how to use PubMed to find the information they need. We are very concerned that some of the new features of PubMed make it difficult for us to adequately teach your users how to best use this valuable resource.

Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,

Members of the Midwest Chapter of the Medical Library Association

Elizabeth Suelzer, President, Midwest Chapter/MLA

Cc: Midwest Chapter Executive Board, 2020-2021; Martha Meacham, NAHSL President; Ximena Chrisagis, OHSLA President