Ebola Outbreak Response: The Role of Information Resources and the NLM

The US National Library of Medicine (NLM) offers Internet-based, no-cost resources useful for responding to the 2014 West Africa Ebola outbreak. Resources for health professionals, planners, responders, and researchers include PubMed, Disaster Lit, the Web page “Ebola Outbreak 2014: Information Resources, and the Virus Variation database of sequences for Ebolavirus.

In cooperation with participating publishers, NLM offers free access to full-text articles from over 650 biomedical journals and 4000 online reference books through the Emergency Access Initiative. At the start of a prolonged disaster event or disease outbreak, the documents and information of most immediate use may not be in the peer-reviewed biomedical journal literature. To maintain current awareness may require using any of the following: news outlets; social media; preliminary online data, maps, and situation reports; and documents published by nongovernmental organizations, international associations, and government agencies. Similar to the pattern of interest shown in the news and social media, use of NLM Ebola-related resources is also increasing since the start of the outbreak was first reported in March 2014 (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2014;0:1-4).

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