Encouraging innovation through access to data

NIH National Library of Medicine (NLM)​

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), NL) has an abundance of databases that are invaluable tools for scientific education and research but are underutilized because few people know they exist. All Things Creative worked with the NLM’s Specialized Information Services (SIS) division to develop a program to promote use of its Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), a database focusing on the study of potentially hazardous chemicals.


training materials
video production


The NLM has been a center of information innovation since its founding in 1836. Located on the campus of the National Institutes of Health, the NLM is the world’s largest biomedical library. It houses a vast collection of print materials and databases as well as electronic archives that are searched billions of times each year by people around the world. The NLM’s primary mission is to translate biomedical research into practice to improve public health.


The NLM’s Specialized Information Services division wanted to increase the use of the HSDB and other NLM data through the HSDB Higher Education Partnership (HEP) Program. The program’s goal was “to engage students and professors within health science and related academic programs in the use of biomedical informatics to support curricula and research that contribute to improving public health and the environment.” Our challenge was to develop an effective way to achieve that goal.


We collaborated with Kingstonville to develop a pilot program to educate professors and students about the HDSB so they could use the data to create their own projects.


We developed the brand identity for the program and designed and produced the recruitment and training materials, including a training video demonstrating practical applications of the HSDB. Four local schools were recruited to participate in the pilot program: Bowie State University, Howard University, Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, and Prince George’s Community College.


The recruitment materials became part of a pilot project plan that included a variety of components, including outreach, collateral development, training, events, target market engagement, and technical support, that reflected the recommendations in the environmental scan report.


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