Guest post by Yanli Wang, PhD, Program Officer for the Division of Extramural Programs, National Library of Medicine (NLM).
Did you know that NLM helps authors publish book-length manuscripts and other scholarly works of value on topics of importance to health professionals? The NLM Extramural Programs division is pleased to offer NLM Grants for Scholarly Works in Biomedicine and Health (G13), which support the development of monographs, books, and other works of academic and public health policy value. Grants are awarded to U.S. health professionals, public health officials, biomedical researchers, health science historians, and scholars of all disciplines who work at the intersection of the digital humanities, data science, and history of the health sciences.
In the last 10 years, NLM provided over 40 grants covering areas such as the state of America’s health care system, the history of epidemics and vaccination, genomic and precision medicine, prescription drug misuse, food environment transformation, tobacco culture, chronic disease history, innovation and evolution of surgery, and international disability politics.
An example of a publication funded by the G13 grant program is The Living Organ Donor as Patient: Theory and Practice (Oxford University Press, 2021) by Lainie Ross, MD, PhD, and J. Richard Thistlethwaite, MD, PhD. This book describes the ethical and policy issues surrounding living donor transplantation and provides a living donor ethics framework to analyze these issues. Importantly, it acknowledges that living organ donors are patients in their own right, with the rights accorded to them through the principles of the Belmont Report (respect for persons, beneficence, and justice) and with special obligations through the principles of vulnerability and special relationships due to their status as living organ donors.
Another recently published book is Cigarettes and Soviets: Smoking in the USSR (Northern Illinois University Press, 2022), written by Tricia Starks, PhD. This book builds off Dr. Starks’ monograph Smoking Under the Tsars: A History of Tobacco in Imperial Russia (Cornell University Press, 2018) by exploring Soviet citizens’ continued tobacco use in 1920 even as Soviet public health leaders contemplated a national ban on tobacco, undertook the first nationwide anti-smoking campaign, and funded smoking cessation clinics. By broadening the vision of tobacco’s enduring appeal outside of capitalist paradigms, this work advocates for more multifaceted public health work today.
Finally, in April 2023, Naa Oyo A. Kwate, PhD, published White Burgers, Black Cash: Fast Food from Black Exclusion to Exploitation (University of Minnesota Press, 2023), which traces the evolution in fast food from the early 1900s to present, including its long history of racist exclusion to its current damaging embrace of urban Black communities. Despite being tied to the United States’ self-image as the land of opportunity and being marketed as one of life’s simple pleasures, a more insidious history lies at the industry’s core. Dr. Kwate expansively charts fast food’s racial and spatial transformation and centers the cities of Chicago, New York City, and Washington, DC, in a national examination of the biggest brands of today.
These are only a few examples of the type of works NLM has funded through this program. The program has also funded awards for work that provide major critical reviews, state-of-the-art summaries, historical studies, and other topics in clinical medicine, public health, biomedical research, and the informatics and information sciences related to them.
Recently, the NLM Associate Fellows and NLM Extramural Programs conducted a systematic analysis using bibliometric outcomes to assess the impact these grants have had on the research enterprise. This analysis showed that many NLM-funded G13 projects have resulted in published works, all of which are currently held by multiple libraries. These results emphasize the effects and influence these projects have had on the history of health sciences.
NLM will continue to support this program through its notice of funding opportunity, which was reissued earlier this month. This reissuance includes a change in the budget period from three years to two but increases the level of effort during the award period. With this update in mind, NLM encourages grant applicants to have well-solidified ideas and collect all the materials needed to write their scholarly work before applying to the program.
Dr. Wang manages a grant portfolio in the areas of bioinformatics, clinical informations and data science research, scholarly work, and biomedical training. In addition to her work at NLM, she serves as the Program Officer for the RADx-rad Data and Discoveries Coordination Center and co-chairs the NSF-NIH joint Smart and Connected Health program. Dr. Wang is trained in chemistry and computational biology.