As you may know, NARIC serves as the library and dissemination center for the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). We spend a lot of time following the 300+ active NIDILRR grantees to collect their research outputs, from peer reviewed journal articles to factsheets and videos. We also track thousands of researchers whose projects are no longer funded, but who continue to publish and present on their NIDILRR-funded work. Everything we collect from these projects gets indexed in our REHABDATA database. In addition, we share many of the products, events, and news briefs from the grantee community in our News and Notes newsletter.
Keeping up with all of this research means tracking several channels:
Riding the Stream
Social media offers a never-ending stream of information. Many grantees are using social media channels to share new publications, promote upcoming events, and encourage dialog within the community. It’s almost impossible to watch all of it, but we use tools like Twitter Lists and hashtag searches like the #ADANetworkChat to find what the grantees are putting out there. Dissemination managers know they can tag us on Twitter or Facebook and we’ll see their latest announcements, share them with our followers, and pull pieces that are appropriate for the collection. You can follow the grantee community and see who is sharing their research on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.
Yes, We Still Get Newsletters
Newsletters still have a place in a world of never-ending information streams. The earliest NIDILRR-funded centers sent printed newsletters on a regular basis to their advisory boards, constituent organizations, research participants, and to libraries like NARIC (we have more than 1,000 in the collection). Most transitioned to emailed newsletters in the early 2000s. These newsletters often include one or two feature stories about new findings or spotlighting a member of the project, along with upcoming events, informative articles, and invitations to participate in upcoming research activities. Here are just a few examples of recent issues:
- The Fall 2020 edition of TechSAge News from the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technologies to Support Aging-in-Place for people with Long-Term Disabilities features new studies from the TechSAge team, upcoming events and podcasts, and a spotlight on the center’s response to COVID-19.
- The Health, Employment, and Longevity Project, currently running several studies on spinal cord injury and long-term health and employment, publishes an annual newsletter along with a wealth of research briefs and updates. Email the project staff to get on their mailing list.
- The Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center publishes a monthly update of activity across the Spinal Cord Injury, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Burn Model Systems. Each issue highlights new study publications, news items, and opportunities to participate in research. Sign up on their website.
We recommend exploring the projects listed in the Program Database and visiting their websites to find a newsletter that matches your interests.
Search Alerts, Tables of Contents, and Literature Awareness Services
Search engines and databases often have alert features to let you know when new data is available. For example, we created a search in Google Scholar to look for NIDILRR-funded material. If you follow that link, you will see a small “create alert” link on the left side. Enter your email address and Scholar will send you an update of newly indexed articles. If you use a citation database like Scopus or Web of Science, you can run a search and set an alert to receive regular updates.
Many of the major journals in the field like the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation and the journals of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities have free content alerts. Signing up for these alerts will get you a list of titles for the articles in the latest issue with a link to the online abstract. Some articles may be available in full text through open access, others will require a paid subscription. JournalsTOC is a free database where you can find thousands of journals to follow. Each listing clearly indicates if any articles in the journal are available through Open Access.
In 1998 we created the REHABDATA Connection Literature Awareness Service, a monthly alert service designed to keep searchers up to date on what is new in our collection. Today, more than 3,700 subscribers receive these alerts. You can choose from more than 50 topics, so each person’s subscription is completely unique. Learn more about how and why we created this service more than 20 years ago.
Those are just a few of the tools and strategies we use to find NIDILRR-funded research and resources. If you are looking for more from the grantees, explore the Program Database and sign up for our News and Notes weekly newsletter. Our information specialists can also assist in exploring our databases and other sources to connect to research in your field – you can contact us by phone, email, and chat.