Episode 4: What is in NARIC's Collection? A Discussion with NARIC's Library and Acquisitions Manager

Mark: Welcome to the latest episode of NARIC’s Spotlight podcast. Hi, I'm Mark Odum, NARIC’s Director. I'm pleased to introduce our latest podcast episode featuring NARIC’s library to take you on this little journey. It's a privilege to present Natalie Collier, NARIC's long standing and most experienced library and acquisitions manager. Natalie probably knows more about the NARIC collection than just about anybody on this planet. Listen up, while she talks about the NARIC collection, the disability and rehabilitation research literature in that collection, our REHABDATA indexing database, now Digital, now over 45 years old, and other interesting topics. Here's Natalie.

Natalie: Hello. My name is Natalie Collier and I'm the library and acquisitions manager for the National Rehab Information Center (NARIC). I've worked at NARIC for the past 26 years in various positions, starting out as an information specialist in the mid-1990s, answering our 800 line and gradually moved over the years, to become the acquisition manager, which is my position now.

Interviewer: Oh, thank you, Natalie. My first question to you is what topics does the NARIC collection cover?

Natalie: So, our main mission is to collect and disseminate the research results of the NIDILRR grantees. That's our first and foremost our mission. And we also pride ourselves on being the premier source for disability and independent living and rehabilitation research. It covers many aspects of disabilities. A few of the topics, and this is not all-inclusive, are spinal cord injury, stroke, traumatic brain injury, physical and mental disabilities, deafness and hearing impairment, blindness and visual impairment, independent living, assistive technology, intellectual and developmental disabilities, employment, and vocational rehab. And we also have some on rare disorders.

Interviewer: Wow, that's a lot of topics. To go on with that, what kinds of items are in the collection? For example, are there articles, books…?

Natalie: We have four main categories of documents: First, we have reports, studies, newsletters, and papers that are submitted by the NIDILRR grantees. The second type of documents are articles published in rehab-related peer reviewed journals. And we also have some consumer journals, as well. And the third type of documents are the international research items, which were originally collected through the CIRRIE project. And we've added to it, of course, since then. And the fourth type of documents is commercially published books and some non-print materials like video and other kind of materials.

Interviewer: Awesome. Thank you.

Natalie: You're welcome.

Interviewer: My next question is: Who produces the majority of the items in the NARIC collection?

Natalie: So, a portion of the collection is produced by NIDILRR grantees, which is what we talked about earlier. Their research reports, which normally are about research, and other various types of documents, which are mostly articles and peer review journals. And then they have their studies and technical reports. But the majority of the documents that we collect come from outside researchers at various universities and colleges that are studying in the field of disability and rehabilitation and independent living.

Interviewer: All right. So, our next question is: Can anyone submit items to be added to the NARIC collection?

Natalie: Yes. Anyone can submit material for consideration and to REHABDATA. The material will be reviewed to see if it fits our criteria for the database.

Interviewer: Awesome. And how would somebody go about submitting a document for the collection?

Natalie: Sure. Documents can be submitted directly to me through my email or any NARIC staff’s email. The documents can be emailed to them. The documents can be submitted through regular mail. We would need one copy of each document that you wish to have added and each will be considered.

Interviewer: Awesome. Thank you. Now, is there a way that NARIC staff can search for items in REHABDATA?

Natalie: There's a couple of different ways. The way I like to search is from the homepage. If you click under the tab that says Articles, Books, and Reports, you can use the search for all fields in REHABDATA for a topic right and write it in that box. You can search for specific fields and rehab data. If you have information such as the author or title, you will use that search instead, or you can search from the homepage at the top. You'll see “What can we help you find today?” and you can type in your keyword or topic, and then under that you select the database or the web, or search for a database or search for a webpage, and you would select the journals, articles and books and hit the search button and you'll get your results. So, those are the ways I prefer to search, but there's all different kinds of ways to search the database.

Interviewer: And can patrons use REHABDATA?

Natalie: Yes, they certainly can. Anyone can use REHABDATA, including the students, professional researchers, service personnel, people with disability, their family, their friends. So, this is available to anyone. The NARIC website is free to the public. If a patron does not have a computer, they can always call our 800 number at 800/346-3742, and we'll perform searches for them in case they're not able to do it themselves.

Interviewer: Wow. That's awesome. Thank you. So, my next question is: Is there a way to find out about the latest items added to the collection?

Natalie: Yes, ma'am. There certainly are. On our website, you'll find the latest items by subject, by clicking on the homepage, again on Articles, Books, and Reports. And then on the left side, under Search REHABDATA, you'll click on New Acquisitions, and you'll get a list of items added within the last 30 days, broken down by topic. This is also where you can sign up for our REHABDATA Connection. REHABDATA Connection is a free monthly literature awareness service. You click on REHABDATA Connection, and it'll ask you to put in your name and your email address, and then it'll give you a list of topics to choose from you. Click on the topics that you're interested in and hit submit. Once a month, you'll receive a list of the newest documents we've added related to the topic that you selected. This will allow you to keep abreast of the latest research in a particular area of study.

Interviewer: Oh, that's wonderful. My last question is: Does NARIC also collect multimedia items and where do they come from? I know you mentioned multimedia and the videos earlier, but I wanted to talk a little bit more about that.

Natalie: Sure. We do collect multimedia items, such as videos, webcasts, and podcasts. We collect the items from the NIDILRR grantees as part of their funded project work. The ones that we collect are all available from our website.

Interviewer: Well, thank you so much. And thank you for taking time to talk with us today. Thank you so much, Natalie.

Natalie: You're welcome. Thank you for the questions <laugh>

Interviewer: Of course, of course. Have a great day, Natalie.

Natalie: All right. You, too.