Finding health statistics

chart image
Looking for health related stats can be a daunting task. There’s so much info out there, how do you find the right fact?


CDC logoThe good news is lots of reliable info is freely available through various federal government sites.  Many have tutorials to help with use of the data.


A good place to start is the National Center for Health Statistics site maintained by the CDC [Center for  Disease Control].

You can find birth, death, marriage and death stats at National Vital Statistics Reports  When the President mentioned in the recent State of the Union address that teen pregnancy is declining, this is where that info likely came from.


Check out the MMWR – Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report  for data on   influenza activity throughout the United States. An explanation of reportable diseases can be found here as well.

Another useful undertaking of the CDC/NCHS is the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey or NHNES.   This is an ongoing program of studies to access the health of adults and children.  Use of dietary supplements, nut consumption among adults — it’s all here.

 Health Data Interactive  provides downloadable tables of data on infants, children, adolescents, adults, and older adults. Tables can be customized by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and geographic location to explore different trends and patterns. [from the website]

If you like reading the dictionary — wait, doesn’t everyone? — it’s easy to get lost following all the information available.  Remember if you need any help finding or using this data see a librarian.

Great Reads – from Business

NancyLast week, librarian Nancy Chesik retired after 24 years at UDM. Nancy has worked with the College of Business for most of her time here and has been prodigious in preparing quality instructional materials. She has been a source of creative ideas in her assigned areas and in marketing the libraries. Her creativity will be missed. We wish her well in her retirement. As a tribute to Nancy, we are reprising her last blog entry from October 2014.



In the 1967 movie The Graduate Mr. McGuire says to the Dustin Hoffman’s character, a recent college graduate, “I want to say one word Benjamin, just one word … It’s plastics”.  Today, he might well have said “Two words Benjamin,  business information.”  Michael Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York and founder of Bloomberg, a private company that specialized in data, media, software analytics, and stock trading platforms (terminals) sells information, data.  Bloomberg’s billions are built on information, business information.

Bloomberg supplies business, financial and economic news.  It’s comes as no surprise that they collect data on global stocks, currency, companies, but what may be a little surprising is they also supply data on sports: baseball, soccer, etc.  Bloomberg collects data on baseball.  24 of the 27  major league teams subscribe to the data.  Baseball managers use the data: the data will tell you of sportsanalyticswhich four pitches Justin Verlander throws: fastball, curveball, change up, or slider he most likely to throw as a first pitch against a given player.  Like stock traders and hedge funds managers that use data to improve the odds in the market, baseball managers use the data to improve the odds of winning games.

Not long ago sixty minutes did a profile of a MBA student from Notre Dame University, who successfully gambles in the fantasy baseball leagues using algorithms he developed with sports data.

This fall you will see a number of books added to our collection on sabermetrics: this is the term for the empirical analysis of baseball, especially baseball statistics that measure in-game activity.

Some of the most interesting reading comes directly from the pages of the Wall Street Journal.  There are many recognizable plots in thrillers that seem if they are scooped directly from the WSJ.  Some business books can read like thrillers, and some are just plain fascinating.

The Quants: Scott Patterson.  In March 2006, the world’s richest men sipped champagne in an opulent Nequantsw York hotel. They were preparing to compete in a poker tournament with million-dollar stakes. At the card table that night was Peter Muller, who managed a fabulously successful hedge fund called PDT. With him was Ken Griffin, who was the tough-as-nails head of Citadel Investment Group. There, too, were Cliff Asness, the sharp-tongued, mercurial founder of the hedge fund AQR Capital Management, and Boaz Weinstein, chess “life master” and king of the credit-default swap.   Muller, Griffin, Asness, and Weinstein were among the best and brightest of a new breed, the quants. Over the past twenty years, this species of  math whiz had usurped the testosterone-fueled, kill-or-be-killed risk takers who’d long been the alpha males of the world’s largest casino. The quants believed that a cocktail of differential calculus, quantum physics, and advanced geometry held the key to reaping riches from the financial markets. And they helped create a digitized money-trading machine that could shift billions around the globe with the click of a mouse. Few realized that night, though, that in creating this extraordinary system, men like Muller, Griffin, Asness, and Weinstein had sown the seeds for history’s greatest financial disaster.

 Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg.  The vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices are still not heard equally in the decisions that most affect our lives. In Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg examines why women’s progress in achieving leadership roles has stalled, explains the  root causes, and offers compelling, commonsense solutions that can empower women to achieve their full potential. Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook and is ranked on Fortune ‘s list of the 50  Most Powerful Women in Business and as one of Time ‘s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2010, she gave an electrifying TED Talk in which she described how women unintentionally hold themselves  back in their careers. Her talk, which became a phenomenon and has been  viewed more than two million times, encouraged women to “sit at the table,” seek challenges, take risks, and pursue their goals with gusto.  In Lean In, Sandberg digs deeper into these leaninissues, combining personal anecdotes, hard data, and compelling research to cut through the layers of ambiguity and bias surrounding the lives and choices of working women. She recounts her own decisions, mistakes, and daily struggles to make the right choices for herself, her career, and her family. She  provides practical advice on negotiation techniques, mentorship, and building a satisfying career, urging women to set boundaries and to abandon the myth of “having it all.” She describes specific steps women can take to combine professional achievement with personal fulfillment and demonstrates how men can benefit by supporting women in the workplace and at home. Written with both humor and wisdom, Sandberg’sflashboys book is an inspiring call to action and a blueprint for individual growth. Lean In is destined to change the conversation from what women can’t do to what they can.

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis, Flash Boys is about a small group of Wall Street guys who figure out that the U.S. stock market has been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post-financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks. Working at different firms, they come to this realization separately; but after they discover one another, the flash boys band together and set out to reform the financial markets. This they do by creating an exchange in which high-frequency trading–source of the most intractable problems–will have no advantage whatsoever.The characters in Flash Boys are fabulous, each completely different from what you think of when you think “Wall Street guy.” Several have walked away from jobs in the financial sector that paid them millions of dollars a year. From their new vantage point they investigate the big banks, the world’s stock exchanges, and high-frequency trading firms as they have never been investigated, and expose the many strange new ways that Wall Street generates profits.The light that Lewis shines into the darkest corners of the financial world may not be good for your blood pressure, because if you have any contact with the market, even a retirement account, this story is happening to you. But in the end, Flash Boys is an uplifting read. Here are people who have somehow preserved a moral sense in an environment where you don’t get paid for that; they have perceived an institutionalized injustice and are willing to go to war to fix it.


Happy New Year and Welcome Back Students and Faculty

Students: Welcome to the 2015 Winter Semester!

Some interesting information about the Library:Library Front

Need Help?

Come in and see the Librarian at the Research Desk.  Or make an appointment for more in-depth assistance with a Librarian Consultant knowledgeable of your topic (See the Library directory for librarians names and subject areas:

Off campus? Use the 24/7 Ask a Librarian chat box at, or call us at 313-993-1071 (McNichols Campus Library) or 313-494-6900 (Dental Library).

Watching TVNeed relaxation?

The McNichols Campus Library has approximately:

  • 2300    Motion Picture DVDs and Videos
  • 141      TV Series and shows on DVDs
  • 300      Books on CD
  • 1000    Music CDs (Classical, Jazz, Pop, etc.)
  • 450      Kids Music CDs

General Information:

MOST books may be checked out for 28 days. Exceptions are reference books, books from the Michigan Core Collection, books on Reserve, etc. Renew your books for another 28 days using the 14 digit number on your UDM ID card —

Printing paperFree Printing: 

The McNichols Campus Library provides 400 free prints in an academic year.

The Dental Library provides 500 free prints in an academic year.




The Libraries subscribe to approximately 200 databases with over 55,000 ejournals covering all UDM disciplines, as well as over 145,000 ebooks and growing.

Interlibrary Loan:

Still can’t find what you need?  Order books or articles through our Interlibrary Loan (ILL) service —

StudyingExtended Hours for Finals

For McNichols Campus Library:



RefWorks LogoRefWorks:

Later this semester, watch for “drop-in” classes at McNichols on using RefWorks, a research management software product that allows researchers to gather, manage, and store articles and papers as well as generate Reference or Work Cited pages.

SelfieEnjoy Taking Selfies?

Watch for Tommy Titan to hit the library.



By Sandra Wilson and Sue Homant

Librarian Consultants


Why Rudolph’s nose is red: observational study from the Netherlands



Researchers from the Netherlands and Norway published an observational study in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) explaining the morphology behind Rudolph’s famous red nose. They hypothesized that the extreme redness was caused by “the presence of a highly dense and rich nasal microcirculation”. In other words, Rudolph’s nose has an abundant supply of red blood cells flowing through a vast number of tiny blood vessels. Results of the study show that the hypothesis was proven. After a careful comparison with five human subjects, the researchers determined that while similar, the vascular network in a reindeer’s nose is 25% denser than that in a human.

Also, perhaps even more interestingly, the tiny blood vessels in the reindeer’s nose do not contain red blood cells during diastole (the time between heart beats); with systole (heart beat), an excess of blood is forced through the vessels. The figure below shows the infrared image of a reindeer’s head after a treadmill test. Notice the presence of a red nose.

reindeer image

The reindeer nasal anatomy and physiology observed in this study testifies to the eminent suitability of Rudolph to lead Santa’s sleigh.

Article: Ince, C., van Kuijen, A. M., Milstein, D. M., Yuruk, K., Folkow, L. P., Fokkens, W. J., & Blix, A. S. (2012). Why rudolph’s nose is red: Observational study. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 345, e8311. doi:10.1136/bmj.e8311 [doi]


Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Jill Turner, Librarian Consultant



Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer: GuitarHero188Rock

Infrared image of reindeer: Blix, As. Arctic Animals. Tapir Academic Press, 2005.


Top 6 Study Tips for Final Exams

pressureThe pressure is on!  We’re in the midst of finals, when all your class readings, lecture notes, practice problems and studying will be distilled into a one to two-hour exam.  Test anxiety can significantly affect your performance on exams, so here are six study tips to help  you feel prepared and relaxed for your finals.desk

  1. Find an ideal study space:  You’ll want a space with all of the supplies you’ll need (you don’t want to spend time searching for index cards, a ruler, or whatever else you may need) and without distractions (your dorm room may not be the best choice if friends tend to drop in).

  3. Prioritize: Start with your most important tasks while you’re still fresh and can focus your attention.

  5. When reading, start at the end: Unless you’re reading a mystery or other fiction, start with the summary or conclusion and any study questions at the end of each chapter. This way you’ll know what important points you should focus on as you read.  You should also scan the chapter headings and bold-faced terms for the same reason.

  7. Think of possible exam questions: When you’re reviewing readings or lecture notes, try to formulate possible exam questions for each major point or idea.  This active engagement will help you remember the information when you’re asked a similar question during an exam.sleep

  9. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep: It may seem impossible when you have so much to do, but exercise helps reduce stress and depression, getting enough sleep will help you concentrate, and avoiding too much sugar or caffeine will help keep you from crashing after a brief burst of energy.

  11. Turn off your cell phone!  This may be the hardest but most important study habit, but it’s hard to study when no cell phonesyou’re texting.  If you’re using a computer, you may even want to turn off your wi-fi or internet connection so that you’re not tempted to watch the latest cat video.


Jill Spreitzer, Librarian Consultant

I’d Like You to Meet My Colleague…

emergingI’ll bet you think a library catalog is nothing but a list of selected materials available through the Library. Well, you’re kind of right. That’s the basic purpose of a library catalog. But there’s more to it than that.

You see, the library catalog is sort of like the LinkedIn for information. Each entry is for a specific book or journal or DVD or whatever else the library owns. You can glean more detail about it than you might ever need to know. But as LinkedIn provides links to other professionals in the field forming a network, so does the catalog by providing links to additional resources.

Let’s say that you are in the happy position of having a specific book to search for. (This is called “known item searching”, but let that pass for now.) You go to the Re:Search portal at , click the Books/ebooks + DVDs tab, booksand key in the title Emerging Perspectives On Substance Misuse.

This takes you to a page that gives a  description and additional information about the book. Why that happens is something for another blog post (got to give you a teaser for next time). What matters to you right now is that the title of your “known item” appears at the top of the page. In this example, the book is an electronic book so there’s a  Blue Gobutton you can click to read the book online. That was easy.

But one resource does not a research paper make. For that, you will need to consult some of the book’s professional colleagues specializing in the same field. By this I mean books on the same subject. You don’t have to do another search or two.  Just look for the Subjects. In this case the subjects are:


These are more formally called Subject headings. Each links to a large number of books which relate to the same subject as your known item. This helps you find additional relevant information on your topic. Subject headings are particularly important because all books on the same subjects have the same subject headings. If, for instance, you were to search for “substance misuse”, which is not a listed subject, you would get only a fraction of the information available had you used the subject heading links such as Substance Abuse. That’s what library catalogs are about these days, providing instant links to related information. So now you know. And you’ve also learned what “known item searching” is. Impress your friends. They may even think you’re a librarian.


David Moody, Librarian

Finding MLA and APA Templates in MS Word

You’ve done all the research, you’ve read all the articles.  Now you can begin writing your paper.  But wait, first you must figure out how to format your paper in the MLA or APA style.  OWL at Purdue provides  guidelines but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a template where you could just type in your paper?

Well there is! And here’s how you do it:

First open MS Word and click NEW.

Word New

Type either MLA or APA and click the magnifying glass.  Then click the template needed:

Word Templates

For example, this template appears for APA:Word running head

Now, just start typing your paper using the guidelines provided by the template.  It’s as easy as that!

Sue Homant

Librarian Consultant

Finding Copyright Free Images

Creating a PowerPoint presentation for a classroom project?  Adding pictures can make a slide POP!  Because it can be so easy to find images on the internet, are you thinking of grabbing one and putting it onto a slide?  Be careful.  Most pictures or images are copyrighted.  There are several websites where the images may be freely copied without seeking permission to use. However, you should still cite the original creator according to the style preferred, such as APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.

Detroit Sculptures by LadyDragonflyCC ->;< is licensed under CC by 2.0

Detroit Sculptures by LadyDragonflyCC ->;< is licensed under CC by 2.0

Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online – all images are in the public domain

Creative Commons – nonprofit organization “that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.”

Flickr – offers images under Creative Commons or the images will be labeled “all rights reserved.” Make sure the images you select are licensed in CC.

Google Copyright Free Images — In Google, type the image you need, click Images, click Search Tools, click Usage rights.  Now click Labeled for noncommercial reuse with modification.

Internet Archive Book Images – Find copyright free images.  The images range from 1500 through 1922 and include journalistic photographs, charts, portraits, headlines, maps, decorative images, drawings and editorial cartoons.

Wikimedia Commons –It is a database of  freely usable media files to which anyone may contribute. Includes sounds and video.

Again, be sure to always cite images that someone else has created.

By Sue Homant, Librarian Consultant



Don’t Stress Over Citations!

Drummer Boy MilitaryI hope by now that it’s been drummed into your heads, the need to properly document where, and how you found the information that you’re using within your papers. If it’s not common knowledge, and is not of your own creation; i.e. the words and ideas are those of another person, or organization, then you need to give proper credit. Citing where those words and ideas originally came from, where they were published, what journal, magazine, or website, can often seem like a daunting task. But, rest assured, the staff of the library are here to help.

If you’re getting into some deep research, or maybe you just want a powerful tool that can help keep track of your sources and create entire bibliographies, then check out RefWorks. RefWorks is a web-based database and bibliography creator. RefWorks users can import references from online databases and use these references in writing their papers and automatically format the bibliography and paper in seconds. When signing up for your individual account, you will need to use your UDM email address and the following group code: RWUDetroitMer. It might be worth your time to check out some of the available tutorials.

You might be thinking to yourself, “That’s great! But, I don’t really need all that.” So…maybe you just want something that can help generate correct citations in the format of your choice. Then try out one of these:

Lastly, you can Ask A Librarian. But please, please don’t consider your friendly librarian the last resort! Librarians can be invaluable in helping you find resources, and in helping you document those sources. Good luck and hope to see you at the reference desk.

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