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Home Digital Publishing & Collections Neuro-Ophthalmology Virtual Education Library (NOVEL) is Open for Collaboration!

Neuro-Ophthalmology Virtual Education Library (NOVEL) is Open for Collaboration!

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The Neuro-ophthalmology Virtual Educational Library is a collaboration between the North American Neuro-ophthalmology Society (NANOS) and the Spencer S Eccles Health Sciences Library (EHSL).  Nancy Lombardo, Associate Director of IT at the EHSL and Kathleen B. Digre, Director of Neuro-Ophthalmology at the University of Utah, forged the collaboration and have invited participation from numerous individuals and institutions in order to expand the project. Since the NOVEL library was founded in 2005, usage has increased to more than 175,500 page views per year, with users in more than 140 countries.  The basis of NOVEL repository is 18 collections, including the proceedings of the annual NANOS meetings from over 40 years, and the annual Walsh Sessions, since their inception in 1969.  Notable collections covering the optic disc and numerous neuro-ophthalmologic complaints have been contributed from luminaries in the field of Neuro-Ophthalmology. The NOVEL collections are open access, and free to all users. (

The NANOS Curriculum Committee, Chaired by Valerie Biousse, MD, of Emory University, has selected materials from the NOVEL collections, and is soliciting creation of new materials, that will illustrate the complete neuro-ophthalmologic curriculum.  For each topic in the curriculum, the NOVEL team identifies relevant learning objects available in the NOVEL library and provides links to them – including background information in the Walsh and Hoyt textbook, detailed images and video examples, and short power point lectures describing the topic. This Illustrated Curriculum is a value-added resource available to NANOS members as a benefit from Society membership.

All collections in NOVEL have been peer-reviewed by an editorial board comprised of an international group of NANOS members. The NANOS-NOVEL Editorial Board is Chaired by Aki Kawasaki, MD, of the University of Lausanne. EHSL Librarians, Nancy Lombardo and Christy Jarvis, developed the method and the tools for the review process, and for soliciting targeted submissions. These processes included an online review form, a structured review cycle, and standardized communication. Guidelines for submission have been developed to solicit the highest quality content. Librarians apply collection development theory to identify gaps in the collection and target solicitations to fill the gaps. The entire review process is completed electronically.

As a result of the refined review process, NOVEL is now offering a non-traditional publication platform to contributors.  NOVEL accepts submissions of interesting cases, images, videos, and power point slide sets that relate to the topics defined in the NANOS Curriculum Outline. If approved by the Editorial Board, the materials are added to the NOVEL collections and contributors receive an acceptance letter with a citation to the item. The citation can be added to the author’s CV as a publication in an online educational repository.

By expanding the repository into a more dynamic publication platform, we have achieved a fast turnaround time for the publication and peer-review process (30 day turn-around time from submission to publication approval.) There is greater Society engagement, with more NANOS members participating through submissions as a result of this citation incentive. Developing the formal processes has led to enhanced prestige for the Editorial Board members. Editorial Board members also receive academic credit for their role as reviewers.

NANOS members benefit because the gaps in the NOVEL repository are being filled more quickly with higher quality materials. The Eccles Library benefits from increased recognition of our skills and expertise. EHSL Librarians are essential to the implementation and management of the publishing system and the Society sees our value. Librarians are gaining valuable experience in creating publishing mechanisms for academic faculty to publish scholarly works in new and innovative ways.


Lombardo, N.T. (2015). Non-Traditional Publishing: A New Role for NOVEL. eSynapse, 30(1).

Lombardo, N.T. (2012). NOVEL Presented at NANOS 2012. eSynapse, 27(2).

Lombardo, N.T. (2011). NOVEL Presented at NANOS 2011. eSynapse, 26(2).

Lombardo, NT,  Digre, KB,. (2010) Update on the Neuro-Ophthalmology Virtual Education Library (NOVEL). Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology. 30(3):  301-302.

Digre, KB, Frohman, L, Lombardo, NT. (2008) Update on the Neuro-Ophthalmology Virtual Education Library (NOVEL). Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology. 28(3): 253-254.