Available Until 10/24/2023

Drive Thru Data: Using NLM APIs to Access Information Fast*

For more information or to schedule this course, please contact NLMTrainers@nih.gov . 

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) provides millions of people access to health information via its portfolio of products and services. But some people may need to access NLM’s resources in special ways, to help support new and innovative projects. Application programming interfaces (APIs) can help you access NLM’s data more quickly and efficiently, especially when integrated into a program or script.

This webinar is aimed at librarians and other information professionals who are familiar with NLM’s products and services, but want to explore NLM data in new ways. Students with all levels of technical expertise are welcome, regardless of whether you’ve never heard of APIs before, you’re a new API user who needs a little help, or are an API expert looking for more information about NLM’s API offerings. As long as you’re interested in finding new and improved ways of interacting with NLM’s resources, this webinar is for you!

Resource URL: https://www.nnlm.gov/training/class-catalog/drive-thru-data-using-nlm-apis-access-information-fast

Learning Objectives

Course Goals

1. Explain what an API is, how APIs can help users interact with systems, and why users might choose to use APIs.

2. Describe the basic mechanics of using an API

3. Identify methods of interacting with APIs

4. Discuss the various NLM APIs and when a specific NLM API would be useful.


  • Discussion of NLM’s products and services (2 minutes)
  • Examples of accessing NLM resources in unorthodox ways (5 minutes)
  • Explanation of what APIs are and how they work (10 minutes)
  • Detailed description and follow-along exercise on using APIs (10 minutes)
  • Discussion of additional tools needed to use APIs (5 minutes)
  • Introduction to some of NLM’s APIs (10 minutes)
  • Recap and next steps (8 minutes)
  • Q&A (10 minutes)

MLA CE Credit: 1.0