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The National Academies Press
The Most-Downloaded Reports of 2015

This year, we released more than 200 reports of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on NAP.edu. We also served more than 1.5 million free PDF downloads in 2015 — our best year ever!

To close out the year, here are the 2015 publications that you and other readers around the world downloaded the most. Happy new year, and keep reading in 2016!

#1 17,119 downloads
Reaching Students: What Research Says About Effective Instruction in Undergraduate Science and Engineering

The undergraduate years are a turning point in producing scientifically literate citizens and future scientists and engineers. Evidence from research about how students learn science and engineering shows that teaching strategies that motivate and engage students will improve their learning. So how do students best learn science and engineering? ...

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#2 16,783 downloads
Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards

A Framework for K-12 Science Education and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) describe a new vision for science learning and teaching that is catalyzing improvements in science classrooms across the United States. Achieving this new vision will require time, resources, and ongoing commitment from state, district, and school leaders, as well as classroom teachers. Successful ...

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#3 14,470 downloads
Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science

The past half-century has witnessed a dramatic increase in the scale and complexity of scientific research. The growing scale of science has been accompanied by a shift toward collaborative research, referred to as "team science." Scientific research is increasingly conducted by small teams and larger groups rather than individual investigators, but the challenges of collaboration can slow ...

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#4 13,107 downloads
Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life

For patients and their loved ones, no care decisions are more profound than those made near the end of life. Unfortunately, the experience of dying in the United States is often characterized by fragmented care, inadequate treatment of distressing symptoms, frequent transitions among care settings, and enormous care responsibilities for families. According to this report, the current health ...

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#5 11,790 downloads
Improving Diagnosis in Health Care

Getting the right diagnosis is a key aspect of health care - it provides an explanation of a patient's health problem and informs subsequent health care decisions. The diagnostic process is a complex, collaborative activity that involves clinical reasoning and information gathering to determine a patient's health problem. According to Improving Diagnosis in Health Care, diagnostic ...

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#6 11,003 downloads
Vital Signs: Core Metrics for Health and Health Care Progress

Thousands of measures are in use today to assess health and health care in the United States. Although many of these measures provide useful information, their usefulness in either gauging or guiding performance improvement in health and health care is seriously limited by their sheer number, as well as their lack of consistency, compatibility, reliability, focus, and organization. To achieve ...

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#7 10,745 downloads
Cognitive Aging: Progress in Understanding and Opportunities for Action

For most Americans, staying "mentally sharp" as they age is a very high priority. Declines in memory and decision-making abilities may trigger fears of Alzheimer's disease or other neurodegenerative diseases. However, cognitive aging is a natural process that can have both positive and negative effects on cognitive function in older adults - effects that vary widely among individuals. At this ...

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#8 10,088 downloads
Climate Intervention: Carbon Dioxide Removal and Reliable Sequestration

The signals are everywhere that our planet is experiencing significant climate change. It is clear that we need to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from our atmosphere if we want to avoid greatly increased risk of damage from climate change. Aggressively pursuing a program of emissions abatement or mitigation will show results over a timescale of many decades. ...

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#9 9,229 downloads
Beyond Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness

Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) are serious, debilitating conditions that affect millions of people in the United States and around the world. ME/CFS can cause significant impairment and disability. Despite substantial efforts by researchers to better understand ME/CFS, there is no known cause or effective treatment. Diagnosing the disease remains a challenge, ...

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#10 9,180 downloads
Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8: A Unifying Foundation

Children are already learning at birth, and they develop and learn at a rapid pace in their early years. This provides a critical foundation for lifelong progress, and the adults who provide for the care and the education of young children bear a great responsibility for their health, development, and learning. Despite the fact that they share the same objective - to nurture young children and ...

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#11 8,613 downloads
Climate Intervention: Reflecting Sunlight to Cool Earth

The growing problem of changing environmental conditions caused by climate destabilization is well recognized as one of the defining issues of our time. The root problem is greenhouse gas emissions, and the fundamental solution is curbing those emissions. Climate geoengineering has often been considered to be a "last-ditch" response to climate change, to be used only if climate change damage ...

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#12 7,889 downloads
Sea Change: 2015-2025 Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences

Ocean science connects a global community of scientists in many disciplines - physics, chemistry, biology, geology and geophysics. New observational and computational technologies are transforming the ability of scientists to study the global ocean with a more integrated and dynamic approach. This enhanced understanding of the ocean is becoming ever more important in an economically and ...

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#13 7,116 downloads
A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System

How we produce and consume food has a bigger impact on Americans' well-being than any other human activity. The food industry is the largest sector of our economy; food touches everything from our health to the environment, climate change, economic inequality, and the federal budget. From the earliest developments of agriculture, a major goal has been to attain sufficient foods that provide ...

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#14 6,881 downloads
Transforming Health Care Scheduling and Access: Getting to Now

According to Transforming Health Care Scheduling and Access, long waits for treatment are a function of the disjointed manner in which most health systems have evolved to accommodate the needs and the desires of doctors and administrators, rather than those of patients. The result is a health care system that deploys its most valuable resource--highly trained personnel--inefficiently, ...

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#15 6,664 downloads
Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery

In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery systems, and other critical recovery needs. In some cases, billions of dollars from public, private and charitable sources are invested to help ...

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Changes to the NAP.edu site in 2015

Publishing reports wasn't all we did in 2015, of course. We made plenty of changes large and small to the NAP.edu website. Here's a few of the biggest changes to come around this year:

New OpenBook: a sleek new online reading experience at NAP.

DOIs: Digital Object Identifiers for every report.

MyNAP Redesigned: a fresh new experience for saving and referencing your top NAP reports.

Altmetric & the Stats tab: download & social mention stats for every report.

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