Note the following additions to Table G of the NLM Classification, 5th edition 1994, rev. 1999, since the publication of this tool in September 2000:
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has issued a new Clinical Alert:
The NHLBI of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has stopped early a major clinical trial of the risks and benefits of combined estrogen and progestin in healthy menopausal women due to an increased risk of invasive breast cancer. The large multi-center trial, a component of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI), also found increases in coronary heart disease, stroke, and pulmonary embolism in study participants on estrogen plus progestin compared to women taking placebo pills. There were noteworthy benefits of estrogen plus progestin, including fewer cases of hip fractures and colon cancer, but on balance the harm was greater than the benefit. The study, which was scheduled to run until 2005, was stopped after an average follow-up of 5.2 years.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has developed a new set of Entrez Programming Utilities (Entrez Utilities). The new Entrez Utilities consolidate the original utilities currently in use. A link to the new Entrez Utilities can be found on PubMed's sidebar, labelled "E-Utilities."
Utility users should begin using the new Entrez Utilities now and revise any existing URLs that were created using the original utilities (e.g., PmFetch, PmNeighbor). URLs created using the original utilities will continue to work until December 2002 by which time your transition to the new utilities should be complete. If you have not done so already, please subscribe to the Entrez Utilities Announcement Mailing List for announcements regarding the Entrez Utilities. To subscribe send an email message with subscribe in the Subject area to: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Reminder: Linking to PubMed®
New releases to the UMLS (Unified Medical Language System) have been issued annually since 1990. Beginning in 2002, the UMLS is released quarterly. The January 2002 release, 2002AA, contained 776,940 concepts and 2.1 million terms; the May 2002 release, 2002AB, contained 871,584 concepts and 2.1 million terms. There are now over 95 vocabulary sources contained in the UMLS Metathesaurus. There will be two more releases in 2002, one in August and the other in October. PubMed®, the NLM Gateway, and ClinicalTrials.gov utilize the UMLS to enhance searching; all are updated following each UMLS release.
In response to user requests for PubMed statistics the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) has released a PubMed Searches graph. This new graph is available from the Overview on the PubMed sidebar as well as from the Databases and Tools section of the About NCBI web page. The new graph provides statistical information for PubMed searches from January 1997 to the present.
On Thursday, July 25, the National Library of Medicine released a new search engine on its main Web site. The new search engine is from a California-based company RecomMind, who offers a concept-based information retrieval system. RecomMind not only searches keywords, but concepts and topics are also automatically extracted from data, allowing related concepts to be retrieved in the same search.
Search results are listed and navigated via a series of folders: National Library of Medicine, Health Information - MedlinePlus, Profiles in Science, and Exhibits. This structure allows users to choose a concept and to move conveniently among the folders. The Library plans to expand implementation of the new search engine site by site, starting with the soon-to-be-released Spanish MedlinePlus and MedlinePlus.
To find out more about how the search engine works, see the Search FAQ at http://www.nlm.nih.gov/searchfaq.html.
PubMed's Display pull-down menu has a new option, UI List. This format displays the same information as the Brief format, i.e., Authors, the first 30 characters of the Title, and the PMID (PubMed Unique Identifier). However, if you use the Save or Text function with UI List you will get a list of only the PMIDs.
The August 2002 editions of the training manuals are now available for downloading from the NLM Web site: PubMed, NLM Gateway, ClinicalTrials.gov and TOXNET Training Manuals. The workbooks were updated to reflect changes to PubMed, the NLM Gateway, and ClinicalTrials.gov since October 2001. The manuals are available for downloading in Portable Document Format (PDF) and Microsoft (MS) Word formats. They are broken down into sections so you can choose the areas of interest to you. These materials correspond to the NLM's National Training Center and Clearinghouse training courses described at http://nnlm.gov/mar/online/description.html.
Lecture guides used in training on Toxicology and Environmental Health Web Resources (i.e., TOXNET and ChemIDplus) are also available from this Web site.
These workbooks are not copyrighted. Feel free to use any part of the workbooks - you may customize parts for training programs, demonstrations, or workshops you conduct.
The URLF and URLS fields have been removed from the MEDLINE format in PubMed and will be removed from the XML format at the end of the year. These fields held URLs for links to full text and summaries at providers' websites; however, the data were often incomplete and not updated. The Entrez Utility, ELink, can be used to obtain LinkOut URLs.
NLM announces that the one-day "UMLS Basics: What Is This Thing Called the UMLS And Why Do I Care?" course is now being offered at NLM on Wednesday, September 25, 2002, and again on Thursday, October 17, 2002. There are no prerequisites for the course but students should be familiar with MeSH and controlled vocabularies (especially conventions and hierarchical arrangements). We expect to be notified soon of the approved Medical Library Association CEU credits for this course. Register with the National Training Center and Clearinghouse.
Brief class description: This 8-hour, hands-on course introduces NLM's UMLS: what it is and how it is used. Students gain an understanding of the three main components, or Knowledge Sources: the Metathesaurus, the Semantic Network, and the SPECIALIST Lexicon--what these are and how these and related tools are used in a variety of biomedical applications and research. A broad overview of the 95-plus source vocabularies contained in the Metathesaurus is provided. Criteria for assessing the usefulness of specific controlled vocabularies for clinical, research, and educational purposes are discussed. The online UMLS Knowledge Source Server (UMLSKS) is used to access UMLS data throughout the class. Hands-on exercises allow students to practice basic and advanced searching skills. Some experience is provided with software called MetamorphoSys and how it can be used to produce customized local versions of the Metathesaurus useful for particular applications. The intended audience is medical librarians and other information specialists who desire an introduction to the UMLS and an understanding of the issues and practical considerations involved in selecting and using appropriate controlled vocabularies for a range of biomedical applications.