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NLM Technical Bulletin

NLM Technical Bulletin. 1999 January-February; 306



In This Issue:

Technical Notes - e1

NLM Classification, 5th Edition Additions and Changes List 4 - e2

PubMed: Searching Using Subsets - e3

OLDMEDLINE Database Moves Back in Time - e4

Hands On: PubMed Update - e5

dotMEDLINEplus - e6


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MEDLINEplus

Introduction
http://medlineplus.gov/ MEDLINEplus, NLM's consumer-friendly Web site, was introduced in October 1998 in conjunction with a new health information initiative involving public libraries. You may go to MEDLINEplus by clicking on the oval button at the top of NLM's home page as shown in Figure 1 or you may go directly to http://medlineplus.gov/. This Web site was created to provide an easy-to-understand resource for the public that includes access to MEDLINE. For more information on the development of MEDLINEplus see the upcoming NLM Newsline article titled "MEDLINEplus Website Launched."

Figure 1 - MEDLINEplus Button on NLM Home Page

figure 1

With the public taking an active part in their health care, most health sciences libraries need quality consumer-level health information. MEDLINEplus provides such access. Here's an overview of how you can use MEDLINEplus for access to full-text health information and pre-formatted MEDLINE searches. On the MEDLINEplus page you see that the sidebar shows the choices available. There is also a brief explanation of what may be found in each specific choice in the body of the page ( Figure 2. ) There are many useful features available on this Web page including links to medical dictionaries and to directories of physicians and hospitals. You may link to your selection (e.g., Health Topics) from either the sidebar or from the box shown in the body of the page.

Figure 2 - Partial Display of MEDLINEplus Home Page

figure 2

When you click on Health Topics, you will link to a page with the list of health topics as shown in Figure 3. Each topic is a link to a Web page. Each page provides pre-formulated MEDLINE search strategies that will retrieve current information on that topic. The other links on each Health Topics page provide access to full-text, consumer-level resources that are carefully selected by medical librarians using the MEDLINEplus selection guidelines.

Figure 3 - MEDLINEplus Health Topics List as of February 1999

figure 3

For example, if you click on Heart Attack as shown in Figure 3, you will see the display of resources shown in Figure 4. These resources are frequently updated and this page may look slightly different when you link to it. Figure 4 shows a partial display of the links available from the MEDLINEplus Heart Attack Web page, including Spanish-language materials, which are linked when available. Note that the resources include pre-formatted MEDLINE search strategies formulated by librarians at NLM and designed to retrieve recent MEDLINE citations. If you click on any of the Search MEDLINE... links, you will be brought to a PubMed page showing the brief display of the citations retrieved. Figure 5 shows some of the citations retrieved when you click on the Search MEDLINE for recent articles about Heart Attack - (therapy) link. Remember you can click on the PubMed Details button to see the exact search strategy used. Most MEDLINEplus searches contain a date limit, which means you may see different citations if you rerun the search at a later date.

Figure 4 - Partial Display of Resources Available from MEDLINEplus Heart Attack Web Page

figure 4

Figure 5 - Partial Listing of Citations Retrieved by Clicking on MEDLINEplus Heart Attack - (therapy) link

figure 5

From the screen shown in Figure 5, you may click on Display to see the citations displayed in a more complete format or you may use your Web browser Back button to return to MEDLINEplus.

Conclusion
NLM encourages you to explore the new MEDLINEplus Web site and to introduce it to users who would find its information useful. Comments and questions about this site may be directed to custserv@nlm.nih.gov.

--prepared by Toby Port
MEDLARS Management Section

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