|June 30, 2000 [posted]|
|NLM Online Users' Meetings 2000:
[Editor's note: These are remarks made by Sheldon Kotzin, Chief, Bibliographic Services Division, NLM, at the Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, May 8, 2000.]
ello, I'm Sheldon Kotzin and this is the 20th time I've had the pleasure to welcome you to the NLM Online Users' Meeting. These meetings began in the 1970s just after the National Library of Medicine (NLM) announced the first remote access real-time searching of any computerized data. Since then, NLM has made great improvements to MEDLINE records and access to them.
Three years ago, I reported that there were about 600,000 searches performed monthly using ELHILL. This April we exceeded 21 million PubMed and IGM searches, and we grow at rate of about 650,000 searches each month. About 40% of these searches appear to be from non-researchers and non-health professionals.
Three factors contribute greatly to this success: you and your colleagues who use our products, train others to use them, and tell us how to make them better. And, this year we thank you for making the transition from ELHILL as smooth as possible. I want to acknowledge NLM staff who work on PubMed and IGM development and who respond to your customer service questions. Also, the excellent serials staff, indexers and quality control staff who last year added nearly 450,000 citations to MEDLINE.
At this point let me introduce some representatives of the excellent staff that I mentioned previously: Janet Zipser, Online Training Coordinator, who is currently developing a web-based PubMed training module; Annette Nahin, our new Library Operations representative on the Library's PubMed development team, and Jane Rosov, who is Library Operations' primary liaison with publishers who send us electronic data and with MEDLINE licensees.
Author and Selective Indexing
Data Creation and Maintenance System Update
Five journals now submit electronic citations without volume, issue and pagination data ahead of their "print" versions and NLM is entering them into PubMed with a bracketed notation [epub ahead of print]. NLM expects other journals to participate.
NLM is working with the Cochrane collaborators to create MEDLINE records for the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. An electronic file of the first set of about 800 records arrived last week.
MEDLINE Scope Expanding
PubMed Central and ClinicalTrials.gov
The first bucket -- PubMed --will contain the journal citations mostly from 1966 forward, including about 109,000 citations from 1963 - 1965 years of publication. This includes more than 11 million MEDLINE citations with full MeSH indexing, publication types, grant numbers, comments, errata, and retractions. This bucket also includes MEDLINE in-process citations, most of which will become fully indexed. And it includes publisher-supplied citations, which are sent electronically, that are not destined to become indexed with MeSH, nor undergo any quality control procedures.
The second bucket -- LocatorPlus -- contains citations to monographs and whole serials. The contents are largely from NLM's own collection, but include some items not owned by NLM, owned instead by regional libraries or organizations that create records in subject areas such as health services research, bioethics, and family planing and population research.
Citations to meeting abstracts and OLDMEDLINE data will reside in the third bucket. NLM is separating meeting abstract citations to speed up their availability and so as not to confuse them with citations to full papers. OLDMEDLINE will also be here because its records have no abstracts and its vocabulary terms have not been validated against the current MeSH. At this point OLDMEDLINE contains 1960-1965 data, but by this Fall, NLM expects 1957-1959 data to be added, bringing the total to 1.4 million records.
With the data in these three buckets, searchers can go directly to a particular retrieval system if they choose. However, users who want to search for all types of information on a subject may wish to try the soon-to-be-available NLM Gateway, which you can see at the NLM Exhibit Booth. The NLM Gateway will be an intelligent search tool that will interface initially with PubMed, LocatorPlus, citations to meeting abstracts, OLDMEDLINE, HSRProj and MEDLINEplus. Future developments of the Gateway will provide access to TOXNET and ClinicalTrials.gov.
NLM is also converting unique data from its subject-oriented databases to move into the appropriate "bucket" in the new data organization. HealthSTAR journal citations are already in PubMed's MEDLINE with citations from AIDSLINE, HISTLINE, SPACELINE, BIOETHICSLINE and POPLINE to follow. Unique monograph citations for HealthSTAR, HISTLINE, SPACELINE, and BIOETHICS are in LocatorPlus with POPLINE to follow. NLM plans to continue access to Internet Grateful Med until the unique data from the old subject-oriented databases are converted and relocated.
New PubMed Features
A few months ago, a new "Books" feature made its debut. This feature links individual PubMed citations to the full text of reference books. The idea is to allow users to explore unfamiliar concepts found in PubMed search results. Currently, only the textbook Molecular Biology of the Cell is available, and it provides information on a wide range of topics central to molecular and cell biology. The selection of books will grow to include new topics and different approaches to biology and medicine.
As part of new PubMed, NLM began a trial implementation of the LinkOut program with a small number of test libraries. The LinkOut program provides links from PubMed citations to the full-text of the journal article, but it doesn't stop there. It also can provide links to biological data, sequence centers, and even subject-relevant Web sites. These links are provided to PubMed by publishers and third parties, such as libraries and information providers. For example, a university that has a license with a full-text supplier provides PubMed with a link to that supplier's Web holdings. Students and staff from that university will see the link and know they can get the article. The LinkOut program will be phasing in more libraries gradually. We know many of you are eager to participate, and we appreciate your patience. [Editor's Note: Information about LinkOut is available from the PubMed Web site.]
Soon we will introduce the PubMed Cubby. The Cubby, as its name implies, will have storage capabilities. For example, a search can be stored in the Cubby, and at any time, you can check to see if the search retrieves new citations. The Cubby only shows you citations that are new since the last time you updated the search, and takes into account if MeSH terms have since been added to a previously received record.
Another Cubby service is called LinkOut Preferences. As I was describing the LinkOut program, many of you were probably thinking that the LinkOut display for some citations could grow long once lots of libraries add their electronic holdings. The Cubby will allow you to customize your LinkOut display, so that you only see links of interest to you.
[Editor's note: See the article, The Transition to New PubMed, in this issue of the NLM Technical Bulletin for more information on changes and new features in the new PubMed.]
MEDLINE Licensee Products
Bibliographic Services Division
Kotzin S. NLM Online Users' Meetings 2000: MEDLARS Remarks. NLM Tech Bull. 2000 May-Jun;(314):e5a.