The National Library of Medicine's (NLM) Division of Specialized Information Services (SIS) launched a new Web site, Tox Town, on October 7, 2002. Tox Town is a pilot project that explores how best to provide environmental health information to a general audience. Tox Town looks at an ordinary town and points out environmental hazards that may be in that town. Users can click on a town location, like the school, and see a cutaway view of that building. Toxic chemicals that might be found in the school are listed, along with links to selected Internet resources about school environments.
In this first release, Tox Town gives information on eight chemicals and eleven locations in an imaginary small town. Plans to expand Tox Town include adding more chemicals and new scenes, such as an urban community and a farming region.
Information on chemical and environmental concerns is assembled from the TOXNET® and MedlinePlus® resources of the NLM, as well as other authoritative sources. The chemical descriptions ("What is arsenic?") were written for Tox Town using TOXNET and other resources and were reviewed by NLM toxicology staff.
For further information, please contact Cindy Love, Office of Outreach and Special Populations, SIS, NLM by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone: 301-496-5306. You can also send comments on Tox Town to email@example.com.
The NLM has produced a new Fact Sheet, Construction of National Library of Medicine Title Abbreviations, that describes the rules currently used to construct title abbreviations for journals cited in NLM's online services.
A complete list of NLM Fact Sheets is available at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/factsheets.html. To be alerted to the publication of new Fact Sheets subscribe to NLM-Announces, NLM's electronic mailing list of changes to the NLM Web site.
NLM's end-of-year activities schedule for MEDLINE/PubMed has changed. We anticipate that these activities will be completed early and new PubMed will be available on November 26, 2002. PubMed will use 2003 vocabulary in the MeSH translation tables and MeSH Browser as well as on the citation data. The Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) vocabulary has been revised and it is advisable to review the changes to see if any will affect searches used to generate updates such as those stored in the PubMed Cubby. For instruction on updating your Cubby stored searches see the article: Hands-On: Revising PubMed® Cubby Stored Searches. NLM Tech Bull. 2001 Nov-Dec; (323):e10. For additional information on PubMed/MEDLINE end-of-year activities see the article: MEDLINE®/PubMed® End-of-Year Activities. NLM Tech Bull. 2002 Sep-Oct;(328):e7.
For 2003 MeSH, a total of 1250 new headings were added, 93 headings were replaced with more up-to-date terminology, 1727 synonyms (i.e., Entry Terms) were added, and 20 headings were deleted. Lists of all new headings and of deleted and replaced headings are posted on the MeSH Web site. The Introduction to the Annotated Alphabetic List - 2003 is also posted on this site. Headings can be quickly found using the 2003 MeSH Browser.
Since 1992, the Toxicology and Environmental Health Information Program (TEHIP) of the Specialized Information Services Division (SIS) of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) has produced a quarterly bibliography of methods and procedures helpful in supporting the development, testing, application, and validation of alternatives to the use of vertebrates in biomedical research and toxicology testing. The multiple bibliographies of Alternatives to the Use of Live Vertebrates in Biomedical Research and Testing have been combined into one easily searchable database containing all 10 years of data. The new database is called ALTBIB and it is availabe at: http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/altbib.html. Yearly updates are planned for this database.
On November 26, 2002, NLM resumed adding the daily (Tuesday-Saturday) updates of newly MeSH-indexed citations (including the backlog of citations indexed since October 30 with 2003 MeSH but not yet added to PubMed). For additional information, see the following related NLM's Technical Bulletin articles:
On December 4, 2002, the term-weighted algorithm used to create the Related Articles links for each PubMed citation was modified to better calculate citations that are closely related to a selected article. In addition, a citation length correction was applied, i.e., the total number of words in a citation is now considered. This compensates for abstract length thereby producing an improved list of related articles for citations that do not have abstracts.
Please refer to the new algorithm for additional information.
On or about December 19, 2002, the Text and File options of PubMed's new Send to function (announced December 2, 2002, Page Selection, Send to, and Links: Changes to PubMed®. NLM's Tech Bull. 2002 Nov-Dec;(329):e7. ) will switch positions so that Text is the default. The sequence on the pull-down menu will be: Text, File, Clipboard, and Order. PubMed searchers use the Text option (which displays retrieval without the sidebar and toolbars) far more often than other Send to options so this is a change to make the most frequently used option the default.
Letters to the editor are often a comment on an article published in an earlier issue of a journal. Such letters are often followed by a reply or response written by one or more authors of the earlier or original article.
The pagination for MEDLINE citations to such letters was constructed following the pattern:
The pagination range for the text of the author(s) who wrote and submitted the letter was indicated, followed by the word discussion, and the pagination range of the text written by one or more of the original article author(s) as a reply to the letter.
Beginning immediately, new rules will be followed for pagination for letters to the editor that include text consisting of an author reply. If the reply is written by one or more of the authors of the original article, the words author reply will be used in the pagination field rather than the word discussion. For example:
NLM's expects to perform global maintenance and change the word discussion to words author reply in retrospective citations. In the event that the text following a letter is written by someone other than the author(s) of the original article (most likely the text would then be written by the journal editor), the word discussion would be used and not author reply.
Please also note that discussion will continue to be used within pagination for other types of articles, such as an article presented at a meeting that is followed by the text of a separate discussion or verbal exchange by a panel or others attending the meeting. This new rule for pagination that will include author reply applies only to Publication Type Letter citations.
December 30, 2002 [updated]
Three new books have been added to the National Center for Biotechnology Information's (NCBI) Bookshelf.
The books in Bookshelf may be searched directly from the Bookshelf site or via links from the Links pull-down menu from relevant PubMed citations.
The Medical Subject Headings - Annotated Alphabetic List, 2003; Medical Subject Headings - Tree Structures, 2003; and Permuted Medical Subject Headings, 2003 may now be ordered from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). Order and pricing information for these publications can be found on NLM's Web site at: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/mesh/pubs.html. Questions concerning orders may be directed to NTIS at 800-553-NTIS (6847). Callers from outside the U.S. including Canada may reach NTIS at 703-605-6000. Questions about standing orders should be directed to the NTIS Subscription Section at 703-487-4630.
On December 18, 2002, a new version of the NLM Gateway was released. Please see What's New on the NLM Gateway sidebar for details.