NLM® Launches New Web Search Engine: NLM Web Site, MedlinePlus®, MedlinePlus en Español
[Editor's note added on May 20, 2010: Go Local hyperlinks have been removed. For more information see NLM® to Discontinue Support of MedlinePlus® Go Local.]
on October 11, 2007, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) released a new search engine for MedlinePlus, MedlinePlus en español and the NLM Web site. NLM selected search engine software from the Pittsburgh-based company Vivisimo®. Vivisimo is also the current search solution for the www.usa.gov site (formerly FirstGov).
The new search results feature enhanced relevance rankings and bold-face search words in context to help you select the best Web document for your query. An integrated spell checker suggests alternative search terms and spelling corrections. The new search engine also expands queries using synonyms specific to the sites and medical synonyms from the NLM Unified Medical Language System®.
The default display for MedlinePlus searches is a comprehensive list of "All Results" from all areas of the site. Users can also focus their search on one part of MedlinePlus by navigating to these individual collections of results (see also Figure 1):
- Health Topics
- External Health Links
- Drugs and Supplements
- Medical Encyclopedia
- Other Resources
For MedlinePlus searches that retrieve one of the 700+ English language health topics, the relevant topic is spotlighted at the top of the screen with an image, an excerpt of the health topic summary and links to the topic (see Figure 1).
NLM Web Site Searches
The default display is a comprehensive list of "All Results" from all areas of the Library Web site, including pages from MedlinePlus, the Web archives, Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and Specialized Information Services (SIS), and Profiles in Science® . Users can also focus their search on one part of the site by navigating to these individual collections of results (see also Figure 2):
- NLM Programs and Services: contains Web pages from the Library's Web site and from NCBI, the Lister Hill Center, and SIS. You will find information in this collection on the Library's biomedical information resources, research activities, and outreach programs.
- Health Information – MedlinePlus: contains Web pages on health information located on MedlinePlus.
- Online Exhibits: contains online exhibitions from the NLM History of Medicine Division, other online audiovisual programs and the Profiles in Science site.
- NLM Web Archives: contains older Web pages from the NLM main Web site. All pages in the archives are considered to be of permanent value. They are moved from the current site to the archives when they are no longer current.
Searches for an NLM product or service will highlight the relevant result in the "NLM Selected Resources" box at the top of the results (see Figure 2).
Searches on the NLM Web site that retrieve MedlinePlus Health Topics spotlight the relevant health topic in the "NLM Selected Resources" box at the top of the results. The spotlight includes the topic, an image, an excerpt of the health topic summary and a link to the topic (see Figure 3).
The Library plans to implement the Vivisimo search engine on NIHSeniorHealth, MedlinePlus Go Local, and other sites in the future. [Editor's note: As of March 19, 2008, Vivisimo is now the search engine software for MedlinePlus Go Local. See NLM® Improves MedlinePlus Go Local Search. NLM Tech Bull. 2008 Mar-Apr; (361):e9. for additional information.]
Dine B, Heiland J, Huston M. NLM® Launches New Web Search Engine: NLM Web Site, MedlinePlus®, MedlinePlus en Español. NLM Tech Bull. 2007 Sep-Oct; (358):e6.