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 August 31, 2000 [posted]
 OLDMEDLINE Database Moves Back in Time

T he contents of the 1958-1959 Current List of Medical Literature (CLML) were added to OLDMEDLINE in July 2000. The OLDMEDLINE file now contains 991,869 citations with the addition of these 220,582 citations from the 1958-1959 publication. Of these newly added citations, 106,775 are from the 1959 CLML and 113,807 are from the 1958 CLML. OLDMEDLINE was first made available in December 1996, with over 307,000 citations originally published in the 1964 and 1965 Cumulated Index Medicus (CIM) (see NLM Technical Bulletin 1996 Nov-Dec; (293): 1, 4-6). In November 1998, the library added to OLDMEDLINE over 400,000 citations published in the 1960 through 1963 CIM (see NLM Technical Bulletin 1999 Jan-Feb; (306): e4).

OLDMEDLINE is available free to searchers on the Web via Internet Grateful Med and will be accessible from the NLM Gateway when it becomes available (currently expected in the Fall of 2000).

Data Changes
OLDMEDLINE now contains a new data element Issue/Part/Supplement (IP). This data element identifies the issue, part or supplement of the journal in which the article was published. Only the citations from the 1958-1959 CLML have data in this field. The format is identical to that for MEDLINE.

The newly added records also contain periods in the Title Abbreviation (TA) data element because the 1958-1959 CLML included periods.

OLDMEDLINE data lack abstracts. While the original MeSH concepts are included in the Keywords (KW) field, that MeSH dates from the year of indexing and does not reflect the current version of the MeSH used today. Furthermore, some citations from 1958-1959 may contain subheadings in the Keywords field, but those subheadings are not searchable.

Updating Frequency and File Maintenance
NLM plans to add citations from the 1957 CLML to OLDMEDLINE in early 2001. NLM expects to continue converting its older publications that predate MEDLINE to machine-readable form as time and resources permit, as part of its goal to provide online access to these earlier data. Typographical errors, or erroneous or outdated data cannot be corrected at this time.

By Susan Von Braunsberg
MEDLARS Management Section

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Von Braunsberg S. OLDMEDLINE Database Moves Back in Time. NLM Tech Bull. 2000 Jul-Aug;(315):e5.


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