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NLM Technical Bulletin

NLM Technical Bulletin. 1998 Mar-Apr; 301

In This Issue:

dotTechnical Notes - e1

Associations Switch to Free Web Access - e2

PubMed's Citation Matcher - e3

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Technical Notes

New Customer Service E-Mail Address

The National Library of Medicine has a new customer service e-mail address, Users may send questions to this address about any NLM product or service, including those about reference assistance, database searching, and Loansome Doc. This new, central e-mail address is intended to simplify things for you by providing one easy-to-remember e-mail address for NLM users. Many messages sent to this address will be answered by the first staff member who reads the message. If the answer requires other expertise, the message will be forwarded promptly to a specific office at NLM that is equipped to provide the answer. NLM anticipates faster and improved replies by using one central e-mail address rather than the many specific e-mail addresses that were publicized in the past.

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1998 NLM Invitation and MLA Meeting Reminder

The Medical Library Association (MLA) is celebrating its centennial in 1998. The Annual Meeting, using the theme of "Centennial Celebration: Visions of the Future -- Reflections of the Past," will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott in Phildelphia, May 22 - 27. Attendees are invited to come to Island F in the exhibit hall to visit with NLM staff and get the latest information on Web system enhancements, NLM's links to full text from MEDLINE, the new integrated library system, and a gift commemorating MLA's 100th anniversary.

The NLM Online Users' Meeting "Sunrise Seminar" session will be held on Monday, May 25, 7:30 - 8:15 a.m. in Rooms K-L; the DOCLINE/Loansome Doc "Sunrise Seminar" will be held on Tuesday, May 26, 7:30-8:15 a.m. in Rooms K-L; and the NLM Update will be held on Monday, May 25, 10:30 a.m. - Noon in Salons A-B-C-D with overflow in salons I-J-K-L. Please join us at these events.

At the MLA poster sessions NLM will be presenting "NLM Customer Satisfaction Survey" on Monday, May 25, 3:00-5:00 p.m.; "Occupational Cumulative Trauma Disorders: Worksite Prevention Efforts at the National Library of Medicine" on Monday, May 25, 3:00-5:00 p.m.; and "William Blake at NLM" on Tuesday, May 26, 12:00-2:00 p.m. All of these poster sessions will be in the exhibit hall.

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Consumer Health Titles Added to MEDLINE®

In June 1997, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) announced free Web-based access to MEDLINE through the PubMed and Internet Grateful Med interfaces. Since that time, many patients and their families have searched MEDLINE looking for useful health information. In response to this growing user group, the NLM is expanding its coverage of publications whose primary is the lay public. Recently, the following twelve consumer health titles were selected for MEDLINE indexing.

Alternative Medicine Review
Breastfeeding Review
FDA Consumer
Harvard Health Letter
Harvard Heart Letter
Harvard Men's Health Watch
Harvard Mental Health Letter
Harvard Women's Health Watch
Health News (Massachusetts Medical Society)
Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50
Mayo Clinic Health Letter
Medscape Women's Health (online journal)
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Grateful Med® Software Discontinued

Users of the disk versions of Grateful Med declined dramatically last year after the announcement of free Web access. This was an important factor in the National Library of Medicine's (NLM) decision to not update the DOS, Macintosh, or Windows® versions of Grateful Med for 1998. This means that these versions of Grateful Med do not have the 1998 MeSH vocabulary or the programming necessary to allow the software to recognize the new MED93 backfile of MEDLINE® that contains citations to articles published in 1993 and 1994.

PubMed and Internet Grateful Med (IGM) are handling tens of thousands of searches a day and in recent months, new disk subscriptions often have numbered only ten to twenty a month. The expense required to re-program, test, and distribute the updated disks could not be justified, based on the numbers. NLM believes that its resources are best used improving PubMed and IGM. If searchers know of useful features in the Grateful Med disk products that they cannot replicate searching with PubMed or Internet Grateful Med, they should let NLM know at

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Training Class "No-Shows"

The National Online Training Center ( has been experiencing a significant problem with "no-shows" for many of its classes, and we would like your assistance in alleviating it. The Online Center has responded to the demand for PubMed and Internet Grateful Med training by adding classes and scheduling as many as possible in a variety of locations. The classes usually fill rapidly and there is often a waiting list.

In order to help us provide training opportunities to as many people as possible, if you have registered for a class and your plans change, please notify the Online Center office. The further in advance the notification is given, the more likely it is that someone else can take the space available. It is very disappointing to begin a class with empty chairs that could have been occupied.

We are asking for your cooperation and consideration in keeping the process smooth and efficient, to allow as many people as possible to benefit from this free training program. Please contact the Online Center by e-mail or fax (212-534-7042). Each individual does make a difference! Thanks for your consideration.

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NLM Phases Out Old 800 Number

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) added the current toll free telephone number, 1-888- FINDNLM (1-888-346-3656) for customer service in May 1997. This new number has several short, easy-to-use menu choices to allow you to reach a variety of Library service areas. Since May 1997, the old 800 MEDLARS number has continued to work, routing to the new number behind the scenes. Later this year, the 800-638-8480 number will no longer connect you to NLM. When that happens, for a short period of time, callers will hear a recording directing users to the current NLM number, 1-888- FINDNLM. Please check your stored phone numbers and rolodexes now to verify that you have the current number for NLM customer service.

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Last updated: 12 April 2012