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  June 13, 2005 [posted]
  MLA 2005:
Meeting Remarks

NLM Online Users' Meeting
dot Meeting Remarks - David Gillikin, Head, MEDLARS Management Section
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[Editor's note: These are remarks made by David Gillikin, Head, MEDLARS Management Section, National Library of Medicine, at the Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association in San Antonio, TX, on May 16, 2005. The accompanying PowerPoint® presentation is available.]

drop cap letter for g ood Morning. I'm David Gillikin and it is my pleasure to welcome you to the NLM® Online Users' Meeting. I will be talking to you about MEDLINE®, PubMed®, PubMed Central®, the Gateway, indexing and a few other topics. Joyce Backus will talk about MedlinePlus®, and Maria Collins will speak about DOCLINE. After that, we'll take your questions.

Let's begin with indexing activities, which are at the core of our online work. It's been a very busy year, once again, for the Index section.

  • MEDLINE indexers continue to work at an amazing rate. For fiscal year 2004, the indexing production rate exceeded 567,000 citations, the highest rate ever.
  • During the first six months of Fiscal Year 2005, 300,500 new citations were added to MEDLINE, and the projected production rate for indexed citations for Fiscal year 2005 is anticipated to be over 600,000.
  • Keyboarding operation for the creation of MEDLINE citations was eliminated in June 2004. Now approx 75% of MEDLINE citations are created from publisher-supplied data, while 25% is by scanning and OCR.
  • Gene indexing using Entrez Gene began in November 2004, replacing Locus Link. Gene indexing is now performed for more than 1,800 organisms.
  • The MEDLINE indexing contracts were re-competed and awarded.
  • A new Web-based indexing manual and a Web-based training program for new MEDLINE indexers are under development. The training program should be available by the end of the year.
  • This spring a new NLM initiative called the Indexing 2015 project was started. This is a long-term project looking at augmenting and improving the indexing production process with more automated systems.

There are other milestones to tell you about:

  • Since the last MLA meeting, 155 journals have been added to MEDLINE, bringing the total to nearly 5,000 titles being indexed.
  • Space Life Sciences citations are again being added after a nearly year long hiatus caused by a contract dispute.
  • As we informed you last year, Index Medicus was ceased in December 2004 as a print publication. The "Black & White" printed MeSH® and the List of Journals Indexed (LJI) have both continued.

Gateway has added access to new collections:

  • Genetics Home Reference
  • NLM Catalog is searched instead of LocatorPlus. The results from the NLM Catalog link to the records in LocatorPlus to view holdings information.
  • 9,490 abstracts from HIV/AIDS meetings added to the meeting abstracts collection.

The biggest news for the NLM Gateway is the April 2005 redesign of the site.

  • The collections that the Gateway searches are listed individually on the homepage and on the Results Summary page.
  • Limits and Preferences functions were combined into Limits/Settings and rearranged in a new tabular look. Now all users can customize Limits and the display of brief and expanded format items for every collection. Sign In is required only for Saving your settings for use in later sessions and for using your locker.
  • When a search is submitted, the results page displays the total number of retrieved hits, as well as showing the results for each individual database.

Work on the OLDMEDLINE project continues, and new records are being converted as time and resources permit. The contents of the 1950 Current List of Medical Literature were added to PubMed in October 2004. This brings the total OLDMEDLINE citations to over 1,760,000.

We are also investigating how to map current MeSH headings to the OLDMEDLINE citations in PubMed.

IndexCat, the online version of the Index-Catalogue of the Library of the Surgeon-General's Office, has had several new features added, including a new homepage design, new help screens and new Download, Save, Print and E-mail capabilities.

During this past year, the 15 millionth citation was added to PubMed, and the current total number of records in PubMed exceeds 15.5 million.

The use of PubMed continues to grow at an amazing rate. In March, PubMed was searched by nearly seven million unique IP addresses compared to nearly five million in March 2004. There were over 68,000,000 searches compared to 59,200,000 for this same time period. There were more than 294,000,000 page views in March 2005 versus 225 million for March 2004.

PubMed has had a large number of enhancements in the past year, all of which are explained in detail in the NLM Technical Bulletin. Here are some of the major enhancements:

  • The PubMed action bar on the search results screen was redesigned so selections from the Display format, Show, Sort by, or Send to menus take effect immediately. This new feature is seen in other Entrez databases, such as the MeSH database, Journals, and the new NLM Catalog.
  • A Tab format has been introduced for options such as Limits, History, as well as for the results section.
  • A default results filter for the publication type, Review, was added for all users.
  • A spell-checking feature was added to PubMed to suggest alternative spellings for PubMed search terms.
  • One of the biggest changes is My NCBI, which replaced the Cubby. It provides automatic e-mailing of search updates and filters to group your retrieval by areas of interest.
  • PubMed's translation of searches that include MeSH entry terms was enhanced. This change augments PubMed's retrieval of non-MEDLINE citations.
  • The Clinical Queries page was redesigned to provide an improved interface to the specialized PubMed searches for clinicians.
  • New Special Queries page, a directory of topic-specific PubMed queries, was added.
  • Hovering your mouse over the MEDLINE journal abbreviation on a PubMed citation displays the full journal name.
  • Over 140,000 substance names - the Supplementary Concept Record terms - have been added to the MeSH Database so that database now contains the full MeSH vocabulary.
  • Two new author search features were added: Full Author Name search (for 2002 data forward) and First Author search.
  • Single Citation Matcher was enhanced, including a First Author search function, and an auto-complete feature for the Journal Titles box.
  • And on June 2, 2005, the Really Simple Syndication (RSS) function was added.

Reminder: the best way to stay abreast of what's new with PubMed is through the NLM Technical Bulletin, and to subscribe to NLM-Announces, NLM's e-mail alert system.

The use of LinkOut also continues to grow. There are now nearly 4667 PubMed journals that have LinkOut links. For all PubMed citations, 30% now have links to full text, and 7% have free full text links. For PubMed citations from 1999 forward, this number is much larger: 80% of the citations have full text links, while 15% have free full text links.

LinkOut's usage is now showing 19.5 millions hits per month, nearly 850,000 hits per work day.

The LinkOut for Libraries program continues to be a great success. As of May 6, there were 1241 Libraries participating, nearly 300 more than at this time last year.

Other news about LinkOut includes a redesign of the LinkOut display with a better user interface, and LinkOut holdings is now presented as a filter tab, providing a way to access library holdings easily.

PubMed Central
The content and usage of PubMed Central continues to grow. In March 2005, the number of unique IPs searching PMC for a month topped one million for the first time.

As of May 1, 2005 there were 184 journals participating in PMC, covering over 370,000 articles. Announcements of new PMC titles and coverage now appear regularly in the NLM Technical Bulletin.

It has been a big year for PubMed Central in other areas. On May 2, 2005, the new NIH Manuscript Submission system was launched for NIH funded researchers to deposit a copy of their peer-reviewed documents. This system was developed as part of the implementation of the new NIH Public Access policy.

Between January 2004 and April 2005, over 1200 librarians and information specialists have taken our PubMed, Gateway,, TOXNET and Unified Medical Language System® (UMLS®) training classes offered at various sites across the country.

Last year NCBI began to offer regionally its three-day Introduction to Molecular Biology Information Resources class - 109 people took these classes. Four additional sites will offer these NCBI classes later in 2005 and 2006: Houston, Texas; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Davis, California; and Boston, Massachusetts.

A usability study of the National Training Center's Educational Clearinghouse took place in November. Watch for some changes to this resource as a result of study results. In addition, a redesign of the entire NTCC homepage is under development.

NLM Technical Bulletin
Anticipated for the July-August issue of the NLM Technical Bulletin there will be several new features:

  • Search the Technical Bulletin, allowing users to search the index text back to 1979 and the article text back to 1997.
  • Print This Issue, which allows a user to print an entire issue, at one time, once the issue has been closed. When an issue is closed, a link will appear on the table of contents page. Click this link and the issue will be compiled into a PDF file that can then be printed.
  • What Other Readers Are Reading
    This new link will be found on the table of contents page while an issue is still in progress. You will be able to see what the most popular articles are, based on our usage statistics, and link to them.
  • E-mail Notification of New Articles and Issue Closure
    To keep abreast of new NLM Technical Bulletin articles and issue closures, a link to sign up for the NLM-Announces mailing list is being added to the front page of the NLM Technical Bulletin and to the footer found on each page of every article. NLM-Announces distributes weekly messages announcing new and updated pages on the NLM Web site.

Technical Services
The Technical Services Division has also been busy in the past year. Cataloging data in XML format was provided to licensees in August 2004 with CatfilePlus and Serfile available via FTP.

The 2005 edition of the NLM Classification went up on the Web in April 2005. It incorporates additions and changes to the schedule and index from April 2004 through April 2005, and has been put online with a redesigned look.

Technical Services Division and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) launched a new Web site, the NLM Catalog, in September 2004. This new Entrez database provides search and display capabilities for our catalog data that users are accustomed to in PubMed. This includes retrieving an unlimited set of records, "exploding" of MeSH terms, and Boolean search functionality on subject headings. Citations displayed in NLM Catalog also contain links to the records in LocatorPlus, which is still the complete source of the catalog information, including the holdings information.

Data distribution
Growth in the number of MEDLINE licensees continues. We have over 300 MEDLINE licensees this year, and the number of non-US licensees has increased to 105. The overall growth in licensees continues to be in the research areas by academics and biotech and software development companies.

Unified Medical Language System (UMLS)
In the past year, there have been three UMLS releases, and the next release is planned for June 2005.

The MetamorphoSys software continues to undergo enhancements to improve functionality and to increase user-friendliness. A new Annual Report Web form has been provided to assist users to fulfill the license requirement to submit an annual report on UMLS usage.

As you can see, it's been another busy and interesting year. These accomplishments are all due to the incredible staff and Library leadership at NLM. Please stop by our Exhibit Booth, tell us what you like and don't like and what we can do better. Many of the improvements and changes that I've mentioned result directly from your comments. Thank you.

By David Gillikin
MEDLARS Management Section

black line separting article from citation

MLA 2005, NLM® Online Users' Meeting 2005: Meeting Remarks. NLM Tech Bull. 2005 May-Jun;(344):e11a.


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