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2007 MAY–JUNE; 356
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June 18, 2007 [posted]

MLA 2007: NLM® Online Users' Meeting: Remarks

dotNLM Online Users' Meeting: Remarks

NLM Online Users' Meeting: Questions and Answers

NLM Online Users' Meeting: PowerPoint Presentations for Remarks, MedlinePlus, DOCLINE

NLM Theater PowerPoint Presentations, Voice Recordings, and Transcripts

NLM Update PowerPoint Presentations

[Editor's note: These are remarks made by David Gillikin, Chief, Bibliographic Services Division, National Library of Medicine at the Annual Meeting of the Medical Library Association in Philadelphia, PA on May 21, 2007. The accompanying PowerPoint® presentation is available.

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 about changes and new features to various NLM products and services such as MEDLINE® , PubMed® , PubMed Central® , and the NLM Gateway, as well as other areas such as indexing. We will also have presentations from Joyce Backus the new Deputy Chief of the Public Services Division, about MedlinePlus®, and from Maria Collins from Collection Access Services who will speak about DOCLINE® and an NLM study on Interlibrary Loan. We'll take questions after all of the presentations are finished.

NLM Online Update 2007


The Index Section continues to set a new indexing rate again this year. FY2006 saw over 629,000 citations indexed, the highest ever indexing rate achieved. Also, 46,918 gene indexing links were created, a 4% increase from last year. So far in FY2007, the indexing pace is estimated to reach over 700,000 articles. And in FY2007, over 85% of the MEDLINE citations are supplied electronically by publishers.

The new Web-based training program for MEDLINE indexing is now the primary instruction method. A version for end-user access is expected to be online later this summer, letting searchers have a better understanding of the indexing process.

One hundred-twenty online-only journals are now indexed for MEDLINE, an increase from 107 a year ago. Also, 276 additional journals are indexed from their online version instead of the print version.

Bioethics Information Resources

Another change in the indexing process involved the indexing provided by the Kennedy Institute of Ethics (KIE) for the data concerning the subject of bioethics. A contract reduction due to budgetary constraints was required. NLM already supplies 85% of the creation and indexing of the bioethics citations within MEDLINE and is now looking to absorb this work. NLM continues to provide funding to support the National Reference Center for Bioethics Literature at KIE; it offers search systems and other services for bioethics literature and their own collection.

To further support users in the field of bioethics, we also launched a new Web page on Bioethics Information Resources. The page provides a search box for searching PubMed and NLM Catalog, focusing on the subject of bioethics. There are also links to other NLM and NIH resources including MedlinePlus (including specific bioethics related topics), Genetics Home Reference™, Go Local, and the NIH bioethics Web site, Bioethics Resources on the Web. Additional internet sources are also given.


The focus of OLDMEDLINE work has been on mapping OLDMEDLINE keywords to current MeSH. With this project, 76% of the OLDMEDLINE citations have been mapped completely (over 1.34 million citations). With this work completed these records now have current MeSH terminology and are considered MEDLINE records. The status for these completed records is now [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]. Work continues on mapping the additional keywords.

In addition, conversion of the citations from the 1949 Current List of Medical Literature has begun. This new data will be made available by the fall of 2007.


The number of citations in PubMed has already surpassed 17 million records and the number of MEDLINE records is over 15.8 million. The MEDLINE records compose 93% of the PubMed data. In-process records (citations not yet indexed) are 1.5% of the PubMed total, while OLDMEDLINE records are 2.5%. PubMed-only records (items that are not indexed with MeSH) are 3% of the PubMed total.

PubMed usage continues to grow. From March 2006 to March 2007, the number of searches by unique IP address rose from 9.8 million to nearly 11.8 million. The total number of searches went from 82 million to over 82.3 million searches. And during this time period, the number of page views displayed went from 377 million to over 423 million.

The main effort in PubMed this year has been the development of a new version of the Entrez database system that will be the foundation for the next generation of capabilities on the Entrez system, including PubMed. A Beta version of the new PubMed system was made available for review this spring. The new system is expected to be implemented very soon. [Editor's note: Starting May 23, 2007, the new version of the Entrez system began a phased implementation.]

One of the new PubMed developments this year was the introduction of the AbstractPlus view that is the new default view for looking at a citation's abstract. In this new view, the Library Icons had been moved down to the lower left of the overall citations. The new, upcoming PubMed system, as seen in the Beta version this spring, allows a single library icon in the upper right hand corner, using a different size (100 pixels x 25 pixels). If users activate more than one icon, the icon displayed at the top will be selected according to the following priority:

PubMed Central

The use of full text articles in PubMed Central (PMC) has increased. In April 2007, the number of unique IPs searching PMC was over 4.2 million. As of May 1, 2007, 331 journals are participating in PMC, up from 249 from last year. PMC now covers over 969,000 articles.

From the PMC Scanning project, the back issue citations for thirty-nine completely scanned journals have been added to PubMed — a total of 70,231 citations have been added so far. This includes citations from journals such as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Journal of Physiology, Journal of Clinical Pathology, and Journal of Anatomy.

The next step in this project is adding abstracts found in PMC citations that are not found in PubMed citations. From the thiry-eight completed PMC back issue scanned titles, 40,640 new abstracts have been added from twenty-three of these titles. The other fifteen titles did not have new abstracts to be added. This process of adding missing abstracts is now a standard part of the workflow for placing PMC scanned citations into MEDLINE/PubMed.

Publisher Back Issue Citations

In addition to the PMC back issue citations, NLM has received several publisher requests to include the citations from their own back issue scanning projects. We have begun working on this project with one publisher. The goal is to load citations for journal issues not previously included in MEDLINE/PubMed. New citations published from 1966 and up will be put into MEDLINE format. Citations loaded from the Third Party Back Issue project will not be indexed with MeSH. Also, we will add abstracts from publisher citations that are not found in MEDLINE citations. This will be a slow process, for it is dependent upon quality assurance (QA) testing and review efforts since this publisher supplied data has had no NLM sponsored QA.


The use of LinkOut has also increased and now 5,772 journals have LinkOut links. For PubMed citations, 47.8% have full text links and 10.3% have free full text links. These percentages are much higher for PubMed citations from 1999 on, 82.5% have full text links and 17.83% have free full text links. The usage of LinkOut has increased from last year to 26 million LinkOut hits per month, which is 1.1 million LinkOut hits per work day.

The LinkOut for Libraries program has also seen an increase in participation. There are now 1,733 libraries participating as of May 8, 2007.

NCBI/Genetic Alliance Web Resource

The National Center for Biotechnolgy Information (NCBI) worked with the Genetic Alliance to provide a new Web site feature on the Genetic Alliance Web site. This new feature is accessed through the "Disease InfoSearch" function on the Web site, and is designed to help patients, care givers, and health professionals easily locate and navigate information on genetic disorders.

NLM Gateway

NLM Gateway added access to a new collection this year, Profiles in Science. This brings the number of collections searchable in the NLM Gateway to twenty-three. Also this year, two new sets of abstracts from the Health Technology Assessment International meetings were added to Meetings Abstracts, and updates to HSRProj brings its total number of records to over 7,300.

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

As a follow-up on the MeSH Subheading Consolidation Proposal that was discussed here last year, we want to thank you for all of your feedback. NLM analyzed all of the comments, suggestions, and feedback. In addition, we took into consideration the potential impact for the searching public, the Network libraries, and internal NLM processes. The decision was made to retain the current subheadings in their present form, and this was announced in January 2007.


There have been several different activities in the area of training this year:

In the NLM Theater at the NLM exhibit booth, we will be discussing and demonstrating over fourteen NLM products and services. We are experimenting with recording the theater presentations using Adobe Connect, and will post them in the NLM Technical Bulletin along with the PowerPoint slides.

NLM Technical Bulletin

Usage for the NLM Technical Bulletin (TB) is over 500 visits per day and nearly 1,500 page views per day. The TB indexes now include an Environmental Health and Toxicology list in addition to the other subject-oriented indexes, PubMed and NLM Gateway.

NLM Technical Services

In April 2007, the Technical Services Division made available the 2007 edition of the NLM Classification. Both an online version and a PDF version are provided. There is also a revised animated tutorial (QuickTour) available to assist with searching the classification.

During this year, we made a change to how Title Abbreviations (TAs) are created. NLM is now accepting the title abbreviations assigned by the International Standard Serial Number Centre. These TAs will be modified to match NLM formatting/style, such as punctuation and capitalization. [Editor's Note: For more information see: NLM Accepts ISSN Centre Title Abbreviation Assignments. NLM Tech Bull. 2007 Mar-Apr;(355):e4.]

Data Distribution

The Data Distribution Program continues to grow, with research areas in academics, biotechnology, and software development companies leading the way. There were over 436 MEDLINE licensees in FY2006. Of these licensees, 153 were non-USA licensees.

Unified Medical Language System® (UMLS®)

There were four UMLS releases in 2006, which is the largest number of releases we have achieved in one year. The first 2007 release was in January with two others planned for this year. In addition to these releases, The MetamorphoSys software continues to be enhanced, improving functionality and usability.

The most recent news with the UMLS is the new SNOMED® CT licensing agreement that was put into place on April 26, 2007. It was announced that ownership of SNOMED CT transferred to the new International Health Terminology Standards Development Organisation (IHTSDO). NLM is the U.S. member and one of the nine founding members of IHTSDO, and is responsible for providing access to SNOMED CT data for the United States.


The DailyMed Web site provides high quality information about marketed drugs. The available information includes the FDA approved labels (package inserts) provided by the drug manufacturers. There are now more than 2,800 records on prescription drugs included in DailyMed.

Specialized Information Services (SIS)

Specialized Information Services (SIS) has also had a productive and busy year with a number of updates, changes, and new products:

Literature Selection Technical Review Committee (LSTRC)

The LSTRC committee meets three times a year to review new titles for inclusion in MEDLINE. A new Web page identifying newly selected titles for MEDLINE indexing was created. This page is updated approximately six weeks after each LSTRC meeting.


Thank you for your attention. Please stop by our exhibit booth, tell us what you like, and what you would like to see improved. We are always eager to hear your feedback.

MLA 2007: NLM® Online Users' Meeting: Remarks. NLM Tech Bull. 2007 May-Jun;(356):e7a.