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NLM Technical Bulletin

NLM Technical Bulletin 1997 May-Jun; 296

In This Issue:

dot Free Web-Based Access

MLA 1997


ChemID: SUPERLIST Addition

Changes to PDQ

Changes in CONSER/ Non-CONSER

Gold Standard Search

Technical Notes

Current Issue


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Free Web-Based Access to NLM Databases

Press Release

On June 26, 1997, a press conference hosted by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) was held in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, Washington, DC to announce free Web-based access to MEDLINE through PubMed and Internet Grateful Med. Vice-President Albert Gore demonstrated PubMed at this briefing. The complete press release for the press conference is available on the NLM Web site ( under the heading News.

Web Access Points

You may go to any one of the following Web sites for free access to NLM databases. - Under Hot Topics, click on [This link was removed because it is no longer valid.] - for access to PubMed.

[This link was removed because it is no longer valid.] - for access to Internet Grateful Med.

User ID Codes

No code is required to search on PubMed. Currently searching Internet Grateful Med (IGM) requires a valid User ID code and password; however, users will not be billed for IGM searches beginning June 26, 1997. A new version of Internet Grateful Med, to be released in July, will allow database access without a User ID code. Loansome Doc currently requires a User ID code and this will continue in the updated version of IGM, projected for release in July. You will still be able to register for a User ID code at the IGM Web site or with a paper application form, as in the past.

Comparing Web Access Methods


PubMed is an experimental search system currently available on the Web. The search features include:

  • Access to MEDLINE (1966 - current) and PREMEDLINE.

  • Two search interfaces. The initial screen offers a search box to enter your search terms or you may choose to use the Advanced Search screen and search with MeSH headings; use Boolean logic; and/or restrict your search terms to specific fields.

  • The ability to click on "See Related Articles" to locate other relevant articles.

  • Links to publishers' Web sites for the full text of journal articles. Initially, 24 journals are available with this feature, some by subscription only.

  • A Clinical Queries search form with search filters for diagnosis, therapy, etiology, and prognosis.

  • Links to a molecular biology database of DNA/protein sequences and 3-D structure data.

Internet Grateful Med

Internet Grateful Med's search features include:

  • Access to MEDLINE (1966- current), PREMEDLINE, AIDSLINE, HealthSTAR. Several additional databases, (AIDSDRUGS, AIDSTRIALS, DIRLINE, HISTLINE, HSRPROJ, OLDMEDLINE, and SDILINE) will be available on the new version of IGM projected to be operational online in July 1997.

  • Use of the full range of MeSH headings and the UMLS Metathesaurus.

  • The ability to limit searches by language, Publication Type, age groups, etc.,

  • Loansome Doc document ordering feature.

Billed Access Remains

Free database access is limited to Web-based searching via the Internet because of the great savings to NLM in telecommunications and software costs.

Access to all NLM non-Web based systems will continue to be billed. This includes direct command language searching of ELHILL; searching the TOXNET and/or PDQ files; and searching using the DOS, Macintosh, and Windows versions of Grateful Med, whether access is by direct dial, FTS2000 or the Internet.


The Library's announcement of free MEDLINE is only one step toward bringing quality health information to those Americans who search the Web. NLM looks forward to working with you to provide the best and most useful information products and services. Please send your comments via e-mail to nlmtechbull@mail.nlm.nih.govv. Stay tuned for more articles about Web-based services in future issues of the Technical Bulletin.

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Last updated: 13 April 2012