|November 7, 2000 [posted]|
|NLM Gateway: Your Entrance to the Knowledge Resources of the National Library of Medicine|
n October 16, 2000, the NLM Gateway was released to the public. The NLM Gateway (http://gateway.nlm.nih.gov) is a new Web-based system that allows users of NLM services to initiate searches in multiple retrieval systems from one interface (see Figure 1), providing "one-stop searching" for many of NLM's information resources. The NLM Gateway was developed by the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications.
Gateway's Scope of Coverage
With information from many different resources, the Gateway uses data categories as its organization scheme. Each database or information resource is a collection, and each collection is assigned to a category. Categories are based primarily on information format, with the exception of consumer health. While consumer health information may potentially be found in any category, the consumer health category highlights information intended primarily for patients, their families and the general public.
The Gateway will provide access to the information found in an increasing number of NLM retrieval systems in several phases. In the first phase, users are able to access information from the collections in the table below. Collections that will eventually be found only in the Gateway are denoted with an asterisk (*). They are now also searchable via Internet Grateful Med (IGM), a system that will be retired in phases over the coming months.
Gateway access to additional NLM retrieval systems will happen over time in several development phases. Among the resources to be added to the Gateway are Directory of Health Organizations (DIRLINE), ClinicalTrials.gov, and Health Services/Technology Assessment Text (HSTAT).
Searching the Gateway
Once the user has entered terms and clicked on the Search button, the Gateway presents a Results Summary (see Figure 2). A table displays each category with the number of items found, and buttons to display the search results or view the details of the search strategy.
When the user clicks on the Display Results button for Journal Citations, the search results are presented in a brief format (see Figure 3). Brief formats are customized for each collection, and match the native retrieval system (e.g., PubMed and LocatorPlus) as much as possible (see Figure 4).
On the Results page (see Figure 3), the user navigates in one of three ways. The next page and previous page arrows allows moving forward or back one page. The Jump to Page button allows users to move to a specific page in the results. Simply type the desired page number in the box, and click on the Jump to Page button. The Jump to Collection button brings the user to the first page of the specified collection. For example, to view OLDMEDLINE results, change the Pick a Collection pull-down menu to OLDMEDLINE, and click the Jump to Collection button. To view the results of another category, click on the Results button on the Gateway Function bar. The Results Summary will be displayed, and the user can choose another category.
To display the expanded view of one item, click the Expand Item button. To manipulate multiple items at one time, use the Download or Display function. Click the Download or Display button, set your choices for number of items, destination, details, and format, and click on the Go button. Results may be displayed in the Web browser, displayed in a text format for printing, saved to a file, or sent via e-mail. The user may view items in a brief, expanded or complete level of detail. Items are available in three formats: unlabelled, labelled (full field name), or export (abbreviated field name). The export format is used for importing data into bibliographic management programs.
For PubMed citations, a Related Articles button is available from the brief and expanded results pages. Links to full-text, when available, are on the expanded results page.
Users can set preferences to adapt the Gateway to their needs, such as specifying which elements of a record they wish to see in the display of results. A "locker" is used to permanently store selected results for displaying, printing, and ordering. Both features are available on the Gateway Features bar. To take advantage of the Preferences or Locker feature, the user must login to the Gateway after registering for a free User ID and password.
More to Come
By Sonya Shooshan
Shooshan S. NLM Gateway: Your Entrance to the Knowledge Resources of the National Library of Medicine. NLM Tech Bull. 2000 Nov-Dec;(317):e1.