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November 19, 2008 [posted]

Journals Database: A Refresher and Introduction to New Features

graphical image of the letter S

Starting in July 2008 new search options were introduced in the Entrez Journals database. The new options are currently available either from the Preview/Index tab or directly in the search box. Some of these new search options have also been added to the Limits screen. In addition, the Full Display view has changed to include new fields.

New Search Options

Search Field

Description and Full Display Field Name

Search Tag

How to search:

Acid-Free Description: Journals identified as having some or all of the journal issues printed on acid-free paper and have a notice in the journal to that effect

Field Name: Acid-Free
N.A. acidfree
Currently Indexed Version Description: Journals identified as being indexed from either the print or electronic version

The search identifies the version of the journal that NLM® currently indexes; for titles no longer indexed the value is the last version used for indexing.

Field Name: Version Currently Indexed
N.A. For journals indexed from Print version:


currentlyindexedprint AND currentlyindexed

For journals indexed from Electronic version:


currentlyindexedelectronic AND currentlyindexed

Note: Combine with the search string "currentlyindexed," or select that option from Limits, to restrict to currently indexed journals.
End Year Description: Last year of publication of a journal

Field Name: Publication End Year
[eyr] 2001 [eyr]

To search a range of years:

1966:2007 [eyr]
Indexed For Subset Description: Currently indexed journals with specific journal citation subset(s) assigned.

Field Name: Current Subset


jsubset? Where ? represents the Subset value

jsubsetaim - retrieves currently indexed list of Core Clinical journals

jsubsetd - retrieves currently indexed list of Dental journals

jsubsetim - retrieves currently indexed list of Index Medicus® journals

jsubsetk - retrieves currently indexed list of Consumer Health journals

jsubsetn - retrieves currently indexed list of Nursing journals

Note: All of these are also available as options under Limits.
Indexing Treatment Description: Journals currently selectively or fully indexed

The selectively indexed search retrieves general science, chemistry, and physics journals where the articles are not all within the life sciences scope for MEDLINE®.


Fully indexed:


Selectively indexed:

ISSN Type Description: Print or Electronic ISSNs

Field Name: ISSN; explanatory word displays in the parenthesis after the number.


print [is]

electronic [is]
Language Description: Language in which the journal articles are published

Field Name: Language


eng [la]

english [la]

Note: Language is also available under Limits
Place of Publication Description: Most recent country of publication of the journal

Field Name: Place of Publication


greece [pl]
PubMed Central® Holdings

Description: Journals currently in PubMed Central (PMC) and forthcoming PMC journals

Field Name: PMC Availability


PMC journals:
Includes journals that cease depositing in PMC.

Forthcoming PMC journals:

Note: Also available under Limits
Start Year Description: First year of publication of the journal

Field Name: Publication Start Year


2007 [syr]

To search a range of years:

1966:2007 [syr]


Please be advised that NLM follows the practice of a single bibliographic record when cataloging serials (see Cataloging Changes for Serials Issued Simultaneously in Print and Online). Information about all media versions of a journal are in one record, e.g., a serial published both in print and online would have both a print ISSN and an electronic ISSN in one NLM serial record. If the print version subsequently ceases for a journal that was being published both in print and online, then the print ISSN remains in the NLM serial record, and NLM adds a clarifying note to the 911 MARC field that can be viewed in LocatorPlus®. Any Journals database searches including one of the following tagged search terms may be affected by this policy: print [is] or electronic [is]. Accurate and current data in the ISSN fields are dependent on the publisher providing the appropriate ISSN for a journal.

Journal List Searching

There are various ways to generate journal lists:

  1. Choose from the Current Subsets menu available from the Journals database Limits (see Figure 4). Examples include PMC Journals, Currently Indexed in MEDLINE from electronic version, and Nursing journals.

  2. Search the Subject Terms from the link on the Journals homepage. Subject Terms are broad MeSH® headings assigned to indexed journals to give an overall indication of the scope of the journal. (See New Search and Display Options Available in the Journals database.) For example, after clicking on the Subject Terms link, then click on the entry for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. That retrieves all journals assigned that subject term. Set the Currently Indexed for MEDLINE Limit and rerun the search to restrict the resulting list to currently indexed titles.

  3. Search the Journals database using the search box for a specific journal subset. (See Table 1.)

    Journal List Also Available
    from Limits
    Enter in Search Box
    Currently Indexed in MEDLINE x currentlyindexed
    PubMed Central Journals x journalspmc
    PubMed Central Forthcoming Journals x journalspmcforthcoming
    Consumer Health Journals Limit x jsubsetk
    Core Clinical Journals (AIM) Limit x jsubsetaim
    Dental Journals x jsubsetd
    Index Medicus Journals (IM) x jsubsetim
    Journals Indexed from the Electronic Version x currentlyindexedelectronic
    Nursing Journals x jsubsetn

    Table 1

Sort Options

Two new sort options have been added (see Figure 1):

The default is to display a title match followed by journals in alphabetical order by serial title, ignoring initial articles (such as A, An, The).

Journal Display

The Full Display in the Journals database now has additional fields that correspond to many of the search options (see Figure 2). In particular, please note these fields:

Send Journal List to PubMed®

There are two ways to create a journal list in the Journals database and then automatically search for the journal citations from those journals in PubMed:

  1. Build a PubMed search for selected, multiple journals:

    a. Run a search in the Journals database and on the results page(s) click the check boxes to select the journals.

    b. Select Search Box with OR from the Send to menu.

    c. To add additional journals continue searching the Journals database and adding the journals to the Search Box using the Send to Search Box with OR feature.

    d. When your list of journals is complete, click the Search PubMed button. The Details of the PubMed search will show all journal titles you selected while in the Journals database.

  2. Send the entire results of a Journals database search to PubMed (without using the check boxes):

    a. Run a search in the Journals database. For example, choose Education as a Subject term (using the Subject terms link from the information bullets on the Journals database homepage). This will run a search in the Journals database. (If you want only currently indexed journals, then click on the Limits tab and set the limit for Currently Indexed in MEDLINE and run the search again.) The actual titles are displayed here in the Journals database.

    b. Choose PubMed Links from the Display pull-down menu (see Figure 3). This sends the journal titles search to PubMed. History will show this search as:

    PubMed Links for Journals (Search Education[st] Limits: Currently indexed in MEDLINE)

Limits Screen

The Limits screen (see Figure 4) has been enhanced to provide options to restrict your journals search by Language of the journal and by journal subsets (Nursing Journals, Consumer Health Journals, Dental Journals, etc.).

Remember the Journals database contains journals cited in various NCBI databases. While PubMed is the predominant database represented, other NCBI databases (notably GenBank) are the reason for certain journals being included in the Journals database. These new search options and display fields help to clarify the status of a journal.

By Sara Tybaert
MEDLARS Management Section

Tybaert S. Journals Database: A Refresher and Introduction to New Features. NLM Tech Bull. 2008 Nov-Dec; (365):e8.

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