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December 14, 2010 [posted]

NLM Catalog: New Search Features for Journals Cited in Entrez Databases

On December 13, 2010, NLM launched a redesigned NLM Catalog that implements new search and display options related to journal searching. Most of these options were originally available in the now retired Entrez Journals Database. The new options are available either from Limits or directly in the search box. In addition, NLM Catalog has a new display format available for those journals cited in Entrez databases, called Journal, that will include all the MEDLINE® indexing related data from the old Journals Database Full display as well as some new data. See the article, NLM® Catalog and Journals Databases Merge , for additional information.

See Table 1 for a list of new NLM Catalog search options for searching journals in the NCBI databases.

Table 1: New Search Options in NLM Catalog for Journals
Data Search Field Description Search Tag How to search:
Acid-Free 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
Broad Subject Terms Subject terms are assigned by NLM to MEDLINE journals to describe the journal's overall scope. All of these subject terms are MeSH headings. [st]

Two methods:

  • Direct search: nursing [st]


  • Link to Broad Subject Terms from the NLM Catalog homepage. On the listing of terms assigned to MEDLINE journals, click on a term.
Current Format Status This search retrieves a list of journals that NLM has acquired only in the electronic version. [cfs] Search:
electronic only [cfs]

Limits – Journal Subsets:
"Journals in Electronic only format"
Version Currently Indexed Journals identified as being indexed from either the print or electronic version.
The value 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 Indexed.
N.A. Note: Combine with the search term "currentlyindexed," or select that option from Limits, to restrict to currently indexed journals.

For journals indexed from Print version:

For journals indexed from Electronic version:

Current Indexing Status A journal that is currently indexed has MeSH terms assigned to citations for articles that are within scope for MEDLINE. A journal that is not currently indexed may be in that status because NLM chose to cease indexing the title; the journal ceased publishing; or the journal's title changed and indexing continued with the new title.   currentlyindexed
Current Subset This value reflects the MEDLINE subset to which this journal is currently assigned.   jsubset? where ? is the citation subset for the journal
End Year 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 Currently indexed journals with specific journal citation subset(s) assigned.

Field Name: Current Subset
N.A. 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 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. N.A. Fully indexed:

Selectively indexed:
ISO Abbreviation International Organization for Standardization abbreviation. [iso] jama [iso]
ISSN International Standard Serial Number. [is] 2151-464x [is]
ISSN Type Print or Electronic ISSNs

Field Name: ISSN; explanatory word displays in the parentheses after the number.
[is] print [is]
electronic [is]
linking [is]
Language Language in which the journal articles are published.

Field Name: Language
[la] eng [la]
english [la]

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

Field Name: Place of Publication
[pl] greece [pl]
PubMed Central® Holdings Journals currently in PubMed Central (PMC) and forthcoming PMC journals.

Field Name: PMC Availability
N.A. PubMed Central Journals:
Includes journals that ceased depositing in PMC.

PubMed Central forthcoming journals:

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

Field Name: Publication Start Year
[syr] 2007 [syr]

To search a range of years:
1966:2007 [syr]
Title Abbreviation NLM Title Abbreviation. [ta] lancet [ta]


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. For example, a serial published both in print and online would have both a print ISSN and an electronic ISSN in one NLM catalog 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 catalog record, and NLM adds a clarifying note to the 911 MARC field that can be viewed in LocatorPlus®. Any NLM Catalog database searches including the tagged search terms, print [is] or electronic [is], may be affected by this policy. 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 Journal Subsets menu available from the NLM Catalog Limits (see Figure 1). Examples include:
    • PubMed Central Journals
    • Journals indexed from the electronic version
    • Nursing journals

    Users can combine these subsets with search terms or other limits, such as, country of publication.

  2. Search the Broad Subject Terms from the link on the NLM Catalog homepage under "NLM Catalog Tools." Broad Subject Terms are MeSH headings assigned to indexed journals to give an overall indication of the scope of the journal. For example, click on the Broad Subject Terms link and then click on the entry for Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. This will retrieve all journals assigned that subject term. Select the "Currently Indexed for MEDLINE" Limit and rerun the search to restrict the resulting list to currently indexed titles.

  3. Search the NLM Catalog using Limits or the search box for a specific journal subset (see Table 2) below.

Table 2: Creating Journal Lists
Journal List Limits Enter in Search Box
Journal referenced in NCBI databases  
Only PubMed Journals  
Currently Indexed in MEDLINE currentlyindexed
Currently or Previously Indexed in MEDLINE  
PubMed Central Journals journalspmc
PubMed Central Forthcoming Journals journalspmcforthcoming
Consumer Health Journals Limit jsubsetk
Journals in Electronic-Only Format  
Core Clinical Journals (AIM) Limit jsubsetaim
Dental Journals jsubsetd
Index Medicus Journals (IM) jsubsetim
Journals Indexed from the Electronic Version currentlyindexedelectronic
Nursing Journals jsubsetn

Sort Options

There are three sort options (see Figure 2):

The default is to display results in publication date order.

Journal Display

The new Journal format display in the NLM Catalog, available only for journals cited in Entrez databases, has additional fields that correspond to many of the search options (see Figure 3). These new search options and display fields help to clarify the indexing status of a journal (see Table 1 above).

Send a Journal List to PubMed

You can create a journal list in the NLM Catalog and then send it to PubMed to retrieve citations from those journals. Here's how:

  1. Run a search in NLM Catalog (example: jsubsetn to retrieve a list of nursing journals).
  2. In the "Find related data" feature on the right side of the results page, select PubMed (see Figure 4).
  3. Click the "Find items" button to send your search to PubMed and retrieve all citations for the list of journals you searched in the NLM Catalog.

Linking from PubMed to Journals in NCBI Databases

In the past PubMed had a link on the homepage under "More Resources" to the Journals Database. The link will change to "Journals in NCBI Databases." The Links Menu option offered when the journal title abbreviation link in the Abstract display is clicked will change from Journals to NLM Catalog.

Additional Information

For more information on the NLM Catalog see:

By Sara Tybaert
MEDLARS Management Section

Tybaert S. NLM Catalog: New Search Features for Journals Cited in Entrez Databases. NLM Tech Bull. 2010 Nov-Dec;(377):e19.

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