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NLM Technical Bulletin

NLM Technical Bulletin. 1999 November-December; 311

In This Issue:

Technical Notes - e1

Year-End Processing - e2

MeSH Coming Attractions - e3

Fees and New Format for Leasing NLM Databases in 2000 - e4

Scope Expands for PubMed and MEDLINE - e5

dotMEDLINE Data Changes Expected - e6

Hands On - e7


2000 Update Schedule for MEDLINE on PubMed and Internet Grateful Med [corrected 1999/11/16]

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MEDLINE® Data Changes Expected

The NLM is in the process of designing a new Data Creation and Maintenance System (DCMS) for journal citations. This new system, which will be used to create indexed citations for MEDLINE, will be phased in from January to April 2000. A few of the more notable data changes that are part of the new system are explained in this article.

Data Changes
1. NLM will no longer limit the number of authors taken for an article beginning with journal issues having a 2000 year of publication. This supersedes the earlier policy of taking up to 25 authors, in effect for journal issues published from 1996-1999. When an article had more than 25 authors, the first 24 and the last author were included in the MEDLINE citation. The new policy will include all authors listed in the authorship area for an article, i.e, immediately above or below the title, or immediately following a letter or editorial.

2. NLM will "index through" more journals, greatly reducing the number of selectively indexed journal titles. This change is also tied to 2000 year of publication issues and reflects the general expansion of PubMed and MEDLINE into life sciences ( The small number of journals that will continue to be indexed selectively will be those that routinely include articles that are completely unrelated to medicine or the life sciences. Examples of those journals include general science journals, e.g., Science and Nature, which publish articles on subjects such as plate tectonics and quantum physics, and single-subject journals not directly related to the life sciences (chemistry, radiation, electronics, etc.), e.g., Acta Chem Scand and J Electron Microsc (Tokyo). For citations created from the new data creation system regardless of the data entry stream (SGML, keyboarding, or scanning/optical character recognition), articles that are out-of-scope will have citations that are reviewed for bibliographic accuracy and completeness, as is currently the case for citations coming from the SGML data entry stream only. These citations for out-of-scope articles will not be indexed with MeSH but will appear in the PubMed database.

3. NLM will institute a corporate author field. In the past, corporate authors were included in the title field of a MEDLINE citation where they could be text word and title text word searchable. NLM has no plans to go back and maintain existing records that have corporate author identification included in article titles. The separate field is for new, prospective citations. As with personal authors, NLM will take corporate names as they are published in the article; no authority control will be done for corporate names. Corporate authors must appear in the authorship area of the article or they will not be added to PubMed. The tentative plan for PubMed retrieval is to have this new field be text word searchable.

4. The first author affiliation for the address field will no longer be edited to delete street information or redundant data. NLM will enter affiliation information as it appears in the article or take it as it is transmitted electronically to NLM from publishers. NLM will continue to add the e-mail address to the affiliation for the first author when available from the text, and the country designation of USA as appropriate.

5. There will be no limit on the length of abstracts. Currently the maximum length is 4,096 characters which is rarely reached. (NLM stopped truncating abstracts at the 250-word or 400-word limits effective on January 1, 1996.)

Expect to see the first two items above (author and "index-through" changes) reflected in PubMed effective for journals with a 2000 year of publication, regardless of which indexing system is used to create and index the citations. Items 3-5 and the out-of-scope citations from the keyboarding and scanning data entry streams are tied to the implementation of the new indexing system (DCMS) which is expected to be phased in during January-April 2000; only citations released from the new system will contain those data changes. Citations released from the old system (AIMS, Automated Indexing Management System) will follow the old policies.

--prepared by Lou Knecht
Bibliographic Services Division

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Last updated: 18 April 2012