|September 14, 2004 [posted]|
|New Entrez Database: NLM Catalog|
LM has created a new Entrez database, the NLM Catalog. The NLM Catalog provides access to NLM bibliographic data for over 1.2 million books, journals, audiovisuals, computer software, electronic resources, and other materials via the National Center for Biotechnolgy Information (NCBI) Entrez retrieval system. The new database is an alternate search interface to the bibliographic records resident in LocatorPlus and supports automated mapping features and explosions of MeSH terms. The NLM Catalog is available from the PubMed homepage from the "Search" pull-down menu and from the sidebar. It is also a hyperlink under "Library Catalogs & Services" and "List of NLM Databases and Electronic Resources" on the NLM homepage.
Using the NLM Catalog
Use the NLM Catalog to search for terms and then link to LocatorPlus for information about NLM holdings and item availability. The search features mimic, as far as possible, those available in PubMed, especially for searching of subjects that map to MeSH (see Figure 1), author names, and journal title abbreviations.
To search the primary subject or a term with a topical subheading, follow the format below:
Additional search indexes commonly used by searchers of bibliographic records are available for full author names, corporate/conference authors, and other identifiers such as ISSN and ISBN.
When search results are displayed, click on Details on the Features Bar to view the search as it was translated by the NLM Catalog.
The Summary (default) display includes, when present, author(s), title, edition, publication information, and NLM ID (see Figure 2). The NLM ID and the Links dropdown menu (see Figure 2) provide a link to the NLM holdings and item availability of the record in LocatorPlus, which appears in a new window. (Note: when you are finished viewing the record, close the LocatorPlus window and return to the NLM Catalog results).
Alternatively, choose a display format (e.g., Expanded, Brief, Full, Subject, or XML) from the Display pull-down menu. See NLM Catalog Help for a full description of the display formats available.
Search results in the NLM Catalog are displayed in reverse publication date order, latest to earliest, except the most recent week's additions which appear at the top. Records that do not contain a date of publication sort at the bottom. Using the SORT pull-down menu, the user can sort the results by author, title, or NLM ID.
The Limits feature allows the user to restrict searches by language, material type (e.g., book, book chapter, journal, DVD-CDROM) or publication year. Users may also limit to titles in NLM's collection. Paralleling PubMed, there is a "Single Record Matcher" feature available from the NLM Catalog sidebar.
Difference between the NLM Catalog and LocatorPlus
Use LocatorPlus when:
The NLM Catalog is an alternative search interface to the records in LocatorPlus under the Entrez umbrella. As opposed to LocatorPlus, it is updated every weekday, not continuously. Records in the NLM Catalog are viewable and available for download in an XML format.
The benefits of the NLM Catalog are that it supports the explosion of MeSH terms and incorporates many automated search features of the Entrez retrieval system. In the NLM Catalog, it is possible to limit searches to a major subject concept and to identify the primary subjects in display of retrieved citations. Further, the NLM Catalog allows the searcher to quickly retrieve and combine searches which have large retrieval sets. Records in the NLM Catalog do not include information about NLM holdings and item status information; these data are only available through hyperlinks to LocatorPlus. Authority records for names and titles are not currently available in the NLM Catalog.
Use the NLM Catalog when:
For information on the NLM Gatway searching the NLM Catalog please see: Technical Notes. NLM Tech Bull. 2004 Jul-Aug;(339):e1.
Look for articles on advanced searching techniques in future issues of the NLM Technical Bulletin.
By Alice E. Jacobs
Jacobs AE. New Entrez Database: NLM Catalog. NLM Tech Bull. 2004 Sep-Oct;(340):e2.