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NLM Technical Bulletin

NLM Technical Bulletin. 1999 September-October; 310

In This Issue:

dotTechnical Notes - e1

Searching POPLINE on Internet Grateful Med - e2

Highlights of the New Beta Version of PubMed - e3

MEDLINE Logs 10 Millionth Journal Citation - e4

NLM Online Training Program - 2000 - e5

Images from the History of Medicine - e6

Farewell to ELHILL - e7

Current Issue


Back Issues


Technical Notes

MeSH® Tools 2000 Available

The Medical Subject Headings - Annotated Alphabetic List, 2000; Medical Subject Headings - Tree Structures, 2000; and Permuted Medical Subject Headings, 2000 may now be ordered from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS).

Order and pricing information for these publications can be found on NLM's Web site at: [Link no longer available as of June 4, 2018.]. To see the listings for the MeSH tools click on the letter M and scroll down.

Questions concerning orders may be directed to NTIS at 800-553-NTIS (6847). Callers from outside the U.S. including Canada may reach NTIS at 703-605-6000. Questions about standing orders should be directed to the NTIS Subscription Section at 703-487-4630.

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New Web Site for Licensees of NLM Data

Currently, licensees of NLM databases (e.g., commercial vendors) receive paper copies of documentation (e.g., notices of retractions, correction of dosage errors in abstracts) and other notifications included with tape shipments. This information is now also available on NLM's Web site at

The development of this Web site is ongoing; and we anticipate posting documentation for additional leased databases within the next several weeks. In general, the MEDLINE documentation will be posted each Monday after the online update at NLM has occurred. Documentation for other NLM databases distributed to licensees on tape will also be posted on the Web shortly after the updates for these databases at NLM. This site is where NLM will post information regarding its forthcoming XML-based data distribution format, as it becomes available.

Licensees will continue to receive paper copies of database documentation included with tape shipments for an indefinite period of time.

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New NCBI Web Site Highlighting Scientific Research

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of NLM, has launched a new Web site called Coffee Break at Coffee Break is a collection of short reports on recent biological discoveries. Each report incorporates interactive tutorials that show how bioinformatics tools are used as a part of the research process. The Coffee Break links to PubMed and BLAST tutorials illustrate how a search on the topic being discussed might be formulated and the results you would retrieve. Please note that you are NOT connected to the actual search engines from these links, but to a tutorial with a pre-fabricated search and retrieval.

Past Coffee Break topics include: Dissecting the mechanism of our internal clock and What do Lyme disease and syphilis have in common. Currently, NCBI staff write all Coffee Break reports and the site will be updated with a new article approximately every two weeks. For more information and for contact links, please go to the Coffee Break Web site.

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What's New With MEDLINEplus

On September 23, NLM released its latest version of MEDLINEplus. We listened to our users through direct comments, a formal usability study, and site statistics and made changes to help the public find the health information they need the most. The front page, with its new look, provides the user with more direct links to health topics, the heart of MEDLINEplus. Health topics, which include diseases, conditions, wellness issues, are now arranged both by letters of the alphabet and by topic categories, such as "Cancers" or "Lungs and breathing."

Every topic now also displays links to related topics and categories for easy navigation around the site. For example, if you don't see what you need on the "Allergy" page, you can directly link to the related topic "Asthma." Other improvements include direct links from the "sidebar" to lists of "Hospitals/health facilities," and "Doctors/dentists" Finally, the new "About MEDLINEplus" page includes a message from the Director, the selection guidelines, and how to link your site to MEDLINEplus.

Although it includes over 200 health topics, MEDLINEplus is still a work in progress, and NLM welcomes your comments. You can submit these through the link at the bottom of every page.

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NLM is introducing its new Web-based DOCLINE system later this year. General information regarding system requirements and scheduling is available on the New DOCLINE Web page (

Effective October 1, 1999, dial-up access will be available through MCI/Tymnet. Instructions for accessing DOCLINE through MCI/Tymnet are available at [This link was removed because it is no longer valid.]

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ELHILL and TOXNET Direct Access End September 30, 1999

This is the final reminder that NLM is ending all direct public billed access to ELHILL and TOXNET command language on September 30, 1999. As previously announced in the NLM Technical Bulletin in the March-April 1999 issue (, users need to switch to NLM's Web-based search engines, PubMed ( and Internet Grateful Med (, LocatorPlus ( and the TOXNET Web Interface at

Final invoices or Statements of Account will be sent out during October, reflecting usage during the July-September 1999 quarter and/or any outstanding charges. For more information about billing, please see the Technical Note in the July-August 1999 issue of the NLM Technical Bulletin, titled NTIS Billing Plans for ELHILL Demise at

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MeSH® Files Available for Downloading

The 2000 MeSH in ASCII Format and the 2000 MeSH Trees in ASCII format are now available for downloading at

The 2000 MeSH tools may also be ordered from NTIS in printed format. See the Technical Note in this issue, titled MeSH® Tools 2000 - Available, at

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List of Serials Indexed for Online Users 2000 to be Available Electronically, Printed Publication Discontinued

In July, NLM asked users to comment on a proposal to discontinue printing the List of Serials Indexed for Online Users (LSIOU). All of the 150 responses received were reviewed and considered. Although some users preferred the idea of obtaining indexing information online from sources such as LocatorPlus, the majority voiced a preference for a publication like the LSIOU that can be downloaded easily and used in a printed format.

NLM has decided to continue to produce the List of Serials Indexed for Online Users, although not in the printed format. We plan to provide a web-based version of the LSIOU by the spring of 2000 so that users who want to download the data and/or print it will be able to do so easily and quickly.

The List of Serials Indexed for Online Users 2000 will be in the same layout as previous editions. The data will come from NLM's Integrated Library System, as does LocatorPlus, and will include the following fields: title, title abbreviation, beginning and ending years, ISSN, acid-free notation, NLM unique identifier, preceding and succeeding entries.

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New SPACELINE Brochure

NASA's SPACELINE Office has recently produced an updated brochure promoting the SPACELINE database. SPACELINE ( is produced cooperatively with the National Library of Medicine and can be searched with NLM's Internet Grateful Med (IGM) ( As with all NLM databases, there is no charge for searching.

The brochure explains the SPACELINE search screen in IGM and also shows a sample SPACELINE record. To request copies of this free brochure, send a request to

You may also want to visit the NASA SPACE Life Sciences Web site.

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Farewell to Our Colleague

Toby Port, a long time editor and writer for the NLM Technical Bulletin, has left NLM for a new position at the U.S. Patent Office.

During her 10-year stay at NLM, she saw many changes to both NLM's systems as well as the procedures for the production of the NLM Technical Bulletin. During Toby's tenure, the NLM Technical Bulletin moved from a simple document created using a basic word processor, then to a more polished publication using desktop publishing techniques and finally to its present form as a Web-based publication.

We wish her well in her new position. She will be missed.

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Last updated: 04 June 2018