Organizations publish annual reports to document activities to members or the public, to satisfy organizational or government mandates, to promote orderly progress toward organizational goals, or to enhance public relations. They may provide an illustration of events over time, show the changes and trends in the delivery of health care or reflect the concerns of organizations that help shape the progress of health in. the U.S. and abroad. Some reports focus on social, political, or economic issues that contribute to understanding the overall picture of medicine and health. Annual reports can be a useful source for policy makers, historians and scholars.
Annual reports of relevance to biomedicine and health care include those from centers of medical education and research, private foundations providing support for medical research, medical centers and hospitals, health-related societies, disease related associations, and international, federal and state agencies.
NLM selectively collects annual reports to document the history and progress of significant institutions and organizations. The collection emphasis is on annual reports that are issued by international research, development or reporting organizations; national-level research institutes of any country; the department of health of any country; or influential or historically important health organizations in the United States.
The nature and quality of content is the most critical factor in selecting titles for the NLM collection. Collection emphasis is on annual reports that contain significant statistics or research results not reported elsewhere, photographs, biographical and historical information, and unique cultural, political or social information.
Since maintaining a comprehensive collection of annual reports is beyond the reach of NLM, the goal is to achieve a balance which includes reports from important institutions and diverse types of organizations, and to follow these over time. Annual reports from institutions of more regional and local interest should be the responsibility of state or the National Network of Libraries of Medicine