Vishnumaya, R. S.
DLIS, University of Kerala
• International information systems are organized
to serve the needs of developed as well as
developing countries on co-operative basis.
• These are established to store recorded
information and retrieve it expeditiously.
• They provide free exchange of information
among scientists in various countries.
• The major International information systems
& services are INIS, AGRIS, INSPEC, BIOSIS,
• MEDLARS (Medical Literature Analysis &
Retrieval System) is an online computer
searching system & a bibliographic service
started by NLM, Maryland (USA).
National Library of Medicine
(NLM): An Overview
• The NLM, on the campus of the National
Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland
(USA), founded in 1836.
• In 1956, NLM came under the Act of Congress
of USA & was declared an apex library in the
field of Medical Sciences.
• The world’s largest biomedical library, NLM
maintains & makes available a vast print
collection & produces electronic information
sources on a wide range of topics.
• It also supports & conducts research
development, & training in biomedical
informatics & health information technology.
Publications of NLM
• Index Medicus (1879)- Monthly
• Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)-1983
• Cumulated Index Medicus (1992)
• Abridged Index Medicus (1993)
• The work on MEDLARS began in 1960 & the
system has several major revisions.
• Came into operation in 1964.
• MEDLARS is a computerized storage &
retrieval system to furnish bibliographic
access to NLM’s large biomedical collection.
• It became operational with the 1st computerproduced issue of ‘Index Medicus’, a
comprehensive subject- author index, to the
articles from the world’s biomedical journals.
Activities of MEDLARS
• Preparing of citations for the publication of
• Maintenance of several computer- readable
databases including MEDLINE.
• Operation of online network.
• Provides SDILINE.
Scope/ Subject matter
• Veterinary medicine
• Allied health
• TOXLINE (Toxicology information Online)
• SDILINE (Selective Dissemination of
• SERLINE (Serials Online)
• POPLINE (Population Information Online)
• RTECS (Registry of Toxic effects of Chemical
Substances Online )
• HISTLINE (History of Medicine Online)
• MEDLINE (MEDLARS Online)
• MEDLINE is a literature database of life
sciences and biomedical information
introduced in 1971.
• It includes medicine, nursing, pharmacy,
dentistry, veterinary medicine & health care.
• It can be searchable via PubMed & NLM’s
National Center for Biotechnology
Information’s Entrez system.
• MEDLINE uses Medical Subject Headings
(MeSH) for information retrieval.
• Engines designed to search MEDLINE (such as
PubMed & Entrez) generally use a Boolean
expression combining MeSH terms, words in
abstract and title of the article, author
names, date of publication, etc.
Inclusion of journals
• More than 6,000 of the world's leading
biomedical journals are indexed in MEDLINE.
• Selection is based on the recommendations
of a panel, the Literature Selection Technical
Review Committee (LSTRC), based on
scientific policy and scientific quality.
• PubMed is a free database comprises more than
22 million citations for biomedical literature
from MEDLINE, life science journals, & other
• Citations may include links to full- text content
from PubMed Central & publisher websites.
• Available via the NCBI Entrez retrieval system.
• MedlinePlus is a free web service produced &
maintained by NLM.
• Provides consumer health information for
patients, families, & health care providers.
• Brings together information from the US.
NLM, the National Institutes of Health (NIH),
other US.govt.agencies & health related
• MEDLARS is a computerized biomedical
bibliographic storage & retrieval system
operated by the NLM.
• It was 1st introduced in 1964 & evolved into
an online system in 1971 called MEDLINE.
• The publication, Index Medicus was ceased in
• Khanna, J.K. (1996). Handbook of Library
Information Systems & Services (Pp. 173-188).
New Delhi: BEACON Books.
• www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed retrieved on
• www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus retrieved on
• www.medlineindia.com retrieved on 28.06.2013.