Currently viewing the tag: "medline"
MEDLINE computer with Medical Subject Headings book, circa 1974 Image source:  U.S. National Library of Medicine Digital Collections

MEDLINE computer with Medical Subject Headings book, circa 1974
Image source: U.S. National Library of Medicine Digital Collections

Now an indispensable resource, it is hard to believe that PubMed is only 20 years old. First released in January 1996, PubMed was initially an experimental database. One year later, the word ‘experimental’ was dropped and, at a Capitol Hill press conference on June 26, 1997, free web access to MEDLINE through PubMed was officially announced. The press conference featured a demonstration of PubMed by then Vice President Al Gore (anyone remember him?) and a variety of stories from peoples whose lives had been affected by access to MEDLINE (Press Release – Free MEDLINE).

Prior to the launch of PubMed, users had to register and pay to search MEDLINE. Approximately 2 million PubMed searches were executed during the month of June 1997. In April 2015, 3.5 million searches per day were performed in PubMed. PubMed has come a long way over the past 20 years, and will continue to change in the upcoming years (PubMed Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary).

 

Post contributed by Laura Pavlech

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meshunicorn

For those of you not already familiar, MeSH or Medical Subject Headings are the standard terms used to describe biomedical topics in PubMed. Basically, a staff person at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) tags each article with the appropriate MeSH based on what the article is about. The great thing is you don’t have to worry about spelling variations, conjugation, or even synonyms with MeSH. If the article is about the concept, the NLM staffer will tag it with the right MeSH, even if the exact words used in the text are different.
So what made the list of new MeSH for 2016? Well, a few were surprising, such as the term Grandparents. How was that not already in there? Considering Antelope has been a MeSH since 1991, why did it take this long to add Giraffe? And, is it really that often that Legendary Creatures comes up in the biomedical literature that it deserves its own heading?
Well, check the list out yourself. Just keep in mind, these MeSH are brand-spanking new, so don’t expect to get a lot of articles tagged with them just yet–most are not retroactive.

 

Post contributed by Judy Rabinowitz

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