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The following section contains subjective comments about the system that represent our editor's opinions, and should not be viewed as fact. Editor's opinions include positive and negative judgments about the product written in consideration of wider context, including related products and the industry at large. Further subjective information is presented in clearly labeled "Editor's Notes" throughout the report. For the purpose of this article, the term "citation" refers to a patent citation and "record" refers to a journal article extract containing bibliographical information. To get more information on how we use the term citation, please see the citations article.
MEDLINE is a source for journal articles and other resources in the life sciences field, with a concentration on biomedicine. MEDLINE has established itself in the medical and prior art search communities as a leading source of information in these areas because of its depth and breadth of coverage as well as its controlled vocabulary and special indexing.
The US National Library of Medicine (NLM) compiles and indexes records from approximately 5,200 journals around the world; coverage includes records in 60 languages, and dates back to 1949. Many of the journal records from more recent publications are also linked to full text versions of the article through the NLM's own free-to-use software PubMed, including a substantial portion for of the full text articles being available to view for free.
The content of MEDLINE is made more useful by the inclusion of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH terms), which are a kind of controlled vocabulary designed to index the records by subject matter and topic. These designations are revised yearly and applied by a full time indexing staff. Additional controlled vocabulary in the form of the more fluid "supplementary concept records" exist to further enrich each record.
MEDLINE is available through many for-free and commercial search systems alike, but the main method of access for many searchers is through the official NLM software PubMed.
- ↑ "MEDLINE Fact Sheet." National Library of Medicine website, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/medline.html. Accessed on January 16, 2009.