INDEX MEDICUS (IM) is a curated subset of
MEDLINE , which is a
bibliographic database of life science and biomedical science
information, principally scientific journal articles. From 1879 to
Index Medicus was a comprehensive bibliographic index of such
articles in the form of a print index or (in later years) its onscreen
equivalent. It was begun by
John Shaw Billings
John Shaw Billings , head of the Library
of the Surgeon General\'s Office ,
United States Army
United States Army . This library
later evolved into the United States National
Library of Medicine
(NLM). In the 1960s, the NLM began computerizing the indexing work by
MEDLARS , a bibliographic database , which became
Index Medicus thus became the print presentation of the MEDLINE
database's content, which users accessed usually by visiting a library
which subscribed to
Index Medicus (for example, a university scientist
at the university library ). It continued in this role through the
1980s and 1990s, while various electronic presentations of MEDLINE's
content also evolved, first with proprietary online services (accessed
mostly at libraries) and later with CD-ROMs , then with
PubMed . As users gradually migrated from print to online use, Index
Medicus print subscriptions dwindled. During the 1990s, the
dissemination of home internet connections, the launch of the Web and
web browsers , and the launch of
PubMed greatly accelerated the shift
of online access to
MEDLINE from something one did at the library to
something one did anywhere. This dissemination, along with the
superior usability of search compared with use of a print index in
serving the user's purpose (which is to distill relevant subsets of
information from a vast superset), caused the use of MEDLINE's print
output, Index Medicus, to drop precipitously. In 2004, print
publication ceased. Today,
Index Medicus and Abridged Index Medicus
still exist conceptually as content curation services that curate
MEDLINE content into search subsets or database views (in other words,
MEDLINE records from some journals but not others). This
filters search results with a view toward excluding poor-quality
articles (such as by excluding junk journals ), which is often helpful
depending on the needs of the user.
* 1 History
* 2 Journal selection
* 3 See also
* 4 References
* 5 External links
Index Medicus publication began in 1879 and continued monthly through
1926, with a hiatus between 1899 and 1902. During this hiatus, a
similar index, the Bibliographia medica, was published in French by
the Institut de Bibliographie in
Paris . The
Index Medicus was
amalgamated with the
American Medical Association
American Medical Association 's Quarterly
Cumulative Index to Current Literature (QCICL) as the Quarterly
Index Medicus (QCIM) in 1927 and the AMA continued to
publish this until 1956. From 1960 to 2004 the printed edition was
published by the National
Library of Medicine under the name Index
Index Medicus (IM/CIM). An abridged version was
published from 1970 to 1997 as the Abridged Index Medicus. The
abridged edition lives on as a subset of the journals covered by
PubMed ("core clinical journals").
The last issue of
Index Medicus was published in December 2004
(Volume 45). The stated reason for discontinuing the printed
publication was that online resources had supplanted it, most
PubMed , which continues to include the Index as a subset
of the journals it covers.
Inclusion into the Index is not automatic and depends on a journal's
scientific policy and scientific quality. These criteria are
evaluated by the "Literature Selection Technical Review Committee" and
the final decision is made by the NLM director. The review process
may include outside reviewers and journals may be dropped from
* ^ A B C D "FAQ:
Index Medicus Chronology". Retrieved 2009-09-06.
* ^ "History of Historical Collections - History of Medicine -
Library of Medicine". Retrieved 2009-09-06.
* ^ "Abridged
Index Medicus Ceasing Publication". Retrieved
* ^ "FAQ: Finding a List of Abridged
Index Medicus or Index Medicus
Journal Titles". Retrieved 2009-09-06.
* ^ "\'
Index Medicus - NLM Technical Bulletin to Cease as Print
Library of Medicine - NLM Technical Bulletin.
2004-05-04. Retrieved 2008-04-16.
* ^ "Number of Titles Currently Indexed for
Index Medicus and
MEDLINE on PubMed". Retrieved 2009-09-06.
* ^ A B "How are journals selected for
Index Medicus and MEDLINE?".
* ^ "LSTRC". Retrieved 2009-09-06.