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_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 2004, _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 , head of the Library of the Surgeon General\'s Office , 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 creating MEDLARS , a bibliographic database , which became MEDLINE . _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 Entrez and 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, subsets of 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.

CONTENTS

* 1 History * 2 Journal selection * 3 See also * 4 References * 5 External links

HISTORY

_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 's _Quarterly Cumulative Index to Current Literature_ (QCICL) as the _Quarterly Cumulative 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 Medicus/Cumulated 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 especially PubMed , which continues to include the _Index_ as a subset of the journals it covers.

JOURNAL SELECTION

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 inclusion.

SEE ALSO

* EMBASE

REFERENCES

* ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ "FAQ: Index Medicus Chronology". Retrieved 2009-09-06. * ^ "History of Historical Collections - History of Medicine - National Library of Medicine". Retrieved 2009-09-06. * ^ "Abridged Index Medicus Ceasing Publication". Retrieved 2009-09-06. * ^ "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 Publication"_. National 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?". Retrieved 2009-09-06. * ^ "LSTRC". Retrieved 2009-09-06.

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