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The Number of PubMed Records is Booming!

Pub Med, National Library of MedicineThe 24 millionth MEDLINE citation was indexed in PubMed on May 10, 2017. A little over a year earlier, on March 2, 2016, the 23 millionth MEDLINE record was indexed. That’s a million new records in just a little over a year! To get a better idea of how much MEDLINE has grown, in 2005, there were only 606,000 citations indexed.

What is MEDLINE? MEDLINE is the primary component of PubMed. Started in the 1960s, MEDLINE is a database that consists of citations and abstracts in the fields of medicine, nursing, dentistry, veterinary medicine, health care systems, and preclinical sciences. MEDLINE indexes over 5,600 journals dating back to 1946. MEDLINE records are considered indexed after NLM subject specialists assign medical subject headings (MeSH) to each record. MeSH is NLM’s controlled vocabulary and includes 27,882 descriptors.

While MEDLINE is growing rapidly, as of January 5, 2017, the entire PubMed database contained a whopping 26.8 million records. This means there are other sources of records in PubMed besides MEDLINE, including journals and manuscripts deposited in PMC, chapters from the NCBI Bookshelf, and general sciences and chemistry journals considered out-of-scope for MEDLINE.

Are you interested in learning how to use PubMed? Try taking our hands-on, one hour Painless PubMed Workshop. In June, the workshop will be held on Thursday, June 1; Tuesday, June 13; and Thursday, June 29, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Falk Library in Classroom 1. No registration is necessary.

~Jill Foust