OPEN-i®: A Unique Image Search Engine

As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” While it can take hundreds or thousands of words to convey a complicated concept; a single image can easily do the same thing. OPEN-i® is the open access biomedical image search engine from the National Library of Medicine’s Lister Hill Center for Biomedical Communications. OPEN-i® is unique in its ability to index both the article’s text and images from the open source literature and biomedical image collections. OPEN-i® searches and retrieves both abstracts and images (including charts, graphs, clinical images, etc.)

You can conduct a search in OPEN-i® by typing your terms in the search box or by selecting a saved image. From the results display, hover your cursor over an image and a MEDLINE citation will pop-up.

The following limits can be applied to your searches:

  • Rank By (Newest, Oldest, Diagnosis, Etiology, etc.)
  • Article Type (Abstract, Book Review, Brief Report, etc.)
  • Image Type (CT Scan, Graphics, MRI, etc.)
  • Subsets (Basic Sciences, Clinical Journal, Ethics, etc.)
  • Collections (PubMed Central, Indiana U. Chest X-rays, USC Orthopedic Surgical Anatomy, etc.)
  • License Type (Attribution, Attribution noncommercial, Attribution noncommercial no derivatives, etc.)
  • Specialties (Behavioral Sciences, Biochemistry, Cancer, etc.)
  • Search In (Titles, Mentions, Abstracts, etc.)

OPEN-i® contains over 3.7 million images from about 1.2 million PubMed Central® articles; over 7,400 chest x-rays with over 3,900 radiology reports; 67,500 images from the NLM History of Medicine collection; and over 2,000 orthopedic illustrations, plus MedPix.

Images are obtained from the following sources:

Copyright for use of the images remains with the authors or the journal.

For more information about copyright, search help, and technical problems, see the OPEN-i® FAQ page.

*Parts of this article were derived from the OPEN-i® website.

~Jill Foust