MEDLINE is the U.S. National Library of Medicine's (NLM) premier bibliographic database that contains over 18 million references to journal articles in life sciences with a concentration on biomedicine. A distinctive feature of MEDLINE is that the records are indexed with NLM Medical Subject Headings (MeSH).
The great majority of journals are selected for MEDLINE based on the recommendation of the Literature Selection Technical Review Committee (LSTRC), an NIH-chartered advisory committee of external experts analogous to the committees that review NIH grant applications. Some additional journals and newsletters are selected based on NLM-initiated reviews, e.g., history of medicine, health services research, AIDS, toxicology and environmental health, molecular biology, and complementary medicine, that are special priorities for NLM or other NIH components. These reviews generally also involve consultation with an array of NIH and outside experts or, in some cases, external organizations with which NLM has special collaborative arrangements.
MEDLINE is the primary component of PubMed, part of the Entrez series of databases provided by the NLM National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). MEDLINE may also be searched via the NLM Gateway.
The subject scope of MEDLINE is biomedicine and health, broadly defined to encompass those areas of the life sciences, behavioral sciences, chemical sciences, and bioengineering needed by health professionals and others engaged in basic research and clinical care, public health, health policy development, or related educational activities. MEDLINE also covers life sciences vital to biomedical practitioners, researchers, and educators, including aspects of biology, environmental science, marine biology, plant and animal science as well as biophysics and chemistry. Increased coverage of life sciences began in 2000.
The majority of the publications covered in MEDLINE are scholarly journals; a small number of newspapers, magazines, and newsletters considered useful to particular segments of the NLM broad user community are also included. For citations added from 2005-2009: about 45% are for cited articles published in the U.S., about 91% are published in English, and about 83% have English abstracts written by authors of the articles.
A growing number of MEDLINE citations contain a link to the free full text of the article archived in PubMed Central or to other sites. Each citation should also present a Get VText link that will display all sources for a given article.
1946-present, with some older material
September 13, 2010