Summary: A computerized biomedical bibliographic storage and retrieval system operated by the NATIONAL LIBRARY OF MEDICINE. MEDLARS stands for Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System, which was first introduced in 1964 and evolved into an online system in 1971 called MEDLINE (MEDLARS Online). As other online databases were developed, MEDLARS became the name of the entire NLM information system while MEDLINE became the name of the premier database. MEDLARS was used to produce the former printed Cumulated Index Medicus, and the printed monthly Index Medicus, until that publication ceased in December 2004.

Top Publications

  1. Rovers J, Janosik J, Souney P. Crossover comparison of drug information online database vendors: Dialog and MEDLARS. Ann Pharmacother. 1993;27:634-9 pubmed
    To compare Dialog EMBASE with the National Library of Medicine's (NLM's) MEDLARS MEDLINE, TOXLINE, and TOXLIT to evaluate differences among the databases and vendors in a method consistent with routine drug information practice...
  2. Bernstein F. The retrieval of randomized clinical trials in liver diseases from the medical literature: manual versus MEDLARS searches. Control Clin Trials. 1988;9:23-31 pubmed
    Recently, the usefulness of MEDLARS computer searches in biomedical research was questioned; the conclusion was drawn that to completely capture a specific population of articles, the MEDLARS system was inadequate...
  3. Abulafia O, Sherer D. Angiogenesis of the ovary. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2000;182:240-6 pubmed
    ..In the future a knowledge of specific angiogenic patterns of various pathologic processes may assist in the application of antiangiogenic medications in targeted therapy of benign and neoplastic diseases of the ovary. ..
  4. Johansen K. Efficacy of metformin in the treatment of NIDDM. Meta-analysis. Diabetes Care. 1999;22:33-7 pubmed
  5. Melamed A, Kleinberg M. Bibliography: handling considerations for cancer chemotherapeutic agents. Drug Intell Clin Pharm. 1988;22:247-51 pubmed
    ..We used the MEDLINE system from 1966 to the present, limiting the search to English-language articles. This article provides a comprehensive bibliography on the handling of antineoplastic agents. ..
  6. Srinivasan P. Retrieval feedback in MEDLINE. J Am Med Inform Assoc. 1996;3:157-67 pubmed
    ..Retrieval feedback offers a robust procedure for query expansion that is most effective for MEDLINE when applied to the MeSH field. ..
  7. Dufour J, Mancini J, Fieschi M. [Searching for evidence-based data]. J Chir (Paris). 2009;146:355-67 pubmed publisher
    ..4 million references. Numerous other databases are maintained by national or international entities. These include the Cochrane Library, Embase, and the PASCAL and FRANCIS databases. ..
  8. Erdine S, Yucel A. [Journal of the Turkish Society of Algology indexed in Index Medicus]. Agri. 2004;16:6 pubmed
  9. Miller J, Starr L. Information explosion in radiology. Can Assoc Radiol J. 1988;39:33-6 pubmed
    ..the increase in the number of articles in the radiologic literature in the years 1970, 1978, and 1985 using the Medlars program which provides reproducibility, a recognized bibliographic pool, and a wide coverage of the medical ..

More Information


  1. Ringenberg Q, Johnson E, Doll D, Anderson S, Yarbro J. Computer-assisted instruction in cancer for third-year medical students using the Physician Data Query (PDQ) system. J Cancer Educ. 1989;4:11-5 pubmed
  2. Light J, Chapple Sokol A. More on Loansome Doc. J Med Libr Assoc. 2002;90:111 pubmed
  3. Cosmides G. Electronic surveillance of the pharmacology-toxicology literature: the need for controlled vocabularies and registry systems. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 1995;21:208-10 pubmed
    ..The International Union of Pharmacology publishes guidelines for the classification of drugs and the nomenclature of receptors and ion channels. ..
  4. Panerai R, Almeida R, Freire S, Chaim D, Miranda M, Madureira L, et al. Perspectives on health technology assessment in Latin America. The case of perinatal care in the literature. Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 1993;9:76-84 pubmed
    ..These results led to the conclusion that immediate action needs to be taken to create the necessary conditions for health technology assessment in Latin America. ..
  5. Welborn V, Kuehn J. End-user programs in medical school libraries: a survey. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1988;76:137-40 pubmed
    ..The two most frequently taught systems were NLM/MEDLINE and BRS/Colleague. In general, respondents felt positive about the programs and planned to continue them. The most frequently mentioned problem was need for more equipment. ..
  6. Refinetti R. Online coverage of the literature on thermal physiology. Int J Biomed Comput. 1989;24:127-31 pubmed
    ..It is concluded that MEDLINE has an appropriate coverage of the literature on thermal physiology and that the low retrieval rate in online searches is due mostly to problems in information processing. ..
  7. Gagnon R, Macnab A, Blackstock D. An inventory of Canadian anesthesiology. Human research from 1995 through 1999. Can J Anaesth. 2001;48:452-8 pubmed
    ..The survey was undertaken using the Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS) medical literature archive for the years 1995 through 1999...
  8. Manning P. Continuing education needs of health care professionals. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1990;78:161-4 pubmed
  9. Bronson R. Toxic chemical release inventory information. Med Ref Serv Q. 1991;10:17-34 pubmed
    ..Both files reside on NLM's TOX-NET system. The files contain geographic information about reporting facilities and land, air, and water release data for approximately 300 listed chemicals. ..
  10. Fang M. Journal rankings by citation analysis in health sciences librarianship. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1989;77:205-11 pubmed
    ..Citation analysis was employed to identify the most frequently cited journals. Some characteristics of the citations in BMLA are also discussed. The ranking of journals based on citation frequency, as a result, was identified. ..
  11. Bareta J, Larson D, Lyons J, Zorc J. A comparison of manual and MEDLARS reviews of the literature on consultation-liaison psychiatry. Am J Psychiatry. 1990;147:1040-2 pubmed a computerized search of the same journals during the same period that was done with the Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS). More articles were located with the manual method (94%) than with MEDLARS (65%).
  12. Huncharek M, Muscat J, Geschwind J. Multi-drug versus single agent chemotherapy for high grade astrocytoma; results of a meta-analysis. Anticancer Res. 1998;18:4693-7 pubmed
    ..Additional randomized clinical trials are needed to clearly determine whether any multidrug treatment scheme is superior to currently available single agent therapies. ..
  13. Gorman P, Ash J, Wykoff L. Can primary care physicians' questions be answered using the medical journal literature?. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1994;82:140-6 pubmed
  14. Waters M. Development and impact of the Gene-Tox-Program, genetic activity profiles, and their computerized data bases. Environ Mol Mutagen. 1994;23 Suppl 24:67-72 pubmed
    ..The Gene-Tox and GAP data bases appear to have had substantial impact, particularly on hazard identification activities in cancer risk assessment. ..
  15. Piemme T. Computer-assisted learning and evaluation in medicine. JAMA. 1988;260:367-72 pubmed
    ..New developments in data storage and retrieval forecast applications that could not have been imagined even a year or two ago. ..
  16. Miller P, Morrow J, Powsner S, Riely C. Semantically assisted medical bibliographic retrieval: an experimental computer system. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1988;76:131-6 pubmed
    ..The project then explored how these semantic relationships could be incorporated into the computer to enhance bibliographic retrieval. ..
  17. Dalrymple P. CD-ROM MEDLINE use and users: information transfer in the clinical setting. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1990;78:224-32 pubmed
    ..Key issues in the design and development of information technologies in the clinical setting are also articulated. ..
  18. Wagstaff D, Wagstaff A, Goshorn J. A poisonous plant file in TOXLINE. Toxicon. 1989;27:259-63 pubmed
  19. Reamy B. Frostbite: review and current concepts. J Am Board Fam Pract. 1998;11:34-40 pubmed
    ..Increased participation in outdoor activities, as well as the epidemic of homelessness, makes knowledge of the treatment of frostbite crucial for physicians in both rural and urban areas...
  20. DeNeef P. The comprehensiveness of computer-assisted searches of the medical literature. J Fam Pract. 1988;27:404-8 pubmed
    ..Based on the outcomes of these searches, recommendations are made for clinicians who plan to use MEDLINE services. ..
  21. Brenner S, McKinin E. CINAHL and MEDLINE: a comparison of indexing practices. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1989;77:366-71 pubmed
  22. Heddle N, Gagliardi K, Flemming T. Searching the scientific literature. Can J Med Technol. 1991;53:210-3 pubmed
    ..The use of Index Medicus/Medline, Science Citation Index/SciSearch and Exerpta Medica/EMBASE is discussed, using a sample question to illustrate the process. ..
  23. Della Mea V, Puglisi F, Beltrami C. [The Internet for medical research]. Pathologica. 1995;87:485-91 pubmed
    ..In addition, as biomedical informations are also available on Internet, it becomes an important and irreplaceable resource on physician's desk. ..
  24. King N, Goldstein S, Williams L. MEDLINE and PsycLIT on CD-ROM: a survey of users in an academic medical library. Med Ref Serv Q. 1990;9:43-58 pubmed
    ..Most searches were performed to obtain information on a subject. The results were remarkably similar for both databases. ..
  25. Belani C. Clinical lung cancer indexed in Index Medicus and Medline. Clin Lung Cancer. 2003;5:137 pubmed
  26. Stewart M, Moore A. Searching the medical literature. Otolaryngol Clin North Am. 1998;31:277-87 pubmed
    ..In 1996, the NLM began providing free, unlimited access to MEDLINE to all Americans over the World Wide Web. This article discusses how to perform effective and efficient literature searches using MEDLINE and other databases. ..
  27. Major P, Kostrewski B, Anderson J. Analysis of the semantic structures of medical reference languages: part 2. Analysis of the semantic power of MeSH, ICD and SNOMED. Med Inform (Lond). 1978;3:269-81 pubmed
    ..They were found to differ in the degrees of complexity and specificity of meaning that they could convey. This variation in semantic power has been correlated with their different functions. ..
  28. Armstrong D. Use of the genealogical method in the exploration of chronic illness: a research note. Soc Sci Med. 1990;30:1225-7 pubmed
    ..Finally, the particular relationship, within the genealogical method, of method itself and its object of study is outlined. ..
  29. Bicknell E, Rada R, Davidson S, Stander R. Mapping from GenBank to MEDLINE. Nucleic Acids Res. 1988;16:1667-80 pubmed
    ..In particular, techniques and examples are presented which take GenBank information and lead to MEDLINE information that supplements the GenBank information. ..
  30. Perry D, Hubbard S. PDQ--a database of clinical trials and cancer treatment information. Cancer Metastasis Rev. 1988;7:209-21 pubmed
    ..PDQ is a major component in the National Cancer Institute's goal of reducing cancer mortality 50% by the year 2000. ..
  31. Macias Chapula C. Analysis of the use of MEDLARS in Mexico. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1988;76:334-8 pubmed
    A statistical analysis of MEDLARS usage by Mexico's National Health Information and Documentation Center (CENIDS) is described. A total of 13,029 connect hours was registered during the period 1977-1986...
  32. Siu T, Nguyen S. Computerized transcription of searches from MEDLINE to an information manager package, SCI-MATE. Comput Biomed Res. 1989;22:546-51 pubmed
    ..The transcription of the downloaded material to the manager package is tedious, however. A program has therefore been written to computerize the transcription. ..
  33. Stern R, Chan H. Usefulness of case report literature in determining drugs responsible for toxic epidermal necrolysis. J Am Acad Dermatol. 1989;21:317-22 pubmed
    ..We propose a minimum set of informational and specific diagnostic criteria. ..
  34. Murphy J, Armstrong G, Reynolds M, Gordon S. A structured literature review for risk assessment: EMF and human health risk. Risk Anal. 1994;14:97-100 pubmed
    ..They reduced 11730 articles on the topic of EMF and Health risk to 68 articles that were reviewed by an expert panel. The interrater reliability was 96% and 94% of the relevant articles were captured by this process. ..
  35. Mychko Megrin A. A comparison of biomedical databases. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1991;79:302-8 pubmed
    ..A distribution of biomedical serials from five databases is given by country, and twelve indices to assess the quality of biomedical databases are suggested. ..
  36. Beller F. [The future of the German language in science]. Gynakol Geburtshilfliche Rundsch. 2000;40:50-4 pubmed
    ..In general, it can be expected that the number of German-language journals will drastically decline. ..
  37. Dickersin K, Higgins K, Meinert C. Identification of meta-analyses. The need for standard terminology. Control Clin Trials. 1990;11:52-66 pubmed
    ..The fact that the National Library of Medicine has started in 1989 to index articles describing meta-analyses using the MeSH META-ANALYSIS underscores this argument. ..
  38. Shearer B, McCann L, Crump W. A primer for users of medical bibliographic databases. J Am Board Fam Pract. 1989;2:191-5 pubmed
    ..This article discusses both and emphasizes use by the medical practitioner. An annotated guide to database vendors is provided, and guidelines are offered that will assist the physician in selecting equipment and assessing services. ..
  39. Lycka B. Bowen's disease and internal malignancy. A meta-analysis. Int J Dermatol. 1989;28:531-3 pubmed
    ..f., = 0.128, p greater than 0.05, 95% confidence interval = 0.105-0.1503). Clearly, no extensive investigation in patients having Bowen's disease is warranted. ..
  40. Miller P, Smith P, Morrow J, Riely C, Powsner S. Capturing the semantic relationship between clinical terms with current MeSH bibliographic coding. Comput Methods Programs Biomed. 1988;27:205-11 pubmed
    ..In the present study, we analyze how well current MeSH coding using topical subheadings and check tags, can selectively retrieve those papers discussing each semantic relationship. ..
  41. Crawford S, Halbrook B, Kelly E, Stucki L. Beyond the online catalog: developing an academic information system in the sciences. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1987;75:202-8 pubmed
    ..Ongoing research and development and the future of the online catalog are also discussed. ..
  42. Goff D, Simms C. Has multiple personality disorder remained consistent over time? A comparison of past and recent cases. J Nerv Ment Dis. 1993;181:595-600; discussion 601-5 pubmed
    ..Although a core set of symptoms has consistently been associated with this disorder over time, other important aspects have not been stable. ..
  43. Hatfield P, Beevers D. An analysis of the hypertension journals. J Hum Hypertens. 1995;9:31-6 pubmed
    ..abstract truncated at 250 words) ..
  44. Colaianni L. Peer review in journals indexed in Index Medicus. JAMA. 1994;272:156-8 pubmed
    ..Editors should publish clear statements of the peer review process followed for each type of article published in their journals. ..
  45. Wang A, Than K, Etame A, La Marca F, Park P. Impact of anesthesia on transcranial electric motor evoked potential monitoring during spine surgery: a review of the literature. Neurosurg Focus. 2009;27:E7 pubmed publisher
    ..In general, selecting the appropriate anesthetic regimen with maintenance of a stable concentration of inhalational or intravenous anesthetics optimizes TcMEP monitoring. ..
  46. Dee C. The development of the Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS). J Med Libr Assoc. 2007;95:416-25 pubmed
    ..its computerization of biomedical indexes, particularly the Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS)...
  47. Costa B, Fitzgerald K, Jones K, Dunning Am T. Effectiveness of IT-based diabetes management interventions: a review of the literature. BMC Fam Pract. 2009;10:72 pubmed publisher
    ..Several limitations could affect the outcomes of IT-based diabetes management interventions to an unknown degree. These limitations make it difficult to attribute changes solely to such interventions. ..
  48. Horwitz N. The National Library of Medicine. Neurosurgery. 2002;51:1304-12; discussion 1312-4 pubmed
  49. Bloch Mouillet E. [Foreign international bibliographic databases. Index Medicus: presentation and use (CD-ROM edition)]. Sante. 1997;7:135-42 pubmed
    ..Using a particular search as an example, we show, step by step and screen by screen, how to work using all the available features of this valuable bibliographic search tool. ..
  50. Wanke L, Hewison N. Comparative usefulness of MEDLINE searches performed by a drug information pharmacist and by medical librarians. Am J Hosp Pharm. 1988;45:2507-10 pubmed
    ..MEDLINE searches performed by a drug information pharmacist with online training, in response to drug information requests, were judged by drug information pharmacists to be as useful as searches performed by librarians. ..
  51. Perkins M, Spann M, Buchan P. MEDTUTOR: a microcomputer-based training program for MEDLINE. Bull Med Libr Assoc. 1989;77:201-4 pubmed
    ..for teaching the various commands and search techniques required for utilizing the MEDLINE database through the MEDLARS system...
  52. Ried L, Horn J, McKenna D. Therapeutic drug monitoring reduces toxic drug reactions: a meta-analysis. Ther Drug Monit. 1990;12:72-8 pubmed
  53. Holzgrefe H, Everitt J, Wright E. Alpha-chloralose as a canine anesthetic. Lab Anim Sci. 1987;37:587-95 pubmed
    ..The question as to whether alpha-chloralose is a true anesthetic or an immobilizing agent with sedative-hypnotic properties has important implications in light of the current emphasis on ethics in animal research. ..