DIGEST: Talk by Dr. Martin M. Cummings, Director, National Library of Medicine, ALA, St. Louis, Missouri, 1964
Page  1

DIGEST: Talk by Dr. Martin M. Cummings, Director, National Library of Medicine ALA, St. Louis, Missouri., June 29, 1964 [6/22/64] [3] Research expenditures having increased more than 37 times since 1940. Federal expenditures having nearly doubled since 1961, with direct and dramatic effects on the literature. The number of biomedical scientists in the United States has doubled from approximately 20,000 to more than 40,000 in the past 10 years. The structure of science is changing. Old disciplinary lines are fading and new combinations being formed. There is a critical need for information systems and mechanisms to seek out and combine and recombine data from different disciplines and fields of interest. MEDLARS is designed to meet, from a bibliographic standpoint, the need for speed in dealing with the great quantities of medical literature, and, second, in a manner that will interrelate and correlate medical information for the needs of the scientist, teacher and practitioner. MEDLARS: (a) is based on NLM's intimate understanding of indexing technology; (b) will handle a larger volume of published literature citations than any other existing system; (c) is located in a national agency with responsibilities to the breadth of medicine and related activities; (d) is located in the world's largest medical library providing unmatched access to the full texts of material from which citations are derived. Status report on MEDLARS: MEDLARS began producing Index Medicus, in December 1963; testing of the entire system is nearing completion, with 100 demand searches having been accomplished; testing and studies are continuing on MeSH terminology with indications that it requires further development; testing has indicated few limitations on the computer system; testing has indicated needs for improvements in the human input into the system, particularly with respect to the quantity of personnel; 20 recurring bibliographies are under active development with major problems involving.MeSH; GRACE is in final testing stages and is expected to be used for Index Medicus and recurring bibliographies before the end of the summer; there are more than 150,000 citations in the system at present with a total of 200,000 expected by the end of this year. An annual input of 250,000 is expected by 1970. It is expected that by the end of the year MEDLARS will become an "open" system available under controlled conditions to the Federal and private elements of the biomedical community for demand searches and recurring bibliographies. Assuming necessary funds are appropriated, the first steps toward the decentralization of MEDLARS may be taken before the end of the summer. During the year NLM hopes to execute a contract with a university permitting the testing of procedures for the conversion of MEDLARS tapes for other computers under field conditions. Hopefully during the following year NLM may be able to establish up to six additional search centers. (Three copies of this were dispatched to Mr. Carner in St. Louis by Mr. Adams on 6/23/64)

Page  2 [I regret that I am not a professional librarian. The program and accomplishments which I will report is a credit to my predecessor and to my current staff. I am concerned with the role of libraries in the totality of our ___, __, __ and communication efforts. ___ it is my ___ that libraries have a most important role to play in the ___ of the future.] [16 billion for R & D] Outline Draft DB/gc/10June64 Talk by Dr. Martin M. Cummings, Director, NLM ALA, St. Louis, June 29, 1964 1. Volume on the literaure Research expenditures having increased more than 37 [fold] since 1940. Federal expenditures [for biomedical research] have nearly doubled since 1961. [1.7 billion dollars now spent for med research alone!] [97 billion dollars since WWII - ... these] research increases have had direct and dramatic effect on the [generation of scientific] literature. The number of biomedical scientists in the United States has doubled from approximately 20,000 to more than 40, 000 in the past 10 years. [In addition there are approximately a quarter of a million physicians in the US. who ___ medical info services.] [___ there are 3 million...] 2. Need for switching mechanism to deal with new interdisciplinary nature of literature The structure of science is changing so that old disciplinary lines are fading and new combinations being formed. There is a critical need for information systems and mechanisms which can seek out and combine and recombine data from different disciplines and fields of interest. [The scope and coverage of libraries serving the biological sciences have broadened to meet these needs.] 3. MEDLARS as a result if these needs, to speed bibliographic work and gather data from different disciplines for focusing on particular interests MEDLARS is designed to meet, from a bibliographic standpoint, the need for speed in dealing with the great quantities of medical literature and, second, in a manner that will interrelate and correlate medical information for the needs of the scientist, teacher and practitioner. MEDLARS: (a) is based on NLM's [annual] indexing [of 150,000 articles contained in 2500 biomedical journals.]

Page  3 4. Status report on MEDLARS A. MEDLARS began producing Index Medicus [by computer] in December 1963; B. Testing of the entire system is nearing completion, with [1200] demand searches having been accomplished in [many special areas of medical __] C. Testing and studies are continuing on MeSH terminology [medical subject headings are reerved continuously to keep pace with the rapid advances in medicine] E. Testing has indicated needs for improvements in the human input into the system, particularly with respect to the quantity of [trained] personell [available to analyze the large ___ of foreign __ literature. F. 20 recurring bibliographies are under active deveolpment with problems involving MeSH; the e H. There are more than 130,000 citations in the G. GRACE (describe) [prints at a rate of 330 channels/sec provide index headings in 16 __ - just one town 11 years __ ___ original. 25 working docs to compose __ for __.] H. There are more than 130,000 citations in the system at present with a total of 200,000 expected by the end of this year. An annual input of 250,000 is expected by 1970. [Medlars is only the beginning- not the end of automated literature storage + retrieval systems at the NLM. We are now getting advice from industry and other sources for the design of a scientific + ___ third generation of MEDLARS. At the same time ...]

Page  4 5. Future A. Availability for demand searches and recurring bibliographies It is expected that by the end of the year MEDLARS will become an "open" system available under controlled conditions to the Federal and private elements of the biomedical community for demand searches and recurring bibliographies, B. Decentralization Assuming necessary funds are appropriated, the first steps toward the decentralization of MEDLARS -- that is making its tapes more broadly available -- may be taken before the end of the summer. During the year NLM hopes to execute a contract with a university permitting the testing of procedures for the conversion of MEDLARS tapes for other computers under field conditions. Hopefully during the following year NLM may be able to establish up to six additional search centers. [d SA] [Expand programs - 1. Support of abstracts + ___ - use PL 480 funds for this proposal 2. Support of bibliographies by university ___ 3. Support of research in history of medicine - at home and abroad. 4. Have programs for touring medical libraries and __ - grants to library schools and __ depts. 5. Support of research in methods + techniques of handling publisher ( ___ __ Research Program 1. Systems study of automation + cataloging 2. Development of ___ + ___ of Med. Lib. Headings