What is MEDLINE?
MEDLINE is the U.S. National Library of Medicine® (NLM) premier bibliographic database that contains over 21 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®).
Time coverage: generally 1946 to the present, with some older material.
Source: Currently, citations from over 5,600 worldwide journals in about 40 languages; about 60 languages for older journals. Citations for MEDLINE are created by the NLM, international partners, and collaborating organizations.
Updates: Since 2005, between 2,000-4,000 completed references are added each day Tuesday through Saturday; more than 700,000 total added in 2013. Updates are suspended for several weeks during November and December as NLM makes the transition to a new year of Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) vocabulary used to index the articles.
Broad subject coverage: 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 published in 2010 or later, over 40% are for cited articles published in the U.S., about 93% are published in English, and about 84% have English abstracts written by authors of the articles.
Adapted from the National Library of Medicine's MEDLINE Fact Sheet: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/medline.html