MEDLINE® is the United States National Library of Medicine's (NLM®) premier bibliographic database providing information from the following fields:
The MEDLINE database is the electronic counterpart of Index Medicus®, Index to Dental Literature, and the International Nursing Index.
MEDLINE is the primary source of global information from international literature on biomedicine, including the following topics as they relate to biomedicine and health care:
NLM uses a controlled vocabulary of biomedical terms to index articles, to catalog books and other holdings, and to facilitate searching within MEDLINE. MEDLINE's controlled-vocabulary thesaurus contains Medical Subject Headings (MeSH®) to describe the subject of each journal article in the database. MeSH terms provide a consistent way of retrieving information that uses different terminology for the same concept. Within MEDLINE's thesaurus, MeSH terms display hierarchically by category, with more specific terms arranged beneath broader terms. This hierarchical structure also provides an effective way for searchers to browse MeSH in order to find descriptors appropriate to their searches.
NLH Medline search uses the Ovid dataset MESZ Ovid MEDLINE® 1950 to Present, which is updated weekly.
You can enter field codes directly into the search box in this format:
term.code eg depression.ti
The following list is sorted alphabetically by the two-letter label, and includes the relevant alias, at least one example for all searchable fields, and a description of the field.
The All Searchable Fields (AF) field contains all words included in any field, with the exception of stopwords
The Abbreviated Source (AS) field includes a display of all the basic information needed to locate a citation, including the Journal Abbreviation (JA) or Monograph Publisher (PB), the Volume (VO), Issue/Part (IP), Page (PG) and Date of Publication (DP).
The Authors (AU) field contains the authors of the article. This field requires a complete match, so use the format "smith j*" , "smith je" or "smith*" (include the quotes). You may find it more convenient to use the Author last name field (.ax) instead
The Author Last Name (AX) field allows you to search for the authors' last names.
The Comments (CM) field contains an indication that the article either contains a comment on another article or is commented on in another article. The CM field begins with the indication "Comment On" or "Comment In" and then displays the Journal Abbreviation (JA), Date of Publication (DP), the Volume (VO), Issue/Part (IP), and Page (PG). Articles that contain a comment display with [comment] appended to the end of the article title. Articles that are commented on in another article display with [see comment] appended to the end of the article title.
The Country of Publication (CP) field contains the full name of the country in which an article was published.
"10 1016 j adnc 2003 08 001".do.
The Digital Object Identifier (DO) field contains a unique and persistent digital identification code for any object of intellectual property. The DOI itself consists of two parts: a prefix which is assigned to each publisher by the administrative DOI agency, such as 10.1097, and a suffix which is assigned by the publisher and can be any code that the publisher chooses, such as 00045415-200111000-00002. The full DOI appears as such: 10.1097/00045415-200111000-00002. Search all DOI's by replacing punctuation with spaces such as "10 1016 j adnc 2003 08 001".do. for the displayed DOI of 10.1016/j.adnc.2003.08.001. The DOI field will be used only for new records added during the 2008 production year. Note: NLM has not announced when DOIs will begin to appear in records.
2006 sep 5 11.dp.
2006 spring summer.dp.
The Date of Publication (DP) field consists of the date of publication for a citation, in the format YYYY MMM DD (1950 dec 3). The Month and day are not always present.
The Entry Date (ED) field contains the issue (year, month and day) in which the document was indexed as a MEDLINE record. This field appears in the format YYYYMMDD.
The Electronic Date of Publication (EP) is the date the record or article was sent to NLM for inclusion in MEDLINE. It displays in the YYYYMMDD format.
The ISSN Electronic (ES) field contains the Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN) for the journal in which an article was published. It appears as an 8 digit number, separated by a hyphen, such as 0028-4793. To retrieve all of the articles for a journal, search by the Journal Name (JN). Both Electronic and Print ISSNs can be searched in the ISSN Print (IS) field.
smith a j.fa
The Authors Full Name (FA) field contains the full name of the authors of the article when available.
Subheadings are qualifiers added to MeSH subject headings to refine their meaning. Terms such as "etiology" or "therapy," when combined with a MeSH heading, give a precise idea of what an article covers. The Floating Subheadings (FS) field contains both the 2-letter codes, such as po, and the full heading, such as poisoning. These are displayed following the corresponding MeSH Subject Headings.
The Gene Symbol (GS) field contains gene symbols as they are entered into MEDLINE in the original document. They often, but not always, conform to standardized human gene nomenclature. Ignore super or sub-scripts in entry of a gene symbol: psub 1450 would be entered p1450. Enter hyphens as in the original symbol. The Gene Symbol field was added to MEDLINE in 1991. Beginning in 1996, data is no longer added to this field.
The Gene Symbol Word (GW) field contains individual words from the Gene Symbol (GS) field. The Gene Symbol field was added to MEDLINE in 1991. Beginning in 1996, data is no longer added to this field.
The Subject Heading Word (HW) field allows you to retrieve every MeSH Subject Heading (SH) and Publication Type (PT) that include a particular word. Do this by searching a single word in the Subject Heading Word field.
The Investigator Affiliation (IA) field contains the affiliation of the investigator of the article, and displays as part of the Institution (IN) field.
The ISSN Linking (IL) field is used to link multiple versions of a record, such as the print and online versions of a journal. The ISSN used for linking is the first ISSN assigned to a resource.The ISSN Linking field will be used only for new records added during the 2008 production year. Note: NLM has not announced when Linking ISSNS will begin to appear in records.
The Institution (IN) field contains the primary author's affiliation, which is usually the source for a reprint of the article. This index also contains the investigators affiliation. This information can be searched in most documents since 1988, but records from earlier years which were added to the database after 1988 may also contain institution information. Beginning with documents indexed in 1996, the primary author's email address will also be included, if present in the journal. The information is taken from the source document and is not standardized. Enter the single most descriptive word in an institution (harvard, rather than university). Consider both full spellings and abbreviations.
The Issue/Part (IP) field contains the Issue and/or part for a particular volume of a journal.
The Investigator (IR) field contains personal names of individuals (such as collaborators and investigators) who are not authors of a paper but rather are listed in the paper as members of a collective/corporate group that is an author of the paper. The format for authors is last name followed by one or more initials: Smith JC or Smith J.
The ISSN Print (IS) field contains the International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) for the journal in which an article was published. It appears as an 8 digit number, separated by a hyphen, such as 0028-4793. To retrieve all of the articles for a journal, search by the Journal Name (JN). Both Electronic and Print ISSNs can be searched in the ISSN Print field.
The Journal Abbreviation (JA) is the journal title abbreviation that is displayed in the Abbreviated Source (AS) field and cannot be searched.
The NLM Journal Code (JC) is an alpha-numeric code established by NLM which uniquely identifies every journal indexed in the NLM databases. Only the 7 digit code is searchable, but in some cases the 3 digit alpha-numeric code will also display.
"zoology analysis of complex systems".jn.
The Journal Name (JN) field contains the full name of the journal in which the article was published. This field requires a complete match so use the format "british journal of nursing", surgery (for a one word title) or surgery* (for titles beginning with...). You may find it more convenient to use the Journal Word field (.jw) instead. Journal names are indexed as phrases.. If the first word of a Journal Name is "The", it has been removed.
The Journal Word (JW) field contains individual words from every journal name in Ovid MEDLINE®.
The Keyword Heading Word (KF) field allows you to retrieve every Keyword Heading that includes a particular word.
"war and human rights abuses".kw.
The Keyword Heading (KW) field contains the Keyword Headings assigned by indexers at NLM to describe the content of an article. To retrieve every Keyword Heading that includes a particular word, search for the word in the Keyword Heading Word (KF) field.
The Language (LG) field contains the language(s) of publication of an article. The codes are usually, but not always, the first three letters of the language name.
The NLM Journal Name (NJ) field contains the full name of the journal in which an article was published.
The Name of Substance (NM) field contains single words from the CAS Registry Number/EC Number (RN) field and is used to search portions of chemical names. This field displays as part of the CAS Registry Number/EC Number (RN) field. The Name of Substance field was added to MEDLINE in 1980.
z01 sc003811 31.no.
The Grant Numbers (NO) field was created by NLM in 1981 to specify documents reporting on federally-funded research. Grant or contract numbers are displayed in full, but special characters except hyphens have been removed from the index.
The General Note (NT) field contains general supplementary information about an item. The notes may include information on the availability of a bibliography, ordering information for dissertations or hearings, or general summaries of materials such as manuals or scripts. A series title may appear for a book or for audiovisual materials.
The NLM Journal Word (NW) field contains individual words from every journal name in the NLM Journal Names (NJ) field.
The Other Abstract (OA) field includes a brief abstract written by collaborating partners. The OA field is indexed in Abstract (AB) field, and contains all searchable words from the other abstract. Collaborating partners include:
Special HIV/AIDS publications with abstracts written by someone other than the author
Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs
The Original Title (OT) includes any non-English titles in the original language. If the original title was in a non-Roman alphabet, then the OT is transliterated.
The Primary Author (PA) field contains the first author listed for the article. This allows users to search for articles by any primary author. Author names display in Authors (AU) and Authors Full Name (FA) fields. Searching for smith rh.pa. will return results where "Smith RH" was listed as the main author of the article.
The Publisher (PB) field contains publisher information for books, monographs or any non-journal publications. This information is taken from the source document as it appears, so variant forms of a publisher are possible. This field is usually displayed as part of the Source (S0) field.
The Page (PG) field consists of the inclusive pagination of a journal article. Often a journal title combined with the beginning page number is enough to locate a citation. You can search for pages with alphanumeric characters, such as "a1.pg."
The Publishing Model (PI) field provides the model of publishing of the original document described in the record. The field indicates if the article cited is available in Print or Electronic format. It also indicates if the citation was converted from a Print or Internet source.
The Personal Name As Subject (PN) field displays the name of a well-known person if they are discussed in an article, such as an interview or obituary. The format for Personal Name is the same as for Author (AU) -- last name and initials: Bach JS. Enter a last name and one initial if known.
In addition to indexing documents with Medical Subject Headings, the indexers at the National Library of Medicine assign terms to describe the article type. Publication Types include such classifications as reviews, clinical trials, directories and letters. These terms appear in the Publication Type (PT) field. With the 2005 reload, Publication Types are also loaded into the MeSH. Because some Publication Types are also MeSH terms, the syntax to enter the Tree is "Randomized controlled trial [publication type]". To post the results from the Tree without entering the Tree, the syntax is: "Randomized controlled trial [publication type]"/ or Randomized controlled trial.pt.
The Revision Date (RD) field contains the issue (year, month and day) in which the document was revised in Index Medicus. The Revision Date field appears in the format YYYYMMDD.
The CAS Registry/EC Number/Name of Substance (RN) field contains the Chemical Abstracts Service Registry number or Enzyme Commission number for a compound mentioned in an article. If the generic compound name can be determined, it is included. The RN field was added to Ovid MEDLINE in 1980. Registry numbers appear with hyphens, such as 50-00-0. Search for EC numbers in the format ec 1 1 1 1 adh1c protein human. Chemical names appear with all special characters except hyphens removed.
The Record Owner (RO) field contains the owner of the record.
HMD History of Medicine Division, National Library of Medicine
HSR Health Services Research
KIE Kennedy Institute of Ethics, Georgetown University
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NLM National Library of Medicine
PIP Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs
The Secondary Source AN (SA) field contains the unique accession number for external resources mentioned in a MEDLINE record. The display includes the Secondary Source ID (SI) and the accession number seperated by a forward slash (/). If you wish to search all works from a particular databank use the Secondary Source ID (SI) field.
The Journal Subset (SB) field identifies the subset for MEDLINE records from certain journal lists or records on specialized topics. Some of these values are found on extremely small numbers of records. Citations may contain more than one occurrence of this field. The value is true at the time the record was created. If the status of a journal changes, the value on the record does not change.
Subset field values and their definitions are as follows. Note that several are closed subsets no longer being assigned.
AIM citations from Abridged Index Medicus journals, a list of about 120 core clinical, English language journals.
B citations from non-Index Medicus journals in the field of biotechnology (not currently used).
C citations from non-Index Medicus journals in the field of communication disorders (not currently used).
D citations from non-Index Medicus journals in the field of dentistry; earlier citations appeared in Index to Dental Literature. See the current List of Journals Indexed for MEDLINE (LJI) under Dentistry and Orthodontics.
E citations in the field of bioethics. (Includes records from the former BIOETHICSLINE database)
F older citations from one journal prior to its selection for Index Medicus. Used to augment the database for NLM's International MEDLARS Centers (not currently used).
H citations from non-Index Medicus journals in the field of health administration. (Includes records from the former HealthSTAR database)
IM citations from Index Medicus journals.
J citations from non-Index Medicus journals in the field of population information. (Not currently used; on records from the former POPLINE® database)
K citations from non-Index Medicus journals relating to consumer health.
N citations from non-Index Medicus journals in the field of nursing; these citations appeared in the International Nursing Index. See the current List of Journals Indexed for MEDLINE (LJI) under Nursing.
OM pre-1966 citations (including records from the former OLDMEDLINE database).
Q citations in the field of the history of medicine. (Includes records from the former HISTLINE® database)
QIS citations from non-Index Medicus journals in the field of the history of medicine. (For NLM use effective as of late 2006 because they require special handling at NLM. QIS is not a subset of Q but some journals previously designated as Q are now designated as QIS.)
QO is subset of Q - indicates older history of medicine journal citations that were created before the former HISTLINE file was converted to a MEDLINE-like format. (For NLM use because they require special handling at NLM).
R citations from non-Index Medicus journals in the field of population and reproduction; these citations appeared in Population Sciences (not currently used).
S citations in the field of space life sciences. (Includes records from the former SPACELINE™ database)
T citations from non-Index Medicus journals in the field of health technology assessment. (Includes records from the former HealthSTAR database)
X citations in the field of AIDS/HIV. (Includes records from the former AIDSLINE® database)
The MeSH Subject Headings (SH) field contains the Medical Subject Headings used by indexers at NLM to describe the content of an article. NLM's MeSH terms are organized in a hierarchy, or "tree" structure.
The Secondary Source ID (SI) identifies secondary source databanks with unique identifiers of external resources mentioned in a MEDLINE record. The field is composed of the source acronym, such as GENBANK.
The Secondary Source Linking (SL) field contains the URL to ClinicalTrials.gov and ISRCTN resources mentioned in MEDLINE records.
The Space Flight Mission (SM) field provides descriptive values for each Space Flight Mission.
The Source (SO) field includes a display of all the basic information needed to locate a record, including:
Issue/Part (IP) Page (PG) Volume (VO)
Journal Name (JN) Publisher (PB) Year of Publication (YR)
The Status (ST) field contains the status of the citation.
Status Level Description
In-Data-Review Records that have passed the first step in quality control and will either be reissued as In-process records or go directly to PubMed-not-MEDLINE as the final record status.
In-Process Records that are electronically submitted and have gone through the second citation- level review.
Medline Records that have passed all steps in quality control and have been indexed.
OldMedline Records that were produced before the Index Medicus was available and begin in OLDMEDLINE status. Once all of the original subject terms from the printed index have been mapped to current MeSH, the citation status is changed to MEDLINE.
PubMed-not-MEDLINE Records that have gone through the second citation-level review, but are from non- Medline journals or precede the date a journal was selected forMEDLINE indexing but are now being submitted for inclusion.
The Title (TI) field contains the English language version of a title. For documents which were not written in English, the original or transliterated title appears in a separate field, Original Title (OT).
The Text Word (TW) field is an alias for all of the fields in a database which contain text words and which are appropriate for a subject search. The Text Word field in MEDLINE includes Title (TI) and Abstract (AB).
The Unique Identifier (UI) field contains an 8-digit number assigned by NLM to uniquely identify a particular record. This number is also the one used to locate the document through NLM's document delivery service. This number was formerly the PubMed Identifier (PMID). PubMed no longer supplies PMID numbers with the input data. You can search for PMID and UI pairs using NLM's Matcher tool, located on NLM's website at http://eutils.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/publisher/uidpmid.cgi/ You can also download a full table of PMID numbers and their related Unique Identifiers can be found at ftp://ftp.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/. This location includes 6 .zip files that comprise the full table of pairs:
The Update Date (UP) field contains the date the record was added to MEDLINE since the yearly reload completion. The Update Date for existing records changes with each global reload to reflect the date Ovid starts processing the reload data. The UP field appears in the format YYYYMMDD.
The Volume (VO) field consists of the volume and issue of a serial publication.
The Exploded MeSH Heading (XM) field displays pre-exploded MeSH Headings. MeSH Subject Headings are hierarchical, with up to twelve levels of narrower terms from the top of a hierarchy. In order to retrieve a term and all of its narrower terms, a subject heading must be "exploded", that is, the subject heading and all narrower terms are "OR'd" together. OVID pre-explodes highly-posted broader terms with their narrower terms during loading. These pre-exploded MeSH Headings are displayed in the MeSH Subject Headings (SH) field.
The Exploded Subheadings (XS) field displays the two-letter codes for the pre-exploded subheadings. Sometimes multiple MeSH Subheadings can be logically grouped together. Such related groups of subheadings are "pre-exploded" under one broad subheading. This means that all the grouped subheadings can be retrieved together by searching on the "pre-exploded" version of the broad subheading. These pre-exploded MeSH Headings are displayed in the MeSH Subject Headings (SH) field.
The Year of Publication (YR) field contains the year in which an article or monograph was published. Only the four digit years appear in the index.
At customer request, Stopwords have been eliminated from this Ovid database. You can now search for words or phrases like is there hope.tw. Previously such searches would have returned an error because they included stopwords.
The following limits are available for this database:
A limit to Abstracts restricts retrieval to documents which include an abstract. Over 50% of Ovid MEDLINE (R) records after 1975 contain abstracts. All abstracts included in Ovid MEDLINE (R) are in English and were written by the author(s) of the original article.
A limit by Age Group restricts retrieval by any of the age groups indexed by NLM. Since only human age groups are indexed, this limit will also restrict retrieval to human subjects. If you choose this option you will be presented with a list of age groups from which to select:
Adolescent 13 to 18 years
Adult 19 to 44 years
Aged 80 and Over
All Adult 19 plus years
All Aged 65 and Over
All Child 0 to 18 years
All Infant birth to 23 months
Child 6 to 12 years
Infant 1 to 23 months
Middle Age 45 to 64 years
Middle Aged 45 plus years
Newborn Infant birth to 1 month
Preschool Child 2 to 5 year
A limit to All EBMR Article Reviews restricts your retrieval to those articles for which a review exists in either the ACP Journal Club or DARE databases. In other words, the studies and articles have been reviewed by either the ACP Journal Club or BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine publications or by the NHS Centre for Reviews and Dissemination Reviewers at the University of York, England. Use this limit if you are interested in restricting your retrieval only to reviews of individual studies or articles.
A limit to Animals restricts retrieval to documents which are primarily about animal subjects. It will retain articles about both human and animal subjects. Consider also the Limit to Animal Type, which will allow you to select from a list of common experimental research animals.
A limit by Animal Type restricts retrieval to any of the basic animal types indexed by NLM. If you choose this option you will be presented with a short alphabetical list of some common research animal types from which to select:
Consider also the Limit to Animal, which restricts retrieval to documents which are about any animal subject.
Article Reviews (ACP Journal Club)
A limit to Article Reviews restricts your retrieval to those articles for which a review exists in the ACP Journal Club database. In other words, the studies and articles have been reviewed by either the ACP Journal Club or BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine publications. Use this limit if you are interested in restricting your retrieval only to reviews of individual studies or articles.
A limit to Article Reviews restricts your retrieval to those articles for which a review exists in the DARE database. Use this limit if you are interested in restricting your retrieval only to reviews of individual studies or articles.
Indexers apply check tags to articles to identify research categories. Categories include research subjects (such as female or adult), research type (such as in vitro), or other specific subject contents of an article. If you choose this option you will be presented with a list of categories from which to select.
Check tags are limited to the following types:
A limit to Core Clinical Journals restricts retrieval to only the articles published in the core clinical journals.
A limit to English restricts retrieval to articles which are written in the English language. Foreign language articles with English abstracts will be eliminated by a limit to English.
Using the EBM Reviews limits via the pulldown will allow you to 'or' together any of the following limits: Cochrane Topic Reviews, ACP Article Reviews or DARE Article Reviews.
A limit to Evidence-Based Medicine Reviews restricts your retrieval to those articles or studies that have been included by the Cochrane Collaboration when creating a Topic Review or articles that have been reviewed in the ACP Journal Club or BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine publications or in the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effectiveness (DARE). This limit will also retrieve the Topic Review itself. By their inclusion in these publications, these studies have met strict Evidence-Based Medicine criteria. Use this limit to narrow a large search to only those articles or studies which are considered "Evidence-Based" by experts and for which an article or topic review exists.
A limit to Female restricts retrieval to documents which are about females, either human or animal.
A limit to Full Text restricts retrieval to those citations for which there is a full text link. Both Ovid full text and external full text are included in this limit.
A limit to Humans restricts retrieval to articles which are about human subjects. If you limit by Age Group you do not need to use this limit.
NLM databases contain several subsets of broad journal categories such as "AIM Journals" or "Dentistry Journals". You can restrict your retrieval to any of these subsets by a limit to journal subset. If you choose this option you will be presented with an alphabetical list of Journal Subsets from which to select:
Communication Disorders Journals
Consumer Health Journals
Core Clinical Journals (AIM)
Health Administration Journals
Health Technology Assessment Journals
Health Technology Assessment Journals
History of Medicine Journals
History of Medicine Journals non-Index Medicus
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Journals
A limit to Language restricts retrieval to any of the languages indexed by NLM. If you choose this option you will be presented with an alphabetical list of languages from which to select.
New documents are added to the Ovid MEDLINE (R) database at regular intervals. A limit to latest update restricts retrieval to documents which were most recently added to the database.
A limit to Male restricts retrieval to documents which are about males, either human or animal.
A limit by Publication Type restricts retrieval by any of the publication types indexed by NLM
You can restrict retrieval to any of the years which this Ovid MEDLINE (R) segment covers.
A limit to Review Articles restricts retrieval to articles which are reviews of a subject. For NLM databases this includes all review types: Review Literature; Review of Reported Cases; Review, Academic; Review, Multicase; and Review, Tutorial.
A limit to a subject subset restrict retrieval to the specific subject chosen. These Subject Subset limits are based on the Subset limits in PubMed. If you choose this option you will be presented with an alphabetical list of Subject Subsets from which to choose. See Subject Limits below
A limit to Topic Reviews restricts your retrieval to those articles and studies which were "included" in the creation of a Cochrane review on a topic. These references will be found in the Cochrane systematic review in the "References to Included Studies" and have met the Cochrane Collaboration's Evidence-Based Medicine criteria for inclusion. Use this limit if you are interested in restricting your retrieval only to reviews which have been used in the creation of a Cochrane Topic Review.
Ovid MEDLINE includes the following limits based on PubMed's subject subsets:
History of Medicine
Space Life Sciences
Ovid MEDLINE also offers limits to Clinical Queries. These limits restrict retrieval to clinically sound studies. There are nine categories provided, and the emphasis may be Sensitive (as in most relevant articles but probably some less relevant ones), Specific (as in mostly relevant articles but probably omitting a few), or Optimized (as in the combination of terms that optimizes the trade-off between sensitivity and specificity). A detailed explanation of the strategies behind these limits can be found at http://hiru.mcmaster.ca/hedges/.
The Clinical Queries are based on the work of R. Brian Haynes MD, PhD et al. of the Health Information Research Unit (HIRU) at McMaster University, are intended for clinicians.
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Users must ensure that all downloaded publicly accessible data stored in electronic form for over one year must be in compliance with the following provisions of the NLM license agreement: