Access to MEDLINE pre-1981?

Douglas Fitts dfitts at
Sat Mar 29 04:56:24 EST 1997

joe at (Joe Felsenstein) writes:

>In article <E7Hw5A.C3r.B.midge at>,
>W R Bennett <bspwrb at> wrote:
>>Our university, as with many others, has a license to access MEDLINE and 
>>SCI, but these databases only go as far back as 1981.  Anyone know if 

>Our University's MEDLINE subscription enables us to search back to 1966,
>which is I presume as far as Medline goes back.  So you could ask your
>library people whether they could either get University access to those earlier
>years, as the databases do exist, or whether they could find some way for you
>to do a search of them on a special-case basis.

Caveat:  many of the citations in the 60's and early 70's do not contain
abstracts, at least with the UW's access.  Is this because of a license
restriction or a "feature" of the actual database?

>I wish Medline would put a small amount of money into gradually going back
>further -- it would probably not cost much, as the size the biomedical
>literature shrinks as one goes back.  Furthermore, one does not have to
>"keep up" with that literature -- it's of finite size and isn't growing.
>It would be lovely to search back to 1900, or even 1850.

Scanning in abstracts from the citations already covered by Medline in the
early years would be nice, too, if this is not just a license restriction
for our access.

Doug Fitts
Univ. Wash.

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