ROCKVILLE, MD (Reuters Health) Feb 05 - Beginning Monday, more than 220,000 references and abstracts and some full-text articles on complementary and alternative medical (CAM) practices are available on the National Library of Medicine's PubMed online database.
The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine joined with the library to create the special section. The organizations hope to make data on alternative practices more accessible to physicians, patients and researchers who use PubMed, a service of the National Institutes of Health.
"This joint venture will offer health professionals, CAM practitioners, researchers, educators, and consumers ready access to a comprehensive database of journal citations directly related to complementary and alternative medicine," said Donald Lindberg, director of the National Library of Medicine.
To access the database, users can go to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine Web site, http://www.nccam.nih.gov, and click on "CAM on PubMed." Searches are automatically limited to journals on complementary and alternative medicine.
"I think this is an extraordinary tool," said Steven Straus, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine director.
PubMed is a giant online version of the National Library of Medicine's Medline database, which covers 4500 journals published in the US and overseas. It has 120,000 users each day, conducting about 700 searches per minute, said a library spokesman.
In the past, PubMed users could search complementary and alternative journals, but the search was not very specific, even though the database included titles such as Holistic Nursing Practices and the Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medical Practices. The library's advisory committee will start evaluating more CAM-specific titles to add to the vast database.