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The preservation of the health and the prevention or cure of disease is a world wide concern. Health professionals and researchers throughout the world should have access to the research findings, information about the occurrence and control of disease, and the delivery of health care in every country. In order to obtain this information it is essential that the publications containing such infor mation be readily accessible. This requires bibliographic information about the publications and their contents, a method to acquire them, and a process to obtain the information in response to a need. It is the role of health sciences librarians to help researchers and health professionals to obtain this information. It is also the role of health sciences librarians in each country to ensure the systems whereby health professionals and researchers in other parts of the world may gain access to the information published in their country. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is the world's largest medical research library with more than 5.1 million items in over 70 languages. There are over 665,000 monographs and 74,000 serial titles in the collection, from the eleventh century to date. NLM attempts to select, acquire, preserve, and provide access to a comprehensive collection of the scholarly biomedical literature from all over the world. A comprehensive collection is one in which the library endeavors to include all significant works of recorded knowledge in all applicable languages, for a necessarily defined and limited field. Biomedical is defined as pertaining to health ca re, to the practice of the science and art of medicine broadly conceived, and to those branches of the life sciences which are fundamental to that science and art. Scholarly is defined as resulting from professional study or research. The intent is to ensure that the collection represents the intellectual content and diversity of the world's biomedical literature, although it cannot not collect a ll that is published in biomedicine, even all that is published in the United States. Access to the NLM collection is provided through bibliographic databases, CATLINE for monographs and SERLINE for serials. Access to the information content of the articles in journals is provided through the MEDLINE database.
Important biomedical literature is published in Asia. This purpose of this paper is to review the number of records in the National Library of Medicine's databases for literature published in a few Asian countries. The first section is an overview of the amount of biomedical literature in the collection from four Asian countries. The second section will focus on the journal titles currently publi shed in China, indicating the percentage acquired by NLM and the percent indexed in MEDLINE. The third and final section will contain some observations and recommendations arising from this study.
COUNTRY # MONOGRAPHS # JOURNAL TITLES # CURRENT JOURNAL TITLES CHINA 8,183 697 422 JAPAN 21,831 3,397 1,584 KOREA 1,252 377 288 TAIWAN 385 130 58Recently a member of the staff reviewed the Japanese acquisitions and was pleasantly surprised to find that 1,476 of the current serials are published in Japan; the Japanese serial collection is the fourth largest, ranking after the U.S. (5,203), the United Kingdom (1,607), and Germany (1,448).
(LIST 1) which the Center thought were the most important for NLM to index. Dr. Dizhi Xiong provided a list of 109 titles (LIST 2) which are published by the Chinese Medical Association and the national medical universities. A third list of 174 titles was obtained from the China International Book Trading Corporation. These three lists along with titles acquired for the NLM collection were use d to develop a list of 459 biomedical journals currently published in China. Titles were matched by ISSN numbers to avoid duplicate entries caused by discrepancies in the formation of the English title or the transliteration differences.
The National Library of Medicine currently subscribes to or has on order 352 (76.7%) of the 459 biomedical journal titles identified in this study. The following table indicates the number and percent of known biomedical journal titles published in China acquired by the Library.
NLM LIST 1 LIST 2 LIST 3 NO LIST ACQUIRED 109 (96%) 90 (83%) 109 (62%) 169 (91%) NOT ACQUIRED 5 ( 4%) 19 (17%) 67 (38%) 17 ( 9%) TOTAL 114 109 176 186The next table shows the percentage of these titles which are indexed for MEDLINE.
NLM LIST 1 LIST 2 LIST 3 NO LIST TOTAL INDEXED 24 (21%) 25 (23%) 23 (13%) 15 ( 8%) 47 (10%) NO INDEXED 90 (79%) 84 (77%) 153 (87%) 171 (92%) 412 (90%)The Literature Selection Technical Review Committee is the committee chartered by the National Institutes of Health to advise the Library on which titles to index. The committee reviews each biomedical title published in the world and scores each on a scale of 0 to 5, with 5 being the highest. A score of 4 or higher is needed for a title to be selected for indexing. Since 1988 eighty four journ al titles published in China have been reviewed by the Literature Selection Technical Review Committee; eighteen (21%) of the titles have received scores of 4 or higher. Overall, only 21% of all titles reviewed receive a score of 4 or greater.
In this paper I have tried to examine the availability of the current scholarly record of biomedicine from China in the National Library of Medicine and to point out some of the observations I made in accumulating the data for this study. It is important that access to the information in this literature be improved for there is much to be learned from the research and clinical literature from t his vast, important country. Implementing the recommendations in this paper would help ensure access to China's biomedical scholarly record for scholars throughout the world now and for centuries to come.