Published on September 19th, 2012 | by orthomolecular0
Public Library Censors Nutritional Research
U.S. National Library of Medicine is Biased and Taxpayers Pay for It.
Commentary by Andrew W. Saul, Editor
Most medical journals are easy to access on the internet through a huge electronic database known as Medline or PubMed. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez or http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed) This service is brought to you by the National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health. In other words, by your tax dollars. Generally it is money well spent, until you go searching for high-dose vitamin therapy research papers. Then you will find that you can’t find a lot of them. The reason is selective indexing.
“Selective indexing” is a nice name for censorship. After over 40 consecutive years of publication, the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine is still not indexed by Medline. The Journal has just been censored, again, after its most recent application. This marks the sixth time since 1989 that JOM has been rejected for Medline indexing. The decision is made by a review committee privately preselected by NLM. There are no hearings. No public input is allowed.
What are the consequences of such exclusion from Medline? In a nutshell, it stops the public from using their computers to quickly access many of the scientific research and clinical reports demonstrating the effectiveness of nutritional therapeutics (orthomolecular medicine). It also greatly hampers professionals from seeing pro-vitamin studies. Have you ever wondered why your doctor simply does not know about vitamin therapy? Well, wonder no longer. He or she can’t find what isn’t indexed. Since the vast majority of journals indexed by Medline are pharmaceutical-friendly, and nutritional research is censored, what do you expect?
If we want an informed public, we have to have free access so we can all learn. That’s the idea behind public schools. It is the idea behind public libraries. The National Library of Medicine is a public library. Your taxes should be helping you gather information, and not paying a closed-doors bureaucracy to limit access.
“The National Library of Medicine refuses to index the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, though it is peer-reviewed and seems to meet their criteria.” (Psychology Today, Nov-Dec 2006)
The Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine has a review board of medical doctors and university- and hospital-based researchers. Since 1967, it has published over 600 papers by renowned authors including Roger J. Williams, Emanuel Cheraskin, Hugh D. Riordan, Carl C. Pfeiffer, Abram Hoffer, and Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling. You should be able to access abstracts (concise summaries) of these papers, instantly, via Medline.
Well, you can’t.
As public libraries should be free to rich and poor alike, so public access to scientific knowledge should not be screened or censored. Our taxpayer-paid government owes the public full disclosure of all new nutritional research that can help people. Your taxes should not be used to fund censorship in a public library, especially the largest medical library on the planet. It is un-American. And unhealthy.
(Andrew W. Saul taught nutrition, health science and cell biology at the college level. He is the author of Doctor Yourself and Fire Your Doctor! and coauthor of four books with Dr. Abram Hoffer. Saul is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine.)
If you’d like to write to Medline and tell them what you think, their general email contact is email@example.com or http://apps2.nlm.nih.gov/mainweb/siebel/nlm/index.cfm/
You can also call NLM Customer Service at 1-888-FIND-NLM (1-888-346-3656). Remember to be polite, because, after all, they are the “World’s Largest Medical Library.” http://www.nlm.nih.gov/nlmhome.html
NLM’s customer service representatives are typically hired contractors whose knowledge about this issue may be near zero. Scripted or form-letter replies are to be expected.
If you feel that your tax dollars deserve more than a canned reply, you may prefer to directly contact the people in charge:
Ms. Joyce Backus is Deputy Associate Director and in charge of MEDLINE. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Betsy Humphreys is Deputy Director of the National Library of Medicine. Email: email@example.com
OMNS would be interested in receiving a copy of NLM’s correspondence with you. If your comments are selected for OMNS publication, your name will not be used. firstname.lastname@example.org
For further reading:
Four decades of papers from the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine are now online for you to read, Medline or no Medline, at http://orthomolecular.org/library/jom/ The JOM Archive is an entirely free service, with no advertising.
How to Fool All of the People All of the Time (A satirical look at information censorship) http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n05.shtml
Want to be a MEDLINE Information Censor? (A humorous self-test) http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n07.shtml
Nutritional Medicine is Orthomolecular Medicine