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The recent publication of the 1964 Cumulated Index Medicus (CIM) marks the fifth year that the National Library of Medicine and the American Medical Association have cooperated to produce the most comprehensive index to the world's medical literature. This year's CIM contains 145,218 articles, an increase of more than 15,000 from last year and 20,000 from 1960, for an average of nearly 400 articles per day.
The first volume of Index Medicus appeared in 1879, four years before the first issue of The Journal. The purpose of the original Index Medicus was, in the words of its founder, Dr. John Shaw Billings, to index monthly "all current medical journals and transactions of value, so far as they can be obtained." Bibliographic control was difficult even in the days when there were only 850 medical journals and 20,000 substantive articles published each year. Dr. Robert Fletcher, Dr. Billings' assistant, was quoted
CUMULATED INDEX MEDICUS. JAMA. 1965;193(3):230–231. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090030052017
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