Category : Various Text files
Archive   : NLM-INFO.ZIP

Output of file : DATAPRIC.TXT contained in archive : NLM-INFO.ZIP
National Library of Medicine


The Secretary of Health and Human Services, with the advice of the Board of Regents,
is empowered to set policies for pricing NLM products and services. This authority
is contained in the National Library of Medicine Act of 1956, P.L. 84-941.

The Board of Regents has been guided by the philosophy that, while certain charges for
NLM services may in some cases be necessary, medical information is primarily a public
good and nothing, including high fees, must seriously deter its dissemination to those
who need it. Over the years, four principles have evolved from this philosophy to
guide the Board in recommending policy:

1. Medical information is a public good and should be readily accessible;

2 . The quality and integrity of the Library's data must be protected at all times;

3. American health professionals, no matter their location or situation, should have
equal access at equal prices to this information.

4. To the degree possible, the costs of gaining access to these valuable services
should be shared appropriately by the biomedical community at the lowest feasible

These principles have been accepted by DHHS Secretaries in different Administrations
over the years and endorsed by appropriation and authorization committees in both
houses of the Congress.

Pricing Policy

Generation vs. Access costs. It has been accepted from the beginning that the
Library, with funds it receives through the appropriation process, supports the
generation costs of building and maintaining its MEDLARS_ databases which were begun
in 1964. Domestic users pay only the full cost of accessing this information (see
"Recoverable Costs" under Charges).

Nondifferentiation by database. Access costs are calculated across all 40 or so NLM
databases. This ensures that access to data files containing vitally important, but
highly specialized data, is not compromised in an attempt to recover costs by imposing
disproportionately high user fees. Each database is created to fill a well-
demonstrated information need in the biomedical community, or a legislatively mandated
information service.

Nondifferentiation by medium. The pricing policy applies regardless of the
distribution medium: direct online access to NLM, online access to NLM data at other
sites through tape license agreements, and redistributed data on CD-ROM or other
electronic media.

Quality and integrity. The NLM is responsible for ensuring the integrity of its
databases, even when the database is offered by another data center, public or
private. This is so, because the Library is responsible for database integrity of
MEDLINE_ and other MEDLARS records regardless of where the user is, or in what media
the data are stored. Degradation in any aspect of information in a database bearing
the NLM imprimatur could easily result in grave harm to the real "end user"-the
patient. Thus, through its license agreements, NLM insists upon quality controls to
assure that leased machine-readable data remain as accurate, complete, current, and
accessible, as those available directly from NLM.


Online charges are computed by a formula that considers three elements: connect time,
the use of computer resources, and the amount of data retrieved.

Database tapes are leased for an annual data charge. Recoverable costs include
telecommunications, third party royalty payments, postage, tape reproduction, and
other related costs.

Any funds collected in excess of the above costs are returned to the U.S. Treasury.

Variations from Basic Policy

Foreign users, as non-U.S. taxpayers, pay a surcharge that represents their
proportional share of the costs of creating the databases. Charges may be reduced or
waived in special circumstances that further NLM's Congressionally mandated outreach
efforts (e.g., demonstration and training courses for health care providers, student
use, experimental ventures that foster access, and other special projects that provide
information services to rural and underserved populations).

NOTE: These NLM pricing policies are consistent with NLM legislative authority,
Federal policy, the intent of Congress, the findings of the General Accounting Office
and the Office of Technology Assessment, and the recommendations of the NLM Board of
Regents. While the Board of Regents has delegated to the Library's Director the
authority to set prices, policies are reviewed annually by the Board and any necessary
changes submitted to the Secretary, DHHS.

  3 Responses to “Category : Various Text files
Archive   : NLM-INFO.ZIP

  1. Very nice! Thank you for this wonderful archive. I wonder why I found it only now. Long live the BBS file archives!

  2. This is so awesome! 😀 I’d be cool if you could download an entire archive of this at once, though.

  3. But one thing that puzzles me is the “mtswslnkmcjklsdlsbdmMICROSOFT” string. There is an article about it here. It is definitely worth a read: