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NIH Office of the Director (OD)

Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS)

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Kelli Marciel

IBIDS Database Celebrates Five Years with a New Look and New Features
NIH Office of Dietary Supplements Launches Improved International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements (IBIDS) Database

Bethesda, Maryland — The NIH Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) at the National Agricultural Library are delighted to announce the "launch" of the new, improved, Web-accessible International Bibliographic Information on Dietary Supplements (IBIDS) Database today, Wednesday, August 18, 2004.

The IBIDS database is available to the public free of charge through a Web interface on the ODS homepage. It was designed to be user-friendly so individuals with all levels of expertise may use it easily. It currently contains over 730,000 citations on the topic of dietary supplements. Citations are available from 1986 to the present and abstracts are included where permission has been granted from the publisher.

So what is new about IBIDS?

  • A New Look: The Web site has been redesigned to include images and other new features. Available abstracts are visible in the search result sets and records are easy to discern from one another due to the creative use of background color.
  • Records: 30,000 new records have been added to the database; totaling almost three quarters of a million records.
  • Images: Images of botanicals and the chemical structures of amino acids, vitamins, and minerals will appear in conjunction with search set results when an image is available for the term entered or selected.
  • The Top Five: The five search terms entered most frequently by IBIDS users are tallied and made available at the click of a virtual button from the main page.
  • Highlights/Notable Citations: Articles that have been cited in the Office of Dietary Supplements’ Annual Bibliography of Significant Advances in Dietary Supplement Research publications are marked with a yellow star.
  • Additional Delivery Options: Receive selected records via email in plain text form or formatted for use in the Endnote program.
  • Query Terms Highlighted in Results: Result sets show the query terms highlighted in red text within the citations and abstracts.

This year also marks the fifth anniversary of the IBIDS Database. IBIDS was launched in January 1999 as a result of the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act (DSHEA) 1994, whereby Congress mandated that the ODS create a tool to assist both scientists and the public in locating credible, scientific literature on dietary supplements.

Keeping with their commitment to work together with other federal agencies, the ODS initiated an interagency cooperative agreement in 1998 with the Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC), National Agriculture Library (NAL), Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop and maintain the IBIDS database.

Over time, a sophisticated search strategy was developed and revised to adequately extract appropriate citations from four major bibliographic databases: biomedical-related articles from MEDLINE, botanical and agricultural science material from AGRICOLA, worldwide agricultural literature from AGRIS, and selected nutrition journals from CAB Abstracts and CAB Health. Overall, a list of over 3,300 journals exists with links to their Web sites for access to articles.

IBIDS is utilized around the world by researchers, consumers, health professionals and the media and is the central location for research-based journal articles and citations on a variety of dietary supplements, including vitamins, minerals and botanicals. Users have typically commended the site on its ease of use, ability to email citations and abstracts, amount and quality of information, and uniqueness of site as a source of information on dietary supplements and alternative medicine. Dr. Paul Coates, Director of ODS noted that “ODS and FNIC want to make IBIDS as useful as possible to its audience. We hope that the new version of this database will be even more valuable to its many visitors.”

Plans for the next five years include: adding records from additional databases to increase the number of articles and variety of journals, creating and including keywords to assist users in searching health outcomes/biological effects, expanding Consumer IBIDS to include more consumer-oriented material, and linking more records to journal content.

You can access IBIDS at:

The Office of Dietary Supplements was established at NIH in 1995 as a result of the Dietary Supplement and Health Education Act passed by Congress in 1994. The mission of ODS is to strengthen knowledge and understanding of dietary supplements by evaluating scientific information, stimulating and supporting research, disseminating research results, and educating the public to foster an enhanced quality of life and health for the U.S. population. For additional information about ODS, please visit http://ods.od.nih.gov.

The Office of the Director is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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