Access to the Ovid/Medline Database for Faculty of Medicine Staff

Important notice:

Please note that due to excessive costs we will have to quit the Medline access via Ovid in the near future!

IBMI has so far covered the majority of the costs, but due to decreased demand in the recent years this is not feasible any more. Apparently, the majority of the users have switched to the publicly available Medline version at PubMed, which has made notable progress lately. Many shortcomings, which called for the use of the Ovid interface, have been eliminated. We therefore believe that using that or some other similar public access portal should not present a problem to Medline users. It would only be sensible to maintain the Ovid interface if the number of accessible databases were notably increased and e-books and other full-text material were made available through the same interface, but the IBMI has no funding for such enterprise at the moment.

Hence, the information below should only apply until June 2002!

Since may 2001, access to the Medline bibliographic database has been provided for Faculty of Medicine staff via Ovid software through the central server in the USA. Scroll down for additional information.

  • Access for staff who log onto the network of the Faculty of Medicine (no password is required for either access method)
  • Access for staff who log onto computers which are not part of the network of the Faculty of Medicine (for certain units and for home access, password required, more info here)

The existing local Medline installation (which, of course, requires a password) should have continued to function until October 2001, but are not updating the database any more. Ovid Technologies promised to send us the May 2001 update, but we have not received it jet.

What is Medline

Medline is the most important bibliographic database for the fields of medicine, stomatology and veterinary medicine. It is systematically indexing over 4.300 journals and presently contains over 11 million records. The scope, diversity and richness of contents speak of the importance of the database. All records contain descriptors from the hierarchically organised MeSH thesaurus, and the majority of records contain abstracts. The field structure enables the users to conduct extremely detailed and exhaustive searches. For more information visit the National Library of Medicine page in the USA.

Ovid/Medline on CD, Change to Online Access and Further Development

To meet the needs of the staff of the Faculty of Medicine, in 1996 we installed the Medline database on the local HP/UX server with Ovid software. The manufacturer of Ovid cancelled support for this type of computers in March 2001, which was one of the main reasons for moving to online access to central Ovid servers in the USA. The database and the interface remain unchanged. The major advantages of online access are more frequent database updates and reduced cost of required hardware, which comes at the expense of speed of access. The old HP-UX Medline installation will be maintained until September 2001, but the last update will probably made in May 2001, so no more recent data will be available.

Our supply of databases and related information will be expanded according to available funding and demand by the users. So far, the main interest has been in the Medline database, expressed by the users whose demands exceed the capabilities of the freely available Medline access. Our services can be expanded in terms of available databases, access to full-text versions of the journals and other options. For more information visit the Ovid server. Please send your comments and suggestions.

So far, our users have been able to access Ovid/Medline in three ways: over the web, with a specialised client/server application and using telnet protocol on the Animus server. The best support from the supplier (Ovid Technologies) is for web access and the other two options will soon be abandoned. Because of ease of use, the majority of our users have also been choosing this option, so this page is dedicated exclusively to web access to Ovid/Medline. For information on the client/server and telnet access, contact Emil Hudomalj.

Access Speed and the Digital Islands Network

The speed of access to the Ovid server is mainly determined by availability of user's local network, availability of web servers in the USA and availability of international links of our academic network (ARNES), as well as by congestions in other international links. The limitations can be reduced by using the DigitalIslands network (a dedicated academic connection between Europe and the USA). The link for Ovid/Medline access via DigitalIslands network is at the top of this page.

Ovid/Medline Users - Passwords and Funding

Faculty of Medicine and Institute of Biomedical Informatics are managing the Medline/Ovid licenses for all the members of the Faculty of Medicine (including institutes, chairs, students and everyone else co-operating with the Faculty). User authorisation for the Ovid server is based on IP address, or dedicated username and password provided by the IBMI. The passwords are not identical to the Animus passwords and they do not have to be changed periodically.

Password based access is currently not available, because we are still gathering information on the number of potential users. Provided that there is sufficient interest and funding, we will distribute the passwords between June and September, 2001. Before signing up for a password, though, please read the information below.

The number of users accessing the database at a time is limited per unit (or a group units) of the Faculty of Medicine. A user exceeding the quota is denied logon. If this starts happening too often, we will increase the unit's quota, but this will incurr additional cost. It is foreseeable that the number of simultaneous users might occasionally exceed the quota during the working hours, but much less likely at other times.

The Institute is currently not able to cover all the costs of Ovid/Medline usage, so the users are required to participate in funding the service.

Staff of the Faculty of Medicine:
If using a computer which is part of the network of the Faculty of Medicinev omrežje MF, the users should choose one of the two access methods described at the beginning of this document. No password is required, since authorisation is based on IP address. At present, the funding does not meed the demand, so only a few simultaneous users are allowed to access the database. The units not willing to share maximum number of users within the entire Faculty and willing to pay for better service can contact Emil Hudomalj.
Access to Ovid/Medline from home or a computer outside the network of the Faculty of Medicine is not possible jet. If there is sufficient interest, we will try to implement it, but funding by the users might be required. The users should express their needs to the local network maintainers.
Students of the Faculty of Medicine:
At present, neither undergraduate nor graduate students can be granted access, except as part of research projects where the principal investigators is a professor of the Faculty of Medicine, in which case time-limited access can be granted on the basis of a formal request. Students involved in research projects can also access Ovid/Medline from the computers in the Faculty network upon permission by the principal investigator.
Collaborators of the Faculty of Medicine without direct access to local network:
Ovid/Medline access can presently only be offered to external units of the Faculty of Medicine. An agreement must be made on terms and conditions of access prior to obtaining the access. Contact Emil Hudomalj via e-mail for additional information.

We should stress that IP based authorisation and groupwise usernames disable certain searching capabilities, e.g., permanently saving search strategies and the "auto alert" service. If you want to use these services, you must request a special username and password.

Information on the Ovid Server and Medline

About IBMI

Institute for Biostatistics and Medical Informatics (IBMI), formerly Institute for BioMedical Informatics (so still IBMI) was founded by the Faculty of Medicine as a result of a need for a unit which would perform, or coordinate, tasks related to data analysis and providing information, relevant for research in medicine. The programme of the institute, and its development, have been adjusting thorugh time to changes in financing and technological progress, but the basic aim remain the same: to support research in medicine. This is achieved through the following tasks:


Institute for Biostatistics and Medical Informatics
University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Medicine
Vrazov trg 2, 1000 Ljubljana

tel: +386 1 543-77-70
fax: +386 1 543-77-71
email: ibmi (at)