NIH unveils Images database

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3D rendering of Ictal SPECT injected during the pre-generalization period, with CBF increases including but not limited to the correct localization.
Image source: Brain 2009; 132(8): 2102–2113.

More than 2.5 million images and figures from medical and life sciences journals are now available through Images, a new resource for finding images in biomedical literature. The database was developed and will be maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The NIH said its Images database is expected to have a range of uses for a variety of user groups, including the clinician looking for visual representation of a disease or condition; the researcher searching for studies with certain types of analyses; the student seeking diagrams that elucidate complex processes such as DNA replication; the professional or educator looking for an image for a presentation; and the patient wanting to better understand his disease.

"Rapid and easy access to images in the biomedical literature should help scientists and others more quickly identify content of interest," said NCBI Director David Lipman, MD.

The Images database enables users to search images based on keywords and other parameters, such as author and publication date. Images and data can be saved to users' collections and shared with others through the use of My NCBI, a feature that allows users of NCBI resources to customize their search and display preferences, save and share searches, as well as build bibliographies.

The initial content of Images reflects images and figures contained in NCBI's PubMed Central digital archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature, located at Images content may be expanded in the future to include other NCBI resources, such as NCBI's Bookshelf database of biomedical books and reports, at