Happiness is merely the remission of pain.
(from Botticelli "Venus and Mars", detail)
MedRefs is a database application program that runs in Microsoft Access. MedRefs provides a convenient means for health professionals, researchers, patients, and other users to store, view, edit, sort, and export scientific/medical references that typically originate from the National Library of Medicine (Medline) or PubMed. It is also capable of translating and importing PubMed citation listings starting with the citations in plain text file format. Current fields individually stored by MedRefs include PMID (formerly Medline UI), Author, Title, Source, Institution, and Abstract -- certain other fields are stored with the Abstract when the citations are imported. When using MedRefs, it is assumed that any one .MDB data file viewed by MedRefs will deal with a single topic or set of closely related topics.
MEDREFS was created by Michael C. McGoodwin, M.D. and may be used without charge and freely distributed according to the terms detailed in the MedRefs manual topic "Licensure and Authorization for MEDREFS use." The complete manual to MedRefs is available online (see below), and includes installation instructions.
The current version of MedRefs, which runs under Access 97, is made available below. (The original Microsoft Access 2.0 version of MedRefs is no longer available and is obsolete.) It is possible to convert MedRefs for later versions of Access but this is not described here..
If you experience difficulties with the current version of MedRefs and believe that there is a bug, please send me email (mcm@nospam_mcgoodwin.net, removing the letters "nospam_" before sending) describing the problem. I regret that I will not generally be able to provide individual help in the routine use of MedRefs or Microsoft Access. However, I have provided reasonably complete instructions in the online manual.
(record displayed is from the CFSFMNA.MDB database described below)
A self-extracting ZIP file (in .EXE format): file medrfs32.exe,
Version 4.4b, 0.6 Megabytes, last revised 4 October 2004
My spirits grow dull, and fain I would beguile
The tedious day with sleep.
(Shakespeare's Player King in Hamlet)
The self-extracting ZIP archive computer file ("cfsfmna.exe", see
below) contains two large
(1) The first is a plain text file ("cfsfmna.txt") containing over 4600 current or historic references dealing with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Fatigue, and Fibromyalgia, and which have been derived largely from the mainstream peer-reviewed English-language medical literature. It is not necessary to use MedRefs to view this text file.
(2) The second file ("cfsfmna.mdb") contains the same information formatted for optimal use by the MedRefs program described above. MedRefs allows more convenient and more rapid display and retrieval of the data as well as such benefits as filtering to select a desired subset of citations and exclude unwanted citations. This database hopes to be reasonably comprehensive, probably including more than you wanted to know, but you have the option with MedRefs of narrowing the search from the total information available.
This database was compiled and annotated by Michael C. McGoodwin, M.D. mostly from National Library of Medicine resources (PubMed and/or Medline). As of September 2004, all former Medline UIs were replaced with PubMed PMIDs. You may download this self-extracting ZIP file ("cfsfmna.exe") by clicking on the appropriate hotlink below.
If you prefer, you may simply view some of the database now by downloading "cfsfmna.txt" directly. This file is sorted to display the most recent year's articles first, so they will be immediately visible while the older articles are still downloading. Articles are not sorted chronologically by month within a given year, however. If your Web viewer is set up to display a .txt file directly, you should be able to view the text file on your screen. (NOTE: It may take a long time to fully download and view this file.) If you have memory limitations on your computer and/or this file is too large for you to view with your Web browser, you may need to temporarily change the way your browser tries to handle text files. In Netscape, you may try right-clicking on the link and selecting Save Link As... or you may change Options | General Preferences | Action to "Save To Disk" rather than "View in Browser"). To save a copy of the file after viewing it in Netscape, use File | Save As ... Some Web browsers may not be configured to display the file, in which case your browser will give you the option to download the file to your computers file system. If you cannot successfully either view this text file directly in your Web browser or download it, download "cfsfmna.exe" instead.
This database was referenced favorably in the 1996 publication of the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases called Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Information for Physicians, and also in an article by Nelson M. Gantz and Elizabeth E. Coldsmith called "Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia Resources on the World Wide Web: A Descriptive Journey" found in the March 15, 2001 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases 2001:32 p. 938-947.