Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI)

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CISTI is transitioning to the NRC Science Library
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Last Update

  • Updated.jpg 27 February 2014


See also Finding health information for British Columbians Bc flag.png | Health libraries | National Library of Medicine (U.S.) | PubMed - MEDLINE

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CISTI is transitioning to the NRC Science Library Stay tuned for developments here. [snip]

The Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI), one of the world's leading information providers in the areas of science, technology, engineering and medicine (or "STEM"), is located in Ottawa, the nation's capital. As an institute aligned with the National Research Council (NRC), CISTI is Canada's de-facto science library providing library and information services to researchers in industry, academic, government and public sectors. As an entity separate from the Library and Archives Canada, CISTI began years ago as the library of the NRC and the National Science Library (1957). The library was changed to CISTI in 1974 to reflect its broader mandate; since 2010, CISTI's scope has diminished considerably. Some librarians believe CISTI is moving away from its primary role as a national library. For information, see NRC Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information on Facebook

Is CISTI Canada's national science & medicine library?

Some librarians view CISTI as Canada's de-facto national library of medicine given its long history of supporting health sciences libraries across the country. Between the early 1970s and 1995, specialized services to Canada's medical community were offered by the Health Sciences Resource Centre (HSRC). CISTI was responsible for coordinating access to MEDLARS and DOCLINE, automated systems of the US National Library of Medicine, and the secretariat for the national Committee on Health Sciences Information. CISTI established a Partnership Office to work with health partners on collaborative initiatives which continues to today. CISTI's resources extend to subject disciplines in science and technology to support NRC and Canadian researchers. CISTI plays an important role in research and development, providing information products and services for the sci/tech community. It has three programs: National Science Library, NRC Research Press (Canada's foremost scientific publisher, established in 1929), and Information Intelligence Services (IIS). The NRC Research Press publishes 16 journals including Genome and several others as well as 15 journals on behalf of scholarly societies. The newest CISTI program, Information Intelligence Services (IIS), uses its comprehensive collection to offer information analysis and technical intelligence services to support Canadian research. These services are offered by a national network of information specialists and technical analysts at NRC Information Centres at NRC institutes across Canada. IIS distributes the Medical Technology Watch Newsletter:

CISTI Committee on Health Sciences Information

The CISTI Committee on Health Sciences Information provides specialized advice to CISTI on its plans, priorities, programs and services. The Committee is made up of representatives from professional health library associations in Canada. Its policy is to collect all significant journals in the health sciences regardless of language or format. The collection has grown to over 10,000 medical serial titles, 3200 current medical serials, and 340 current pharmaceutical serial titles. It contains approximately 70% of the serials indexed in PubMed. Conference proceedings are a specialty and fully-catalogued. CISTI provides Document Delivery through DOCLINE. CISTI's document delivery service is a responsive, efficient system that provides documents to health and hospital libraries across Canada.

Is CISTI Canada's 'National Library of Medicine'?

The answer to this question is an emphatic "Well, sort of". As mentioned above, CISTI is Canada's de-facto national library of medicine. But the fact is that Canada does not have its own national library of medicine in the same way that the United States has the NLM. Neither through legislation nor the vision of many Canadian health librarians — current, emerging & past have we been able to set up a system to replace CISTI - which some feel is adequate enough for our needs yet others feel much more can and should be done. A few influential Canadian health librarians are working towards a new vision for health information provision in Canada called the National Network of Libraries for Health / Réseau national des bibliothèques pour la santé including the Canadian Virtual Health Library / Bibliothèque virtuelle canadienne de la santé (CVHL / BVCS).

Recent initiatives

  • DataCite Canada, NRC 800px-Flag of Canada.svg.png is an international collaboration to improve access to research data by enabling organizations to register datasets and digital object identifiers (DOIs). Research data is defined as any research output that has not been published before such as raw data, slide presentations, lab notes, etc. CISTI is responsible for assigning unique identifiers for Canadian data sets; however, CISTI is not ready to accept data sets; it does plan to assign DOIs to data and work with data centres in Canada interested in participating in DataCite. DataCite Canada is a member of the DataCite Consortium. DataCite is part of the International DOI Foundation.
  • PMC Canada (PMCC) was a collaborative effort between the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), the Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) at the National Research Council (NRC) and the National Library of Medicine (U.S.). Operational support is provided by CISTI. To use the manuscript submission system, CIHR researchers need a PMCC account; they have been contacted with the necessary information but if more information is needed, see the CIHR Policy on Access to Research Outputs - FAQs.


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