Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI)
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The Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information (CISTI) is one of the world's leading information providers in the areas of science, technology, engineering and medicine (or the "STEM" areas). For more information on CISTI, see CISTI News. As an institute closely-aligned with the National Research Council (NRC) and Canada's de-facto national science library, CISTI provides library and information services to researchers across industry, universities, government and the public. As an national entity separate from the National Library, CISTI began its operations many years ago as the library of the NRC and the National Science Library back in 1957. The library's name was changed to CISTI in 1974 and reflects a broader scope of services; however, CISTI's scope has slowly diminished in the 21st century. Some health librarians believe CISTI has moved away from its primary role as a national library.
For more information, see NRC Canada Institute for Scientific and Technical Information on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/cisti.icist.
CISTI is Canada's de-facto library of medicine
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: http://www.medtechwatch.ca/mtwc/main_e.html
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 - Leaders, Past and Present 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 CISTI initiatives