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March 30, 2004 [Number 229]     Printable Version Printable version (422k PDF)



NIH Intramural Database (NIDB) Search Engine

The NIH Intramural Data Base (NIDB) is a tool that makes intramural research information available online to the NIH community, to extramural collaborators, and to the public. “For me, this is a dream come true,” says Dr. Michael Gottesman, NIH deputy director for intramural research. “It is an enormously valuable tool for accessing the richness of intramural research not only for our own researchers but for the rest of the world." (See the article, "NIH Intramural Database—Treasure Trove of Who’s Who, Doing What," in the NIH Record, February 17, 2004.)

Screen of NIDB search engine webpage

Debuting in 1998, the NIDB replaced a multitude of yearly printed publications—each IC’s Annual Report and the Scientific Directory and Annual Bibliography (SDAB). Prior to 1998, information had been submitted on paper, manually compiled and reformatted—a time-consuming, error-prone process—and then distributed in hardcopy or in individual electronic copies. By automating data collection and storage, the NIDB makes this information available in a searchable form to a wider audience in a more timely fashion. The electronic NIDB was developed by CIT, which manages the site with input from hundreds of intramural research scientists who provide the data.

What Is in the NIDB

The NIDB contains a wealth of information on intramural research:

    annual bibliographies


    all papers produced by intramural scientists each year

    scientific directory


    all scientific staff in the intramural programs

    annual reports


    summaries of some 2,500 intramural research projects in progress each year

    NIH mini-CV


    research and bibliographic information on all NIH scientists. Currently under development is a feature that will allow researchers to correct and add to the information held by the NIDB.

Searching on Annual Report Information

The NIDB search engine can be accessed from anywhere in the world, with no login required.

Users can initiate a search by specifying IC or year of publication, and then add specific names or phrases (such as "NICHD insulin mice" in the following example) in a keyword field to narrow the search:

Screen showing Annual Reports search webpage

The NIDB search engine returns a list of annual reports that meet the search criteria. For example:

Screen showing results of NIDB search

When a user clicks on an entry, NIDB returns the full text of the annual report—including the principal investigator, lab staff, total staff years dedicated to the project, keywords associated with the project, a summary of the work, and publications generated by the research. Many of these citations contain a further link to PubMed, so that NIDB users can retrieve the full text of articles.

Another popular use for NIDB is to locate inter-IC research projects. A user could select the option to search for reports only from the NIDDK, then enter a different IC name (such as NIAID), in the keyword field to find annual reports submitted by researchers who are collaborating between the two ICs. Adding a research method, disease, or condition to the NIDDK search (for example, "NIAID hepatitis") would return a list of researchers in NIAID who are collaborating on that specific research area with someone in NIDDK.

See for yourself. Visit the NIDB search engine.

More Information

Watch future issues of Interface. This is the first in a series of articles that will highlight various NIDB features and capabilities. The next article will address the data collection process.

For more information on the NIDB, send e-mail to Dr. Dale Graham, NIDB Technical Manager, at For information about policies and background, contact Dr. Joan Schwartz, NIDB’s Business Manager, at

Published by Center for Information Technology, National Institutes of Health
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