Publication,Information and Communication

During 1999-2000, the Council continued to publish its periodicals - the Indian Journal of Medical Research, the ICMR Bulletin, the ICMR Patrika as well as English and Hindi versions of the Annual Report of the ICMR. For dissemination of health information, the Council organized popular lectures in Hindi and English, parti-cipated in the Swadeshi Vigyan Mela and the World Book Fair, 2000.



During the period under report, the Indian Journal of Medical Research (IJMR) continued to be indexed and abstracted by all major global current awareness and alerting services. An Expert Group for the IJMR was constituted during the year to have suggestions for the overall improvement of the Journal. The first meeting of the Group was held in November, 1999. The recommendations/suggestions made by the Group are being implemented. A number of articles published in the IJMR were also featured in the media including newspapers.

The ICMR Bulletin published articles on various topics of general interest viz. Increased male responsibility and participation : A key to improving the reproductive health; Silicosis _ An uncommonly diagnosed common occupational disease; Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis etc. The December 1999 issue of the Bulletin featured an article on "Children and young people in the context of HIV/AIDS : Listen, learn, live! World AIDS campaign with children and young people" to commemorate the World AIDS Day. Articles published in the Bulletin such as `Alliums as food for healthy life' and `Risk of aluminium toxicity in the Indian context' were featured in news stories.

Other Publications

ICMR Patrika, a monthly Hindi publication of the Council was brought out simultaneously with its English version i.e. ICMR Bulletin.

The Annual Report of the Director-General continued to be brought out this year too both in English and Hindi but with increased (A4) size, better lay out and incorporating details on the publications of ICMR institutes, ICMR aided seminars, symposia etc., research schemes and fellowships funded during the year, and training courses held.

The Council's National Institute of Nutrition brought out a manual titled `Dietary Guidelines for Indians' and another publication `Dietary Guidelines for Vulnerable Groups' (in Telugu) in collaboration with CARE.

Monograph on Medicinal Plants of India

It has been planned to update, revise and enlarge the first volume of Monograph on Medicinal Plants of India so as to cover scientific information on medicinal plants upto 1998. The activities during the year focussed on collection of additional data on about 300 medicinal plants which included not only plants covered in Vol.I but also those not covered earlier. In addition computerization of data collected earlier is also being done.


Biomedical Information

The ICMR-NIC Centre for Biomedical Information continued to provide biomedical information services from the MEDLARS databases of the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Access to Medline database available at NIC Hqrs. was provided to 8 medical colleges during this period. User centres have been provided access to data from 1990 onwards; data prior to 1990 is provided from MEDLINE database on CDROM. A total 1791 search  requests were received at the Centre both over NICMAIL/e-mail and from users visiting the Centre. Information was provided from the MEDLARS as well as resources available over Internet plus CDROM databases. The Centre also continued to provide full text of journal articles from ADONIS database and articles not available in ADONIS were procured from NLM's DOCLINE.

New CDROM databases - Cochrane, Patient Education Library, Drug Information Full text, IPA, Pascal Biomed and Allied & Complementary Medicine were procured. Out of these, IPA, Patient Education Library and Cochrane databases are full text while the rest are bibliographic.

Disease Updates were prepared on Japanese encephalitis (for Andhra Pradesh) by compiling information from the resources available on Internet. This information was distributed to health professionals tackling the epidemic. A video conference of specialists from New Delhi, Pune and Hyderabad was organised to discuss the prevention and management of Japanese encephalitis.

The IndMED database developed through this Centre at present has 75 journals from 1986 onwards and is accessible from the website The Union Catalogue of Biomedical Periodicals (currently till December 1998) is being updated. Holding data of all the libraries are being collected for 1999.

A number of training programmes were conducted on the online searching of biblio-graphical databases in different cities across the country. A Workshop on Biomedical Research and the Internet was also organised in March 2000. The participants were medical/library pro-fessionals from ICMR institutes as well as from medical institutions in Delhi.


A new edition of the Directory of Journals Publishing Papers from ICMR Institutes (earlier called Publishing Journal Directory of ICMR) has been brought out with additional value-added inputs, updating analysis of the publications of ICMR institutes up to 1998 and initiating analysis of global AIDS research.

The present edition of the directory contains information on 634 publishing journals from the Council's permanent institutes for the period 1980-94. The coverage profile of these journals (brought out from 37 countries) in various secondary services indicates that the maximum number of journals are covered in BIOSIS (467) followed by Current Contents (384), Index Medicus (368), Excerpta Medica (363), Science Citation Index (Source Journals) (349), Indian Science Abstracts (133) and Tropical Diseases Bulletin (78). When the country of publication of these journals was studied, India tops the tally with 169 journals followed by USA (153), UK(127), The Netherlands (31), Switzerland and Germany with 26 journals each and Japan (15) and Denmark (10).

The analysis of HIV/AIDS research was taken up with publications downloaded from the MEDLARS database for the period 1990-94. Analysis showed that there was a gradual decline in the published literature on AIDS during the study period _ 1990 (3765); 1991 (3237); 1992 (3204); 1993 (2970) and 1994 (2079). The major countries publishing papers on HIV/AIDS were USA (6841); France (759); UK (753), Italy (633) and Germany (529). India ranked 17th in the hierarchy with just 74 papers. A total of 1982 journals were used to communicate this research; core journals being AIDS, Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes and Human Retrovirology, AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses, AIDS Education and Prevention, Journal of Virology, Journal of Infectious Diseases and AIDS Care. The authorship profile showed that in common with other areas, multi-authorship trend was clearly visible.

Analysis of SCI/JCR-based research output of ICMR institutes in terms of average impact factor/paper has been initiated.

Bioinformatics Centre

The Bioinformatics Centre has been set up in the Council in June 1999 by expanding the activities of the existing Integrated Research Information System (IRIS). These activities include the following: to publish information available with and generated by ICMR on the web; to work as a platform to publish information available with other key institutes on the web; to provide good internet access to ICMR institutes  and other key institutes; to establish communication links with other ICMR institutes, Bioinformatics Centres of DBT, other key institutes and funding agencies; and to provide internet related services for health research planning to ICMR scientists and program managers.

Work on networking of seven ICMR institutes was initiated during the year. These institutes are being provided with Local Area Network (LAN), Internet connectivity of 64 kbps or higher, network server, scanner, CD writer etc. Good internet connectivity using RF and VSAT from the NIC is available to the Council. Users on the network are provided access to the internet through proxy server and to the e-mail through Microsoft exchange server. The ICMR web site ( ) has been developed in-house and hosted from a server in the NIC. The site gives highlights of ICMR activities and achievements, history of ICMR, e-mail directory of ICMR scientists, information on ICMR awards, news and announcement of events, ICMR Bulletin, list of ICMR publications, informative write ups on ICMR institutes/centres, searchable list of scientists and their publications, details of various extramural research grants including application forms for downloading, searchable information on funded projects since 1982 etc. Research results of ICMR institutes and of epidemiological surveys etc. will also be published on the site.

Biomedical Exhibitions/National Science Day Celebrations/Book Fairs

The Council and its Institutes/Centres organized various activities during the year for dissemination of biomedical information and information on ICMR's activities to different target groups.

As part of the Hindi Day celebrations of the Council, a popular lecture (in Hindi) on "Health, Environment and Law" (Swasthya, Paryavaran aur Kanoon) by Dr.M.C.Gupta, Professor and Head, Department of Education and Training, National Institute of Health and Family Welfare, New Delhi was organized at the Council's Headquarters.

The various Institutes/Centres of the Council celebrated the National Science Day (NSD) in  February/March 2000 with focus on the theme "Recreating interest in basic sciences". Various events like lectures/ discussions, open houses / seminars /symposia, display/ demonstrations/ exhibitions etc. were organized for general public and school children in addition to debate/ essay/ drawing /quiz competitions for school children. CJIL, Agra; RMRC, Jabalpur; DMRC, Jodhpur and RMRI, Patna organised programmes in Hindi including debate competition, quiz programmes for school children, popular lectures, exhibitions, demonstrations etc. for laymen. The ICMR Headquarters organized a lecture on "New Challenges in Molecular Medicine" by Dr.Indira Nath, INSA S.N.Bose Research Professor, Department of Biotechnology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.

The ICMR Headquarters, NIN, Hyderabad; NIOH, Ahmedabad and MRC, Delhi participated in a science and technology exhibition organized as part of the Swadeshi Vigyan Mela at New Delhi during February 2000.

The Council participated in the 5th Delhi Book Fair (August, 1999) and 14th New Delhi World Book Fair (February, 2000) organized at New Delhi.

Human Resource Development

As part of the image-building exercise of the Council, a new initiative was taken up to strengthen the capability of ICMR Institutes towards communicating with the mass media as also the lay public. Such a capability strengthening is most essential at the peripheral level as several institutes are not adequately equipped to face the new challenges and demands of the media and the public. A Workshop on IEC in Biomedical Research was held at the National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad during December, 1999 to address this issue. The participants for this in-house training programme included middle level scientists and other staff from various ICMR Institutes. The basic objective of the Workshop was to prepare the ICMR Institutes to have a nucleus and infrastructure relating to communi-cating with the media. This would also serve as an interface between the institutes' scientists and the media to improve the overall image of the ICMR in a positive way. The participants were exposed to various facets of how the print and electronic media operates as also the various constraints faced by the media personnel in getting information from science agencies. The participants and the media people interacted on issues relating to the better coverage of health science in the media and how to mutually cooperate to promote better media coverage. In addition, the participants were also trained to access latest information from the internet and electronic databases. They were also trained to  present scientific information to lay people essentially to relay messages of public health interest.

A pre-tested questionnaire was used to evaluate the Workshop. The feed-back received showed that the participants felt that the Workshop was very useful. As this was the first Workshop of this kind some suggestions received for partial reconstructing would be incorporated in the future training programmes.