National Center for Biotechnology Information
Pre-Release of NCBI CD-ROM - "Entrez: Sequences"
The NCBI is providing a limited distribution of an end-user CD-
ROM which contains an integrated view of DNA and protein sequence
data and their associated MEDLINE entries. After an evaluation
of the CD-ROM, retrieval software and databases, a general dis-
tribution is planned for the fall of 1991.
Entrez Retrieval System
The retrieval system, Entrez, was developed at the NCBI and pro-
vides a fast and intuitive user interface for searching sequence
and bibliographic data. A key feature of the system is the con-
cept of 'neighboring' whereby a user can locate all related
references or sequences by using pre-computed tables which meas-
ure the relatedness of all articles and all sequences. Thus, a
user can ask "Find all papers that are like this one" or "Find
all sequences that are like this sequence". In addition to
neighboring, which relates records within a database by statisti-
cal measures of similarity, 'hard links' have been created
between entries in different databases. For example, given a
MEDLINE article, there are links to entries in sequence databases
which have referenced that article. Links also exist between nu-
cleotide sequences and the proteins derived from them through
The "Entrez: Sequences" CD-ROM contains over 86,000 MEDLINE cita-
tions with abstracts which have been indexed under the MeSH head-
ing "Molecular Sequence Data" or which have been cited in the se-
quence databases. Complete sequence data from Release 27.0 of
the Protein Identification Resource and Release 66.0 of GenBank
have been included on the pre-release CD-ROM. Over 53,000 pro-
tein sequences from PIR and conceptual translation of GenBank
plus 35,000 nucleotide sequences from GenBank are available. The
sequence databases have been compared with themselves to compute
groups of similar sequences using the BLAST local alignment
In addition to the "Entrez: Sequences" CD-ROM, a CD-ROM of unpro-
cessed data files without retrieval software will be available
for sites accustomed to integrating sequence databases into cus-
tom systems and for commercial redistributors. It is expected
that both CD-ROMS will be distributed at two-month intervals.
A mailing list is now being assembled for individuals who would
be interested in participating in the CD-ROM evaluation or who
would like to stay informed of the availability of subscriptions
to NCBI CD-ROMs.
The CD-ROM requires either a Macintosh with at least 1 MB of memory,
and a hard disk or a PC-compatible computer with Microsoft Windows
(version 3.0 or later), at least 2 MB of memory and a hard disk.
The number of evaluation CD-ROMs is very limited and therefore we
have to limit the distribution to those who are willing to commit
some time to evaluating the CD-ROM and giving us your feedback.
If you can make this commitment, fill out the attached agreement
along with the mailing list information, and mail it to the NCBI.
We will not be able to send out evaluation copies to all requestors
but we will keep the agreement on file and send a copy of the next
release as soon as it is available.
Dennis A. Benson, NCBI/NLM
June 21, 1991
To Subscribers of NCBI "Entrez: Sequences" CD-ROM:
Please complete the following agreement, sign it and fax or mail to:
National Library of Medicine
Bldg. 38A, Room 8N-803
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
FAX: (301) 480-9241
We will return a copy of the agreement to you along with the
CDROM. You will also be notified of subsequent releases and
If you have any questions, please call (301) 496-2475 or e-mail:
'info at ncbi.nlm.nih.gov'
Thank you for your participation.
National Library of Medicine (NLM)
(Name of Individual/Institution)
The National Center for Biotechnology Information, NLM,
hereinafter referred to as NCBI, and the undersigned agree to enter
into a pre-release agreement for the use and evaluation of a CD-ROM
system of information retrieval software and databases known as
"Entrez: Sequences" which has been developed by NCBI. Use of the
CD-ROM shall be governed by the following terms and conditions.
The Entrez system has been developed by the NCBI as a
research and development project to investigate CDROM retrieval
strategies. Prior to general distribution, NCBI desires to make
the software and databases available to a limited number of sites
in order to test and evaluate performance and functionality.
1. Use of this CD-ROM is for non-commercial applications only and
is contingent upon agreement to cooperate with evaluation plans
to be developed by NCBI. Evaluation may include on-line or mail
questionnaires, and telephone interviews.
2. The software and databases are furnished as is, without war-
ranty of any kind, either express or implied, and the under-
signed agrees to hold NCBI and the Government free from any
liability resulting from use of the software or databases.
The software has been developed for PCDOS and Macintosh operating
systems and the NCBI makes no representation that the software
will execute on any other systems.
3. The undersigned agrees not to copy, sublicense, distribute
or transfer the associated data files, in whole or in part.
This agreement shall apply to the initial distribution of
"Entrez: Sequences" and subsequent releases of the evaluation
versions. (Source code for the Entrez retrieval software, however,
is in the public domain and freely distributable.)
4. This agreement shall be effective upon the date of signature
of all parties and shall continue for one year, unless terminated
sooner by either party upon written advance notice of 30 days.
III. Agreed to this ___ day of ________________.
Signature (Name of Individual/Organization)
For NCBI Mailing List:
Name (Print) Degree
City, State, ZIP