- Medline stands for Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online. It is an international literature database of life sciences and biomedical information. It was established by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) in the early 1970s, from the computerized system used to produce the Index Medicus. Today it covers the fields of medicine, nursing, pharmacy, dentistry, veterinary medicine, and health care as well as much of the literature in biology and biochemistry, and fields with no direct medical connection, such as molecular evolution. It is freely available on the Internet and searchable via PubMed and NLM's National Center for Biotechnology Information's Entrez system. The database contains more than 15 million records from approximately 5,000 selected publications (NLM Systems, Feb 2007) covering biomedicine and health from 1966 to the present.