The Online Mendelian Inheritance In Man (OMIM) is a database that houses copious amounts of information about different phenotypes and human genes. The overall focus of the database it to link/explore the relationship between phenotypes and genotypes. The website includes full-text, referenced overviews that contain information on all of the known types of Mendelian diseases and more than 12,000 genes[1. A great feature of OMIM is that within the articles, there are links to more sources that can also be used as great resources to the viewer.
The OMIM was created back at the beginning of the 1960's by Dr.Victor A. McKusick as more of a catalog of Mendelian traits and disorders. Back then it was called "Mendelian Inheritance In Man" (MIM). Between 1966 and 1998, there were twelve different book editions of MIM published before the online version was made in 1985 by the William H. Welch Medical Library at John Hopkins and the National Library of Medicine[1. Two years later, it started to be readily available on the internet and in 1995 in was developed for the World Wide Web by NCBI, the National Center of Biotechnology Information .
The OMIM can be used by the public to look up fact-based information about the many different Mendelian disorders and/or numerous genes. By typing in the disorder you are researching or something related to your search topic, OMIM will compute a huge list of results pertaining to your search criteria. The best part about this database is that the articles are very scholarly, full-text, and laid out in a reader-friendly way. Databases are, by definition, "comprehensive collections of related data organized for convenientaccess, generally in a computer"[2.] . Taking that definition into account, the OMIM is just that! It provides data/information about genes and Mendelian disorders and makes the information readily available to the reader.
How to Use: Edit
This database is really easy to use. Simply go to the website and type in your search criteria. The database will then compile a list of articles and data that are related to the topic you searched for and allow you to read in-depth overviews and full-texts about your topic.
For example, if you type in Huntington's disease you will end up on the page pictured to the top right. This is a list of 7,065 different articles pertaining to the topic of Huntington's disease.
After clicking on the first article, the next page it leads the reader to is the one to the middle right. This is the first article, in full-text, and as you can see it is laid out in a very reader-friendly manner.
Lastly, if you click on a link within the article, the database will direct you to that resources within the bibliography at the conclusion of the article (bottom right). This is a quick way to find more resources regarding your topic.