National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

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April 5, 2007

In 2004 SALIS led a campaign to oppose the decision by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) to end funding for ETOH -- the Alcohol Problems and Science Database. Though it received wide support from leading AOD researchers and research organizations, sadly the "Save ETOH" effort was not successful, and funding and development for ETOH ceased on December 31, 2003. Since then, more databases and libraries in the field of alcohol and other drugs have faced elimination, cutbacks in services, and reductions in resources and staff, the most recent example of which is the announcement that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Library will close in June 2007. This unfortunate trend is being repeated throughout the library community in other disciplines, in the U.S. and around the world.

SALIS continues to call attention to these issues, and to advocate for an alcohol and other drug specific database, and for the AOD libraries which support the research and prevention efforts in the field. The idea of the combined AOD database has been endorsed by ELISAD European Libraries and Information Services, KBS Kettil Bruun Society, and ISJAE International Society of Journal Addiction Editors, as SALIS continues to explore that possibility.

This Save ETOH campaign website was created to document the value of the ETOH Database, so we leave it as a record of our fight for a cause we believed in. Two quotes from anthropologist Margaret Mead sum up the commitment within SALIS to stand up for the value of information:

"I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world."

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Since the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism created the Alcohol and Alcohol Problems Science Database (ETOH) more than thirty years ago, ETOH has become the major alcohol bibliographic resource for alcohol researchers, clinicians, and policy makers around the world.

NIAAA abruptly cancelled its funding for ETOH as of December 31, 2003, without any announcement or consultation with the community of alcohol researchers, clinicians, and librarians who use ETOH. All updates and development of ETOH stopped on that date. As committed users of and advocates for ETOH, SALIS is deeply concerned about the impact the loss of this resource will have on the work of science and the welfare of the public. We are calling for action among the community of alcohol researchers, librarians, and others who share our concern. Representing hundreds of researchers, the Kettil Bruun Society for Social and Epidemiological Research on Alcohol and the International Society of Addiction Journal Editors have endorsed the Save ETOH campaign, along with a growing list of individual alcohol researchers and librarians.


  • ETOH is the premier alcohol database in the world, with over 130,000 records
  • ETOH is a comprehensive multidisciplinary resource, with information from all disciplines relevant to the study of alcohol
  • ETOH indexes a wide variety of materials -- journals, books, government and think-tank reports, etc.
  • ETOH indexes with the Alcohol and Other Drug Thesaurus, providing far greater specificity in searching for alcohol-related topics than in any other database.
  • ETOH is FREE on the world wide web; it is cost-effective; if discontinued, costs borne by researchers will inevitably be ‘charged back’ to NIAAA resulting in:
    • Increased cost for NIAAA in grants -- or --
    • Less research funded.