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PubMed Central (PMC) is a free digital repository that archives
open access Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research Research is "creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis o ...

open access
full-text scholarly articles that have been published in
biomedical Biomedicine (also referred to as Western medicine, mainstream medicine or conventional medicine)
and
life sciences This list of life sciences comprises the branches of science The branches of science, also referred to as science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, build ...
journals. As one of the major research databases developed by the
National Center for Biotechnology Information The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is part of the United States National Library of Medicine The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM), operated by the Federal government of the United States, United States fed ...
(NCBI), PubMed Central is more than a document repository. Submissions to PMC are indexed and formatted for enhanced
metadata Metadata is "data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or items of information, often numeric. In a more technical sense, data are a set of values of qualitative property, qualitative or quantity, quantitative variable (research), v ...

metadata
, medical
ontology Ontology is the branch of philosophy that studies concepts such as existence, being, Becoming (philosophy), becoming, and reality. It includes the questions of how entities are grouped into Category of being, basic categories and which of these ...
, and unique identifiers which enrich the
XML Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language #REDIRECT Markup language In computer text processing, a markup language is a system for annotation, annotating a document in a way that is Syntax (logic), syntactically distinguishable fro ...

XML
structured data for each article. Content within PMC can be linked to other NCBI databases and accessed via
Entrez 120px, The Entrez logo The Entrez (pronounced ''ɒnˈtreɪ'') Global Query Cross-Database Search System is a federated search Federated search retrieves information from a variety of sources via a search application built on top of one or more se ...

Entrez
search and retrieval systems, further enhancing the public's ability to discover, read and build upon its biomedical knowledge. PubMed Central is distinct from
PubMed PubMed is a free search engine accessing primarily the MEDLINE bibliographic database, database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes ...

PubMed
. PubMed Central is a free digital archive of full articles, accessible to anyone from anywhere via a web browser (with varying provisions for reuse). Conversely, although PubMed is a searchable database of biomedical citations and abstracts, the full-text article resides elsewhere (in print or online, free or behind a subscriber
paywall A paywall is a method of restricting access to content (media), content, with a purchase or a subscription business model, paid subscription, especially news. Beginning in the mid-2010s, newspapers started implementing paywalls on their websites ...
). , the PMC archive contained over 5.2 million articles, with contributions coming from publishers or authors depositing their manuscripts into the repository per the
NIH Public Access PolicyThe NIH Public Access Policy is an open access mandate, drafted in 2004 and mandated in 2008,National Institutes of Health"Request for Information: NIH Public Access Policy" available at https://publicaccess.nih.gov/comments.htm. ("NIH implemented ...
. Earlier data shows that from January 2013 to January 2014 author-initiated deposits exceeded 103,000 papers during a 12-month period. PMC identifies about 4,000 journals which participate in some capacity to deposit their published content into the PMC repository. Some publishers delay the release of their articles on PubMed Central for a set time after publication, referred to as an "embargo period", ranging from a few months to a few years depending on the journal. (Embargoes of six to twelve months are the most common.) PubMed Central is a key example of "systematic external distribution by a third party", which is still prohibited by the contributor agreements of many publishers.


Adoption

Launched in February 2000, the repository has grown rapidly as the
NIH Public Access PolicyThe NIH Public Access Policy is an open access mandate, drafted in 2004 and mandated in 2008,National Institutes of Health"Request for Information: NIH Public Access Policy" available at https://publicaccess.nih.gov/comments.htm. ("NIH implemented ...
is designed to make all research funded by the
National Institutes of Health The National Institutes of Health (NIH ) is the primary agency of the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States ...
(NIH) freely accessible to anyone, and, in addition, many publishers are working cooperatively with the NIH to provide free access to their works. In late 2007, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 (H.R. 2764) was signed into law and included a provision requiring the NIH to modify its policies and require inclusion into PubMed Central complete electronic copies of their peer-reviewed research and findings from NIH-funded research. These articles are required to be included within 12 months of publication. This is the first time the US government has required an agency to provide
open access Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research Research is "creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis o ...

open access
to research and is an evolution from the 2005 policy, in which the NIH asked researchers to voluntarily add their research to PubMed Central. A UK version of the PubMed Central system, UK PubMed Central (UKPMC), has been developed by the
Wellcome Trust The Wellcome Trust is a charitable foundation focused on health research based in London, in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1936 with legacies from the pharmaceutical magnate Henry Wellcome to fund research to improve human and animal ...
and the
British Library The British Library is the national library A national library is a library established by a government as a country's preeminent repository of information. Unlike public library, public libraries, these rarely allow citizens to borrow book ...

British Library
as part of a nine-strong group of UK research funders. This system went live in January 2007. On 1 November 2012, it became Europe PubMed Central. The Canadian member of the PubMed Central International network,
PubMed Central Canada PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) was a Canadian national digital repository of peer-reviewed health and life sciences literature, taken offline in February 2018. It joined Europe PubMed Central (formerly UK PubMed Central) as a member of the PubM ...
, was launched in October 2009. The
National Library of Medicine The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM), operated by the United States federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United Sta ...
"NLM Journal Publishing Tag Set" journal article
markup language #REDIRECT Markup language In computer text processing, a markup language is a system for annotation, annotating a document in a way that is Syntax (logic), syntactically distinguishable from the text, meaning when the document is processed for di ...
is freely available. The
Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers The Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers (ALPSP) is an international trade association of non-profit publishers created in 1972. It is the largest association of scholarly and professional publishers in the world, with nearly ...
comments that "it is likely to become the standard for preparing scholarly content for both books and journals". A related DTD is available for books. The
Library of Congress The Library of Congress (LC) is the research library A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order ...

Library of Congress
and the British Library have announced support for the NLM DTD. It has also been popular with journal service providers. With the release of public access plans for many agencies beyond NIH, PMC is in the process of becoming the repository for a wider variety of articles. This includes NASA content, with the interface branded as "PubSpace".


Technology

Articles are sent to PubMed Central by publishers in
XML Extensible Markup Language (XML) is a markup language #REDIRECT Markup language In computer text processing, a markup language is a system for annotation, annotating a document in a way that is Syntax (logic), syntactically distinguishable fro ...

XML
or
SGML The Standard Generalized Markup Language (SGML; ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO ) is an international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social) ...

SGML
, using a variety of article DTDs. Older and larger publishers may have their own established in-house DTDs, but many publishers use the NLM Journal Publishing DTD (see above). Received articles are converted via
XSLT XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations) is a language for XML transformation language, transforming XML documents into other XML documents, or other formats such as HTML for web pages, plain text or XSL Formatting Objects, which may s ...

XSLT
to the very similar NLM Archiving and Interchange DTD. This process may reveal errors that are reported back to the publisher for correction. Graphics are also converted to standard formats and sizes. The original and converted forms are archived. The converted form is moved into a relational database, along with associated files for graphics, multimedia, or other associated data. Many publishers also provide
PDF Portable Document Format (PDF), standardized as ISO 32000, is a file format ogg-file: 154 kilobytes. A file format is a standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for pe ...
of their articles, and these are made available without change. Bibliographic citations are parsed and automatically linked to the relevant abstracts in PubMed, articles in PubMed Central, and resources on publishers' Web sites. PubMed links also lead to PubMed Central. Unresolvable references, such as to journals or particular articles not yet available at one of these sources, are tracked in the database and automatically come "live" when the resources become available. An in-house indexing system provides search capability, and is aware of biological and
medical terminology Medical terminology is language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self an ...
, such as generic vs. proprietary drug names, and alternate names for organisms, diseases and anatomical parts. When a user accesses a journal issue, a table of contents is automatically generated by retrieving all articles, letters, editorials, etc. for that issue. When an actual item such as an article is reached, PubMed Central converts the NLM markup to
HTML The HyperText Markup Language, or HTML is the standard markup language #REDIRECT Markup language In computer text processing, a markup language is a system for annotation, annotating a document in a way that is Syntax (logic), syntacticall ...

HTML
for delivery, and provides links to related data objects. This is feasible because the variety of incoming data has first been converted to standard DTDs and graphic formats. In a separate submission stream, NIH-funded authors may deposit articles into PubMed Central using the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS). Articles thus submitted typically go through XML markup in order to be converted to NLM DTD.


Reception

Reactions to PubMed Central among the scholarly publishing community range between a genuine enthusiasm by some, to cautious concern by others. While PMC is a welcome partner to open access publishers in its ability to augment the discovery and dissemination of biomedical knowledge, that same truth causes others to worry about traffic being diverted from the published
version of record The version of record of an article is the fully copyedited, typeset and formatted copy of a manuscript as published. The terminology is used in a wide variety of written media (e.g. Academic book, books, Academic journal, journals, monographs). D ...
, the economic consequences of less readership, as well as the effect on maintaining a community of scholars within learned societies. A 2013 analysis found strong evidence that public repositories of published articles were responsible for "drawing significant numbers of readers away from journal websites" and that "the effect of PMC is growing over time". Libraries, universities, open access supporters, consumer health advocacy groups, and patient rights organizations have applauded PubMed Central, and hope to see similar public access repositories developed by other federal funding agencies so to freely share any research publications that were the result of taxpayer support. The Antelman study of open access publishing found that in philosophy, political science, electrical and electronic engineering and mathematics,
open access Open access (OA) is a set of principles and a range of practices through which research Research is "creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis o ...
papers had a greater research impact. A randomised trial found an increase in content downloads of open access papers, with no citation advantage over subscription access one year after publication. The NIH policy and open access repository work has inspired a 2013 presidential directive which has sparkled action in other federal agencies as well. In March 2020, PubMed Central accelerated its deposit procedures for the full text of publications on
coronavirus Coronaviruses are a group of related Orthornavirae, RNA viruses that cause diseases in mammals and birds. In humans and birds, they cause respiratory tract infections that can range from mild to lethal. Mild illnesses in humans include some ca ...

coronavirus
. The NLM did so upon request from the White House
Office of Science and Technology Policy The Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is a department of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is a country Contiguous United States, primarily loc ...
and international scientists to improve access for scientists, healthcare providers, data mining innovators, AI healthcare researchers, and the general public.


PMCID

The PMCID (PubMed Central identifier), also known as the PMC reference number, is a
bibliographic Bibliography (from and ), as a discipline, is traditionally the academic study of books as physical, cultural objects; in this sense, it is also known as bibliology (from ). English author and bibliographer John Carter describes bibliography a ...
identifier An identifier is a name that identifies (that is, labels the identity of) either a unique object or a unique ''class'' of objects, where the "object" or class may be an idea, physical countable In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) i ...
for the PubMed Central database, much like the
PMID PubMed is a free search engine accessing primarily the MEDLINE MEDLINE (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online, or MEDLARS Online) is a bibliographic database A bibliographic database is a database of bibliographic records, ...
is the bibliographic identifier for the
PubMed PubMed is a free search engine accessing primarily the MEDLINE bibliographic database, database of references and abstracts on life sciences and biomedical topics. The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes ...

PubMed
database. The two identifiers are distinct however. It consists of "PMC" followed by a
string String or strings may refer to: *String (structure), a long flexible structure made from threads twisted together, which is used to tie, bind, or hang other objects Arts, entertainment, and media Films * Strings (1991 film), ''Strings'' (1991 fil ...
of seven numbers. The format is: * PMCID: PMC1852221 Authors applying for
NIH The National Institutes of Health (NIH ) is the primary agency of the United States government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States ...
awards must include the PMCID in their application.


See also

* Europe PubMed Central *
JATS The Journal Article Tag Suite (JATS) is an XML format used to Metadata, describe scientific literature published online. It is a technical standard developed by the National Information Standards Organization (NISO) and approved by the American N ...
(technology) *
MEDLINE MEDLINE (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online, or MEDLARS Online) is a bibliographic database A bibliographic database is a database of bibliographic records, an organized digital collection of references to published literatu ...

MEDLINE
, an international literature database of life sciences and biomedical information *
PMID PubMed is a free search engine accessing primarily the MEDLINE MEDLINE (Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online, or MEDLARS Online) is a bibliographic database A bibliographic database is a database of bibliographic records, ...
(PubMed Identifier) *
PubMed Central Canada PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) was a Canadian national digital repository of peer-reviewed health and life sciences literature, taken offline in February 2018. It joined Europe PubMed Central (formerly UK PubMed Central) as a member of the PubM ...
*
Redalyc The Redalyc project (''Red de Revistas Científicas de América Latina y El Caribe, España y Portugal'') is a bibliographic database and a digital library of Open Access journals, supported by the Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México with ...

Redalyc
(similar project focused on Latin America) *
SciELO SciELO (Scientific Electronic Library Online) is a bibliographic database, digital library, and cooperative electronic publishing model of open access journals. SciELO was created to meet the scientific communication needs of developing countries ...
(similar service)


References


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Pubmed Central Biological databases Bibliographic databases and indexes National Institutes of Health Open-access archives Medical databases Full-text scholarly online databases