PMID and PMCID in PubMed

Finding and using PMID and PMCID identifiers in PubMed.

This tutorial illustrates the differences between PMID and PMCID, as well as giving you some examples of how to retrieve PMCID articles within the database. PMID or PubMed identifier, is the number attached to each citation when it is entered into the Medline database. This number can also be used to search and pull up the citation. PMCID is an additional identifier for articles deposited at PubMed Central (PMC). PubMed Central is the National Institute of Health's digital archives. Since April 7, 2008, all peer-reviewed articles resulting from NIH-funded research must be submitted to PMC upon acceptance for publication. There are a variety of ways you can identify citations within the Medline database that have links to free full-text articles within PubMed Central. One way is to use the PubMed Central limiter for your search. If you've done a search, you can click on Advanced Search, and scroll down to the Limiters that are available to you within the Medline database. And under Subsets, if you scroll down there, you will see a subset entitled PubMed Central. Choosing that, and then clicking Search, will limit your search results to citations that contain a PubMed Central ID number. Articles in PubMed Central can be identified in any search by the presence of the PubMed Central icon, located to the right of the citation in the Abstract display setting of PubMed. Another way of identifying citations with PubMed Central ID numbers, is to use a filter that is built into the MyNCBI feature within PubMed. If you click on the link to the right of the citations in the summary display, entitled Manage Filters, you'll be taken to MyNCBI. If you click on the Browse Filters tab, and then under PubMed subcategories, click on Links, you can browse the various filters that are listed here, and select the Links to PMC (PubMed Central) filter. Then when you do a subsequent search, this filter will automatically pull out all citations that have links to free full-text articles located within PubMed Central.

By David Stewart


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