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'''PubMed Central''' ('''PMC''') is a free [[digital repository]] that archives [[open access|publicly accessible]] full-text scholarly articles that have been published within the [[biomedical]] and [[life sciences]] journal literature. As one of the major research databases within the suite of resources that have been developed by the [[National Center for Biotechnology Information]] (NCBI), PubMed Central is much more than just a document repository. Submissions into PMC undergo an indexing and formatting procedure which results in enhanced metadata, [[medical ontologies|medical ontology]], and unique identifiers which all enrich the XML structured data for each article on deposit.<ref>{{cite journal | doi = 10.4242/BalisageVol6.Beck01 | title=Report from the Field: PubMed Central, an XML-based Archive of Life Sciences Journal Articles | journal=Proceedings of the International Symposium on XML for the Long Haul: Issues in the Long-term Preservation of XML | last1 = Beck | first1 = Jeff}}</ref> Content within PMC can easily be interlinked to many other NCBI databases and accessed via [[Entrez]] search and retrieval systems, further enhancing the public's ability to freely discover, read and build upon this portfolio of biomedical knowledge.<ref>[{{cite web|url= NCBI Handbook: |title=PubMed Central. |first1=Chris |last1=Maloney, |first2=Ed |last2=Sequeira, |first3=Christopher |last3=Kelly, |first4=Rebecca |last4=Orris,|first5=Jeffrey|last5=Beck|date=5 andDecember Jeffrey2013|publisher=National BeckCenter Decfor 2013]Biotechnology Information (US)|}}</ref>
PubMed Central should not be confused with [[PubMed]]. These are two very different services at their core.<ref>[{{cite web|url= |title=MEDLINE, PubMed, and PMC (PubMed Central): How are they different?]|author=|date=|}}</ref> While PubMed is a searchable database of biomedical citations and abstracts, the full-text article referenced in the PubMed record will physically reside elsewhere. (Sometimes in print, sometimes online, sometimes free, sometimes behind a toll-wall accessible only to paying subscribers). PubMed Central is a free digital archive of articles, accessible to anyone from anywhere via a basic web browser. The full text of all PubMed Central articles is free to read, with varying provisions for reuse.
{{As of|2016|12}}, the PMC archive contained over 4.1 million articles,<ref>"Openness by Default", ''Inside Higher Ed'', 16th January 2017.</ref> with contributions coming directly from publishers or authors depositing their own manuscripts into the repository per the [[NIH Public Access Policy]]. Older data shows that from Jan 2013 – Jan 2014 author-initiated deposits exceeded 103,000 papers during this 12-month period.<ref>[{{cite web|url= NIH Manuscript Submission|title=NIHMS Statistics]|author=|date=|}}</ref> PMC also identifies about 4,000 journals which now participate in some capacity to automatically deposit their published content into the PMC repository.<ref>[{{cite web|url=|title=Home PubMedCentral]- PMC - NCBI|author=|date=|}}</ref> Some participating publishers will delay the release of their articles on PubMed Central for a set time after publication, this is often referred to as an "embargo period", and can range from a few months to a few years depending on the journal. (Embargoes of six to twelve months are the most common). However, PubMed Central is a key example of "systematic external distribution by a third party"<ref></ref> which is still prohibited by the contributor agreements of many publishers.
A UK version of the PubMed Central system, [[UK PubMed Central (UKPMC)]], has been developed by the [[Wellcome Trust]] and the [[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]], was launched in October 2009.
The [[National Library of Medicine]] "NLM Journal Publishing Tag Set" journal article [[markup language]] is freely available.<ref>{{cite web|title=Journal Publishing Tag Set|url=|publisher=National Center for Biotechnology Information|accessdate=6 November 2013}}</ref> The [[Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers]] comments that "it is likely to become the standard for preparing scholarly content for both books and journals".<ref>{{cite web|last=French|first=Diane|title=ALPSP Technology Update: A Standard XML Document Format: The case for the adoption of NLM DTD|url=;6f7e7fea.06|publisher=ALPSP|accessdate=6 November 2013|date=4 August 2006}}</ref> A related [[Document Type Definition|DTD]] is available for books.<ref>[{{cite web|url= NLM-|title=NCBI Book Tag Set]|author=|date=|}}</ref> The [[Library of Congress]] and the British Library have announced support for the NLM DTD.<ref>{{cite web|title=News from the Library of Congress|url=|work=Library of Congress|accessdate=6 November 2013|date=19 April 2006}}</ref> It has also been popular with journal service providers.<ref>[ Inera NLM DTD Resources]</ref>
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.<ref>[{{cite web|url= |title=Public Access Plans of U.S. Federal Agencies]|author=|date=|}}</ref> This includes NASA content, with the interface branded as "PubSpace".<ref>[ Public Access to Results of NASA-funded Research]</ref><ref>[{{cite web|url=|title=NASA PubSpace]in PMC|author=|date=|}}</ref>
== Reception ==
Reactions to PubMed Central among the scholarly publishing community range between a genuine enthusiasm by some,<ref>[ PLOS Applauds Congress for Action on Open Access]</ref> to cautious concern by others.<ref>[{{cite web|url= |title=ACS Submission to the Office of Science and Technology Policy Request for Information on Public Access to Peer-Reviewed Scholarly Publications Resulting from Federally Funded Research]|author=|date=|}}</ref> 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 economic consequences of less readership, as well as the effect on maintaining a community of scholars within learned societies.<ref>[ Davis PM. The effect of public deposit of scientific articles on readership. Physiologist. 2012 Oct;55(5):161, 163-5]</ref> 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.<ref>[{{cite web|url= |title=Autism Speaks Announces New Policy to Give Families Easy, Free Access to Key Research Findings] - Press Release - Autism Speaks|author=|date=25 July 2012|}}</ref>
The Antelman study of open access publishing found that in philosophy, political science, electrical and electronic engineering and mathematics, [[Open access (publishing)|open access]] papers had a greater research impact.<ref>{{cite web| url =| title = Do Open-Access Articles Have a Greater Research Impact? | publisher = College & Research Libraries 65(5) | date = September 2004 | pages =372–382| author = Kristin Antelman}} and summarized by [ C&RL News]</ref> A randomised trial found an increase in content downloads of open access papers, with no citation advantage over subscription access one year after publication.<ref>[http{{cite journal|url= |title=Open access publishing, article downloads, and citations: randomised controlled trial]|first1=Philip M.|last1=Davis|first2=Bruce V.|last2=Lewenstein|first3=Daniel H.|last3=Simon|first4=James G.|last4=Booth|first5=Mathew J. L.|last5=Connolly|date=31 July 2008|publisher=|journal=BMJ|volume=337|pages=a568||doi=10.1136/bmj.a568|pmid=18669565}}</ref>
The change in procedure has received criticism.<ref>[ C&RL News: Scholarly Communication in Flux: Entrenchment and Opportunity] Kate Thomes, Science & Technology Libraries 22, no. 3/4 (220): 104 "Many faculty see the current system of scholarly communication as an effective, known, and reliable system that is not broken and therefore does not need to be fixed".</ref> The American Physiological Society has expressed reservations about the implementation of the policy.<ref>[ The American Physiological Society] "Although the American Physiological Society (APS) supports the principle of public access, the NIH approach is a mallet rather than a scalpel. It is likely to harm publishers, which will in turn harm the dissemination of science through the literature".</ref>