PubMed Tip of the Month…PubMed vs. PubMed Central

I often see people confuse PubMed and PubMed Central.  While these two resources are linked to one another, they are separate and distinct.  Here is a summary of the two:

 

PubMed

PubMed Central (PMC)

What is it? Citation & abstract database Full text repository
What am I searching? ·        Citations to journals indexed for MEDLINE, including out-of-scope articles (e.g. Nature article on plate tectonics) and articles not yet indexed for MEDLINE

·        Citations to articles in PubMed Central

·        Citations to books available on NCBI Bookshelf

·        Articles/manuscripts deposited by publishers or authors to comply with funder public access policies

·        Complete issues of journals that choose to deposit their full contents in PMC

 

How should I access & use? ·        Freely available

·        For links to full text articles through Tufts Libraries, access PubMed via the Hirsh Health Sciences Library website (‘PubMed @ Tufts’ from Databases tab, or under Quick Links)

·        While at Tufts (or any other institution that purchases journal subscriptions), do not use the ‘Free full text’ filter on a PubMed results page because this limits results to only those articles that are freely available to the public

·        Freely available

·        Can access directly, but usually no reason to do so

·        Look for ‘Free PMC Article’ link below article in PubMed list of results, or PMC button in PubMed abstract view

·        NIH Public Access Policy: all peer-reviewed journal articles that arise from NIH grant or cooperative agreement must be deposited in PMC & made publicly available no later than 12 months after publication

 

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