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Office of Extramural Research, National Institutes of Health Extramural Nexus
  August 2008
New Resources
New Tool to Identify PubMed Central ID Numbers

When citing their NIH-funded papers in NIH applications, proposals or progress reports, authors must include the PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) for each paper that falls under the Public Access Policy. The National Library of Medicine has created a new utility ( that uses PubMed IDs (PMIDs) to look up PMCIDs, and vice versa. Users can enter PMIDs from their PubMed clipboard. The utility will provide a table of PMIDs with corresponding PMCIDs. For example, an author could look up all their publications in PubMed, save them to the clipboard, and use the utility to see which ones will be posted to PubMed Central.

Authors sometimes get confused between PubMed Central and PubMed. PubMed Central is a full text archive. Its identifer, the PMCID, is composed of the letters ‘PMC’ followed by digits. PubMed is an indexing service and its identifer, the PMID, is only composed of digits. Authors can find PMCIDs for a paper in the abstract plus view of PubMed. See for more information.

National Library of Medicine has a suite of other utilities as well, at For more information about the Public Access Policy please visit

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