Europe PubMed Central

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Europe PubMed Central is a portal created by the the European Bioinformatics Institute, The University of Manchester (Mimas and NaCTeM), and the British Library (in cooperation with the with the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the U.S. National Library of Medicine), which allows users to search a variety of open access biomedical literature.[1] The portal is "based on PubMed Central (PMC), developed at the NCBI in the USA and is part of a network of PMC International (PMCI) repositories that also includes PMC Canada. It is supported by 19 funders of biomedical research, including charities and government organisations in the UK, Austria, and Italy, led by the Wellcome Trust."[1]

According to a blog post by Herve Basset:[2]

Unlike PubMed Central, Europe PMC provides a single point of access to not only full-text articles but additionally the abstracts available through PubMed. The Europe PMC interface also offers novel features and functionality, including links to other relevant content, integrated text and data mining tools and grant reporting services through Europe PMC plus.

The portal lists coverage of the following publications:[1]

  • PubMed abstracts (about 22 million)
  • Europe PMC full text articles (about 2.2 million, of which over 400,000 are Open Access)
  • Patent abstracts (over 4 million European, US, and International)
  • National Health Service (NHS) clinical guidelines
  • Agricola records (500,000)
  • Supplemented with Chinese Biological Abstracts and the Citeseer database.


From the homepage of the portal, users can enter search queries in the quick search form available at the top of the page. The quick search form acts as a command line interface and accepts a query syntax that includes Boolean operators, truncation operators, quotations (for exact phrases), parentheses, and field qualifiers. See this guide on the Europe PubMed Central website for more information on correct query syntax.

The user may also select the small gear icon beside the quick search form to open the advanced fielded search form. The advanced search form includes the following fields: Title(s), Author(s), Affiliation(s), Publication Year, Journal(s), MeSH Subject(s), or General query term. Users can choose to sort results by date or relevance, and users may also limit searches to specific subsets of data (Reviews, Biological Patents, Doctoral Theses, UK Clinical Guidelines, UK Research Reports, Meta-Analyses, Ran. Controlled Trials, All Clinical Trials, All Practice Guidelines).

Advanced Search form for Europe PubMed Central.

The hit list page includes the full query listed in the quick search form in query syntax format, and 25 results are listed per page below the quick search form. Users can filter results by all citations or full text articles, and a side menu displays popular content types for the full result set (Reviews, Biological Patents, Doctoral Theses, etc.) which the user can filter by. Results can also be sorted by relevance, date, or times cited. Specific citations in the hit list or the full search can be added to the clipboard using the small clipboard icon beside each result and at the top of the page. Users may also turn the search into an RSS feed, view a list of recent searches, or view the contents of the clipboard from the horizontal menu on the hit list page. Each search result lists the title, PubMed ID, authors, journal citation, and number of times cited, and the user can select the title of the result to view the full document record.

Hit list (with quick search form) for Europe PubMed Central.

The full record view is organized under a number of tabs:

  • Abstract - Basic bibliographic information and abstract for the document, with the option to highlight key terms in the abstract.

Abstract tab of the full record view for an article.

  • Citations - List of citations cited by the document and a list of all citations that cite this document. Each citation can be added to the clipboard.

Lists of "Cited By" and "Cites the Following" citations under the full record view.

  • BioEntities - Biological entities annotated by the EMBL EBI and NCBI teams.
  • Related Articles - A list of articles related to the current article, located by comparing subject headings and words in the title and abstract.

If a tab is not available, it is grayed out and unclickable. A side menu beside the full record provides additional options, such as:

  • View recent activity.
  • View all saved material on the clipboard.
  • Return to search results.
  • View the record in a variety of formats (abstract, full text when available, PDF, etc).
  • Export the citation (RIS format).
  • Email the citation.
  • Search by related subjects.

Other Tools

The Europe PubMed Central portal also includes a selection of other tools for locating RSS Feeds, journals, and grants, all available through the top horizontal menu on the homepage:

  • RSS Feed - Select from a list of RSS feeds to follow, related to latest or most popular articles and articles added by a specific funder.
  • Journal List - Browse/search through an alphabetical list of all journals available through the portal. The table listing the journals includes the amount of free access available for each journal and the participation level of the journal.
  • Grant Lookup - Search for grants by name, title, keyword, institution, grant ID, and limit by funder.

Grant look-up tool for Europe PubMed Central.

PMC International

The PMC International (PMCI) project is a "collaborative effort between NIH and NLM, the publishers whose journal content makes up the PMC archive," and the longterm goal of the project is to "create a network of digital archives that can share all of their respective locally deposited content with others in the network."[3] The two PMCI centers currently supported by the NLM include Europe PMC and PMC Canada, and according to the NLM website:[3]

Collaboration with each center is based on a formal agreement between the NLM and the center's sponsors concerning the management of the archive. This agreement protects the rights of those who deposit content in PMC and ensures the integrity of their content by requiring each center to use NCBI's pPMC software [...]. It also ensures that users will always have free access to the content.

The NLM website gives the following description of what PMC content is available on the PMCI sites:[3]

Europe PMC and PMC Canada include all PMC content - with the exception of final published articles from publishers who have not given permission for their content to be deposited in one or both of these international sites. Since July 2006, all PMC Participation Agreements have included permission to make a participating journal's PMC content available to UKPMC (now known as Europe PMC) automatically. Publishers participating in PMC prior to July 2006 were asked for permission to deposit their content into UKPMC, and most agreed to it.

Similarly, since June 2009, all PMC Participation Agreements have also included permission to make a participating journal's PMC content available in PMC Canada automatically. Publishers participating in PMC prior to June 2009 were asked for permission to deposit their PMC content in PMC Canada. Again, most have agreed to it.

The NLM hopes to expand the PMCI network "to include centers serving other countries or regions" in the future.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "About." Europe PubMed Central website, Accessed December 3, 2012.
  2. Basset, Herve. "Europe PubMed Central: not only a new Medline." Published November 28, 2012. Science Intelligence and InfoPros blog, Accessed December 3, 2012.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 "PMC International." NLM website, Accessed January 29, 2013.

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