The National Library of Medicine Expands Access to Coronavirus Literature Through PubMed Central

March 26, 2020
To: ABC Members and Supporters
From: American Botanical Council
Re: The National Library of Medicine Expands Access to Coronavirus Literature Through PubMed Central

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has announced that the National Library of Medicine (NLM) is expanding access to scientific papers on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) by expanding the number of journal articles available on the database, and by providing faster access to research papers. NIH has taken these steps in order to facilitate efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, in an effort to enable researchers to mine texts for the development of useful strategies in the fight against the SARS-CoV 2 virus, the virus responsible for COVID-19.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the National Institutes of Health, is working on multiple fronts to aid in the COVID-19 response through new initiatives with the global publishing community and artificial intelligence researchers. NLM is expanding access to scientific papers on coronavirus for researchers, care providers, and the public, and for text-mining research. This work makes use of NLM’s PubMed Central(r) (PMC), a digital archive of peer-reviewed biomedical and life sciences literature. PMC currently provides access to nearly 6 million full-text journal articles.

Following a statement issued by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and science policy leaders from almost a dozen other nations, NLM has stepped up its collaboration with publishers and scholarly societies to increase the number of coronavirus-related journal articles in PMC, along with available data supporting them. Submitted publications will be made available in PMC as quickly as possible after publication, in formats, and with needed permissions to support text mining.

To support this initiative, NLM is adapting its standard procedures for depositing articles into PMC to provide greater flexibility that will ensure coronavirus research is readily available. NLM is also engaging with journals and publishers that do not currently participate in PMC but are in-scope for the NLM Collection. Interested publishers should contact pmc-phe@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov for information on participating in this initiative. Additional information, including a list of participating publishers and journals, is available here.

By making this collection of coronavirus articles more readily available in machine-readable formats, NLM aims to enable artificial intelligence researchers to develop and apply novel approaches to text mining to help answer questions about coronavirus. NLM has already made more than 10,000 full-text scholarly articles from PMC related to the coronavirus available through the COVID-19 Open Research Dataset (CORD-19). The CORD-19 dataset, the result of a request by OSTP, represents the most extensive machine-readable coronavirus literature collection available for text mining to date.

NLM will continue to aid COVID-19 response efforts by adding articles to its text-mining collection as they are published and submitted. It will also aim to bring this collection to the attention of artificial intelligence and machine learning research communities.

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is a leader in research in biomedical informatics and data science and the world’s largest biomedical library. NLM conducts and supports research in methods for recording, storing, retrieving, preserving, and communicating health information. NLM creates resources and tools that are used billions of times each year by millions of people to access and analyze molecular biology, biotechnology, toxicology, environmental health, and health services information. Additional information is available here.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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