Wednesday, 5 December 2012

New science-writing competition now open!

Access to Understanding is a new science-writing competition, developed by Europe PubMed Central and The British Library, aimed at early career researchers and PhD students. The winner will receive an iPad and have their entry published in eLife. Read on for more…
For more information:

Follow us on Twitter: Europe PMC news and Europe PMC articles

Thursday, 1 November 2012

UKPMC becomes Europe PubMed Central

We are delighted to launch Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC), which reflects a growing commitment from European Life Sciences research funders to make their research freely available around the world.

As announced in July, the European Research Council (ERC) becomes the third European funder to join UKPMC, following Telethon Italy and the Austrian Research Fund. As a result of this participation, the 18 existing UK and European funders agreed that the UKPMC service should be rebranded as Europe PMC by 1 November 2012.

The service can now be found at the following URLs:

Europe PMC:           

Europe PMC plus:    
(For managing grants and publications for Europe PMC funder-supported researchers).

Europe PMC labs:    
(For showcasing new developments based on the content of Europe PMC).

UKPMC was originally launched in January 2007, initially as a mirror of the US National Institute of Health’s PubMed Central (PMC), providing international preservation of open- and free-access biomedical literature. The UKPMC funders require that research papers funded by them must be made freely available via UKPMC no later than 6 months after publication.

In 2010, the service diversified from PMC and introduced additional content including PubMed abstracts and biological patents, with innovations for navigation and search. Europe PMC now provides free access to: 
  • Over 2 million full text, peer-reviewed published journal articles
  • Nearly 5 million biological and medical patents records
  • More than 22 million PubMed abstracts
  • Over 40,000 grants held by nearly 20,000 principal investigators allowing you to find out who is being funded, to do what, and for how much.
This content is discoverable via an integrated full text and abstract search that is free to all to use, wherever you are. You can also use Europe PMC to:
  • See ‘cited by’ information for each article - you can now identify highly cited articles by using the citation sort tool.
  • Streamline your information discovery by directly linking-out to gene, protein and chemical compound databases, including UniProt, PDB, and Entrez Gene.
  • Stay up to date with new articles in your research area using the fully customisable RSS feeds.
A key aim of the rebrand to Europe PMC is to extend the repository further and encourage other European funders of life sciences research to make the outputs of the research they fund freely available through Europe PMC.

The decision of the ERC to join the expanded Europe PMC resource comes at a time when providing free access to research outputs is being championed at the highest levels within the UK and Europe.  David Willets, the UK’s Science Minister, this year committed the UK government to the principle of providing “public access to publicly-funded research results”, whilst Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for the Digital Agenda, statedwe need more timely access to scientific articles in Europe.  We need Open Access to scientific information".  Europe PMC is committed to playing a key role in realising these ambitions.

For the latest Europe PMC developments and more, follow us on Twitter: EuropePMC Updates

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

eLife - first articles now online

eLife, the new open-access journal for outstanding scientific advancements, has published its first four research articles.

First announced in summer 2011, eLife is a researcher-led initiative for the best in science and science communication. Backed by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society, and the Wellcome Trust, the initiative’s first aim is to launch an open-access journal for outstanding advances in life science and biomedicine, which is also a platform for experimentation and showcasing innovation in research communication.

Each research article is accompanied by a "Digest" *(example) which seeks to provide a lay persons summary of the research.

The eLife journal Web site is set for launch by the end of 2012, but the first collection of articles was released today – listed at the eLife Web site with the full content available at the online archive of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, PubMed Central (PMC), and its mirror sites including UKPMC

According to Randy Schekman, the journal’s Editor-in-chief, “We see no reason to delay the availability of these discoveries. Our editors have identified them as important, inspiring contributions of the high caliber expected for eLife. So, while the launch of our own journal Web site isn’t expected until December, we will best serve our authors, and science, by just getting them out there.” 

Monday, 13 August 2012

Search using vernacular journal titles

Have you ever wanted a JBC article and been irritated by the need to type ‘Journal of Biological Chemistry’ into your literature search engine?

Have you ever struggled to remember what ‘PNAS’ stands for? – ‘Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America’ in case you wanted to know!

The new vernacular journal title search feature in UK PubMed Central solves both of these problems.

You can now search for certain journals by vernacular title instead of needing to type out the name in full. We currently handle five commonly used acronyms and abbreviations:
  1. EMBOJ for The EMBO journal.
  2. JAMA for JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association.
  3. JBC for The Journal of Biological Chemistry.
  4. NEJM for The New England Journal of Medicine.
  5. PNAS for Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America.
Hopefully you’ll save valuable seconds on your next journal search – every little helps!

For the latest UKPMC developments and more, follow us on Twitter: UKPMCUpdates

Friday, 13 July 2012

European Research Council renews its commitment to open access by joining Europe PubMed Central

The European Research Council (ERC) announced today that it will participate in the UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) open access repository service, joining 18 existing UK and European funders[i].The ERC becomes the third European funder to join UKPMC, following Telethon Italy and the Austrian Research Fund.  As a result of this participation, the existing funders have agreed that the service will be rebranded as ‘Europe PubMed Central’ (Europe PMC) by 1 November 2012.  A key aim of this initiative is to extend the repository further and encourage other European funders of life sciences research to make the outputs of the research they fund freely available through Europe PMC. 

Read the Wellcome Trust press release.

[i] The UKPMC Funders’ Group, led by the Wellcome Trust, is comprised of Action on Hearing Loss, Arthritis Research UK, Austrian Research Fund (FWF), Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Chief Scientist Office (Scotland), Dunhill Medical Trust, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Medical Research Council, Motor Neurone Disease Association, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Myrovlytis Trust, National Institute for Health Research, Parkinson’s UK and Telethon (Italy).  See

Monday, 9 July 2012

Announcing the UK PubMed Central Web Service

A Web Service of UKPMC content has been released, and is available via the following link: (URL updated 10/4/2013).

The Web Service (version 3.0.1) is SOAP based and gives programmatic access to all of the publications and related information in UK PubMed Central. An example Java client is provided, together with comprehensive documentation on the methods available. The service is modular and allows users to pick and choose the components required, making information retrieval efficient.

We hope that users will find the Web Service beneficial and feedback is welcome.

You can also follow comments on this subject via Twitter: UKPMCUpdates

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Reactions to the Finch report on expanding access

The report of the Working Group chaired by Dame Janet Finch about Expanding Access to Published Research Findings has been published. This recommends a programme of action to enable more people to read and use the publications arising from research. Better, faster communication of research results will bring benefits for public services and for economic growth. It will also bring improved efficiency for researchers, and opportunities for more public engagement with research. The full report can be viewed here, and the executive summary here.

The Wellcome Trust, who leads the group of funders who support UK PubMed Central, has responded to the findings of the report on open access. Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust  said ‘We are delighted that the Finch Report encourages the UK to embrace open access, something that we at the Wellcome Trust feel very strongly about.’ ‘Open access is the only way to ensure that important research is made freely accessible to all. It will help drive forward innovation and breakthroughs in medical research.’

 Below are also some reactions from the media:


Financial Times



The Guardian


Daily Mail

SPARC Europe

And on the blogs:


Cameron Neylon

Stephen Curry

You can also follow our comments on this subject and more via Twitter: UKPMCUpdates

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Increasing proportion of UKPMC articles are open access

A previous post on this blog showed how the proportion of open access content in UKPMC was increasing. By open access, we mean "free to read AND free to reuse", at least for non-commercial purposes, although all the content on UKPMC is free to read. At that time the trend reported showed that the proportion of open access content had grown to 33% in 2009.

In 2010, the proportion of articles that are open access has risen to 41% of the articles published that year, or almost 70,000 articles in real numbers.

The graph below shows the growth of open access articles in UKPMC between 2001 and 2010.

You can also follow comments on this subject via Twitter: UKPMCUpdates

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

April deluge

Last month, the wettest April in the UK since records began, there was also a deluge of articles in the popular press about open access. 

This is a round-up of some of the articles (and perhaps notable by their absence are any articles that are behind a paywall!).  

Times Higher Education
28 April 2012
26 April 2012
25 April 2012
24 April 2012 

Scientific American
24 April 2012
24 April 2012
20 April 2012 

Times Higher Education
19 April 2012 

In an open email the council announced to the academic staff at the university that it can no longer afford to maintain its current level of journal subscriptions
Harvard University
17 April 2012 

Intellectual Property Watch
16 April 2012
16 April 2012
14 April 2012
13 April 2012
12 April 2012
10 April
10 April 2012
10 April 2012
10 April 2012 

BBC Radio 4 Today Programme
10 April
9 April 2012

Many of these we tweeted as they happened on UKPMCUpdates; do follow us for more!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Citation Sort Order and Navigation

Are you interested in finding highly cited articles? If so then the new features in UKPMC will be of value to you. Search results can now be sorted by the number of times articles have been cited.

Each search result is now shown with a count of the number of articles citing that record. If you click on the count, this will display the citing articles, which themselves can be sorted by citation count. The same functionality is also available under the "Citations" tab when viewing an abstract. As always your feedback on the new features is welcome.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Introducing UKPMC Labs

UKPMC Labs is a new component of the UKPMC website, which will showcase novel applications based on UKPMC content.

The first application to be featured on the Labs website is EvidenceFinder, an application that surfaces "facts" based on a user's search terms from full text articles.

The user is presented with a list of questions based on the search terms. Selecting a question refines the search results, and displays the specific evidence from the full text pertinent to that question. All evidential sentences from a given article can be also be browsed via the "Extracts from full text” tab. EvidenceFinder is built by NaCTeM, University of Manchester.

A good example of the power of this tool can be seen by searching for 'malaria' and selecting the "What causes Malaria?" question.

UKPMC Labs also includes Whatizit, built by the EBI. Whatizit is used in the main UKPMC web service to identify biological terms of interest.

There is now a link from the UKPMC homepage to Labs. We welcome Feedback on Labs-featured applications. Please tell us what you think!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Open Access, UKPMC and PubMed: how are we doing?

The graphic above shows articles available in UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) - read-only articles: green; Open Access articles: blue - compared to the number of abstracts in PubMed.

For articles published in 2010, using the ~925K articles in PubMed published in 2010 as 100%, UKPMC is about 18% of the size of PubMed, with Open Access articles around 7%.

A key factor to maintain this growth will be for the research community to improve compliance with the UKPMC Funder mandates, to ensure all articles resulting from those funds can be found in UKPMC.

Jo McEntyre

Thursday, 12 January 2012

SpringerPlus -- new OA journal from Springer

SpringerPlusSpringerPlus, the new Open Access journal from Springer (and based on the PLoS One model) is now accepting manuscripts from all disciplines of science.  

The journal will accept manuscripts describing original research as well as case descriptions and methods.  The submission of data reports and large datasets is actively encouraged.

All articles accepted for publication will be published under the Creative Commons, Attribution (CC-BY) only licence, and be deposited by the publisher in PubMed Central/UKPMC.  As such this journal is fully compliant with the policies of the Wellcome Trust and the other members of the UKPMC Funders Group.

Article Process Fess (APC's) are currently set at £700/$1085