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Europe PMC team

 | 14 March 2013


A RESTful Web Service for Europe PubMed Central

PMC is pleased to release a new RESTful Web Service, in addition to the
existing SOAP service. Both Web Services can be accessed via the ‘Resources’
menu option on the Europe PMC

As with the SOAP based service, the RESTful service gives
programmatic access to all of the publications and related information in
Europe PMC. With the RESTful the results can be presented directly into your
browser using HTTP URL syntax. The results can be returned in either XML or
JSON formats.

The new Web Service comes with a choice of modules designed to
deliver Europe PMC content. Full details and examples are available on the

RESTful page.

We hope
that users will benefit from the new Web Service and feedback is

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PMC articles


13 comments on "A RESTful Web Service for Europe PubMed Central"

I am excited about this announcement and have started to think how to use the new API.

There seems to be a problem with the following example:

Not only generates this an error, but the error is returned in XML and not JSON.

Hi Martin,
For some reason the syntax in the documentation was changed on release, however the documentation note is correct:
Note that to use the format parameter you must use the preceding database and page parameters, even if the former is empty and the latter is 1.
Try the following it should work, we will correct the URL examples:
Best regards, Phil

klortho says:

Very nice! Could you please expand all of the "show/hide" sections by default, or provide a "show all" button? The problem is that "find in page" doesn't work when the term I'm looking for (json) is hidden.

Hi Chris,
All the JSON references can be found in either the format or callback parameters. However thank you for your suggestion, we will consider adding a 'show all' button.
Best regards, Phil

As suggested a 'show/hide all tips' button has been added to the RESTful page.
Philip Rossiter, Europe PMC Project Manager

Kill Face says:

The URL given above:

Doesn't seem to work. I think it should be:

Hi Dan,
Good catch, and thanks for pointing this out, the URL has now been corrected. Our front-end Java Wicket has been upgraded; this has introduced URL case insensitivity. It will be a simple job to build in a filter to correct this.
Phil, Europe PMC Project Manager

Unknown says:


Is there an XSD definition for the XML that is returned from the restful search using the core fields parameter?



Hi John,
We agree that generating an XSD would be a useful feature. We will log this as a feature request, something that we will consider for a future release.
Best regards,
Philip Rossiter, Europe PMC Project Manager

SteveR says:

This is an excellent service – thank you. One significant enhancement (which might already be there!) would be to add a 'newly modified' and 'newly added' options – I can't see how to do this at the moment?

Hi Steve,
Thank you for your comment; we are glad you find the service useful. As regards your question I would like to draw your attention to the Help page: On this page you will find two search fields: CREATION_DATE and UPDATE_DATE. You can use this syntax to refine your searches, for example:
Best regards,
Philip Rossiter, Europe PMC Project Manager

Olaf says:

Love the service, really works like a charm. However, I have compared the results it gives to the RSS feed "Latest additions to Europe PMC" (, and failed to find the same entries. Shouldn't they match?

Olaf, thanks for your observation. There would like be a difference between the web service, and the RSS Feed because the feed covers all of our Funders. Of course we get articles from other sources, not just our Funders – e.g. all those funded by NIH, or for e.g. All PLoS ONE articles etc. So in summary that particular RSS Feed shows a subset of Europe PMC content – related to our Funders.
Philip Rossiter. Europe PMC Project Manager

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Partnerships & funding

Europe PMC is a service of the Europe PMC Funders' Group, in partnership with EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI); and in cooperation with the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NCBI/NLM) . It includes content provided to the PubMed Central (NLM/PMC) archive by participating publishers.