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Updates from Europe PMC, a global database of life sciences literature

Europe PMC team

 | 9 February 2021


Over 15,300 full text COVID-19 now available in Europe PMC

In July 2020, Europe PMC began indexing the full text of COVID-19 preprints. The initiative supported by Wellcome, the UK Medical Research Council, and Swiss National Science Foundation, has now made over 15,300 full text COVID-19 preprints searchable and free to read, alongside peer reviewed articles.

Number of full text COVID-19 preprints in Europe PMC by month.

Researchers can benefit from a greater number of results being returned for each query since Europe PMC search tool searches not only the abstracts but also the full text of articles and preprints. The full text of COVID-19 preprints are available for reading and reuse via a standard XML format, so if a preprint has an open license, it can be text mined programmatically, allowing deeper analysis of the COVID-19 literature.

Which servers are indexed?

Europe PMC currently indexes full text COVID-19 preprints from biomedical servers bioRxiv, and MedRxiv.  Adding to this, Europe PMC also includes full text COVID-19 preprints from Research Square, ChemRxiv, SSRN and from arXiv.

Preprint server

Disciplinary scope


Multiple scientific fields, including quantitative biology


Broad life & biomedical research (from animal behaviour and cognition to zoology)


Subject-specific, including biological and medicinal chemistry


Broad medical, clinical and related health sciences

Research Square

All scientific fields


Multiple scientific fields including applied sciences, health sciences, life sciences, social sciences

Disciplinary scope was taken from ‘Preprint server directory’ at 


Europe PMC uses the PDF freely available on these preprint servers to create the full-text HTML version of the preprint, which is later sent for author approval to display by Europe PMC.  A single query will access 15,000 preprints from across these 6 servers.


Number of full text COVID-19 preprints in Europe PMC by preprint server.




Data re-use

One of the aims of the project is to provide a unique corpus of COVID-19 research for current and future research. The COVID-19 full text articles in Europe PMC have already been used for data analysis in the following studies:

  • Schwab, S. and Held, L. (2020), Science after Covid‐19: Faster, better, stronger?. Significance, 17: 8-9. 

  • Fraser, Nicholas; Kramer, Bianca (2020): covid19_preprints. figshare. Software. 

  • Ivanova, Y., Karapeev, G., Butler, D., Gadegaard, N., Aitchison, I., Cannon, P., & Keith, N. (2020, November 29). Fluctuations in SDG relevant research output in response to COVID-19. Retrieved from 


Future plans

Europe PMC is planning to index full text preprints from, Authorea and other preprint servers and platforms which include relevant COVID-19 content. To see an updated list of preprint servers check the ‘About preprint page’ on Europe PMC website.

For more information about preprints in Europe PMC, visit our website:

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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.