What Is the Difference Between PMCID and PMID Numbers?

As you may know, all NIH application, proposal, or report submissions must include the PMC reference number (PMCID) when citing papers that the grantee authored or that arose from the NIH-funded research. It is important to note that the PMCID number differs from the PMID number. PMCID refers to the PubMed Central reference number, while the PMID refers to the PubMed reference number. To put it simply, PubMed Central serves as an index of full-text papers, while PubMed serves as an index of abstracts; therefore, PMCID numbers link to full-text papers, and PMID numbers link to abstracts. Only the PMCID number is relevant to the NIH Public Access Policy. More information regarding this policy can be found on the StarBRITE website or the NIH website. For any questions, please contact Laurie Lebo.

The More You Know: Complying with the NIH Public Access Policy

To comply with the NIH Public Access Policy, all peer-reviewed articles funded by NIH must be submitted to PubMed Central immediately upon acceptance for publication and made publicly available on PubMed Central within 12 months of official publication. Please adhere to the following guidelines: Before signing a publication agreement or copyright transfer agreement, verify that the agreement allows for the publication to be posted to PubMed Central. Identify the appropriate method for submitting to PubMed Central. NIH offers four different submission methods, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the awardee to ensure that manuscripts are submitted to the NIH Manuscript Submission system upon acceptance for publication. All applicable papers included on an application, proposal, or report that arise from NIH-funded research must include the PMC reference number (PMCID). For non-competing continuation awards, investigators should utilize My NCBI to report papers. Instructions for registering, tracking, and reporting are available on NIH’s Public Access website. Internally, StarBRITE publishes a webpage to provide training and assist with questions regarding NIH

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