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PubMed Record Processing

Most PubMed records are initially supplied electronically by publishers. In order to report new publications as as quickly as possible, records are added to PubMed daily, even before they are checked by NLM for quality and accuracy. All records display a status tag on the Abstract display, which indicates their stage of processing. The most common status tags are:

PubMed Abstract display highlighting status tag
  • [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]: These records have not yet undergone quality control. They have not yet been reviewed for bibliographic accuracy.
  • [PubMed - in process]: Records that are in process provide basic citation information and abstracts while these records are reviewed for accuracy.
  • [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]: These completed records have been indexed with Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), publication types and substance names, and have added grant and other data when applicable. Completed records have been checked for bibliographic accuracy.
  • [PubMed]: These records are out of scope for MEDLINE. They are included in PubMed because the publisher supplied them, and/or because the article reports on research funded by the NIH.

For the complete list of citation status tags in PubMed and instructions on how to search with them, see PubMed Help. For more information about PubMed content, see the Fact Sheet: MEDLINE, PubMed and PMC (PubMed Central): How are they Different?

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