Two NLM Milestones: PubMed Adds 20 Millionth Citation, PubMed Central Logs 2 Millionth Article
PubMed (www.pubmed.gov), the National Library of Medicine's free online database of the world's biomedical literature, recently attained a major milestone when the 20 millionth citation was added to the database. This occurred on July 27, 2010.
That same day, coincidentally, PubMed Central (PMC) (www.pubmedcentral.gov), the National Institutes of Health's free digital archive for life sciences and biomedical literature, added its 2 millionth full-text article. PubMed Central was developed and is supported by the National Center for Biotechnology Information at the National Library of Medicine.
PubMed provides free access to MEDLINE, NLM's database of citations and abstracts in the fields of medicine, nursing dentistry, veterinary medicine, health care systems and preclinical sciences.
PubMed was first released in January 1996 as an experimental database under the Entrez retrieval system, with full access to MEDLINE. The word "experimental" was dropped from the Web site in April 1997, and on June 26, 1997, a Capitol Hill press conference featuring Vice President Al Gore officially announced free MEDLINE access via PubMed.
In 1996, the last full year before the launch of PubMed, subscribers to the online version of MEDLINE conducted about 600,000 searches each month. When PubMed provided free access to MEDLINE, usage almost immediately tripled. Today, PubMed usage is approaching one billion searches annually.
PubMed Central debuted in February 2000, providing free access to two journals. Today, PMC contains more than 650 journals which deposit their complete content, as well as some historic journal collections from the 1800s.