Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the difference between MEDLINE, PubMed, and PubMed Central (PMC)?
- How long does the MEDLINE application process take?
- Do print copies need to be submitted along with a MEDLINE application?
- If my journal application is not accepted to MEDLINE, when can I reapply?
- What types of material may be deposited to PubMed by MEDLINE journals?
- Are articles found in PubMed or MEDLINE endorsed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) or the National Institutes of Health (NIH)?
- How can I tell if a journal is indexed in MEDLINE?
- How can I generate a list of the journals that are currently indexed in MEDLINE?
- How can I find out when new journals are accepted to MEDLINE?
- My journal publishes in both print and electronic formats and was accepted to MEDLINE. Why is it subject to the MEDLINE Access and Preservation Requirements for Electronic Journals?
Please see MEDLINE, PubMed, and PMC (PubMed Central): How are they different? for a description of the differences between each database.
Journals are reviewed for MEDLINE by the Literature Selection Technical Review Committee (LSTRC), which meets three times per year (February, June, and October). While there is no specific cut-off date for submission of applications for LSTRC review, journal review lists typically include applications submitted that were submitted at least four months prior to each scheduled LSTRC meeting. Accordingly, once a complete application has been received, it is usually reviewed within 5-6 months. After the meeting, the results are typically communicated within the next 2 months.
However, please note that the above timelines are approximates and not a guarantee.
If print issues are required, the journal will be contacted after the application has been submitted and given instructions on how to send the print copies to NLM. NLM will only require print copies if there is no electronic version available, and journals are requested not to send print copies unless instructed to do so.
See the Reapplications policy for details about the required waiting period before a journal is eligible to reapply to MEDLINE. These waiting periods are intended to allow sufficient time for a journal to demonstrate sustained implementation of improvements in its editorial practices. NLM seeks to treat all applicants in a consistent manner and has established wait periods that allow journals to publish sufficient content to demonstrate improvements, regardless of differences in publishing frequencies and volumes.
A list of the article types that are accepted and not accepted for deposit in PubMed are available at XML Help for PubMed Data Providers.
6. Are articles found in PubMed or MEDLINE endorsed by the National Library of Medicine (NLM) or the National Institutes of Health (NIH)?
The presence of any specific article or citation in NLM’s physical or electronic collections, including PubMed, MEDLINE, and PubMed Central (PMC), does not constitute agreement with, or endorsement of, or promotion of its contents by the NLM, the NIH, or the U.S. federal government. For more information, see the disclaimer at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/about/disclaimer/
The current indexing status of a specific journal can be checked by viewing the NLM Catalog record for a journal. If a journal is currently indexed in MEDLINE, it will be indicated in the catalog record under ‘Current Indexing Status’ (Figure 1; short blue arrow). If a journal is currently indexed or has ever been indexed for MEDLINE, the catalog record will also indicate what time period the journal is indexed from under ‘In’ (Figure 1; long green arrow).
Figure 1: Example NLM Catalog Entry
Please note that the mere existence of a record in the NLM Catalog does not indicate that a journal is part of the NLM Collection or is included in any of the NLM literature databases (MEDLINE or PMC). In addition to works held in the Collection, the NLM Catalog includes records for works that contain NIH-funded papers or that support other NLM and NIH products, programs, and services. For more information, please see the NLM Technical Bulletin, Catalog Display Changes for Journal Titles Not in the NLM Collection.
To retrieve a list of all journals currently indexed in MEDLINE, search the NLM Catalog for: currentlyindexed.
To filter a specific NLM Catalog search to journals that are currently indexed in MEDLINE, select the Journal Subsets filter choice called ‘Currently indexed in MEDLINE’ from the left-hand sidebar of the Results page.
To retrieve a list of MEDLINE journals in a particular subject, see the Broad Subject Terms page for links to subject-specific searches in the NLM Catalog.
For more information about searching the NLM Catalog, please visit the NLM Catalog Help.
See the Journals Recently Accepted for Inclusion in MEDLINE page for a list of the journals most recently selected for MEDLINE.
10. My journal publishes in both print and electronic formats and was accepted to MEDLINE. Why is it subject to the MEDLINE Access and Preservation Requirements for Electronic Journals?
For journals accepted to MEDLINE prior to March 2021:
Generally, journals that publish a valid print and electronic version may meet MEDLINE’s Access and Preservation Requirements using either format. However, NLM considers a journal that publishes in print and electronic formats to be electronic-only if it falls into at least one of the following scenarios:
- The journal is electronic and publishes print on demand
- The journal has limited print runs
- The journal is not available commercially (e.g., the journal supplies print copies to individuals or members but not to institutions)
- The journal’s published price list does not offer a print subscription option
- Only some of the journal’s content appears in both formats, and its complete content appears only online (e.g., the print enumeration does not match the online enumeration)
- The journal is published continually online throughout the year and is later published as an annual print volume
- The journal’s published issues alternate between print and electronic formats within one volume or year
- The journal is no longer published in print and is distributed by electronic mail as the electronic version (e.g., PDFs)
For journals accepted to MEDLINE after March 2021:
All journals with a valid electronic format must meet MEDLINE’s Access and Preservation Requirements via its electronic version, regardless of whether a print format exists.
Last Reviewed: October 3, 2023