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Update on Access to Coronavirus-related Articles in PubMed Central (PMC) COVID-19 Collection After End of Public Health Emergency

Changes made to address the expiration of article-level license terms following the end of the public health emergency

August 29, 2023

Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Library of Medicine (NLM) collaborated with publishers and scholarly societies to expand access to coronavirus-related journal articles in PubMed Central (PMC), a digital archive of peer-reviewed biomedical and life sciences literature. Through this collaboration, more than 50 publishers made more than 350,000 coronavirus-related articles accessible under various article-level license terms through the PMC COVID-19 Collection (previously the PMC COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Initiative). This collaboration made a significant collection of coronavirus-related information immediately accessible to researchers to accelerate discoveries about COVID-19.

As COVID-19 emergency declarations expired in the United States and around the globe, so too did article-level license terms for use of some of these articles. Most of the articles deposited in the PMC COVID-19 Collection will remain available in PMC and available for bulk distribution and reuse, and all citations will remain searchable in PubMed; however, some publishers retained the right to remove their content and have requested to do so.

To assist PMC users in understanding these changes, NLM is making available, in downloadable format, lists of PMCIDs (PMC unique reference numbers) for any impacted articles.

NLM remains committed to providing perpetual public access to all articles deposited in the PMC COVID-19 Collection for which the copyright holder provides such permission. More information is available from the PMC COVID-19 Collection and PMC COVID-19 Collection FAQ webpages.