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National Library of Medicine Technical BulletinNational Library of Medicine Technical Bulletin

Table of Contents: 2016 JULY–AUGUST No. 411

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MEDLINE/PubMed Production Improvements Underway

MEDLINE/PubMed Production Improvements Underway. NLM Tech Bull. 2016 Jul-Aug;(411):e1.

2016 July 11 [posted]

At the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the Division of Library Operations (LO) and the Office of Computer and Communications Systems (OCCS) are moving toward a new model for managing journal citation data in PubMed.   Beginning in the fall of 2016, NLM will provide publishers with access to the PubMed Data Management System (PMDM) for direct publisher editing of citations. In parallel, a new Indexing Management System (IMS) is also in development to improve the indexing workflows for assigning MeSH terminology to MEDLINE/PubMed citations.

PubMed Data Management system (PMDM)

Given that the vast majority of PubMed citations are now supplied electronically by publishers or their representatives, our goal is to improve the ease and timeliness for publishers to update and correct their own citations. 

Using PMDM, publishers will be able to update or correct nearly all elements of their citations at any time. This will expand the current ability that publishers have for sending updated content to PubMed. Authorized representatives of the publisher can continue to provide XML citation data for new citations or for editing citations already in PubMed, without being constrained by our indexing workflows.  Publisher representatives will also be able to make manual edits using a secure interface, accessing only citations for journals assigned to their account. 

Once NLM implements PMDM, we won't routinely update or correct publisher-supplied citations.  NLM customer service will tell users that updates and corrections should be sent directly to the publisher so that appropriate changes are seen on both the publisher site and on PubMed; the correction made by the publisher would be sent to NLM. While publishers will have more responsibility for presenting their citations accurately in PubMed, we will continue to work with publishers and may make corrections on the publisher's behalf when appropriate.

In addition, we plan to extend the PubMed Publisher DTD to include additional fields and values for metadata traditionally added by NLM staff, but which some publishers are able to provide. This includes additional publication type values previously not available to data providers (e.g., Case Reports, Clinical Trial, Meta-Analysis), databank names and accession numbers cited in the article (e.g., GenBank, PubChem,, as well as NIH or other funding agency grant support numbers. Also, data providers will be able to include HTML in their citation data (for example, use of italics for species names).

Indexing Management System (IMS)

In planning for PMDM, behind the scenes, NLM is modifying the MeSH indexing processes for the MEDLINE indexers who can then provide these metadata more rapidly to PubMed users and NLM data licensees. Working with the NLM Office of Computer and Communications Systems (OCCS), LO is replacing the internal data creation and indexing software developed and initially deployed around 2001.  This change will separate citation creation and bibliographic data maintenance, which will happen in the PMDM, and adding MeSH indexing vocabulary, which will be optimized in the IMS.

NLM is revising indexing policies and procedures to support these new systems.  Staff are analyzing the data in MEDLINE/PubMed citations to identify and reduce redundancy for greater efficiency.  NLM is also reviewing other policies in response the tremendous shift to online content and resulting growth in publishing.

We will continue to provide further information as we make progress in this important effort to improve NLM effectiveness in getting biomedical information to the many users who count on it.  The launch of PMDM and IMS is anticipated for fall 2016, though the exact date is still being determined.

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