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2011 MARCH–APRIL No. 379
March 25, 2011 [posted]
April 20, 2011 [Editor's note added]

My NCBI Redesign

[Editor's note: These changes were implemented in PubMed on April 20, 2011.]

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) is pleased to announce that an improved user interface will be released for My NCBI. The new interface will eliminate complexities and provide a streamlined interface, robust performance, and intuitive navigation. The most visually significant enhancement is that all functions are viewed directly from the My NCBI homepage, where they are made readily accessible for set up and customization.

The following are highlights of the new My NCBI interface.

My NCBI Homepage

The My NCBI homepage has been streamlined. It is easier to use and all stored data can be viewed at a glance. Additionally, you can now access your stored data quickly and, in most cases, set up and edits are only one click away (see Figure 1).

The homepage display can be customized by dragging and dropping each function window to the top, middle, or bottom of the page. Each function window can also be minimized or removed from the homepage display (click the link "Customize this Page" at the top of the page). To see the display customizer in action, click NCBI YouTube.

Set up display preferences for NCBI databases, such as display format, number of records per page, filters and highlighting color, among other choices, by clicking the link "NCBI Site Preferences" (top right corner of the My NCBI homepage). This is also where you can change your password and e-mail address.

NCBI databases can now be searched directly from the My NCBI homepage. In the "Search NCBI databases" window, select a database from the drop-down menu, enter your search terms and click Search. Alternatively, to go directly to a database homepage, simply select the database from the drop-down menu and click "Search."

The new homepage includes the blue NCBI header that includes a drop-down menu of resources organized by topic as well as the NCBI Footer, with links to popular NCBI resources.

Saved Searches

The Saved Searches feature facilitates saving search queries for NCBI databases, and provides automatic e-mail updates for saved searches, which can be set up on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. In the Saved Searches window (see Figure 2) you can now easily:

Use the "Manage Saved Searches" link (C in Figure 2) to sort or delete multiple saved searches at once.


The Collections feature allows search results and records from any NCBI database to be saved in My NCBI. From the Collections window (see Figure 3) you can:

Use the link "Manage Collections" to sort, merge, or delete collections (B in Figure 3).

My Bibliography

My Bibliography provides a centralized place where citations are easily stored, accessed, exported as a file, and made public to share with others. In the My Bibliography window (see Figure 4) you can:

Click the link "Manage My Bibliography" (B in Figure 4) to go to the My Bibliography page (see Figure 5). From the My Bibliography page you can:

"Display Settings" offers more options for My NCBI accounts associated with eRA Commons accounts. The association is indicated by the eRA icon (see Figure 6). The additional settings available are:

Award view allows eRA Commons users to see whether their publications comply with the NIH Public Access Policy, to start the compliance process for journal articles, and to associate their publications to NIH extramural awards.

Select Award view and click on the Apply button; on the resulting screen each citation is marked indicating its compliance status:

To address Public Access Compliance, activate the pop-up wizard (see Figure 7) by clicking either a red dot or a question mark icon. The wizard helps you begin a manuscript submission, link to a previously-submitted manuscript, or determine if a citation is exempt from the policy. In addition, you can associate awards to your publications through the wizard. See My NCBI: Managing Compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy Using My Bibliography for additional information.

To associate multiple citations with NIH awards, select the citations to associate to NIH awards and click the Assign Awards to Citations button: image of download button. Choose the pertinent award ID from the list presented (see Figure 8).


NCBI databases search results can be limited to smaller groups of data using filters. In the Filters window (see Figure 9) you can quickly:

Click the link "Manage Filters" (A in Figure 9) to set up filters for any NCBI database. In the Filters window (see Figure 10), browse a list of filters divided into four categories:

To select and activate a filter, select the checkbox next to a filter name. In addition, you can search for filter names and descriptions using the "Search with Terms" search box, and can create custom filters by clicking the "Create custom filter" button: image of create custom filter button.

For details regarding setting up filters in My NCBI please see My NCBI Help.

Recent Activity

Recent Activity provides a history of queries searched and records retrieved in NCBI databases for the last six months. In the Recent Activity window (see Figure 11):

Click the link "See All Recent Activity" (A in Figure 11) to sort data by date or database, to save recent activity searches to Saved Searches, to copy records to Collections, or to delete individual searches or records (see Figure 12).

For detailed information about My NCBI, please see My NCBI Help.

By Lidia Hutcherson
National Center for Biotechnology Information

Hutcherson L. My NCBI Redesign. NLM Tech Bull. 2011 Mar-Apr;(379):e9.

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