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2006 MAY–JUNE; 350
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May 12, 2006 [posted]

Wellcome Trust Grant Number Added to MEDLINE®/PubMed® Citations


ellcome Trust grant numbers can be searched in PubMed as follows:

Search PubMed For Format Example
Individual Wellcome Trust grant number 6-digit number/Wellcome Trust 061183/wellcome trust[gr]
All Wellcome Trust grant numbers Wellcome Trust name wellcome trust[gr]

In the 2005 May-June issue of the NLM Technical Bulletin, NLM® announced the identification of Wellcome Trust as a funding source (see New Research Support MeSH® Headings Introduced mid-Year to 2005 MeSH. NLM Tech Bull. 2005 May-Jun;(344):e12.) on PubMed citations. Now NLM also includes the actual Wellcome Trust grant number when that number is published in the article or deposited in PubMed Central® via the NIH Public Access plan.

In PubMed, Wellcome Trust financial support resides in the Grant Support list in the Citation display, in the GR field in the MEDLINE display, and in the GrantList elements of the XML display.

There are now two recommended ways to search PubMed for Wellcome Trust financial support:

  1. To retrieve all citations (created since June 2, 2005) indicating Wellcome Trust support:
    wellcome trust [gr]
  2. To retrieve a specific Wellcome Trust number (on citations created mostly since February 16, 2006; some citations created before that date may also have these grant numbers as they flow through the indexing process and are completed after that date):
    061183/wellcome trust [gr]

NLM recommends searching the full string (number plus name) because the Wellcome Trust numbering system uses 6-digit integers that may not be unique without the name.

Some Wellcome Trust numbers may include trailing identification data (accounting information) as seen in this example:

Grant Support:
  • 067427/Z/02/Z/Wellcome Trust

In PubMed, two search access points are created for an expanded Wellcome Trust number so that when you search either way, the citation will be retrieved, e.g.:

067427/z/02/z/wellcome trust [gr]       (the expanded number)

- or -

067427/wellcome trust [gr]       (the basic 6-digit number)

Grant numbers in the PubMed Citation display have a search link so that you can automatically conduct a search to retrieve citations having the same grant string (see Search Links Added to PubMed® Displays. NLM Tech Bull. 2005 Sep-Oct;(346):e5.). The automatic search uses only the 6-digit portion, the base number, so that additional, relevant citations will also be retrieved.

The NIH Public Access plan permits NLM to associate Wellcome Trust grant numbers with author manuscripts submitted to PubMed Central. The grant numbers derived from this process are also included in PubMed citations to the final, published article. NLM began to add these grant numbers on March 24, 2006. This may result in multiple versions of the same intellectual number on one citation (some from the published article and some from the NIH Public Access submission). For example, the basic 6-digit string of the Wellcome Trust number may be followed by characters that indicate varying accounting information.

It's important to note that indexers add MeSH headings based on the information found in the published article. For this reason, the corresponding Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't heading will not be added to the citation if the grant number is derived only from the NIH Public Access submission process. Also, in some cases, Wellcome Trust grant numbers are added to older citations that were indexed prior to the policy for including Wellcome Trust information. Those retrospective citations do not receive the research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't heading either. Therefore, a comprehensive MEDLINE search for non-U.S. Government funded research is:

research support, non-u.s. gov't [mh] OR wellcome trust [gr]

Remember that grant numbers can appear on in process citations, but MeSH headings do not. Neither grant numbers nor MeSH headings appear on out-of-scope citations (those tagged with the [PubMed] label where either the subject matter, the timeframe, or the journal is not MEDLINE).

The Web page Funding Support may be of interest to you. It explains the relationship between grant numbers and the MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) support terms.

The article NIH Grant Numbers in PubMed®. NLM Tech Bull.2006 May-Jun;(350):e3. may also be of interest.

By Lou Wave S. Knecht
Bibliographic Services Division

Knecht LS. Wellcome Trust Grant Number Added to MEDLINE®/PubMed® Data. NLM Tech Bull. 2006 May-Jun;(350):e4.