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National Library of Medicine Technical BulletinNational Library of Medicine Technical Bulletin

Table of Contents: 2017 MAY–JUNE No. 416

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Creation of MEDLINE Citations Moving Completely to Publisher-Supplied Data

Creation of MEDLINE Citations Moving Completely to Publisher-Supplied Data. NLM Tech Bull. 2017 May-Jun;(416):e7.

2017 June 21 [posted]

Scholarly communication has evolved to where Web-based publishing is now standard for biomedical research journals. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) strives to efficiently support this electronic environment as we create and maintain MEDLINE/PubMed. Some of these efficiencies are described in MEDLINE/PubMed Production Improvements Underway. One of the changes to improve processing efficiency is that NLM now asks publishers to:


  1. Provide MEDLINE citation data in XML format
  2. Update or correct citations via the NLM PubMed Data Management (PMDM) system and/or XML data submissions

Most journals indexed in MEDLINE provide bibliographic citation data in XML format, allowing their citations to appear in MEDLINE/PubMed within 24 hours of being received. Today, only 5% of journals indexed for MEDLINE do not provide XML citation data. For these journals, NLM currently creates records from the print issues using a labor-intensive scanning and Optical Character Recognition or OCR process. Trends in OCR for MEDLINE citations are provided on the Key MEDLINE Indicators page.

To increase efficiency, NLM will not scan and OCR MEDLINE journals that do not provide XML citation data and have a publication date of July 1, 2017, or later. We plan to scan and OCR issues of any MEDLINE journal published prior to July 1, 2017, that does not provide XML citation data. NLM is contacting the publishers of journals that are currently scanned and OCRed to inform them of this change.

Journal titles that were recommended for inclusion in MEDLINE under the current review process (see the NLM Fact Sheet MEDLINE Journal Selection), which began in 1988 with the establishment of the NLM Literature Selection Technical Review Committee (LSTRC), will be asked to provide bibliographic citation data in XML format and will have six months to begin doing so. Journals that were never reviewed by a LSTRC process will be asked to submit a new application for inclusion in MEDLINE.

Publishers of journals that apply for inclusion in MEDLINE are reminded that they should follow current publishing best practices as stated in the MEDLINE Journal Selection Fact Sheet and as outlined by:


Editors or publishers with questions about this change, may contact NLMMedlineJournals@mail.nih.gov.

By David Gillikin
Bibliographic Services Division

NLM Technical Bulletin National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health