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Table of Contents: 2021 MAY–JUNE No. 440

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PMC Labs is here. Let us know what you think!

PMC Labs is here. Let us know what you think! NLM Tech Bull. 2021 May-Jun;(440):e7.

2021 June 10 [posted]
[Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an announcement from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). To automatically receive the latest news and announcements regarding major changes and updates to NCBI resources and tools, please see the subscribe page.]

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is updating PubMed Central (PMC) to a give you a more modern and easier to use site and we want your feedback. The first phase of this work is now on PMC Labs for you to explore and provide feedback.

In the first phase we have focused on modernizing PMC's platform to create a more stable and easy-to-update environment. This also includes some initial changes to the homepage (see Figure 1), site organization, and article pages (see Figure 2). Many of the updates you see on the Labs site create a similar look and feel for PMC and PubMed, reorganizing documentation to highlight the most accessed and important content first and consolidating redundant features to provide a smoother experience. Please visit PMC Labs to try out the PMC updates and provide feedback using the buttons on the lower right-hand side of the Labs pages (see Figure 1). We will update the current PMC website with new features once we gather your input on the Labs site.

screenshot of PMC Labs homepage.
Figure 1: The PMC Labs homepage featuring the PMC full text search bar, links to the most heavily used documentation, information for distinct groups of PMC users (Authors, Publishers, and Developers), statistics on deposits, an updated "New in PMC section" (not shown), and a prominent Feedback link (circled) for you to provide comments and suggestions.

Search Results in PMC Labs are Unchanged

When you run a search, you'll notice the search results display in PMC Labs is the same as on the current PMC website. You will still have access to existing filters, search details, recent activity, NCBI data links, and the databases menu in the search bar through the search results page. We are currently gathering input on how to provide the best search experience across PMC and the other NCBI literature databases.

New Article Display in PMC Labs

Clicking on an article record in the search results will return you to the Labs view. The article itself will look largely unchanged, but as an initial improvement, we have updated the right-hand display to highlight the most frequently used content/links. Figure 2 highlights features of the PMC Labs article display.

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Figure 2: The PMC Labs article view for PMC8139428.

Highlighted features in Figure 2:

  1. To see what articles in PMC cite the record you are viewing: Continue to use the "cited by" link in the yellow box above the abstract.
  2. To view the corresponding PubMed record: Click on the PMID link. You can also go directly to "Similar Articles" from the "View in PubMed" section.
  3. To find related data: The associated data box and in-article linking to records in other NCBI databases will continue to be available in Labs. We're working on expanding the connections between full text articles in PMC and related data, including those previously available in the "Links" portlet.
  4. To view other article formats: See the "Other Formats" section at the top of the right-hand panel. Articles will be available in PDF and PubReader formats, or Printer-Friendly if no PDF is available. Some mobile devices may continue to load the PubReader format as the default display as we continue to optimize the site for mobile use.
  5. To see your recent activity: You can find details on previous searches from your session by clicking on "Advanced" under the search bar. You may also visit your My NCBI dashboard to view recent activity.
  6. To view in-article references: Hover over or click on any linked reference in the article to view the complete reference list entry. The reference snippet no longer displays to the right of the corresponding paragraph.

Your Feedback Helps Shape Our Next Steps

We will be relying on comments that you submit through the green Feedback button on the Labs pages to see if the changes we make are helpful and to guide the improvements that will be part of future phases. Please let us know what you think!

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