UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) is a free digital repository of biomedical and life sciences journal literature (http://ukpmc.ac.uk
). It is based on PubMed Central (PMC), developed at the NCBI in the USA (1
) and is part of a network of PMC International (PMCI) repositories that now also includes PMC Canada.
In 2006, the Wellcome Trust announced that research papers that had been funded by them must be made freely available via UKPMC no later than 6 months after publication (2
). Working with other major funders of UK biomedical research, UKPMC was launched in January 2007 as a mirror of PMC (). The funding agencies that support UKPMC are: Arthritis Research UK, BBSRC, British Heart Foundation, Cancer Research UK, Chief Scientist Office (Scotland), the MRC, National Institute for Health Research and the Wellcome Trust. Each of these funding bodies have a public access policy that states how publications arising from the research they fund have to be made publicly available in UKPMC. A list of websites listing each organizations’ public access policy can be seen here: http://ukpmc.ac.uk/Funders
Timeline of PMC USA, UKPMC and PMC Canada availability and related funding agency public access policies.
The mission of UKPMC is to become the information resource of choice for the UK’s life science and health research communities. To this end, it supports UK researchers in article deposition and grant reporting and provides access to the articles based on publicly funded research through a comprehensive electronic archive of the peer-reviewed literature relevant to the life sciences. The partner organizations charged with these tasks for UKPMC are the University of Manchester [Mimas and the National Centre for Text Mining (NaCTeM)], the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) and the British Library.
Since inception, UKPMC has developed tools for both researchers and funders that meet the specific requirements of the UK research community; these will be described later in this article. In terms of the archive itself, UKPMC is a ‘mirror’ of PMC USA, hosting the same content (with a few exceptions, see below), transferred daily from PMC in the USA to the PMCI nodes in the UK and Canada. Until recently, the article search and browse mechanisms used at all three sites were identical, supported by the software distributed as a component of the PMCI package. However, in January 2010, UKPMC launched a new interface that introduces novel features for navigating and searching the content. These include, for example, the ability to search biomedical abstracts and full-text articles from the same search box, the provision of different subsets of records such as patents and theses and the incorporation of citation data and text-mining-based applications. The new website and the related developments specific to UKPMC are the focus of this article; however we will set these developments within the broader context of PMCI ().
Overview of PMCI and specifically UKPMC services. The red nodes indicate areas in which UKPMC has extended the core PMCI installation, aside from the contribution of content.