A Year of Open Science, A Lifetime Commitment for NLM – NLM Musings from the Mezzanine

“In January 2023, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) announced a federal Year of Open Science. NIH became one of more than a dozen agencies celebrating this Year of Open Science, which is designed to advance open and equitable science and promote access to the results of federally funded research. It has been a big year for NIH so far on the open science policy front with the NIH Data Management and Sharing (DMS) Policy going into effect in January and the announcement of the NIH Plan to Enhance Public Access to the Results of NIH-Supported Research….

In February 2000, NLM launched PubMed Central, an open access repository of full-text biomedical and life sciences journal literature. By making these articles freely available, NLM ensures that researchers worldwide have unrestricted access to critical scientific findings—accelerating the pace of discovery and innovation. This open access helps democratize science by making the results of federally funded research available to all….


You may have noticed that I have referred to it as a Year of Open Science and not the Year of Open Science because our efforts toward providing equitable access to scientific research don’t end when the calendar flips to 2024. Open science is a long-term commitment for NLM, central to our mission to serve as a platform for biomedical discovery and data-powered health. As we continue to celebrate this Year of Open Science, how will you help open access to the results of scientific research?”

Jerry Sheehan, Deputy Director of Policy and External Affairs at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) Departs for a New Position at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

“Jerry Sheehan, Deputy Director of Policy and External Affairs is leaving NLM to join the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Mr. Sheehan has been appointed as OECD’s new Director of Science, Technology and Innovation.

“Mr. Sheehan’s extensive policy knowledge, his passion for open science, and outstanding interpersonal skills contributed to the success of the many activities he carried out in support of NLM’s mission,” said NLM Director Patricia Flatley Brennan, RN, Ph.D.

During his tenure at NLM, Mr. Sheehan oversaw NLM’s policy team and initiatives, fostered the work of a Blue Ribbon Panel that helped reshape NLM’s Intramural Research Program and shepherded NLM’s involvement in major NIH initiatives including the NIH Public Access Policy, the Genomic Data Sharing Policy, and the Data Management and Sharing Policy.

NLM is currently working on an interim plan to redistribute Mr. Sheehan’s responsibilities across NLM leadership and developing a strategy to address the responsibilities of this position in the long term.”

NLM Leverages Its Information Resources to Improve Access to Monkeypox-related Literature and Research

“The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is working to accelerate the global monkeypox response through initiatives that expand access to scientific literature, sequence data, clinical trial information, and consumer health information related to monkeypox.

NLM’s efforts follow on declarations by the World Health Organization and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary of the ongoing spread of monkeypox virus as a public health emergency. NLM is responding to the call to action by the White House Office Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and science and technology leaders from more than a dozen other nations to make monkeypox-related research and data immediately available to the public.

NLM will leverage its existing relationships with publishers that submit to PubMed Central (PMC), its digital archive of peer-reviewed biomedical and life sciences literature, to make the wide range of journal articles that can inform the monkeypox response freely available to the public. Depositing appropriate articles into the PMC Open Access collection will ensure that monkeypox-related research is readily available in both human- and machine-readable formats. Readers will be able to discover articles via PubMed and access the full text in PMC without delay. Artificial intelligence researchers can continue to develop and apply novel approaches to text mining to help answer questions about monkeypox.

In addition, NLM is prioritizing the review of monkeypox sequence submissions through its genetic sequence database, GenBank, as well as submissions to ClinicalTrials.gov, the world’s largest publicly accessible database of privately and publicly funded clinical studies….”

Updated PMC Launching Soon!

In the coming weeks, we will be launching an updated PMC website with a modern design. You can try the updated version on PMC Labs now, and it will become the default design of the PMC website following launch. Be sure to check the banner at the top of the PMC website for updates on an exact cutover date.

Updated PMC Launching Soon!

In the coming weeks, we will be launching an updated PMC website with a modern design. You can try the updated version on PMC Labs now, and it will become the default design of the PMC website following launch. Be sure to check the banner at the top of the PMC website for updates on an exact cutover date.

Digital Collections Improves Access to Digitized Texts with Universal Viewer . NLM Technical Bulletin. 2021 Jul–Aug

“The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is pleased to announce the implementation of the Universal Viewer for examining the thousands of digitized texts on the Digital Collections web site. Universal Viewer is an open-source community-supported software developed by Digirati for the Wellcome Library and the British Library.

The NLM Digital Repository Working Group selected Universal Viewer after an in-depth software evaluation. Universal Viewer fits easily with the existing applications Digital Collections uses to present high-quality page images through the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), Loris image server and Blacklight discovery layer….”

NIH Preprint Pilot Update. NLM Technical Bulletin. 2021 Mar–Apr

“Ten months into the NIH Preprint Pilot, more than 2,100 preprints reporting NIH-supported research on COVID-19 are now discoverable in PubMed Central (PMC) and PubMed. Through early April 2021, these records have been viewed more than 1 million times in each of these databases (1.4 million in PMC; 1 million in PubMed). Of the preprints included in the pilot, ~60% are currently discoverable only as a preprint version, having not yet been linked to a published article. All articles are clearly identified as preprints. Preprints may be selected or excluded in searches by using the preprint filter.

The pilot launched in June 2020 with preprint records from medRxiv, bioRxiv, arXiv, ChemRxiv, Research Square, and SSRN. Phase 1 has focused on improving the discoverability of preprints relating to the ongoing public health emergency and accelerating dissemination of NIH-supported research on the SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19. This narrowly scoped first phase has allowed the National Library of Medicine (NLM) to streamline curation and ingest workflows for NIH-supported preprints and refine the details of implementation with a set of articles for which there has been high demand for accelerated access and discovery. Since launching the pilot, NLM has made display of preprint records in PubMed search results more transparent. We have also automated checks for new preprint versions and preprint withdrawals, and reduced the steps required to report preprints as products of awards in My Bibliography….”

Progress Towards a Modernized ClinicalTrials.gov – NLM Musings from the Mezzanine

“In 2019, NLM introduced a multi-year effort to modernize ClinicalTrials.gov, the world’s largest publicly accessible database of privately and publicly funded clinical trials. This effort was launched with a commitment to engage with and serve the millions of users who rely on this essential resource — with a focus on delivering an improved user experience on an updated platform that will accommodate growth and enhance efficiency.

In keeping with that promise, NLM has embarked on several stakeholder activities as part of the roadmap for modernization that we want to highlight in this post. We will also continue to share opportunities for involvement and invite you to join us for an upcoming webinar on February 18, 2021 at 3 pm ET to learn more about our modernization efforts….”

New NIH Preprint Pilot Librarian Toolkit Available. NLM Technical Bulletin. 2020 Nov–Dec

“NLM has created a new resource for librarians: the NIH Preprint Pilot Librarian Toolkit. This toolkit provides information and resources about the NIH Preprint Pilot, NLM’s latest project to increase the early discoverability of NIH-supported research results.

What’s a preprint? A preprint is a complete and public draft of a scientific document that has not yet gone through peer review. During this pilot, NLM is making preprints that result from research funded by NIH available via PubMed Central (PMC) and PubMed. The first phase of the pilot focuses on preprints about COVID-19.

The NIH Preprint Pilot Librarian Toolkit has a variety of resources for librarians and other health professionals to learn about the role, access, and use of preprints. The toolkit includes an overview of the preprint pilot project, information for NIH investigators, preprint educational materials, journal preprint policies, and preprint peer review tools….”

All for One…Health for All: The Role of Open Access, Evidence-Based Information to Improve Health for All Species – NLM Musings from the Mezzanine

“Beyond personal experiences caring for animals at home or at work, One Health is a critical framework for providing timely, open, high-quality information during times of wildfires and natural disasters that can affect all species. Responding to natural disasters brings together teams who work primarily with humans and teams who typically work with animals. Many veterinary schools provide emergency preparedness education in addition to deploying veterinary emergency teams to respond to emergency situations that may be all species-focused or primarily a human health oriented mission. Central knowledge resources like the American Red Cross also provide apps and information to support people and pets during times of crisis.

Libraries who participate in the NLM-supported Network of the National Library of Medicine are essential resources for people seeking information online from trusted sources. Health sciences librarians, particularly the members of the Medical Library Association’s Animal and Veterinary Information Specialist Caucus, support the health of all species by addressing questions raised by people who live, work, and share the broader environment with companion animals and wildlife. These questions may come to public, community college, and university libraries who rely on free and direct access to high-quality resources written for a variety of audiences….”

New: Open Artstor: Images from the History of Medicine (National Library of Medicine) – Artstor

“Artstor has published nearly 42,000 images from the U. S. National Library of Medicine’s Images from the History of Medicine, freely available to all for reuse under the Creative Commons Public Domain mark. Open Artstor: Images from the History of Medicine (National Library of Medicine) is part of an initiative to aggregate open museum, library, and archive collections across disciplines on the Artstor platform….”

NIH Preprint Pilot in PubMed Central

“NLM is preparing to launch a pilot project to test the viability of making preprints resulting from NIH-funded research available via PubMed Central (PMC). The primary goal of the NIH Preprint Pilot will be to explore approaches to increasing the discoverability of early NIH research results. The pilot will begin the week of June 8, 2020 and will run for a minimum of 12 months. Lessons learned during that time will inform future NLM efforts with preprints.

In its role as the repository for peer-reviewed manuscripts supported by NIH, PMC already makes available more than one million published papers resulting from NIH-supported research. Building on NIH guidance (NOT-OD-17-050) to investigators that encouraged the use of interim research products, such as preprints, to speed the dissemination and enhance the rigor of their work, NLM hopes this pilot will inform possible future steps to further accelerate discovery and access of papers that are developed with NIH funds and encourage the open and fast dissemination of NIH research results, when appropriate.

The pilot will initially focus on increasing the discoverability of preprints with NIH support relating to the current COVID-19 pandemic. NLM is leveraging the iSearch COVID-19 portfolio tool developed by the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis to identify preprints reporting on COVID-19 research supported by the NIH intramural or extramural programs. This narrowly scoped first phase should allow NLM an opportunity to streamline workflows and refine the details of implementation with a set of articles for which there is a growing demand for accelerated access.

As curation and ingest workflows become scalable, NLM will expand the pilot to include preprints resulting from the broader spectrum of NIH research….”