January 26, 2022

E-Journals: NLM Revises Indexing Policy for Medline; Seeks to Ensure Full Text Access Will Always Be Available For Indexed Articles

From the NLM Technical Bulletin:

The revised NLM® MEDLINE® Policy on Indexing Electronic Journals is available at www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/policy/ejournals.html. This policy concerns electronic journals that are indexed in the MEDLINE/PubMed® database.

The revised policy applies only to the MEDLINE indexing of electronic journals. As journal publishing evolves, the journal of record for many publications is the online version of the journal, with much material only appearing online and not in a print equivalent of the journal. The NLM policy for indexing articles from electronic journals is also evolving and the following requirements will initially apply to electronic-only journals. This policy will be expanded in the future to include publications that are not exclusively electronic-only journals but where substantial content is found only in the online version of the publication.

The updated policy will initially be applied to electronic-only journals which have applied for and been recently approved for inclusion in MEDLINE, and journals currently indexed in MEDLINE that have switched or will switch to being electronic-only.

There are three required conditions that electronic-only journals must meet in order for the journal to be indexed in MEDLINE:

+ Provide NLM with XML-tagged data of its bibliographic citations.

+ Provide robust current access to all its content under a license allowing efficient support of NLM operations, onsite services, and interlibrary loan.

+ Have an acceptable arrangement for permanent preservation of, and access to, the published content.

For conditions 2 and 3, NLM must be satisfied that all articles published in an electronic-only journal are available in a digital archive. We seek to ensure that our users will always have access to the full text of every article cited in MEDLINE. The permanent archive must be either by:

Participation in PubMed Central® (PMC)


Participation in another certified archive site, plus submission of a PDF/A copy of each article to NLM for use by NLM for internal operations such as journal indexing (see www.nlm.nih.gov/bsd/policy/ejournals.html and www.nlm.nih.gov/services/ejournals.html for details). The PDF/A copies should be supplied at the same time as the XML-tagged citation data are provided.

Much More in the Complete NLM Announcement and FAQ

See Also: MEDLINE/PubMed: List of Serials Indexed for Online Users

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.