File Submission Specifications

PMC’s mission is to both provide access to journal content and maintain a high-quality archive of this content over the long-term. With this in mind, PMC has designed the following sets of requirements for file submission

PMC Requires:

  1. XML Coding: A separate XML data file for the full text of each article.
  2. Images: The original high-resolution digital image files for all figures in each article.
  3. PDF: A PDF file for each article.
  4. Supplementary Data: Spreadsheets, video files, etc. available with the article.
  5. Delivery: Files must be named and packaged for PMC.

1. XML Coding (more details)

For details on data elements and XML structure, please see the Journal Publishing DTD at For detailed information on using the Journal Publishing DTD for submissions to PMC, please read the PMC Tagging Guidelines. Please check the XML Coding Specifications for a brief overview of tagging Selective Deposit, NIH Portfolio, license statements, and release-delays.

Required Data Elements

Certain data elements must be present and used consistently in each XML or SGML file deposited in PMC, even if the corresponding DTD does not require them. These elements contribute to making the XML/SGML files self-documenting and more portable for archival purposes:

  • Journal ISSN
  • Journal ID or Journal title abbreviation
  • Journal Publisher
  • Copyright statement, where applicable
  • Volume, issue (if applicable), and article sequence number or pagination
  • Issue publication date
  • Article electronic publication date

Additional information on tagging Selective Deposit, NIH Portfolio, Release Dates, Open Access, and Limited Access is located on the XML Coding Specifications page.

2. Images (more details)

Generally, Authors submit raw image data files to a publishing house in various formats (ppt, pdf, tif, jpg, xml, etc.). The files are then normalized to produce print or electronic output. PMC requires the normalized output, which is high-resolution, and of sufficient width and quality to be considered archival. Images generated at low resolution for display purposes are not acceptable.

Specific details on Figure, Equation, and Table Image Quality can be found on the Image Quality Specifications page.

3. PDFs

A separate PDF which directly corresponds to the individual XML or SGML data file should be provided for each book review and/or letter.

If print quality PDFs are available, please submit them. If the journal is not printed, the resolution of the images in the PDF should be no less than: Line Art 800 dpi, Halftones 300 dpi, Color 600 dpi. All fonts used in the file need to be fully embedded. Compression for images should be lossless (zip) or highest-quality JPEG. Illustrations should be encoded as vector data with no erroneous conversion to bitmaps.

4. Supplementary Data

PMC requires all available supplementary material to be submitted in a portable format, such as PDF, .doc, .csv, etc. Supplementary material should not be externally linked to a www location from the article text as a substitute for submission. Supplementary material has been defined to include all of the following:

  • Voluminous material that was used to support the conclusions of the narrative, such as a genomic database or the multiple data sets for an article that presents the highlights, which can never accompany a paper based on sheer mass.
  • "Extra" tables that do not display with the work, but that record the measurements on which the article is based, for example, that need to be available so the peer reviewers can check the article.
  • Material added to the work for enhancement purposes, such as a quiz, an instructional video, the 3-minute version of the reaction that was described in the work with narrative and a few still images, a form that can be filled out, etc.


  • PMC expects good quality video, and will downsample for web streaming if necessary.
  • If the meaning of the video is not clear due to low quality, it must be improved prior to submission.
  • Preferred Settings:
    • Audio codec: AAC
    • Sample audio bit rate: 128 kbit/s
    • Video codec: H.264
    • Video resolution: 480 vertical lines or better
    • Format: MPEG-4 (mp4) container
  • Accepted formats: (mov, avi, mpg, mpeg, mp4, mkv, flv, wmv).
  • Video files larger than 1GB should be split to several episodes, each less then 1GB.

5. Delivery (more details)

PMC requires that data is named and packaged in a compressed archive, such as a zip file, to ensure that the data can be processed by our automated system. Naming Article Data Files, Naming ZIP File Packages, Revised or Corrected ZIP Files, and ZIP File Delivery are discussed on this page.

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Last updated: Tue, 14 Jun 2011