PMC International

PMC International (PMCI) is a collaborative effort between: NIH / NLM; publishers and U.S. funding agencies that contribute content to the PMC archive; and funding organizations in other parts of the world that also wish to preserve and provide free access to journal articles authored by the researchers they support.

The collaboration helps funding organizations build national or regional repositories of funded research articles, which they may supplement with other materials of particular interest to their respective communities. It also makes possible the exchange of journal articles between repositories in the PMCI network, subject to copyright and related permissions.

The PMCI network currently comprises (U.S. / NLM) PMC, Europe PMC, and PMC Canada. NLM’s collaboration with the other two centers is based on a formal agreement between NLM and each center's sponsors concerning the management of any content the center gets from PMC. The agreement protects the rights of those who deposited the content in PMC, and ensures the integrity of that content by requiring each center to use NCBI's pPMC software, described below.

Europe PMC

Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC) is an outgrowth and expansion of UKPMC, which was first launched in January 2007 with sponsorship from the Wellcome Trust and several other funders of biomedical research in the UK. With the addition of other European funders, including the European Research Council, UKPMC was renamed Europe PMC in November 2012. Europe PMC receives all of its final published articles directly from U.S. PMC. It also accepts and processes author manuscripts of journal articles funded by the Europe PMC sponsoring agencies and makes them available to U.S. PMC and PMC Canada.

PMC Canada

PMC Canada became operational in October 2009, under an arrangement with NLM and NCBI similar to that for Europe PMC. PMC Canada represents a partnership between the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the National Research Council Canada’s National Science Library (NRC-NSL), and the NLM. Like Europe PMC, PMC Canada receives all of its final published content through U.S. PMC. It also takes in CIHR-funded author manuscripts directly and makes them available to the U.S. and European sites.

Content Available in Europe PMC and PMC Canada

Both PMCI repositories include almost all PMC content, the sole exception being final published articles from publishers who have not given permission for their content to be shared with one or both of these repositories. Since July 2006, all PMC Participation Agreements have included permission to make a participating journal's PMC content available to Europe PMC (formerly UKPMC) automatically. Publishers participating in PMC prior to July 2006 were asked for permission to deposit their content into UKPMC, and most agreed to it.

Similarly, since June 2009, the Participation Agreements have granted NLM permission to redistribute covered PMC content to PMC Canada. Most publishers with PMC agreements completed prior to June 2009 also agreed to make their content available in PMC Canada.

Future PMCI Centers

NLM will consider expanding the PMCI network to include a center serving other countries or regions, if the following conditions are met:

  • The need for a new center must be based on there being one or more research funding organizations in the region with public or open access policies that require the deposit of funded research papers in a PMC-like repository. There must be solid evidence that these policies, and the way in which they are implemented, will contribute a sufficient volume of papers on a continuing basis to justify the investment in a new center.
  • The new center must be sponsored and managed by a national or international agency with a commitment to building and managing the archive for perpetuity. It may be a government agency, or a not-for-profit organization at an equivalent national or international level, formed by non-commercial entities such as funding agencies and research institutions.
  • The new center must attain an operational level that meets standards defined by NLM, and must sign an agreement with NLM concerning the management of the archive.

If NLM agrees to support a new PMCI center, the center will be able to include in its repository all of the material in the PMC Open Access subset, as well as the Author Manuscripts in PMC from NIH and other research funders. NLM does not plan to ask other PMC participating publishers for permission to redistribute their content as it did for the first two PMCI centers.

Portable PMC (pPMC)

Portable PMC (pPMC) is a software package developed by NLM's National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). It is derived from the software used to operate the U.S. PMC system at NLM. It allows PMCI centers to import data from PMC, build a local database, and display the content of each article in the PMC style. The pPMC software itself does not include any rights to the PMC content.

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Last updated: Tue, 22 Feb 2017