MEDLINE-Related Resources

MEDLINE from the National Library of Medicine (NLM)

Other Interfaces to MEDLINE

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

MEDLINE Tutorials

In-Process Citations in PubMed

Journals on the Web

NLM Resources

Health Information on the Web

This page is based on an appendix from Katcher BS. MEDLINE: a guide to effective searching in PubMed and other interfaces. 2nd ed. San Francisco: Ashbury Press; 2006.


In-Process Citations in PubMed

It takes some time for articles to be indexed for MEDLINE. High-profile journals like JAMA or the New England Journal of Medicine are indexed within days, but other journals take weeks to months. As citations are received from publishers, before they are indexed for MEDLINE, they are placed in PubMed and are available from the default query box. These citations are based on the electronic files received from the publisher and are marked with one of two tags: "PubMed - as supplied by publisher" (as they are added) or, more commonly, "PubMed - in process" (accuracy of bibliographic data being reviewed and MeSH vocabulary being assigned, if the article is within the scope of MEDLINE).

If you search by author, journal, or unqualified words, these in-process citations will appear at the top of your search results. Further down you will see citations whose Medical Subject Headings (MeSH), Publication Types, Substance Names, and other indexing elements have been added. These are tagged as "PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE."

While it is generally preferable to use all of the indexing features that are built into MEDLINE, you may wish to augment your searches with in-process citations.

There are several ways to keep track of in-process citations. If you are interested in a particular journal, you can see its articles as they are added to PubMed. Just enter the full name or its official abbreviation (for help see the Journals Database). If you subscribe to a journal, you may be able to have the table of contents e-mailed to you upon publication. Most journals publish the table of contents of the most recent issue on their Web site (see Journals on the Web). You can also store a pre-constructed search strategy in "My NCBI" (a PubMed service) and have the results sent to you by e-mail.

A useful means for keeping track of citations in PubMed, regardless of their processing status, is the PubMed Unique Identifier (PMID). Searching on this number, without any qualifications, will take you directly to the citation. The book Citing Medicine: the NLM Style Guide for Authors, Editors, and Publishers, which is freely available on the NCBI Bookshelf, recommends including this number as part of each reference citation.

Updated April 13, 2010

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