Over 500,000 medical research papers are now available for free on the internet, following the launch of the UK PubMed Central online archive.

UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) is an online archive of peer-reviewed research papers in the medical and life sciences. It is the UK equivalent of the American PubMed Central database, which is used by the US National Institute for Health.

It has been funded by a nine-strong group of research funders, led by the Wellcome Trust, and with further financial support from the Arthritis Research Campaign, the Association of Medical Research Charities, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the British Heart Foundation.

Cancer Research UK, the Chief Scientist Office at the Scottish Executive Health Department, the Department of Health, the Joint Information Systems Committee and the Medical Research Council have also offered funding.

Research from these members is now freely available on UKPMC, which has been developed and put online through a partnership between the British Library, the University of Manchester and the European Bioinformatics Institute.

The British Library’s director of e-strategy and programmes, Richard Boulderstone, told E-Health Insider Primary Care: “UKPMC will offer a sophisticated and exciting new means of scholarly communication for biomedical researchers. Building on the complementary strengths that the library and its partners bring to this project, we expect to create a platform for the development of a whole range of new services for the UK and European biomedical research community.”

The database went live online last Tuesday and offered 600,000 biomedical digital articles. Over the next five years, it hopes to receive up to £3m in additional funding.

UK scientists are now able to submit their research outputs for inclusion in UKPMC and the database hopes to grow as large as its US counterpart as a unique online resource representing the UK’s biomedical research output.

The Wellcome Trust’s director, Mark Walport, said: “Medical research is not complete until the results have been communicated. The development of UKPMC provides a great opportunity for this research to be made freely available, and I am very pleased that a first class partnership of the British Library, the University of Manchester, and the European Bioinformatics Institute will be running it.


“This is only the start, however, and over the next few years the challenge will be to develop UKPMC so that it becomes the destination site of choice for the international biomedical research community and all those who are interested in discovering the results of groundbreaking research first hand.”

The launch of UKPMC follows a recent decision by Wellcome, the Medical Research Council and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, which said that any peer-reviewed and published academic work they find must be made available for free to stimulate its wider use.


PubMed central (UK)