Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology

: 2020  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 187--188

Medline®, PubMed, PubMed Central….Let's try to decipher

Ashish Kumar 
 Editor,Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology,Professor, Department of Periodontics, Dental College, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Lamphelpat, Imphal - 795 004, Manipur, India

Correspondence Address:
Ashish Kumar
Editor,Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology,Professor, Department of Periodontics, Dental College, Regional Institute of Medical Sciences, Lamphelpat, Imphal - 795 004, Manipur

How to cite this article:
Kumar A. Medline®, PubMed, PubMed Central….Let's try to decipher.J Indian Soc Periodontol 2020;24:187-188

How to cite this URL:
Kumar A. Medline®, PubMed, PubMed Central….Let's try to decipher. J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Sep 19 ];24:187-188
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The terms Medline®, PubMed, PubMed Central (PMC) are very important from publication point of view. To be relevant in academic field, we require publications. Publications are required in journals that are indexed, have an expert peer review process and may be high impact factor. As we all know, Dental council of India has also graded the publications on the basis of indexation and publication source. The points awarded are also on the basis of this grading. The journals which are PubMed indexed have been graded the highest.

A lot of queries are made about the status of our journal (whether it is Pubmed indexed or not). I want to ensure my esteemed colleagues, that, at the time of writing of this editorial, our journal is PubMed indexed. Articles till the last issue of journal are available in PubMed. You can check the status of the journal by selecting NLM catalogue from scroll down menu on homepage of PubMed and then type our journal name and search. You will get the full details of the journal.

Despite the frequent use of the terms Medline®, PubMed, PubMed Central (PMC), many of us are not very clear about what these databases mean and what is the exact difference between the three.

I will explain the differences between these terms very briefly. The journal citation database of National Library of Medicine (NLM) is called Medline®. Medline® database was introduced in 1960s, and has in excess of 26 million references to journals from life sciences and biomedical fields. Citations (1946 onwards) from more than 5,200 scholarly journals published are included in Medline®. The database of Medline® can be directly searched from NLM as a subcategory of the PubMed database.[1]

PubMed was launched in 1996 and incorporates more than 30 million references. These comprises the Medline® database, and many other databases like In-process citations, “Ahead of Print” citations, NCBI Bookshelf etc., Medline® is the largest subgroup of PubMed.[1]

PMC (PubMed Central) began in 2000 and is a collection of full-text life sciences and biomedical articles. PMC allows free access to the full texts. PMC can be considered a digital equivalent of the NLM print journal collection. The database of PMC is built by the journal literature deposited by publishers, and NIH Public compliant author manuscripts. Medline® also includes some PMC journals.[1]

So, PubMed citations are derived from a) Medline® indexed journals, b) PMC journals and articles and c) NCBI Bookshelf. PMC articles, NCBI Bookshelf, and publishers' web sites may be linked to both Medline® and other PubMed citations. If PubMed search is limited to Medical Subjects Headings (MeSH) controlled vocabulary or the Medline® subset, you will see only Medline® citations in your results.[1]

I must state here that above mentioned information regarding differences between the three are sourced from PubMed site. You can find further details at and in-build links on this webpage.


1U.S. National Library of Medicine. Rockville Pike, Bethesda MD: National Center for Biotechnology Information. Available from: [Last updated on 2019 Sep 09; Last cited on 2020 Mar 20].