Announcer: From the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, this is All About Grants.

Megan: Welcome to All About Grants. I'm Megan Columbus with NIH's Office of Extramural Research. Today we'll be talking about using the My NCBI tool to manage compliance with NIH's Public Access Policy.

I have with me Dr. Bart Trawick. He's in charge of literature databases at the National Library of Medicine and is the product manager for the My NCBI tool. Thanks for joining us today.

Okay. My NCBI. What is it?

Bart: So I'm sure that people are familiar with our most prominent product at the National Center for Biotechnology Information and that is PubMed. And what My NCBI is, is it's a free set of tools that are available to users of our databases. And it lets them ‑‑ lets users set up things such as preferences, they are able to save items into collections, they can track their search history. It's a special, free set of tools available for everybody that uses our systems.

Megan: So it interacts with PubMed and with other literature systems that you all ‑‑

Bart: That's right. It interacts with PubMed and PubMed Central and the bookshelf and all of the other databases that we give for free.

Megan: So how does this tool help authors track public access compliance?

Bart: What My NCBI does is one of the tools inside it called My Bibliography. And this allows researchers to make a collection of PubMed citations that they have authored. And if they come to My NCBI, with an eRA Commons account, we then have a special set of filters that allows them to look at all of their citations that they have in their bibliography and determine automatically if it's in compliance with the Public Access Policy, in process, out of compliance or simply doesn't apply.

For instance, if they add a book chapter to their bibliography, our tool knows that books and such types of works don't fall under the Public Access Policy, so it's included from it.

Megan: So the tool actually shows it as being excluded from the policy?

Bart: Exactly.

Megan: That's very good.

Bart: And that's the main benefit is they're able to see their bibliography, on a single page, and at a glance can tell what are the things that they need for follow up on and what are the things that are fine and fully compliant.

Megan: And so what if my publication is in an engineering journal that may not be found in PubMed? Does that mean that this tool can't help me?

Bart: No, it absolutely can. For instance, if you push in an engineering journal, and you have to submit this manuscript through the manuscript submission system, as soon as you submit it and it's given a manuscript submission ID, it will automatically show up in your bibliography. It will be tracked that way.

Megan: Okay. And, of course, you would use that manuscript submission ‑‑ submission system when you were making your publication be in compliance with the policy, that's ‑‑

Bart: That's right.

Megan: That's how you are registering it?

Bart: That's right. And so for a journal that's not sending the full article directly to PubMed Central, the author has to make sure that they submit it themselves and it has to be processed through the manuscript submission system. And since My NCBI is a tool that sits in between all of these systems that we run, we connect all of the information from the manuscript submission system, from PubMed, from PubMed Central, into your user account that you have set up.

Megan: Great. And for those listeners out there who are interested in understanding more about the Public Access Policy, please see our last podcast on this topic or the web page, which the URL will be provided at the end of this segment.

Now that I'm in NCBI and I have a Commons user ID, what does that mean in terms of the required reporting that I have to do at progress report time for my grants?

Bart: Well, for those investigators that have been filing progress reports for many years, they will probably remember that there was a time in eRA Commons where they kind of maintained a bibliography list directly in Commons. That's now gone away and it's been replaced by My Bibliography. So now all you simply have to do is go into PubMed, you add the citations that you've authored to your bibliography. Now with the My NCBI tool, we'll track the compliance and all of those citations that you add into your bibliography are made available to you when you come to fill out your progress report.

Megan: In the Commons.


That's right.

Megan: So certainly I can understand, as an author, why if I'm working with NIH, I have to use My Bibliography and My NCBI because I can't complete my progress report otherwise. But are there other reasons that I actually might want to use the tool?

Bart: Certainly. So it's much easier to use, for one thing, because you simply just add in the PubMed IDs and as soon as that citation has the full text article in PubMed Central, the PubMed Central ID is added to that citation. So all of this stuff is automatically updated on a daily basis, without the author having to do any additional things. They simply just gather the citations that they've authored into their bibliography account. We take care of the rest.

We update the PubMed Central ID, once it becomes available. We mark it as compliant once the full text is available in PubMed Central. And it's all sent over into their eRA Commons account.

But there are advantages beyond that, even. For instance, we have tools where you can save a PubMed search and have that PubMed search run on a weekly basis and have the results emailed to you automatically.

These are all different things that you can run right from your My NCBI account.

Megan: And so the last feature mentioned is a feature that sounds like it might be of interest to institutional officials as well.

Bart: Exactly. So, for instance, if you are interested in finding papers that were citing a grant, you can set up a PubMed search to look for that grant in PubMed, it will run every single week, and we'll email you all of the PubMed IDs that show up as attributing that grant as soon as they become available. So it's a nice automated tool. It's not just for investigators. We make it for ‑‑ for all of our users.

Megan: My understanding is that NIH has actually recently developed another tool that Institutional Officials might find very useful, though, the Public Access Compliance Monitor.

Bart: That's correct. And that tool is targeted specifically to ‑‑ to institutions. They have to apply for a particular role in eRA Commons so they are able to access this information.

Megan: And we'll have another podcast that explains a little bit more about that tool and how Institutional Officials can be monitoring compliance with the Public Access Policy at an institutional level using that. Is there anything else you think that authors might be interested in knowing about the My NCBI tool?

Bart: Well, I just encourage people to go in and use it and start incorporating it into their work flow because there are some neat features that we add all of the time.

For instance, you're able to share your bibliography. If you want to make it public, we have a setting so you can make your bibliography public. We give you a URL that you are able to share with other people. So if you are asked to maintain a faculty web page, for example, you can include your bibliography into that page and everything will be updated as you do your normal work, adding citations in and reporting them on your grant reports.

Megan: So, you know, Bart, I understand that sometimes when authors are, or PIs are working with many other people and how do they track, on the grants, how do they track all of the publications that they don't author? Does this tool provide any facility to help with that?

Bart: It does. And we realize that there are situations where you have complex grant mechanisms where there might be a single PI, but they are funding dozens and dozens of other PIs that are all publishing and the PI in charge of that grant, you know, might not be aware of all of the things that are being published.

So what the My NCBI tool allows is it allows for these other grants, for these other scientists that are publishing using this grant, to attribute it. All they have to do is they ‑‑ they go into their My Bibliography account, they can link it to the Center grant, and it will appear in the Center grant PI's account automatically. So outside PIs can use your grant, link their papers to it, it will show up in your bibliography. And it will all be gathered into a single account, so that when you go and make your annual report, it will all be there for you.

Megan: So that's a great utility. It just requires some coordination and the PI on that center grant would need to know to tell people to do that, I guess.

Bart: That's right. And we also added an additional feature that allows the PI of that center grant to fill out the 2590 bibliography section. So as they gather these citations in and they've been linked to the Center grant, they are able to make a PDF report of this bibliography, formatted exactly the way it needs to be submitted along with the paper version of the 2590.

Megan: Anything else that you think that people might be interested in that we haven't touched on yet, Bart?

Bart: Another feature that is very popular is you're able to delegate your bibliography.

Megan: I bet people love being able to delegate and not having to do this themselves.

Bart: Absolutely. People have a lot of things to track, to keep track of. And you're able to pass these responsibilities on to anybody that you choose. So if you have somebody in your laboratory, in your office, that is willing to take this over for you, you can set up your bibliography so that they have rights to go in and manage all of this for you.

Megan: For NIH and OER, this is Megan Columbus.


Announcer: To obtain more information on NIH's Public Access Policy, as well as a link to My NCBI, please visit There is also a companion webinar associated with this podcast that can be found on the Public Access page using the Training/Communications tab.