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Wellcome Trust and NLM Partnership to Provide Free Access to 150 Years of Medical Research Reaches Half-Million Page Milestone

September 27, 2017

National Institutes of Health   (NIH)

Following the signing of a 2014 memorandum of understanding (MOU) to make thousands of complete back issues of historically-significant biomedical journals freely available through the National Institutes of Health life sciences repository PubMed Central (PMC), and through its European counterpart, Europe PMC, the US National Library of Medicine and the Wellcome Trust have released multiple titles—encompassing more than 45,000 individual articles and nearly a half million pages—with more to come.

The titles now available include:

·         Bristol Medico-Chirurgical Journal, which began publication 1883.The archive for this journal includes:

o    West of England Medical Journal (1990-1992)

o    Bristol Medico-Chirurgical Journal (1963-1989)

o    The Medical Journal of the South-West (1953-1962)

o    Bristol Medico-Chirurgical Journal (1883-1952)

·         Journal of Psychological Medicine and Mental Pathology (London), which began publication in 1848. The archive for this journal includes:

o    Journal of Psychological Medicine and Mental Pathology (1875-1883)

o    Medical Critic and Psychological Journal (1861-1863)

o    Journal of Psychological Medicine and Mental Pathology (1848-1860)

·         Mental Health, which began publication in 1920 and ran until the early 1970s. The archive for this journal includes:

o    Mind and Mental Health Magazine (1971-1972)

o    Mental Health (London) (1940-1971)

o    Mental Welfare (1925-1939)

o    Studies in Mental Inefficiency (1920-1924)

·         The Psychological Clinic, which began publication in 1907 and ran until 1935.

·         The Indian Medical Gazettewhich began publication in 1866 and ran until 1955.

The NLM/Wellcome collaboration to make these titles and others publicly available builds on the Medical Journal Backfiles Digitization Project of 2004-2010) and contributes to the current PMC archive of over 4 million articles from medical journals. The content from these titles is free to read, and also to download, text mine, and re-use via the PMC Text Mining Collections, which includes the PMC Open Access Subset and the Historical OCR Collection. License terms vary by title; see PMC Back Issue Digitization for more details.

The terms of the 2014 MOU between the NLM and the Wellcome Trust included a gift of £750,000 ($1.2 million) to the NLM which—combined with substantial support from the NLM—initiated this three-year project to scan articles from these and other selected titles from NLM’s collection, as well as the Wellcome’s work to secure copyright clearances and permissions for electronic deposit from publishers. Also per the MOU, the NLM conserved the original titles to ensure their preservation for future generations. The NLM is authorized to accept donations in support of its mission.

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