Knowledgebase: Software Tips
Endnote vs. NIH - including the PMCID reference number for all references in a grant application
Posted by (Inactive) Lacinda Riesland, Last modified by Richard Watt on 13 February 2020 05:34 PM

The NIH Public Access Policy has been implemented to ensure that the public has access to the published results of NIH-funded research. As a condition of award, the policy requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the PubMed Central digital archive. Many journals are automatically submitting all NIH-funded published articles to PubMed Central, so no action is necessary for these papers. (If a journal is not on the list, other submission methods are available.)

What has changed?
As a result of this policy, anyone submitting an application, proposal, report, or review to the NIH must include the PMC reference number (PMCID) when citing applicable papers that they author or that arise from their NIH-funded research. "Applicable Papers" includes any manuscript you cite that is peer-reviewed; and, is accepted for publication in a journal on or after April 7, 2008; and, arises from direct funding from an NIH grant, cooperative agreement, contract, Intramural Program, or an NIH employee. (If you are having trouble finding a PMCID for a cited reference, make sure it meets these criteria.)

Difference Between PMCID & PMID
The PubMed Central reference number (PMCID) is different than the PubMed reference number (PMID). PubMed is an index of abstracts, while PubMed Central is an index of full-text papers. The PMCID is posted in PubMed as soon as an article has been successfully processed by PubMed Central, which usually occurs around the time of publication.

Using Endnote
If you are using Endnote X3 or later, you do not need to update the Endnote program. If you are using an earlier version, you will need to visit Endnote's site and follow the detailed instructions there to update your Endnote program.

Please Note: After Endnote has been updated, you still need to update your existing library to include PMCID! Endnote will not automatically retrieve the PMCID for existing references. However, once you have updated the Endnote program, new references will include the PMCID number.

There are two choices for updating your existing references to applicable papers.

  1. Recreate your library in a "new library", searching PubMed using Endnote to get your references.
    • Pro: No manual updating of the Endnote library.
    • Con: you need to re-insert the new library references into your grant document.
  2. Manually edit your existing Endnote library.
    • Pro: After the library is up to date, you just have to "format bibliography” for NIH and the PMCID will automagically appear. 

Manually Updating Endnote

  1. Open your Endnote library & sort by year. You will only need to update citations published after April 7, 2008.
  2. Right-click the reference and choose "Edit References."
  3. Make sure to "Show Empty Fields" (right side of toolbar).
  4. Scroll down until you see the "Accession Number". This is the PMID (used for PubMed abstracts). Copy that number.
  5. Get the PMCID field.
  6. Copy the PMCID.
  7. Go back to the Endnote reference "edit" window, find the PMCID field, click below it, and paste in your newfound PMCID.
  8. Save the reference.
  9. Repeat these steps for each reference.
  10. When finished, open your grant document & "format bibliography" in the NIH style. This will insert the PMCIDs at the end of each citation you updated.