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Innovative new web interface improves access to UK's largest free online life sciences resource - http://beta.ukpmc.ac.uk

11Jan2010

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Jacob Lant
Business, Science and Technology Press Officer
British Library
jacob.lant@bl.uk / +44(0)20 7412 7105 
Miki Lentin
Head of Media Relations
British Library
miki.lentin@bl.uk / +44(0)20 7412 7112 

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Helping researchers access and exploit over 1.7 million full-text, peer reviewed biomedical research articles and over 19 million other life science research papers, on 12 January the British Library will showcase a whole range of new search and data mining tools designed to unlock the scientific knowledge held by UK PubMed Central.

Developed in direct consultation with researchers, UK PubMed Central (UKPMC) aims to become the information resource of choice for the UK biomedical and health research community.  Launched by Professor Dame Sally C. Davies, Director General, Research and Development at the Department of Health, the Open Beta version of UKPMC will enable researchers to search and link information from literature and drill down into underlying datasets in new and innovative ways.

Supported by the UK's eight principal funders of biomedical and health research, who fund over 90% of the country's research publications in the field, UKPMC offers users a comprehensive and sustainable repository for UK funded free-to-access life sciences research. Developed in collaboration with the founders of PubMed Central in the US, the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the consolidation of published research outputs into globally accessible resources such as UKPMC is not only vital for widening access to knowledge and improving the efficiency of desk research, but it will also vastly improve the ability of funding organisations to assess the impact of their research, and help to better inform scientific strategy and policy making.

The showcase event will provide the chance to try out some of the new features that have been developed by the British Library and the consortium of programme partners including European Bioinformatics Institute, Mimas at the University of Manchester and the National Centre for Text Mining.  There will also be the opportunity to hear from some of the key funders behind the programme, including Professor Doug Kell, Chief Executive of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, and Sir Mark Walport, Director of the Wellcome Trust, on the value and importance of UKPMC for the research community.

The easy-to-use, intuitive interface developed by the British Library for the latest Beta version will enable researchers to:

  • Conduct a full-text search of 1.7 million articles
  • Access abstracts for over 19 million articles
  • Exploit the scientific literature with innovative features which enrich abstracts and full-text articles by linking scientific terms to other sources of quality assured and useful information
  • Search content not included in traditional journal literature - including clinical guidelines as well as other hard to find material such as PhD theses

Professor Dame Sally C Davies, Director General Research and Development Department of Health, says:

"I am delighted that UK PubMed Central is ready to launch new features on its website. This technology will make it possible to discover and use hidden ‘gems' of information buried in the documents within UK PubMed Central. The Funders' commitment to Open Access, and to making research outputs available through UK PubMed Central, means this advance will increase the knowledge base and allow research to realise even greater health and economic benefits for this country."

Richard Boulderstone, the British Library's Director of eStrategy, says:

"With over 1.7 million full-text, free-to-access biomedical research articles and an ever increasing archive of additional research content, such as PhD theses and clinical guidelines, UK PubMed Central is fast becoming the information resource of choice for the UK's biomedical and health research community. Developed by the British Library through open consultation with a wide range of researchers, the new data mining tools will allow users to really interrogate the collection; informing research, reducing duplication of work and inspiring new scientific discovery." 

For more information and interviews please contact the British Library Press Office - Jacob Lant jacob.lant@bl.uk / +44(0)20 7412 7105 or Miki Lentin miki.lentin@bl.uk / +44(0)20 7412 7115.

Notes for Editors

1. UK PubMed Central (http://ukpmc.ac.uk/) is a UK initiative of PubMed Central, the free archive of life sciences journals developed by the National Institutes of Health National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). NCBI is based at the National Library of Medicine in the United States. Read more on PubMed Central's international initiative here: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/about/pmci.html

2. UK PubMed Central mission is to become the information resource of choice for the UK biomedical and health research community by:

  • Establishing and expanding a single sustainable repository for UK-funded research outputs
  • Developing innovative tools to enable better and more effective use of the existing content
  • Providing access to additional content that integrates seamlessly into the UK PubMed Central web-site
  • Creating comprehensive analysis and reporting tools for researchers and funders to inform strategy and policy making

3. UK PubMed Central is supported with funding from:

  • The Arthritis Research Campaign is the leading authority on arthritis in the UK, conducting scientific and medical research into all types of arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions. It is the UK's fourth largest medical research charity and the only charity solely committed to funding high quality research into the cause, treatment and cure of arthritis, which affects more than ten million people in the UK today and millions more worldwide. We rely entirely on public donations to fund our research and education programmes, and spend more than £30m a year in universities and medical schools to support pioneering biomedical research in order to improve the lives of people with arthritis.
  • The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £450M in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes.
  • British Heart Foundation is the nation's heart charity, dedicated to saving lives through pioneering research, patient care, campaigning for change and by providing vital information. But we urgently need help. We rely on donations of time and money to continue our life-saving work. Because together we can beat heart disease.
  • Cancer Research UK is the world's leading charity dedicated to beating cancer through research. The charity's groundbreaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives. This work is funded entirely by the public. Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates double in the last thirty years. Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of more than 4,800 scientists, doctors and nurses. Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer.
  • Chief Scientist Office is part of the Scottish Government Health Directorates, which supports and promotes high quality research aimed at improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of services offered by NHS Scotland and securing lasting improvements to the health of the people of Scotland. CSO supports research initiated by the research community in Scotland and advises the Scottish Government on how research contributes to improvements in health and healthcare. CSO's research strategy "Investing in Research: Improving Health" sets out our aims for the next 5 years and features changes to give greater emphasis to funding experimental and translational medicine research and health services and health population research. CSO also aims to deliver value for money through partnerships with other funding agencies and to foster Scotland-wide working through the Scottish Academic health Services Collaboration.
  • Department of Health - Through the National Institute for Health Research, the Department of Health supports research in the NHS in England, with a budget of around £900m in 2009/10. The development of the NIHR includes a series of measures designed to transform the health research environment. See http://www.nihr.ac.uk/. The NIHR's mission is to create a health research system in which the NHS supports outstanding individuals working in world-class facilities, conducting leading-edge research, focused on the needs of patients and the public.
  • Medical Research Council For almost 100 years the Medical Research Council has improved the health of people in the UK and around the world by supporting the highest quality science. The MRC invests in world-class scientists. It has produced 29 Nobel Prize winners and sustains a flourishing environment for internationally recognised research. The MRC focuses on making an impact and provides the financial muscle and scientific expertise behind medical breakthroughs, including the first antibiotic penicillin, the structure of DNA and the lethal link between smoking and cancer. Today MRC funded scientists tackle research into the major health challenges of the 21st century.http://www.mrc.ac.uk/
  • The Wellcome Trust is the largest charity in the UK. It funds innovative biomedical research, in the UK and internationally, spending over £600 million each year to support the brightest scientists with the best ideas. The Wellcome Trust supports public debate about biomedical research and its impact on health and wellbeing. http://www.wellcome.ac.uk/

4. The development partners for UK PubMed Central are:
The British Library, Mimas and NaCTeM (National Centre for Text Mining) at the University of Manchester, the European Bioinformatics Institute.

5. The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and one of the world's greatest research libraries. It provides world class information services to the academic, business, research and scientific communities and offers unparalleled access to the world's largest and most comprehensive research collection. The Library's collection has developed over 250 years and exceeds 150 million separate items representing every age of written civilisation. It includes: books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages http://www.bl.uk/science

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