PMIDs, DOIs, and PMCIDs Oh My!

Let’s take a moment to demystify these commonly used acronyms. They are all unique identifiers for an article (like a barcode), which can be used to easily link to or find an article online.

A PMID (such as 30256255) is a unique numerical identifier for an article in PubMed. You will notice every article included in PubMed has a PMID under the citation/abstract. You can search this number in PubMed or our E-Journals page to go straight to that particular article.

E-Journals page

DUMCL eJournals page

The International DOI Foundation assigns a unique alphanumeric string to content online known as a Digital Object Identifier or DOI. Most publishers give their articles DOIs because it is the best way to provide links to articles that are persistent or permalinks. A DOI will still work on a Website where common occurrences might make other links unusable. When available, you will also see DOIs included with the citation data in PubMed. In order to “resolve” these DOIs, or make them usable links, simply add before the DOIs. Thus an article with a DOI of 10.1097/ACM.0b013e31828acf27 can be linked by using

Finally, PMCIDs are simply unique identifiers for articles that are included in PubMed Central (PMC). These numbers will be preceded by PMC first.

This article has all three identifiers included in PubMed

PubMed Article

If you only have one identifier and want to know of others associated with an article, you can use the NCBI Converter tool.

Findable & shareable...isn't that what we all want?