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Library Toolkit for Professional Support Staff: ID Numbers


DOI stands for Digital Object Identifier. It is a unique ID to correspond to an electronic document such as an electronic journal article. Note, not all electronic journal articles have a DOI.  However, you may come across this ID on a journal article page, on a publisher's website, in a record in a database such as PubMed, or in a citation in a bibliography.  Some citation styles include the DOI at the end of the citation.

DOI Example:


Note: A DOI can be changed to a DOI URL by the following- insert the DOI number after the forward slash: 


Citation example: 
James PA, Oparil S, Carter BL, et al. 2014 Evidence-Based Guideline for the Management of High Blood Pressure in Adults: Report From the Panel Members Appointed to the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8). JAMA. 2014;311(5):507-520. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.284427.

This site allows you to identify the DOI for an item 
(Note: If you do not find a DOI with this lookup tool, it does not mean a DOI does not exist for the object. Try checking other sources  such as the publisher's page for the publication.)

Resolve a DOI

This site allows you to identify what item  a specific DOI is for.


PMID is the PubMed Unique Identifier. This is a 1 to 8 digit number assigned to all records in PubMed. In a PubMed record, the PMID number is located at the bottom left of the record. Some citation styles include the PMID near the end.

Note: Do not confuse with PMCID

PMID: 26010632

Citation example:

Aydogmus Y, Sunay M, Arslan H, Aydin A, Adiloglu  AK, Sahin H. Acupuncture versus solifenacin for treatment of overactive bladder and its correlation with urine nerve growth factor levels: a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Urol Int. 2014;93(4):437-43. PubMed PMID: 25033919.

Tip: If you input the PMID number (just the number) in the PubMed search box it will pull up the record for that PMID instantly.


The NIHMSID is an ID used to identify NIH funded publications which have been initially submitted into the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMSS) for eventual doposit in PubMed Central. If completely  processed in NIHMSS, these publications will finally have a PMCID assigned to it since archiving in  PubMed Central will be completed. The NIHMSID may typically be found in the  NCBI My Bibliography, or in the NIHMSS system.


Citation example:
Example: Cerrato A, Parisi M, Santa Anna S, Missirlis F, Guru S, Agarwal S, Sturgill D, Talbot T, Spiegel A, Collins F, Chandrasekharappa S, Marx S, Oliver B. Genetic interactions between Drosophila melanogaster menin and Jun/Fos. Dev Biol. In press. NIHMSID: NIHMS44135


The PMCID stands for the PubMed Central  ID. This ID number is a unique identifier for publications archived in PubMed Central. Publications archived in PubMed Central may be indexed in PubMed. Therefore, records in PubMed, may have a PMCID, which means the publication is archived in PubMed Central, but they will also have a PMID since it is a record for PubMed. 

Note: Do not confuse with PMID

PMCID: PMC4172319

Citation example:
Tran AN, Ornelas IJ, Kim M, Perez G, Green M, Lyn MJ, et al. Results from a pilot promotora program to reduce depression and stress among immigrant Latinas. Health Promot Pract. 2014;15(3):365-72.  PMCID: PMC4172319.

PubMed Central Record Example:

PubMed Record Example: