Q: What should I do if my article was published online but has not yet appeared on PubMed?

Detailed Question -

My article was published in Indian Journal of Otolaryngology and Head & Neck Surgery. It was published online on May 4. However, it has not yet appeared on PubMed.

1 Answer to this question

Firstly, congrats on having your paper published! You must no doubt be feeling happy and proud. Which also perhaps explains your eagerness in seeing it appear on PubMed.

However, a few things to note here.

  • While you haven’t mentioned the title of the article, you have mentioned the date and that it was published online. Going by that information, your paper seems to have appeared as an Online First Article on the site. This is also known as Early View or First Release, and represents the accepted and proofed version of the article that first appears online before its print publication. So, there is some time to the print publication. Which may be one reason why it’s yet to appear on PubMed. (Incidentally, based on the date you provided, when we looked around on the journal site, we came across only one paper for the date, which may be your paper.)
  • Coming to PubMed, we see that the journal is indexed in the repository and appears in search results in its abbreviated form Indian J Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. On looking up search results for the journal in PubMed though, we see that the last article published was in October 2019, for which the Early View timeline seems to be June 2019, that is, a lag of four months. This is known as an embargo period, the time between an article being published in the journal and appearing on PubMed. For your journal, that would be about four months based on the PubMed data we just discussed.
  • Apart from that, PubMed recently went through a site change, though that’s unlikely to have caused a delay in the indexing as they are a large, well-established repository with systems in place to manage workflows on time.

Now, if this waiting period is of concern to you (perhaps because it may have a professional impact) or you need to be sure of when exactly the article will show up on PubMed, you could write in to the journal editor for confirmation.

For the points discussed above and a few more, you may refer to these previous queries by other users:

Hope that helps. And again, kudos on the paper!