Skip Navigation Bar

Fact Sheet
Multiple Language Translations of Online Journals and Indexing English Editions of Journals


The MEDLINE/PubMed database includes a language field for identifying the languages in which an article is published. As electronic publishing evolves, one trend for online journals is to include multiple language versions of an article within a single journal issue. To accommodate this change, the MEDLINE/PubMed citation includes the languages of the versions according to the following policy.

Policy for Multiple Language Translations of Online Journals

For articles that are published in multiple languages, the MEDLINE/PubMed citation displays the various languages when the full translations are available at the original time of publication. An unlimited number of languages may display.

Publishers or their suppliers are responsible for including all appropriate languages as part of the XML citation data submitted to NLM.

For guidance on this process, see “Instructions for articles published in Non-English Languages” in XML Help for PubMed Data Providers (

Policy Scope and Implementation Date

This policy applies to online journals and is effective beginning with 2012 publications.

Indexing English Editions of Journals

It is customary for journals cited in MEDLINE to be indexed from the original language of publication. The language to be indexed is approved by the Literature Selection Technical Review Committee at the time a journal is accepted for MEDLINE indexing.

For non-English MEDLINE journals that create a separately published English edition after being accepted for indexing, the English edition may be indexed in lieu of the non-English edition upon request from the publisher and approval by the Index Section. Content and coverage of the English edition must match the content and coverage of the language originally indexed.

Submit requests to index English editions of non-English MEDLINE journals to Deborah Ozga, Head, Index Section (, 301.496.3262).


For general information on NLM services, contact:

National Library of Medicine

Customer Service
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20894
Telephone: 1-888-FINDNLM (1-888-346-3656)
NLM Customer Service Form at

A complete list of NLM Fact Sheets is available at:
(alphabetical list)
(subject list):

Or write to:

Office of Communications and Public Liaison
National Library of Medicine
8600 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, Maryland 20894
Phone: (301) 496-6308
Fax: (301) 496-4450