What is the usage of NIH Reporter?

The NIH Reporter is an electronic tool to search databases of NIH-funded research projects. Publications, patents and research projects can be searched. In addition to NIH-funded research, this tool provides access to research by the Food and Drug Administration, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Administration for Children and Families, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The information data linking with projects can’t be found using the project year or year of funding. That’s because of the ongoing nature of the data. To associate the publication with the research the author must acknowledge the support and associate it with a specific contract or grant. With the public access policy linkage can be made with NIH grants and publications. This tool only lists publications found in PubMed Central and PubMed.

An active grant is one that has not reached the end of its budget period. Most grants range from three to five years. Once the budget period ends a new year of funding is allocated. A grant will become temporarily inactive until a non-competing award is issued. The grant can still be found using the NIH research tool by changing the query to search all fiscal years.

Patents are linked with projects, but also cannot be identified with any particular year or year of funding. It’s important to note that the patent information in this tool is incomplete. The grant and project costs revealed in this tool do not represent the life of the project, only the monies awarded in a single fiscal year. For multi-project grants, the total costs include the funding for all of the project’s subprojects.

From 2008 and on, the project terms are found by mining the text of the abstract, specific aims, project’s title and public health relevance. Term searches prior to 2008 are not comparable. To find publications associated with a specific grant, just enter search criteria in the query form. Then, just click on the title of the project to get to the project details. The results tab gives information on patents and publications from the project.

To add papers that are missing from a grant, just link the grants to the papers using the manuscript submission system in the NIH Reporter. Select the paper to be added and select the grant. It’s pretty easy to do. To register for a MYReporter account, just click on the registration link. Then, enter an email and confirm an account password.

In sum, the NIH reporter is the steward of behavioral and medical research for the country. Its goal is to provide knowledge to lengthen life, reduce illness and enhance health.