Important NCBI Account Changes Coming in June: Choosing Your Best Third-Party Option

NCBI announced it will transition to federated account credentials on June 1, 2021. What does this mean for you?

We’ve noted before that creating a My NCBI account is a key tool within PubMed and other NCBI databases. It retains your user information and database preferences to help you keep track of research, customize your search experience, and stay compliant with the NIH Public Access Policy. While these account changes are being implemented for privacy and security reasons, they won’t affect what you’ve stored within your NCBI account. Look to the NCBI Account Login Changes FAQs page for more information.

Starting now, if you only have a Native NCBI Account (a NCBI username and password), you will need to add a Linked Account to it. This means signing in via a third-party organization, and letting it confirm your identity. This will give you federated account credentials within NCBI, and make your account more secure. Examples of organizations that you can link through are eRA Commons, Google, ORCiD,, Microsoft, Facebook, and NIH.

As there are 4,000+ third-party login options to choose from, it’s important you select what works best for you. See this list for a breakdown of recommendations by role, activity, or preference. Here are two common scenarios for our MSK user community:

If your work involves using NCBI within the grant application process:

If your work involves using NCBI as a researcher or clinician:

Below are instructions for adding your chosen third-party option(s). The Library recommends adding at least two in case one is disrupted.

Instructions to add a Linked Account from the main NCBI page:

  1. Go to NCBI
  2. Select an option from the list or click on “more login options” for all organizations listed alphabetically

If you’d like to add more Linked Accounts once logged in to NCBI:

  1. Click on your NCBI username in the upper right corner
  2. Select Account Settings
  3. Under Linked Accounts, select Change
  4. In the search box, search for and select your desired account
  5. Authenticate with the third-party

Giving CRediT Where Credit is Due!

I recently attended the NISO Plus 2021 Conference. The virtual program was filled with rich and informative sessions with a few stand-outs to include one on the value and challenges of the CRediT Taxonomy.

CRediT, which stands for Contributor Roles Taxonomy, grew from the realization that authorship and how researchers are listed on scholarly outputs fails to represent the full range of contributions made by these researchers and often doesn’t paint the full picture of the work done by each of the listed authors on the research publication. In mid-2012, the Wellcome Trust and Harvard University co-hosted a workshop to bring individuals from the publishing world, funders, and academics together to discuss alternative models to recognize research contributions. After this workshop, a pilot project was conceived, focused on developing a draft taxonomy of contributor roles that could be used. The outcome of the pilot project is described in a Nature commentary.

The end result is CRediT, 14 high-level roles that can be used to demonstrate a researcher’s contributions to the scientific scholarly output. Moving from authorship to contributorship, the researcher could be assigned to one or more roles such as: Conceptualization, Data curation, Formal Analysis, Funding acquisition, Investigation, Methodology, Project administration, Resources, Software, Supervision, Validation, Visualization, Writing – original draft, and Writing – review & editing.

Two of the presenters at this session spoke of applications to support CRediT. Alex Holcombe, a professor of psychology at the University of Sydney, developed Tenzing with his colleagues to make it easier for authors to indicate who did what on their research projects, and provided a way to format this information so that it could be easily added to their manuscript when submitting to journals that use the CRediT standard. The second speaker, Richard Wynne, founder of Rescognito, developed a tool as a free service to help recognize and promote good research. The application is built on ORCIDs which identifies who did the work and Rescognito helps to answer the question, “what did the authors’ contribute?”

The list of publishers adopting CRediT is constantly evolving and include: Cell Press, eLife, Elsevier, Oxford University Press, PLOS, Springer Nature, Wiley, and Wolters Kluwer. These are all publishers that are familiar to the MSK research community.

In reflecting about the scholarly contributions by MSK researchers and this session, I am excited for the possibilities of leveraging the Contributor Roles Taxonomy to expand how we present our authors. By identifying their level of contributions, we would be able to provide transparency into what each author did. This information could be display and highlighted in their Synapse work records or on their Research Activity Dashboards.

Donna Gibson
Director of Library Services