Important Changes to NCBI Accounts Coming in 2021

Do you login to NCBI to use MyNCBI, SciENcv, or MyBibliography? Do you submit data to NCBI? If so, you’ll want to read further to get a first glimpse at some important changes to NCBI accounts that will be coming in 2021.

What’s happening?

In brief, NCBI will be transitioning to federated account credentials. NCBI-managed credentials are the username and password you set at NCBI — these will be going away. Federated account credentials are those set through eRA Commons, Google, or a university or institutional point of access.

Why is this happening?

NIH, NLM, and NCBI take your privacy and security very seriously. As part of our normal reviews we have determined that making this change will increase the security of your accounts to a level that we feel is necessary.

When is this happening?

After June 1, 2021, you will no longer be able to use NCBI-managed credentials to login to NCBI.

What do I need to do?

If you currently use a federated login to access your NCBI account, you don’t have to do anything! Just be aware that if you also access your account with an NCBI-managed username and password, that route will be going away.

If you only have NCBI-managed credentials and you’d like to get a head start on this transition, you can do the following now:

  1. Login to NCBI the way you usually do.
  2. Click on your username in the top bar to load your NCBI Account Settings page.
  3. If your Settings page looks like Figure 1, where you have a “Native NCBI Account” username and password and have no linked accounts, then you will need to add a linked account.
  4. To add a linked account, click the “Change” button under Linked Accounts.
  5. You may choose several options for a linked account including the following:
  • Google
  • University/institutional
  • login.gov
NCBI Accounts Settings page.
Figure 1. NCBI Accounts Settings page showing a “Native” NCBI account without any linked accounts.

What about my account data?

This change will not affect the actual data in your account, such as your MyBibliography, SciENcv, or submission data. The only thing that is changing are the credentials you use to access your account.

What if I have questions?

We’re here to help! You can always write to info@ncbi.nlm.nih.gov for more information, particularly if you would be interested in helping us with this transition by being willing to migrate your credentials early. Your willingness will help us make the transition easier for everyone!

4 thoughts on “Important Changes to NCBI Accounts Coming in 2021

  1. Hello, thank you for this information!
    I have tried to link my account to my institution (which is mentioned in the list) as well as to my Google account, but I keep getting an error page indicating that NIH is not able to process my request.
    Is there anything I can do?
    Sincerely yours,
    Jolanda Elmers
    Lausanne University

  2. We currently use a shared MyNCBI account for our library so our users have access to our outside tool, filters, and other settings. What are our options to replicate this when MyNCBI goes away? Are there options that don’t include us paying thousands of dollars?

    Side note: why does NLM make these changes without talking to librarians first?

  3. It would be nice to have some general metrics around how many MyNCBI accounts are already linked to eRA Commons and Google versus those accounts that will need to be transitioned, so that we have benchmarks for our specific institutions. Having some idea about the impact of this transition would be helpful.

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