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Changes Coming to How You Login to MyNCBI Accounts

by JoAnn Krzeminski on 2021-05-12T12:00:00-04:00 in Core Medical Databases, Research | Comments

MyNCBI accounts have long been used as the way to save searches, set up alerts, and create collections within PubMed. Starting in June, the way to login to MyNCBI accounts is going to change. In an effort to increase security, NCBI is transitioning to federated, third-party credentials for account login. They feel that outside parties can manage secure logins better, therefore ensuring your account safety.

What exactly is a third-party login credential?

NCBI has partnered with a number of outside services that will allow you to use your existing login with that service to login to MyNCBI. Some of the options include: Google (Gmail), Facebook, ORCiD, or Microsoft (i.e. Hotmail, or You cannot use your HFHS Outlook account for this.

Even though HFHS blocks Gmail and Microsoft logins on HFHS campuses and devices, you can still use these credentials to login to MyNCBI because you don’t actually login to those accounts in this process.

What if you don’t already have any of these accounts set up?

If you do not already have one of these third-party accounts to use, you will have to set one up. Unfortunately, since Google and Microsoft logins are blocked on HFHS campuses and computers, if you choose to use one of these you will have to set up the initial account off-campus while on a non-HFHS device.

Will you lose existing information in your MyNCBI account?

No, not if you follow the steps to link your existing MyNCBI account with your “new” login before the deadline set by NCBI.


Here’s how to link a third-party login to an existing MyNCBI account:

  1. Go to PubMed  
  2. Login to MyNCBI from the top right corner as you normally do.
  3. In the top right corner, click on your username and then go down to Account Settings.
  4. If your Settings page looks like this, where you have a “Native NCBI Account” username and password and have no linked accounts, then you will need to add a linked account.

NCBI Account not linked

  1. To add a “linked account” click on Change in the “Linked accounts” area.
  2. On the Linked Accounts page, search for an account name, or scroll through the list to locate it. For example, you can type “Google” or “Facebook” into the box. (Henry Ford Health System does not have a partner account here.)

NCBI Linked Accounts page

  1. When you find the account you want to use, click on it, and you will be brought to that third-party’s login page.
  2. Login with your existing username and password for whichever service you chose.
  3. You will be directed back to the Linked Accounts page, showing the new linked information.

NCBI Linked Accounts success

  1. The next time you want to login to MyNCBI, go to PubMed like normal, but you will use the credentials for the linked account, whether it's Google, Facebook, ORCiD – whatever service you chose to use. One less password to remember!

When is this going to happen?

You can go ahead and link a third-party account right now if you wish to get it over with. It's a fairly easy process if you already have a third-party credential to use. 

According to NCBI, they will begin launching a wizard in June 2021 to help transition users to third-party credentials. At first, you will be able to opt-out of doing it, but it will be mandatory before the end of 2021. In June 2022, all NCBI passwords will be retired. If you fail to link a third-party account by the deadline set by NCBI, you will lose access to your account. Don't let that happen! 

More information about this can be found in NCBI’s FAQs:


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