The NIH Public Access Policy ensures that the public has access to the published results of NIH funded research. It requires scientists to submit final peer-reviewed journal manuscripts that arise from NIH funds to the digital archive, PubMed Central, upon acceptance for publication. The Policy also requires that these papers are freely accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after the date of publication.

The Policy Applies to Any Paper that …

  1. Is peer-reviewed;
  2. and, is accepted for publication in a journal on or after April 7, 2008;
  3. and, arises from:
    1. Any direct funding from an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 or later, or,
    2. Any direct funding from an NIH contract signed on or after April 7, 2008, or;
    3. Any direct funding from the NIH Intramural Program, or;
    4. An NIH employee.

How to Comply:

Actions grantees must take to comply with the policy:

1. Address Copyright

Ensure that publishing agreements allow for full compliance with the policy.

2. Submit Article

After an article is accepted for publication, submit an electronic version of the article to PubMed Central (PMC). There are several ways to submit articles:

  • Publish in a journal that submits all NIH-funded final published articles to PMC. No additional action or effort is required. For a list of these journals, see http://publicaccess.nih.gov/submit_process_journals.htm.
  • Arrange with a publisher, usually for a fee, to submit the final journal article directly to PMC.
  • Deposit a copy of the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC via the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) system (http://www.nihms.nih.gov/). Manuscript files may be deposited in the NIHMS by an author, by someone acting for the author, or by the publisher. In every case, the author must 1) approve the deposit, and 2) review and approve the final web-based PMC version.

3. Include PMCID in citations

Include PubMed Central ID numbers (PMCIDs) in NIH applications, proposals and progress reports when citing publications covered by the policy.

eRA Commons is now integrated with “My Bibliography”, a bibliography management tool in  My NCBI  that is used to cite publications in Commons, to report PMCIDs, and to manage compliance with NIH Public Access Policy. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-10-103.html

For More Information:

NIH Public Access Policy web site: http://publicaccess.nih.gov

Public Access FAQs: http://publicaccess.nih.gov/FAQ.htm

PubMed Central: http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov

NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) System: http://www.nihms.nih.gov/

My Bibliography feature of My NCBI: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/myncbi/

Contact NIH: PublicAccess@nih.gov

For links to the NIH Grants Process, Policy, Review, and Resources, go to the OER Home Page: http://grants.nih.gov