NIH Public Access Policy: Compliance Steps: New Publications

Information and Resources on the NIH Public Access Policy


The NIH PA Policy includes the following requirements:

1.  Authors must cite the appropriate grant numbers on all NIH grant-supported publications.

2. Final peer-reviewed manuscripts that arise from NIH support must be submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) upon acceptance for publication. 

3. Investigators must include a PMCID number for each applicable paper cited in an NIH proposal or report.

4. Investigators must use My NCBI to enter papers into progress reports. 

How to Comply

BEFORE publication:

1.  When submitting a paper to a journal, follow its guidelines for funding disclosures.  Be sure to reference ALL applicable grant numbers.  If the journal does not specify how to disclose funding information, include the grants on the title page.

2.  Before signing, verify that your copyright agreement allows you to comply with the Public Access Policy.

3.  Determine how the paper will be submitted to PMC

There are four submission methods.  Your paper's journal and/or publisher will fall under one of these methods.  The NIH Public Access Policy website includes a description of the submission methods and participating publishers

The Library maintains information on the submission policies for Springer, Elsevier, Nature, and LWW journals.

If you are unable to determine the submission method for your paper, contact your journal editor. 

3.  Assign responsibilities and complete required actions.

A summary of typical activities is listed below.  You should read the NIH's full description of methods and responsibilities for the most complete information. 

Method A and B:  The corresponding author must follow the journal's guidelines for triggering the deposit in PMC.

Method C:  An author or delegate with access to the final peer reviewed manuscript submits the paper to PMC via the NIH Manuscript Submission System.  This guide walks you through the submission process. 

Method D:  The corresponding author must follow the journal's guidelines for triggering the deposit in PMC and approve the submission in the NIH Manuscript Submission System.  This tutorial details the approval process.

AFTER publication:

Verify that your paper has a PMCID number. 

The PMCID is posted in PubMed as soon as an article has been processed, which usually occurs around the time of publication. 

You can also use the PMID converter to find the PMCID number when you have the PMID number.  

How to Demonstrate Compliance

Include a PMCID when citing papers that arise from NIH funded research.

  • For papers published more than 3 months before an application or report is submitted:

List the PMCID at the end of the full citation for the paper.  A PMCID is the only way to demonstrate compliance.

  • For papers in press, or published within 3 months of when an application or report is submitted: 

For submission methods A or B, indicate "PMC Journal - In Process" or the PMCID at the end of the full citation.

For submission Methods C or D, provide a valid NIH Manuscript Submission System reference number (NIHMSID) or PMCID at the end of the full citation.

My NCBI must be used to submit citations for electronic (RPPR) and paper (PHS 2590) progress reports.


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