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NIH Public Access Policy

What is the NIH Public Access Policy?

In early January 2008, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced a revision to its Public Access Policy that ensures that published results of NIH-funded research are publicly available.

Effective April 7, 2008, all peer-reviewed articles arising from NIH funds must be submitted to PubMed Central within 12 months of publication.

In early 2013, NIH issued a notice stating that for non-competing continuation grant awards with a start date of July 1, 2013 or beyond, NIH will delay processing of an award if publications arising from it are not in compliance with the Policy.  The award will not be processed until recipients have demonstrated compliance.

NIH Policy Overview

Does the Policy Apply to You?

The Policy applies to any manuscript that:

  1. is peer-reviewed, AND
  2. is accepted for publication in a journal on or after April 7, 2008, AND
  3. arises from:
  • any direct funding from an NIH grant or cooperative agreement active in Fiscal Year 2008 or beyond, OR
  • any direct funding from an NIH contract signed on or after April 7, 2008, OR
  • any direct funding from the NIH Intramural Program, OR
  • an NIH employee

How to Comply

1. Address copyright.  Before signing an author agreement or copyright transfer agreement, verify that it allows the paper to be submitted to PubMed Central in accordance with the public access policy.  See the Author Rights libguide for information on how to retain your copyright.

2. Submit paper to NIH.  There are four options for submitting your paper to PubMed Central.

3. Include PMCID in citations.  Include the PubMed Central ID (PMCID) in any applications, proposals, or reports you submit to NIH.  Note that the PMID (PubMed ID) is not the same as the PMCID.