Skip to main content

NIH Public Access @ UCSD: The Big Picture: NIH Policy, Compliance Overview, & Submission Methods

Resources to help the UCSD research community comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.

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.  To help advance science and improve human health, the Policy requires that these papers are accessible to the public on PubMed Central no later than 12 months after publication.  (From http://publicaccess.nih.gov/)

Policy Details

The NIH Public Access Policy implements Division G, Title II,  Section 218 of PL 110-161 (Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2008).  The law states:

The Director of the National Institutes of Health shall require that all investigators funded by the NIH submit or have submitted for them to the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed Central an electronic version of their final, peer-reviewed manuscripts upon acceptance for publication, to be made publicly available no later than 12 months after the official date of publication: Provided, That the NIH shall implement the public access policy in a manner consistent with copyright law.  (From http://publicaccess.nih.gov/policy.htm)

All of your papers that fall under the NIH Public Access Policy, whether in press or in print, must include evidence of compliance in all of your NIH grant applications, proposals, and progress reports. This affects all applicable papers that are authored by the Principal Investigator (PI) or arose from the PI’s NIH funds.  (From http://publicaccess.nih.gov/)

 

1. Determine Applicability

Does the NIH Public Access Policy apply to your paper?

The Policy applies to any manuscript that:

  • Is peer-reviewed;
  • And, is accepted for publication in a journal on or after April 7, 2008;
  • And, 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

Note: Until further notice, papers written in scripts other than Latin (e.g., Russian, Japanese) are not required to be posted on PubMed Central and do not require evidence of compliance on applications, proposals or reports. Papers may be processed that are written in Latin (Roman) script that contain characters and fonts used in standard mathematical notation.

 

2. Address Copyright

Before you sign a publication agreement or similar copyright transfer agreement, make sure that the agreement allows the paper to be posted to PubMed Central (PMC) in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy.  Final, peer-reviewed manuscripts must be posted to the NIH Manuscript Submission (NIHMS) System upon acceptance for publication, and be made publicly available on PMC no later than 12 months after the official date of publication.

For the convenience of University of California authors:

UC authors should submit a copy of this letter signed by William Tucker, executive director of the Office of Technology Transfer and Research Administration in the UC Office of the President, with any manuscript submitted for possible publication. It provides notice to publishers that, if accepted for publication, the paper will be required by law to be posted on PMC. If this letter is not submitted at the time a paper is sent to a publisher for review, it must be submitted along with any signed publication agreement.

 

3. Submit paper to PMC

Submit papers to PubMed Central (PMC) and approve public release.

See the Submission Methods tab.

 

4. Include PMCID in Citations

Include the PMCID at the end of the full citation in any NIH application or report.

 

There are four methods to ensure that an applicable paper is submitted to PubMed Central (PMC) in compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy. See NIH's Submission Methods table to see which method works best for you.

For further details, see the NIHMS submission tutorial.

 

Method A
Journal deposits final published articles in PubMed Central without author involvement

Method B
Author asks publisher to deposit specific final published article in PMC

Method C 
Author deposits final peer-reviewed manuscript in PMC via the NIHMS

Method D
Author completes submission of final peer-reviewed manuscript deposited by publisher in the NIHMS. Authors and awardees are responsible for ensuring that the manuscript is deposited into the NIHMS upon acceptance for publication.

Version of Paper Submitted


Final Published Article


Final Published Article


Final Peer-Reviewed Manuscript

Final Peer-Reviewed Manuscript

Task 1: Who starts the deposit process?

Publisher

Publisher

Author or designee, via NIHMS, upon acceptance for publication

Publisher via NIHMS, upon acceptance for publication

Task 2: Who approves paper for processing?

Publisher

Publisher

Author, via NIHMS

Author, via NIHMS

Task 3: Who approves paper for PubMed Central display?

Publisher

Publisher

Author, via NIHMS

Author, via NIHMS

Participating journal/publisher

Method A Journals

Make arrangements with these publishers

Check publishing agreement

Make arrangements with these publishers

Who is Responsible?

NIH Awardee

NIH Awardee

NIH Awardee

NIH Awardee

To cite papers, from acceptance for publication to 3 months post publication


PMCID or “PMC Journal- In Process”


PMCID or “PMC Journal- In Process”

PMCID or NIHMSID

PMCID or NIHMSID

To cite papers, 3 months post publication and beyond

PMCID

PMCID

PMCID

PMCID

 

Method A: Publish in a journal that deposits all final published articles in PubMed Central (PMC) without author involvement.

Some journals automatically deposit all NIH-funded final published articles in PubMed Central, to be made publicly available within 12 months of publication, without author involvement.

Method B: Make arrangements to have the publisher deposit a specific final published article in PubMed Central.

Some publishers will deposit an individual final published article in PubMed Central upon author request, and generally for a fee.

For a list of publishers, see "Journals and NIH Policy".

Method C: Deposit the final peer-reviewed manuscript in PubMed Central yourself via the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).

Submitting a final peer-reviewed manuscript to PubMed Central (PMC) via the NIHMS involves three tasks, as explained below.  Task 1 may be done by an author or by someone in the author’s organization (e.g., an assistant).  Tasks 2 and 3 must by done by the author.

See details on completing Method C in the side bar on the left.

Method D: Complete the submission process for a final peer-reviewed manuscript that the publisher has deposited in the NIH Manuscript Submission System (NIHMS).

In a variation of Method C, some publishers deposit the manuscript files in the NIHMS, provide contact information for a corresponding author, and designate the number of months after publication when the paper may be made publicly available in PMC.

The NIHMS will notify the author when the manuscript files are received from the publisher.  At that point, the author must complete all of the tasks outlined for Method C, except for the file deposit part of Task 1 above.

 

Visit PubMed Central: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/

From the PubMed Central (PMC) Overview:

  • PMC is a free archive of biomedical and life sciences journal literature at the National Library of Medicine (NLM), one of the institutes that make up the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).
  • It is the official repository for papers submitted in accordance with the NIH Public Access Policy.
  • As an archive, PMC is designed to provide permanent access to all of its content.
  • All PMC literature is free, but are still under copyright protection and some may be delayed by an embargo of up to 12 months, as requested by some publishers.
  • While some journals in PMC are fully 'open access', there are key differences between Public Access and Open Access.

Loading