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NIH Public Access @ UCSD: NIH Policy

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

Policy Overview

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

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

PubMed Central (PMC)

Visit PubMed Central:

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.