NIH Public Access Policy
The National Institutes of Health (see NIH Public Access Policy) requires that investigators submit or have submitted on their behalf to PubMed Central (PMC), electronic versions of final, peer-reviewed manuscripts arising from NIH support, upon acceptance for publication. These documents must be made publicly available within 12 months of publication. Failure to comply could result in delays in review or funding of applications, rejection of applications, or termination of funding.
Note: PubMed Central, the NIH digital archive of full-text, peer-reviewed journal articles, should not be confused with PubMed. The systems maintain distinct identification numbers for documents. You can move between the two by clicking on the “PubMed” or “PMC” link at either site.
We present here an outline of how investigators can comply with this regulation. See also the Health Sciences Library site on this policy.
What publications must be submitted?
The policy applies to all peer-reviewed articles derived from NIH funding that were accepted for publication on or after April 7, 2008. Institutions and investigators are responsible for ensuring that publishing or copyright agreements concerning submitted articles fully comply with this Policy. PubMed Central should not be confused with PubMed; the latter is the NIH digital archive of full-text, peer-reviewed journal articles. There is no charge for submitting an article to PubMed Central.
How do I demonstrate compliance with the policy?
When submitting an application, proposal, or progress report to NIH, you must include the PMC ID number (PMCID; e.g., “PMC234567”) for each paper that was authored or co-authored by the applicant or arose from an NIH award, and that falls under the policy. Annotations demonstrating compliance with the NIH Public Access Policy should be placed at the end of each applicable publication citation in every application, proposal or report. See detailed tables below for new/competing awards, noncompeting continuation progress reports, and final project reports.
If you are NIH PI, make sure that all investigators and subcontractors supported by your project (regardless of whether you are an author) also are in compliance with this policy, since you are responsible for the deposition in PMC of all publications resulting from your award.
What if the PMCID is not available?
The PMCID is posted in PubMed as soon as an article has been successfully processed by PMC, which usually occurs around the time of publication. PMCIDs are listed in the lower right corner of the AbstractPlus view of PubMed. If the paper is not yet publicly available on PMC, PubMed will also list the date the paper will become available. See also how to locate PMCIDs.
If the paper has not been published when you file a report to NIH, you can use the NIH Manuscript Submission ID (NIHMSID; e.g., “NIHMS97531”) – for no more than three months post-publication. If the PMCID is not available because the journal submits articles directly to PMC on behalf of its authors, applicants should indicate “PMC Journal – In Process.” This notation is permitted only if the journal has agreed to submit final published versions to PMC (list of applicable journals), or the grantee or author has requested that the journal deposit a final published article on PMC (list of applicable journals).
How should I prepare manuscripts in order to be compliant?
Strongly consider submitting your manuscript to a journal that automatically submits articles to PMC. During the submission process, do not sign away your copyright since this may conflict with your ability to deposit your paper at PubMed Central. A list of publishers that permit publications to be archived can be found at this web site.
If you submit an article to a journal that is not on that site’s green or blue list, the cover letter accompanying your manuscript should include the phrase that the submitted manuscript “is subject to the NIH PubMed Central submission requirements.” Then, before signing the publication agreement, insert over your signature “Subject to the attached Addendum” and print out, sign, and attach a document containing the text in blue below:
Journal acknowledges that Author retains the right to provide a copy of the final manuscript to the NIH upon acceptance for Journal publication, for public archiving in PubMed Central as soon as possible but no later than 12 months after publication by Journal.
How do I submit publications to PubMed Central?
Within 3 months of publication, archive the final manuscript or final published version (e.g., PDF) of your article at PubMed Central via the eRA Commons, as follows. Log onto the eRA Commons manuscript submission system. Click on “Submit New Manuscript.” You will be walked through the process over a series of screens. For additional help, consult ” The NIHMS System User’s Guide to Submitting a Manuscript.” The submission process consists of uploading your final manuscript to the Commons and associating that manuscript with specific NIH award number(s). You initially will receive an NIH manuscript ID number (NIHMSID) that can be referenced in correspondence with NIH during the first three months post-publication. Record the NIHMSID or PMCID assigned to your publications, preferably in your biosketch or CV. Inform your co-authors of those ID numbers, for their submissions and reports to NIH. Effective July 23, 2010, manuscripts may only be entered via a My NCBI account (see this NIH Guide notice for additional information).
How do I locate PubMed Central ID numbers for my publications?
Your journal may submit your publications to PMC automatically or upon your request. When an article is submitted to PMC, it may be embargoed for several months, but it still will have an associated PMCID: you must use that PMCID in all reports/proposals to NIH three months post-publication. You can access a PMCID as follows:
- At PubMed Central, enter your search parameters at the top of the page. The search results will include the current PMCIDs.
- At PubMed, enter your search parameters at the top of the page. Click on individual articles to access their abstracts, which will include PMCIDs at the bottom right of the text.
- For a cross-listing of PubMed IDs, PMCIDs, and NIHMSIDs, do the following. Search for the article(s) inPubMed. At the bottom of the search results page, click on “Send To” and select “Clipboard.” This will paste all of the retrieved articles into the clipboard. There is no need to access them one at a time, unless you only wish a single PMCID – in that case, check the article(s) you are interested in and then send to the clipboard. A pink bar will appear at the top of the page to confirm this action. Go to PubMed Central by clicking on “PMC” in the black bar at the top of the page. Next, click on “PMID<->PCMID” (on the left menu bar) to open the PMID-PCMCID translator. Click on “Get IDs from PubMed Clipboard” to populate the box at the bottom of the web page and click on “Convert” (bottom right). The Converter Result box will be populated with PMID, PMCID, and NIHMSID for each PMID you had entered or pasted in. This is the only way to access NIHMSIDs.
New and competing applications – how to comply
SubmissionNew ApplicationRenewal (in addition to requirements for new applications)Biographical Sketch
|SF 424 (R&R)||Provide in Item 8 (Bibliography & References Cited) of the R&R Other Project Information a list of references cited in the Project Narrative.||List publications, manuscripts accepted for publication, and other printed materials that resulted from the project since last reviewed competitively, in Progress Report Publication List of the Research Plan||Provide selected peer-reviewed publications or manuscripts in press in Section B of the Biosketch upload of the R&R Senior/Key Person Profile.|
|SF 424 (R&R) SBIR||Provide in Item 8 (Bibliography & References Cited) of the R&R Other Project Information a list of references cited in the Project Narrative.||Phase II applicants should list titles and references to publications, manuscripts accepted for publication, and other printed materials that resulted from the Phase I effort, in Progress Report Publication List of the Research Plan.||Provide selected peer-reviewed publications or manuscripts in press in Section B of the Biosketch upload of the R&R Senior/Key Person Profile.|
|PHS 398||Provide in the Bibliography and References Cited section of the Research Plan, a list of references cited in Project Summary and Relevance, Form Page 2.||Provide in the Progress Report Publication List of the Research Plan, a list of publications, manuscripts accepted for publication, and other printed materials that resulted from the project since last reviewed competitively.||Provide selected peer-reviewed publications or manuscripts in press in the biosketch.|
|PHS 398 Career Development Award application||Provide in the Bibliography and References Cited section of the Research Plan, a list of references cited in Project Summary and Relevance, Form Page 2.||Provide in the Progress Report Publication List of the Research Plan, a list of publications, manuscripts accepted for publication, and other printed materials that resulted from the project since last reviewed competitively.||List all publications in the biosketch. Identify publications in the biosketch with a double asterisk if published during the previous period of support.|
|PHS 398 Training Application||Provide papers authored by trainees or potential trainees in Table 6 (Publications of Research completed by Trainees).||Update Table 6 with publications of trainees through the time that they complete their training. Refer to PHS 398 instructions, Part II, 8.9.6.||List Program Director publications in the biosketch.|
|PHS 416-1 Individual Fellowship Application||Reference applicable publications in the Research Training Plan under C. Preliminary Studies.||Reference publications in the Research Training Plan under C. Preliminary Studies, Progress Report for Competing Continuation Applications.||List pertinent publications in Section B of the Applicant/Fellow biosketch.|
Noncompeting continuation progress reports – how to comply
PHS 2590Report publications resulting directly from the grant that have not previously been reported, on Form Page 5 under subheading E, Publications.
|PHS 2590 Career Development Award||Report publications resulting directly from the grant that have not previously been reported, on Form Page 5 under subheading E, Publications.|
|PHS 2590 Institutional Training Grant||List all trainee publications not previously reported, including those by former trainees still in research training, on Form Page 5, under C, Trainees.|
|eSNAP||When an eRA Commons eSNAP is initiated, a list of publications is automatically pulled into the Upload Science screen, for potential inclusion in the progress report. The list is pulled from the NIH Manuscript Submission system (including PMCIDs and NIHMSIDs) and all manual entries from the Publications section of all PDs/PIs Personal Profiles. The latter are displayed with the Citation Source of “PD/PI Entered” both within the eSNAP and within the Publications section of the user’s Personal Profile. Review the publication list and check the checkbox of citations to be associated with the report. The user can add citations from within eSNAP. When manually entering citations, include the appropriate ID number. It is important to verify that the NIH Manuscript Submission System Status shows “AVAILABLE” on the Upload Science page when preparing and submitting the eSNAP report to ensure that all appropriate citation information is included in the report.|
|PHS 416-9 Individual Fellowship||List publications on Form Page 2 under 17.B. Progress.|
Final Progress Reports – how to comply
Follow instructions provided by the NIH awarding componentInclude the publications resulting from the project, with plans for further publications.
|PHS 416-7 NRSA Termination Notice (trainees and fellows)||List any publications resulting from research during the period of the training in block 8.|